This season’s Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign offers the coaches at the Scarlets another golden opportunity to blood some of the region’s brightest young talents, just as the region has done over the last decade and more.
Since the establishment of Scarlets Academy at the turn of the century the region has nurtured and developed hordes of players who have gone on to represent Wales and become household names.
Scarlets and Wales centre Scott Williams, who crossed the whitewash for Wales’ only try at the weekend, made his first competitive regional start in the Anglo-Welsh Cup six years ago in Scarlets’ 52-13 victory over Yorkshire Carnegie.
Fast-forward six years and the 26-year-old Newcastle Emlyn product has played over 100 games for his region, has been named vice-captain for the second season running and has represented his country on 40 occasions.
Scarlets Anglo-Welsh Cup Head Coach Ioan Cunningham believes that the region’s development work will continue to grow and unearth exciting talent. Speaking earlier today he said; “The Scarlets has a strong tradition of producing home grown talent, who not only shine on the regional stage, but go on to represent Wales.
“I think traditionally the Scarlets have had a fantastic development pathway with our Academy. You just have to look at the current Welsh squad and how many guys are in there that have come through our pathway; the likes of Samson Lee, Rob Evans, Scott Williams.
“You’ve then got current players who are getting exposure in the GUINNESS PRO12 who came through the pathway like Steff Hughes, Steff Evans, Ryan Elias and Will Boyde.
“I think they’re prime examples of guys from our region, who have come through the development pathway, have been patient with their development and have worked hard when the opportunities have come and have grabbed them with both hands.
“It’s definitely a massive thing for us as a region that we continue to develop these young players who come forward for us and then go on for international honours.”
• Scarlets welcome Bath Rugby to Parc y Scarlets this Friday, kick-off 7.05pm, in the first of our Anglo-Welsh Cup clashes. Tickets are available now from tickets.scarlets.wales or by calling 0871 871 8088. Adult tickets priced at only £10, juniors (6-16 years old) only £1 and all under 5s go free.