'Cannonball Ken' to captain Scarlets

20th Aug 2014, 19:57

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Honour: Ken Owens

Honour: Ken Owens

Scarlets have confirmed that popular Wales international hooker Ken Owens will captain the region in the new season.


Scarlets have confirmed that popular Wales international hooker Ken Owens will captain the region in the new season.

The 27-year-old, who has made 158 appearances for the West Wales region - joining the illustrious 150 club at last season's Heineken Cup draw against Clermont Auvergne, will lead the Scarlets in 2014-15.

Deputising for Owens will be 23-year-old international centre and Newcastle Emlyn born, Scott Williams.

The new-look captaincy pairing for the 2014-15 season further epitomises the region's deep-rooted ethos of nurturing and developing local talent.

Owens, who takes over the reins from back row forward Rob McCusker and British and Irish Lion Jonathan Davies - who has joined French giants Clermont Auvergne, has a wealth of experience on the regional and international stage.

"Ken is a well respected individual across the coaching and playing group and he's a mature young man who has all the attributes of being a great leader," said new head coach Wayne Pivac on naming Ken Owens and Scott Williams as captain and vice captain respectively.

"In the short time that I've been here with the Scarlets he has been a stand out character in terms of motivating the group and bringing all of the elements of our wider squad together.

"We have undertaken an exercise this week that sets out or team vision for the next three years and a set of values are not words on a wall - you have to honour those things on a daily basis.

"Both Ken and Scott, as captain and vice captain, will play a vitally important role within the squad and both, I feel, epitomise Scarlets rugby and our region - our people. We are a part of a passionate and loyal rugby community where rugby is everything. I am a great believer in locals taking the team forward.

"Both of these young men come from within the heart of this region and will die for the jersey and lead by example."

Speaking about the news Owens said it was an absolute honour to follow in the footsteps of Scarlets greats who've gone before him.

"It's a huge honour especially considering the people who've captained the region and great leaders I've played under since being at the region like Simon Easterby, Stephen Jones, Matthew Rees, Mark Jones and obviously Rob McCusker and Jon Davies over the last couple of seasons," said Owens.

"It's a massive opportunity for me and one I'm looking forward to. It's going to be a tough challenge but hopefully can move the region forward and get some success.

"Every captain is different, I think I'll have to see how it unfolds. I will try and lead from the front which is something I've always tried to do as a player.

"Scott knows what this place is all about. He's experienced and has been a huge player for us over the last couple of years. A captain never wins games, it's who you've got around you and you need that support structure.

"We'll continue to have a close relationship with the senior players group as we do now and having Rob in that senior players group, who's been captain for the last couple of years, supporting me is going to be great."