|Union||Welsh Rugby Union|
|Ground(s)||Parc y Scarlets (Capacity: 14,870)|
|Most caps||Vernon Cooper (369)|
|Top scorer||Stephen Jones (2,850)|
|Most tries||Wayne Proctor (173)|
|2019–20||3rd (Conference B)|
The Scarlets (Welsh : Y Scarlets) are one of the four professional Welsh rugby union teams and are based in Llanelli, Wales. Their home ground is the Parc y Scarlets stadium. They play in the Pro14 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.
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.
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.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. Eventually, Llanelli and Cardiff were allowed to remain independent. The Llanelli Scarlets brand was officially launched on 7 July 2003.
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.As of 2018, the Scarlets consider their region to represent the three counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. Following the Scarlets' short lived forays into North Wales, the vacuum has in effect been filled by RGC 1404, (formed in 2007, and like the original regional franchisees formed four 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Scarlets' first match at their new home was an 18–16 Celtic League defeat to Munster on 28 November 2008.Their first Heineken Cup match at Parc y Scarlets was held on 12 December against Ulster which ended in a 16–16 draw. 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.
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.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.
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 last league game played at the Racecourse Ground was in September 2005.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), is in Pemberton. The new stadium cost £23 million to be constructed and holds 14,340 spectators. The first game held at the stadium was Llanelli RFC versus Cardiff RFC held on 15 November 2008. 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.
|Scarlets Pro14 squad|
|(c) denotes the team captain, Bold denotes internationally capped players, L denotes a player on loan at the club, |
ST denotes a player on a short-term deal at the club,
* denotes players qualified to play for Wales on residency or dual nationality.
Players and their allocated positions from the Scarlets website.
|Scarlets Academy squad|
|(c) denotes the team captain, Bold denotes internationally capped players. |
* denotes players qualified to play for Wales on residency or dual nationality.
Players and their allocated positions from the Scarlets website.
The following players were selected for the British & Irish Lions touring squads while contracted to 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.
Players who have won over 20 international caps and have played for the Scarlets:
|Glenn Delaney||Head coach|
|Dai Flanagan||Backs coach|
|Richard Whiffin||Attack coach|
|Ben Franks||Scrum coach|
|Richard Kelly||Forwards coach|
|Huw Davies||Head of strength and conditioning|
|Rhys Jones||Assistant strength and conditioning coach|
|Sam Handy||Assistant strength and conditioning coach|
|Matthew Rees||Head physiotherapist|
|Jarrad Griffiths||Head analyst|
|Semi-final||Ulster 28–17 Scarlets|
|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|
|2018–19||4th, Conference B||21||10||0||11||12||52|
|7th, Champions Cup Playoff||Ospreys 21-10 Scarlets|
|2019–20||3rd, Conference B||15||10||0||5||7||47|
|2020–21||3rd, Conference B||16||8||0||8||7||39|
|2003–04||Quarter-final||Llanelli Scarlets 12–14 Connacht|
|2004–05||Final||Munster 27–16 Llanelli Scarlets|
|Quarter-final||Llanelli Scarlets 10–27 Biarritz Olympique|
|Quarter-final||Llanelli Scarlets 24–15 Munster|
|Semi-final||Leicester Tigers 33–17 Llanelli Scarlets|
|2009–10 (HC)||Pool 6||2nd||6||4||0||2||1||17|
|2009–10 (ACC)||Quarter-final||Toulon 38–12 Scarlets|
|2011–12 (HC)||Pool 1||2nd||6||3||0||3||3||15|
|2011–12 (ACC)||Quarter-final||Brive 15–11 Scarlets|
|Quarter-final||Scarlets 29–17 La Rochelle|
|Semi-final||Leinster 38–16 Scarlets|
|Round of 16||Scarlets 14–57 Sale Sharks|
|Quarter-final||Toulon 11–6 Scarlets|
|Semi-final||Llanelli Scarlets 27–26 Bath Rugby|
|Final||London Wasps 26–10 Llanelli Scarlets|
|Semi-final||Northampton Saints 27–12 Llanelli Scarlets|
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,and Robin McBryde, John Davies, Dafydd James and Iestyn Thomas were recognised for having made 50 appearances in the competition.
The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) is the governing body of rugby union in the country of Wales, recognised by the sport's international governing body, World Rugby.
Cardiff Blues are one of the four professional Welsh regional rugby union teams. Based in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, the team play at Cardiff Arms Park and are owned by Cardiff Blues Rugby Ltd, who also own and run Cardiff Rugby Football Club. The club will change their name to Cardiff Rugby from the start of the 2021-22 season.
