Scarlets

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Scarlets
Scarlets logo.svg
Union Welsh Rugby Union
Nickname(s)The Turks
Founded2003;18 years ago (2003)
Location Llanelli, Wales
Ground(s) Parc y Scarlets (Capacity: 14,870)
ChairmanSimon Muderack
President Phil Bennett
Coach(es) Glenn Delaney
Captain(s) Ken Owens
Most caps Vernon Cooper (369) [1]
Top scorer Stephen Jones (2,850) [1]
Most tries Wayne Proctor (173) [1]
League(s) Pro14
2019–20 3rd (Conference B)
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1st kit
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Official website
www.scarlets.wales
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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. [2]

Contents

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. [3]

History

Formation

A diagram showing the development pathways managed by Wales' pro-clubs WalesRugbyRegions.png
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. [4] 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. [5] Eventually, Llanelli and Cardiff were allowed to remain independent. [6] The Llanelli Scarlets brand was officially launched on 7 July 2003. [7]

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. [8] As of 2018, the Scarlets consider their region to represent the three counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. [9] 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.

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 Magners League Scarlets Vs. Glasgow.jpg
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. [10]

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. [11]

Scarlets players compete a line-out in a match against Benetton Treviso in 2013 Scarlets lineout.JPG
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. [12]

The Scarlets' first match at their new home was an 18–16 Celtic League defeat to Munster on 28 November 2008. [13] Their first Heineken Cup match at Parc y Scarlets was held on 12 December against Ulster which ended in a 16–16 draw. [14] 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. [15]

Name and colours

Scarlets logos
Llanelli Scarlets logo.svg
2003–2008
Scarlets logo.svg
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. [16] 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. [17]

Kit suppliers

PeriodKit providers
2003–2009 Kooga
2009–2010 Rhino
2010–2014 Burrda
2014–2017Kooga
2017– Macron

Stadium

Scarlets current home ground, Parc y Scarlets Parc y Scarlets.jpg
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 last league game played at the Racecourse Ground was in September 2005. [18] 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), [19] is in Pemberton. The new stadium cost £23 million to be constructed and holds 14,340 spectators. [20] The first game held at the stadium was Llanelli RFC versus Cardiff RFC held on 15 November 2008. [21] 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. [22]

Current squad

Scarlets Pro14 squad [lower-alpha 1]

Props

Hookers

Locks

Back row

Scrum-halves

Fly-halves

Centres

Wings

Fullbacks

(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. [23]
  1. Taking into account signings and departures head of 2020–21 season as listed on List of 2020–21 Pro14 transfers.

Academy squad

Scarlets Academy squad [lower-alpha 1]

Props

  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Sam O'Connor

Hookers

  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Morgan MacRae
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Lewis Morgan

Locks

  • None

Back row

  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Harry Breeze
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Luca Giannini

Scrum-halves

  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Luke Davies
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Harry Williams

Fly-halves

  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Josh Phillips
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Tal Rees

Centres

  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Iestyn Gwilliam
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Eddie James

Wings

  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Callum Williams

Fullbacks

  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Josh Hathaway
(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. [24]
  1. Taking into account signings and departures head of 2020–21 season as listed on List of 2020–21 Pro14 transfers.

British & Irish Lions

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. [25]

Notable former players

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

Coaching staff

Head coaches

NameTenure
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Gareth Jenkins 2003–2006 [26]
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Phil Davies 2006–2008 [26]
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Nigel Davies 2008–2012 [27]
IRFU flag.svg Simon Easterby 2012–2014 [27]
Flag of New Zealand.svg Wayne Pivac 2014–2019 [28]
Flag of New Zealand.svg Brad Mooar 2019–2020 [29]
Flag of New Zealand.svg Glenn Delaney 2020–present [30]

Current backroom staff

NameTitle
Flag of New Zealand.svg Glenn Delaney Head coach
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Dai Flanagan Backs coach
Flag of England.svg Richard WhiffinAttack coach
Flag of New Zealand.svg Ben Franks Scrum coach
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Richard Kelly Forwards coach
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Huw DaviesHead of strength and conditioning
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Rhys JonesAssistant strength and conditioning coach
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Sam HandyAssistant strength and conditioning coach
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Matthew ReesHead physiotherapist
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Jo PerkinsPhysiotherapist
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Katherine BesterPhysiotherapist
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Jarrad GriffithsHead analyst
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Rowan O'BrienAnalyst
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Ieuan ProbertAnalyst

Results and statistics

Seasons

Celtic League / Pro12 / Pro14

SeasonPosPlayedWonDrawnLostBonusPoints
2003–04 1st2216151076
2004–05 5th2090111046
2005–06 6th221019757 [n 1]
2006–07 4th201208957
2007–08 6th1870111039
2008–09 5th18909440
2009–10 9th185013929
2010–11 5th2212191262
2011–12 5th2212281062
2012–13 4th221507666
Semi-final Ulster 28–17 Scarlets
2013–14 6th2211110955
2014–15 6th221138757
2015–16 5th221408763
2016–17 3rd221705977
Semi-final Leinster 15–27 Scarlets
Final Munster 22–46 Scarlets
2017–18 2nd, Conference B2114161270
Quarter-finalScarlets 46–8 Cheetahs
Semi-final Glasgow Warriors 13–28 Scarlets
Final Leinster 40–32 Scarlets
2018–19 4th, Conference B21100111252
7th, Champions Cup Playoff Ospreys 21-10 Scarlets
2019–20 3rd, Conference B15 [n 2] 1005747
2020–21 3rd, Conference B16808739
  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.
  2. Only 15 rounds were played during the 2019–20 season and 16 rounds during the 2020–21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. [31]

