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Scarlets

Scarlets
Scarlets logo.svg
UnionWelsh Rugby Union
Nickname(s)Bois Sospan
Turks
Founded2003; 15 years ago (2003)
LocationLlanelli, Wales
Ground(s)Parc y Scarlets (Capacity: 14,870)
ChairmanNigel Short
PresidentPhil Bennett[1]
Coach(es)Wayne Pivac
Captain(s)Ken Owens
Most capsVernon Cooper (369)[2]
Top scorerStephen Jones (2,850)[2]
Most triesWayne Proctor (173)[2]
League(s)Pro14
2017–18Runners-up
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website
www.scarlets.co.uk
Rugby football current event.svg Current season

The Scarlets (Welsh: Y Sgarlets) are one of the four professional Welsh regional rugby union teams and are based in Llanelli, Wales. Their home ground is the Parc y Scarlets stadium. They play in the Pro14, the Anglo-Welsh Cup and the European Rugby Champions Cup (which replaced the Heineken Cup from the 2014–15 season). The club was originally named the Llanelli Scarlets but was renamed at the start of the 2008–09 rugby season, following the lead of the Ospreys in 2005.[3]

The Llanelli Scarlets were founded in 2003, as one of the five (now four) regional teams created by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU). The Scarlets are affiliated with a number of semi-professional and amateur clubs throughout the area, including Welsh Premier Division sides Llanelli RFC, Carmarthen Quins RFC and Llandovery RFC. Through the 2007–08 season, they played most of their games at Stradey Park in Llanelli, but they have also played matches at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham. The club's new stadium, Parc y Scarlets (English: Scarlets Park), was constructed in nearby Pemberton, and opened in November 2008.[4]

History

Formation

A diagram showing the development pathways managed by Wales' pro-clubs

In 2003, the WRU elected to reduce the top tier of Welsh professional rugby from nine clubs into five regions during the introduction of regional rugby union teams in Wales, attempting to mirror the successful formats in Ireland, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Initially, it was planned to have a region playing at Stradey Park, with players coming from Llanelli, Swansea and Neath.[5] This was then modified to have Llanelli and Swansea merging, while Neath joined with Bridgend. Llanelli were opposed to both plans and requested standalone status.[6] Eventually, Llanelli and Cardiff were allowed to remain independent.[7] The Llanelli Scarlets brand was officially launched on 7 July 2003.[8]

Despite always having been a 100% owned Llanelli RFC subsidiary, the Scarlets were originally conceived as representing the whole of West and North Wales. In the early seasons of Regional Rugby, the Scarlets played a small number of games in the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham. Whilst nominally continuing to be the Regional Franchisee for North Wales, the Scarlets presence there has withered and in terms of its actual support base it is in effect a Carmarthenshire/Pembrokeshire Regional side. Following the Scarlets' short lived forays into North Wales, the vacuum has in effect been filled by RGC1404, (formed in 2007, and like the original regional franchisees formed 4 years earlier a top down creation of the WRU) which has become something of an unofficial 'four and a halfth' region.

Llanelli RFC, which owns the Scarlets franchise continues as a Principality Premiership semi professional side, in the same way as Cardiff RFC, (the stand alone owner of The Blues Franchise), and alongside other Scarlets Feeder Clubs, RGC1404, Llandovery, and Carmarthen Quinns.

2003–present

Largely drawn from the very successful Llanelli RFC side of the preceding year, the Scarlets carried that success forward into their inaugural season. They reached the last eight of the 2003–04 Heineken Cup and finished the Celtic League season as champions by four points over Ulster. In the Heineken Cup, the Scarlets were drawn in Pool Four along with Northampton Saints, Agen and Border Reivers. The Scarlets won five of their six matches, losing only to Agen, and finished at the top of their pool before losing to French club Biarritz 27–10 in the quarter-final.

Scarlets players during a league match against Glasgow Warriors in 2006

The following season, however, was less successful. Plagued by injuries and retirements, as well as the transfer of influential fly-half Stephen Jones to Clermont, the Scarlets finished a disappointing fifth in the league. They were even less successful in the Heineken Cup, winning just two of their six pool games to finish third in the pool behind Northampton Saints and Toulouse. The salvation of their season came in reaching the final of the Celtic Cup, in which they lost 26–17 to Munster.

