– 2008/9 season preview –

– 2008/9 season preview –

Club Details
Llanelli Scarlets
Stradey Park
SA15 4BT

Stadium Capacity: Currently 10,000, will be 15,000 when the new Parc y Scarlets stadium is opened in November
Founded: 1872

Last time around: For so long Wales' premier side, not that you would think so based on last season's showing. A sixth place finish was all they could muster, slumping to seven defeats due to a poor defensive record throughout the season. Phil Davies started the season with a youth policy but soon found life to be a lot tougher than he may have expected – which goes a long way to explaining why he was handed his P45 at the end of the season. Perhaps it was the Heineken Cup that did it for Davies and the Scarlets, six straight defeats didn't sit well with those in power at Stradey Park.

This time: This season marks a monumental chapter in the Scarlets' history, as they will say good-bye to Stradey Park and head to their new stadium 'Parc y Scarlets'. With Nigel Davies heading up a new-look coaching unit there is a sense of a new begining for the region, although they still lack a few world-class players. As with all the top regions a lot will come down to how they perform when their international stars are not present, but Phil Davies' youth policy may come to bear fruit finally.

Coach: Formerly Wales' Assistant Coach Nigel Davies is back at the club he served so well as a player and an assistant. This is his first big coaching job and it will be interesting to see how he fares in what is rapidly becoming a very competitive league. He will have the luxury of several key signings in the off-season and a fresh slate to work from. The pressure will be on as the Scarlets move into a new stadium, and the faithful will expect results from the off.

Captain: Once again Simon Easterby will lead the Scarlets into battle. The former Ireland and British and Irish Lion has been a loyal servant to the region and has proved on a regular basis he is a fine leader. Having retired from international duty he will have no outside distractions and will hope he can take the Scarlets into their new home with a trophy.

One to watch: Normally a spot for the young guns we are going with David Lyons this time. The Scarlets have needed a star performer in the back row ever since Scott Quinell called it a day, and in Lyons they may just have found one. He has shown with both the Waratahs and Australia he is in the same mould as Quinell, and if he can play like the great Welsh number eight he will soon win the hearts of the Stradey faithful.

Final 2008/09 league position prediction: 6th

Squad: Nathan Brew, Vernon Cooper, Darren Daniel, Jonathan Davies, Simon Easterby, Daniel Evans, Gavin Evans, Rob Higgitt, Dafydd James, Phil John, Dafydd Jones, Mark Jones, Stephen Jones, Regan King, David Lyons, Scott Macleod, Simon Maling, Deacon Manu, Sililo Martens, Kees Meeuws, Ken Owens, Rhys Priestland, Lou Reed, Matthew Rees, Martin Roberts, Morgan Stoddart, Mahonri Schwalger, Ceiron Thomas, Gavin Thomas, Iestyn Thomas, Nathan Thomas, Josh Turnbull, Lee Williams.

Colours: Red (home) Gray (Away)

Tickets: Prices range from £8 to £35

Travel connections:

Car: Leave the M4 at juction 48, and turn left signposted Llanelli on to the A4138, which heads past the village of Llangennech. From there the ground is well signposted.

Train: Llanelli Train Station is situated approximately 20 minutes walk away from the stadium.
Local Taxis are available from outside the station gates. For further information regarding train times contact National Rail Enquires on 08457 484 950 or alternatively log on to the National Rail Enquiries website.

Bus: Buses run from Llanelli bus station on a regular basis.

Plane: The nearest International airport is Cardiff Wales Airport. The airport is situated approximately one hours drive from Llanelli. For further information please call 01446 711111.