Celtic Cup

SeasonRoundMatch
2003–04 Quarter-finalLlanelli Scarlets 12–14 Connacht
2004–05 Final Munster 27–16 Llanelli Scarlets

Heineken Cup / Rugby Champions Cup

SeasonPool/RoundPosPlayedWonDrawnLostBonusPoints
2003–04 Pool 41st6501323
Quarter-finalLlanelli Scarlets 10–27 Biarritz Olympique
2004–05 Pool 33rd6204513
2005–06 Pool 63rd6204412
2006–07 Pool 51st6600327
Quarter-finalLlanelli Scarlets 24–15 Munster
Semi-final Leicester Tigers 33–17 Llanelli Scarlets
2007–08 Pool 54th600600
2008–09 Pool 44th611428
2009–10 (HC)Pool 62nd6402117
2009–10 (ACC)Quarter-final Toulon 38–12 Scarlets
2010–11 Pool 53rd6303315
2011–12 (HC)Pool 12nd6303315
2011–12 (ACC)Quarter-final Brive 15–11 Scarlets
2012–13 Pool 54th600622
2013–14 Pool 43rd6213111
2014–15 Pool 34th620408
2015–16 Pool 34th600622
2016–17 Pool 33rd6213111
2017–18 Pool 51st6402521
Quarter-finalScarlets 29–17 La Rochelle
Semi-final Leinster 38–16 Scarlets
2018–19 Pool 43rd610537
2020–21 Pool A5th2 [n 1] 20019
Round of 16Scarlets 14–57 Sale Sharks
  1. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, only 2 pool games were played during the 2020–21 season.
    The knockout stage commenced with a round of 16 consisting of the top 8 ranked teams from each pool.

Rugby Challenge Cup

SeasonPool/RoundPosPlayedWonDrawnLostBonusPoints
2019–20 Pool 22nd6402319
Quarter-final Toulon 11–6 Scarlets

Anglo-Welsh Cup

SeasonGroup/RoundPosPlayedWonDrawnLostBonusPoints
2005–06 Group C1st3300012
Semi-finalLlanelli Scarlets 27–26 Bath Rugby
Final London Wasps 26–10 Llanelli Scarlets
2006–07 Group C3rd310215
2007–08 Group D2nd3201311
2008–09 Group D2nd320108
2009–10 Pool 22nd4211111
2010–11 Pool 33rd420219
2011–12 Pool 31st4301315
Semi-final Northampton Saints 27–12 Llanelli Scarlets
2012–13 Pool 33rd420208
2013–14 Pool 43rd420208
2014–15 Pool 34th410315
2016–17 Pool 44th410315
2017–18 Pool 34th400411

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, [32] and Robin McBryde, John Davies, Dafydd James and Iestyn Thomas were recognised for having made 50 appearances in the competition. [33]

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

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  2. "Scarlets drop Llanelli from name". BBC Sport. 11 September 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2008.
  3. "Llanelli open new home in style". BBC News. 15 November 2008. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  4. "WRU drops provincial bombshell". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 20 February 2003. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  5. "Moffett scraps northern expansion". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 8 January 2003. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  6. "Layman's guide to Welsh rugby's crisis". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 12 March 2003. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  7. "Scarlets launch regional vision". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 7 July 2003. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  8. "Scarlets staying put". Wales Online. 8 June 2006. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  9. "Scarlets away kit to be inspired by region's history". BBC News. 14 August 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  10. "Scarlets unveil Davies as coach". BBC Sport. 14 August 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  11. "Scarlets 'saved' by new investor". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 28 November 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  12. "Scarlets win on Stradey farewell". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
  13. "Scarlets 16–18 Munster". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  14. Roberts, Gareth (12 December 2008). "Scarlets 16–16 Ulster". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  15. "Welsh regions included in Premiership Sevens Series". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 21 May 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  16. http://www.scarlets.co.uk/eng/heritage/history.php |accessdate=30 June 2012
  17. "Scarlets drop Llanelli from name". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 11 September 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2008.
  18. Griffiths, Gareth (17 June 2016). "Scarlets host first match in North Wales for 11 years with Bath pre-season clash". Wales Online. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  19. "Scarlets unveil new stadium name". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 20 May 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  20. "Scarlets stadium work goes online". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  21. "Llanelli open new home in style". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 15 November 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  22. "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.
  23. "Player Archive : Scarlets Rugby". Scarlets Rugby. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  24. "Academy". Scarlets. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  25. "Scarlets Lions". scarlets.co.uk. Scarlets. Archived from the original on 4 May 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  26. 1 2 "Scarlets unveil Davies as coach". BBC News. 14 August 2006.
  27. 1 2 "Nigel Davies named as Gloucester coach after leaving Scarlets". BBC Sport. 2 June 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  28. "Scarlets confirm Wayne Pivac appointment as head coach". BBC Sport. 12 August 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  29. "Scarlets: New coach Brad Mooar aiming to 'dominate competitions'". BBC Sport. 14 August 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  30. "Scarlets appoint Glenn Delaney as next head coach". Welsh Rugby Union. 6 February 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  31. "Pro14 restart: 2019-20 season resumes with derby weekends". BBC.co.uk. BBC Sport. 22 July 2020. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  32. https://www.epcrugby.com/2004/01/16/erc-elite-awards-4/
  33. http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/elite/fifty_tournament_caps.php