The Scarlets again failed to qualify from their Heineken Cup group in 2005–06 and finished sixth in the Celtic League. They did, however, find more success in the newly restructured Anglo-Welsh Cup. After finishing at the top of their pool, they defeated Bath by one point in the semi-finals to reach the final against London Wasps at Twickenham; missing several international players, they lost 26–10. In the Heineken Cup, it was a similar story to the previous season, with the Scarlets winning two of their six fixtures to finish third in the pool again, behind Toulouse and Wasps. Despite finishing sixth in the Celtic League, the team qualified for the Heineken Cup for the 2006–07 season as the second-best-placed Welsh team in the league. They also re-signed Stephen Jones and full-back Barry Davies extended his contract to stay with the Scarlets. The Scarlets' Director of Rugby, Gareth Jenkins, had been appointed as Wales' national team coach, having been with the region since its inception. Phil Davies, then coach of Leeds Tykes, replaced Jenkins at the Scarlets.[9]

At the first home game of the 2006–07 season, an information sheet was handed out to supporters with details of the club's financial situation. There was opposition by local residents to plans by the Scarlets to move to a new stadium and sell their current ground for housing development. The information sheet stated that, due to delays caused by the opposition and benefactors pulling out of the club, it was "extremely unlikely that [the Llanelli Scarlets] could survive to the end of the present season unless other financial assistance is found", which would result in "the loss, probably for all time, of professional rugby in West Wales." Local residents believed, however, that the infrastructure, such as roads and schools, will not cope with 450 new houses being built on the site. On 28 November 2006, the regions secured investment from Tim Griffiths, a London-based businessman.[10]

Scarlets players compete a line-out in a match against Benetton Treviso in 2013

In the 2006–07 Heineken Cup, the Scarlets recorded one of the most famous victories in their brief history as a region, defeating Toulouse 41–34 away, despite twice trailing by 21 points. This was an unexpected victory, despite the Scarlets having won their first three games of the 2006–07 competition. They later secured their place in the Heineken Cup quarter-final with a convincing 35–11 win over Ulster at Ravenhill. The Scarlets went on to become only the fifth team in the history of the competition to win all their pool matches. They beat current holders Munster 24–15 at Stradey Park in the quarter-finals, but were beaten 33–17 in the semis by a strong Leicester side, putting an end to their hopes of making it 'third time lucky' in Heineken Cup semi-finals. On 30 April 2008, Phil Davies was controversially sacked as the Scarlets' head coach. The reasons for his departure remain unclear, but it is believed that he found out via the media before being informed by club chairman Stuart Gallacher.

The Scarlets moved from Stradey Park at the end of November 2008 to a new ground at Pemberton called Parc y Scarlets. The final Scarlets match played at Stradey Park was on 24 October 2008, against Bristol in the group stage of the Anglo-Welsh Cup. The Scarlets won 27–0 in front of a capacity crowd, which included former Llanelli captains such as Delme Thomas and Phil Bennett.[11]

The Scarlets' first match at their new home was an 18–16 Celtic League defeat to Munster on 28 November 2008.[12] Their first Heineken Cup match at Parc y Scarlets was held on 12 December against Ulster which ended in a 16–16 draw.[13] Both matches were held with reduced capacity, as law requires that a new stadium hold three events at reduced capacity before it is authorised for its full capacity. The official opening ceremony was on 31 January 2009 when the Scarlets faced the Barbarians.

In May 2014, it was confirmed that the four Welsh regions would compete in the annual Premiership Sevens Series after a three-year deal was agreed with BT Sport.[14]

Name and colours

Scarlets logos
2003–2008
2008–

The Scarlets took their name from the nickname of Llanelli RFC, their main feeder club. Llanelli have played in red since 1884 when they played a game against a touring Ireland side.[15] This close link with Llanelli RFC has also led to the Scarlets adopting the scarlet red colour for their primary jerseys, with their secondary colours generally being blue.

