The Scarlets have been boosted by the news that skipper Ken Owens and full-back Liam Williams have signed new deals with the club.
The announcement, and commitment shown by Owens and Williams, comes as a timely Christmas gift to Scarlets supporters ahead of the back-to-back regional derbies and with the Scarlets positioned second in pool three ahead of the final pool stages of the European Rugby Champions Cup.
Securing the signatures of two such pivotal players- who have collectively amassed over 240 regional appearances and nearly 50 Wales caps – is another major investment by the Scarlets to retain the talent required to be competitive at the top level of domestic and European rugby.
Hooker Owens is a product of the Scarlets Academy and has gone to win plaudits on the international stage since making his regional debut against Northampton Saints in 2006.
Carmarthen-born Owens was handed the captaincy role ahead of the 2014-15 season further epitomizing the region’s deep-rooted ethos of nurturing and developing local talent.
Owens, who has made 161 regional appearances, joined the illustrious 150 club at last season’s Heineken Cup draw against Clermont Auvergne.
Fellow Scarlets and Wales teammate Williams has won the plaudits of critics with fearless performances in both Scarlets and Wales colours.
A dream regional debut season saw Williams score 40 points in 26 appearances following a first PRO12 outing against Connacht in September 2011.
His performances led him to be nominated for the LV= Breakthrough Player Award and was voted Player’s Player of the Year for the Scarlets for season 2011-12.
A Wales debut followed in June 2012 against the Barbarians and has since gone on to win 18 international caps whilst earning credentials as one of the most competitive backs in the international game.
“Retaining players of both Ken and Liam’s experience and quality at the Scarlets is vitally important for the future of this region,” said Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac.
“Having experienced players, with great leadership qualities and genuine passion for our region, commit their futures to Parc y Scarlets reinforces our intentions and ambitions to compete on the highest level and continue to strive to reach our potential.”