Dragons are one of the four professional rugby union regional teams in Wales. They are owned by the Welsh Rugby Union and play their home games at Rodney Parade, Newport and at other grounds around the region. They play in the Pro14 league and the European Rugby Champions Cup/European Rugby Challenge Cup. The region they represent covers an area of southeast Wales including Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen with a total population approaching 600,000 and they are affiliated with a number of semi-professional and amateur clubs throughout the area, including Pontypool RFC, Caerphilly RFC, Cross Keys RFC, Ebbw Vale RFC and Newport RFC.
Cardiff Rugby Football Club is a rugby union football club based in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. The club was founded in 1876 and played their first few matches at Sophia Gardens, shortly after which relocating to Cardiff Arms Park where they have been based ever since.
Stephen Michael Jones is a Welsh rugby union coach and former player who played primarily at fly-half. He played more than 100 times for Wales and six times for the British & Irish Lions.
Dwayne John Peel is a former Welsh rugby union player. He was the most capped scrum-half for the Wales national rugby union team with 76 caps, until his record was surpassed by Mike Phillips on 16 March 2013.
Llanelli Rugby Football Club is a Welsh rugby union club founded in 1875.
Stradey Park was a rugby union stadium located near the centre of the town of Llanelli in Carmarthenshire, Wales. It was the home of the Scarlets region and Llanelli RFC rugby teams. The stadium was a combination of seating and standing with a total capacity of 10,800. With the Scarlets having moved to Parc y Scarlets, Stradey Park was demolished in 2010 and has since been replaced with housing.
Gareth John James Jenkins is a former Welsh rugby union rugby player, and former head coach of the Welsh national team. After a long and distinguished career at Llanelli RFC, Jenkins was appointed Wales coach in 2006, succeeding Mike Ruddock. He was sacked by the Welsh Rugby Union on 30 September 2007, following Wales' failure to qualify for the quarter-finals of the 2007 Rugby World Cup. He left the role with just six wins from twenty test matches.
Barry Davies is a Welsh rugby union footballer. Davies has also been capped by Wales at international level. His usual position is at full back.
Lyn Jones is a former Wales international rugby union player, and now works as a coach. A flanker, Jones has experience at various different levels of the game, both as a player and a coach. Jones played most of his playing career for Neath RFC. He started his coaching career at the same club. He has coached professional clubs in Wales and England, and since 2018 has been head coach of the Russian national rugby union team.
Nathan Brew is a former Welsh international rugby union player. Brew played in the centre and on the wing.
Tumble RFC or Clwb Rygbi Y Tymbl (Welsh) is a rugby union club representing the village of Tumble, near Llanelli in Carmarthenshire, South Wales. The club is a member of the Welsh Rugby Union and is a feeder club for the Llanelli Scarlets.
Jonathan Davies is a Welsh professional rugby union player who plays at centre for the Scarlets and the Wales national team.
Dominic Day is a Welsh rugby union player.
The 2007–08 season was the fifth in the history of the Llanelli Scarlets regional side. The season saw the Scarlets compete in three competitions: the Celtic League, the EDF Energy Cup and the Heineken Cup. It was also the last full season for the Scarlets in their historic home, Stradey Park. A new ground, Parc y Scarlets, was under construction during that season, and is scheduled to open in November 2008, early in the 2008–09 season.
Parc y Scarlets is a rugby union stadium in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, that opened in November 2008 as the new home of the Scarlets and Llanelli RFC.
The introduction of regional rugby union teams in Wales occurred prior to the start of the 2003/04 rugby union season. From this date, Wales was represented by a smaller number of regional teams in both the Celtic League and European Cup competitions, where previously the top club sides were entered into them.
The 1998–99 rebel season in rugby union occurred when two clubs affiliated to the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), Cardiff RFC and Swansea RFC, refused to play in the WRU-sanctioned Welsh Premier Division that season and instead opted to play friendly matches against clubs from the English Premiership. The two clubs' position came about after the WRU rejected requests by the club to pursue changes to the league structure in Welsh club rugby and in particular to set up a cross-border league involving other clubs in Britain, and the two clubs refused to sign up to a loyalty agreement with the WRU committing them to the current league setup.
Gareth Bowen is a Welsh former rugby union footballer who played as a fly-half. Born in Aberdare, he played for Bridgend, Bedford, Bristol, Llanelli, Scarlets, Neath, Aurillac, Ebbw Vale and Newport.
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