The region was originally named the Llanelli Scarlets, but was renamed at the start of the 2008–09 rugby season to more accurately represent the area covered by the region.[16]

Kit suppliers

Period Kit providers
2003–2009 Kooga
2009–2010 Rhino
2010–2014 Burrda
2014–2017 Kooga
2017- Macron

Stadium

Scarlets current home ground, Parc y Scarlets

From 2003 to the 2007–08 season, the Scarlets played most of their home matches at Llanelli's Stradey Park (also the home of Llanelli RFC). However, they have played several games in North Wales, at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground, to promote the region's geographical representation. The 2006–07 season was planned to be the last season played at Stradey Park, which was subsequently to be demolished for the building of apartments. The Scarlets played every home game of the 2006–07 season at Stradey Park to commemorate the historic ground. They played their last game at Stradey Park on 24 October 2008 against Bristol, and their first game at Parc y Scarlets on 28 November 2008 against Munster.

The new home of the Scarlets and Llanelli RFC, known as Parc y Scarlets (English: Scarlets Park),[17] is in Pemberton. The new stadium cost £23 million to be constructed and holds 14,340 spectators.[18] The first game held at the stadium was Llanelli RFC versus Cardiff RFC held on 15 November 2008.[19] The stadium's main stand is located on the south side of the ground, and houses the new Scarlets museum and club shop, as well as a sports bar, the players' changing rooms and a players' gym. Stadium blueprints planned for the main stand to be about 20 metres (66 ft) tall. Outside the stadium there is a training barn for the players, as well as a training pitch and athletics track. The remainder of the site is taken up by the Parc Trostre retail park.[20]

Current squad

The Scarlets squad for 2018-19 is:[21]

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
Taylor Davies Hooker Wales Wales
Ryan Elias Hooker Wales Wales
Dafydd Hughes Hooker Wales Wales
Marc Jones Hooker Wales Wales
Ken Owens Hooker Wales Wales
Dylan Evans* Prop Australia Australia
Rob Evans Prop Wales Wales
Rhys Fawcett Prop Wales Wales
Simon Gardiner Prop Wales Wales
Wyn Jones Prop Wales Wales
Scott Jenkins Prop Wales Wales
Werner Kruger Prop South Africa South Africa
Samson Lee Prop Wales Wales
Phil Price Prop Wales Wales
Javan Sebastian Prop Wales Wales
Steffan Thomas Prop Wales Wales
Jake Ball Lock Wales Wales
David Bulbring Lock South Africa South Africa
Steve Cummins Lock Australia Australia
Josh Helps Lock Wales Wales
Tom Price* Lock England England
Lewis Rawlins Lock Wales Wales
Will Boyde Back row Wales Wales
Uzair Cassiem Back row South Africa South Africa
James Davies Back row Wales Wales
Dan Davis Back row Wales Wales
Shaun Evans Back row Wales Wales
Ed Kennedy* Back row Australia Australia
Josh Macleod Back row Wales Wales
Tom Phillips Back row Wales Wales
Aaron Shingler Back row Wales Wales
Blade Thomson Back row New Zealand New Zealand
Player Position Union
Gareth Davies Scrum-half Wales Wales
Jonathan Evans Scrum-half Wales Wales
Kieran Hardy Scrum-half Wales Wales
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne Scrum-half Scotland Scotland
Declan Smith Scrum-half Wales Wales
Dan Jones Fly-half Wales Wales
Angus O'Brien Fly-half Wales Wales
Rhys Patchell Fly-half Wales Wales
Paul Asquith Centre Australia Australia
Corey Baldwin Centre Wales Wales
Jonathan Davies Centre Wales Wales
Kieron Fonotia Centre Samoa Samoa
Steffan Hughes Centre Wales Wales
Hadleigh Parkes Centre Wales Wales
Ryan Conbeer Wing Wales Wales
Steffan Evans Wing Wales Wales
Johnny McNicholl Wing New Zealand New Zealand
Ioan Nicholas Wing Wales Wales
Tom Prydie Wing Wales Wales
Clayton Blommetjies Fullback South Africa South Africa
Leigh Halfpenny Fullback Wales Wales
Tomi Lewis Fullback Wales Wales
Morgan Williams Fullback Wales Wales
  • * Denotes a player who is Welsh qualified.
  • ‡ Denotes a player on a WRU 'National Dual Contract'.
  • Notes:

British and Irish Lions

The following players were selected for the British and Irish Lions touring squads whilst playing for the Scarlets:

Stephen Jones was also selected for the 2005 Lions tour whilst playing for Clermont Auvergne. Former Scarlets Scott Quinnell, Robin McBryde and Dafydd James were also selected for the Lions on the 2001 tour to Australia while playing for Llanelli RFC.[22]

Notable former players

Players who have won over 20 international caps and have played for the Scarlets:

Coaching staff

Head coaches

Name Tenure
Wales Gareth Jenkins 2003–2006[23]
Wales Phil Davies 2006–2008[23]
Wales Nigel Davies 2008–2012[24]
Ireland Simon Easterby 2012–2014[24]
New Zealand Wayne Pivac 2014–[23]

Current backroom staff

Correct as of 21 August 2016

Name Title
New Zealand Wayne Pivac Head coach
Wales Mark Taylor Team manager
Wales Stephen Jones Backs coach
Wales Byron Hayward Defence coach
Wales Ioan Cunningham Set piece coach
Wales Huw Davies Head of strength and conditioning
Wales Rhys Jones Assistant strength and conditioning coach
Wales Sam Handy Assistant strength and conditioning coach
Wales Matthew Rees Head Physiotherapist
Wales Jo Perkins Physiotherapist
Wales Katherine Bester Physiotherapist
Wales Joe Lewis Head Analyst
Wales Todd Taylor Analyst

Results and statistics

Seasons

Celtic League / Pro12 / Pro14

Season Pos Played Won Drawn Lost Bonus Points
2003–04 1st 22 16 1 5 10 76
2004–05 5th 20 9 0 11 10 46
2005–06 6th 22 10 1 9 7 57[n 1]
2006–07 4th 20 12 0 8 9 57
2007–08 6th 18 7 0 11 10 39
2008–09 5th 18 9 0 9 4 40
2009–10 9th 18 5 0 13 9 29
2010–11 5th 22 12 1 9 12 62
2011–12 5th 22 12 2 8 10 62
2012–13 4th 22 15 0 7 6 66
Semi-final Ulster 28–17 Scarlets
2013–14 6th 22 11 1 10 9 55
2014–15 6th 22 11 3 8 7 57
2015–16 5th 22 14 0 8 7 63
2016–17 3rd 22 17 0 5 9 77
Semi-final Leinster 15–27 Scarlets
Final Munster 22–46 Scarlets
2017–18 2nd, Conference B 21 14 1 6 12 70
Quarter-final Scarlets 46-8 Cheetahs
Semi-final Glasgow Warriors 13–28 Scarlets
Final Leinster 40–32 Scarlets
  1. ^ 11 teams were involved in this season, so one team did not play each week and were awarded 4 points instead.
    Therefore, each team finished the season with 8 more points than the table would seem to warrant.

Celtic Cup

Season Round Match
2003–04 Quarter-final Llanelli Scarlets 12–14 Connacht
2004–05 Final Munster 27–16 Llanelli Scarlets

Heineken Cup / Rugby Champions Cup

Season Pool/Round Pos Played Won Drawn Lost Bonus Points
2003–04 Pool 4 1st 6 5 0 1 3 23
Quarter-final Llanelli Scarlets 10–27 Biarritz Olympique
2004–05 Pool 3 3rd 6 2 0 4 5 13
2005–06 Pool 6 3rd 6 2 0 4 4 12
2006–07 Pool 5 1st 6 6 0 0 3 27
Quarter-final Llanelli Scarlets 24–15 Munster
Semi-final Leicester Tigers 33–17 Llanelli Scarlets
2007–08 Pool 5 4th 6 0 0 6 0 0
2008–09 Pool 4 4th 6 1 1 4 2 8
2009–10 (HC) Pool 6 2nd 6 4 0 2 1 17
2009–10 (ACC) Quarter-final Toulon 38–12 Scarlets
2010–11 Pool 5 3rd 6 3 0 3 3 15
2011–12 (HC) Pool 1 2nd 6 3 0 3 3 15
2011–12 (ACC) Quarter-final Brive 15–11 Scarlets
2012–13 Pool 5 4th 6 0 0 6 2 2
2013–14 Pool 4 3rd 6 2 1 3 1 11
2014–15 Pool 3 4th 6 2 0 4 0 8
2015–16 Pool 3 4th 6 0 0 6 2 2
2016–17 Pool 3 3rd 6 2 1 3 1 11
2017–18 Pool 5 1st 6 4 0 2 5 21
Quarter-final Scarlets 29–17 La Rochelle
Semi-final Leinster 38-16 Scarlets

Anglo-Welsh Cup

Season Group/Round Pos Played Won Drawn Lost Bonus Points
2005–06 Group C 1st 3 3 0 0 0 12
Semi-final Llanelli Scarlets 27–26 Bath Rugby
Final London Wasps 26–10 Llanelli Scarlets
2006–07 Group C 3rd 3 1 0 2 1 5
2007–08 Group D 2nd 3 2 0 1 3 11
2008–09 Group D 2nd 3 2 0 1 0 8
2009–10 Pool 2 2nd 4 2 1 1 1 11
2010–11 Pool 3 3rd 4 2 0 2 1 9
2011–12 Pool 3 1st 4 3 0 1 3 15
Semi-final Northampton Saints 27–12 Llanelli Scarlets
2012–13 Pool 3 3rd 4 2 0 2 0 8
2013–14 Pool 4 3rd 4 2 0 2 0 8
2014–15 Pool 3 4th 4 1 0 3 1 5
2016–17 Pool 4 4th 4 1 0 3 1 5
2017–18 Pool 3 4th 4 0 0 4 1 1

Honours

ERC Elite Awards

For the 10th anniversary season of the Heineken Cup, ERC, the tournament organisers, introduced the ERC Elite Awards scheme to recognise and reward the players and teams who have made outstanding contributions to the tournament. The Scarlets were awarded the ERC team award for playing 50 games,[25] and Robin McBryde, John Davies, Dafydd James and Iestyn Thomas were recognised for having made 50 appearances in the competition.[26]

See also

References

  1. ^ [www.scarlets.co.uk]
  2. ^ a b c "Player Records". scarlets.co.uk. The Scarlets. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Scarlets drop Llanelli from name". BBC Sport. 11 September 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2008.
  4. ^ "Llanelli open new home in style". BBC News. 15 November 2008. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  5. ^ "WRU drops provincial bombshell". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 20 February 2003. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  6. ^ "Moffett scraps northern expansion". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 8 January 2003. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  7. ^ "Layman's guide to Welsh rugby's crisis". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 12 March 2003. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  8. ^ "Scarlets launch regional vision". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 7 July 2003. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  9. ^ "Scarlets unveil Davies as coach". BBC Sport. 14 August 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  10. ^ "Scarlets 'saved' by new investor". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 28 November 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  11. ^ "Scarlets win on Stradey farewell". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
  12. ^ "Scarlets 16–18 Munster". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  13. ^ Roberts, Gareth (12 December 2008). "Scarlets 16–16 Ulster". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  14. ^ "Welsh regions included in Premiership Sevens Series". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 21 May 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  15. ^ [www.scarlets.co.uk] |accessdate=30 June 2012
  16. ^ "Scarlets drop Llanelli from name". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 11 September 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2008.
  17. ^ "Scarlets unveil new stadium name". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 20 May 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  18. ^ "Scarlets stadium work goes online". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  19. ^ "Llanelli open new home in style". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 15 November 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  20. ^ "The new Llanelli Scarlets stadium". scarlets.co.uk. The Scarlets. 15 February 2008. Archived from the original on 19 February 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  21. ^ "Player Archive : Scarlets Rugby". Scarlets Rugby. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  22. ^ "Scarlets Lions". scarlets.co.uk. Scarlets. Archived from the original on 4 May 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  23. ^ a b c "Scarlets unveil Davies as coach". BBC News. 14 August 2006.
  24. ^ a b "Nigel Davies named as Gloucester coach after leaving Scarlets". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 2 June 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  25. ^ [www.ercrugby.com]
  26. ^ [www.ercrugby.com]

External links