Rhys Priestland stays in Wales

Wales and the Scarlets have been handed a huge boost with the news that Rhys Priestland has extended his contract with his Wales region.
The 26-year-old, who has already won 27 international caps and was part of the Grand Slam winning team in 2012, was out of contract at the end of the season and was rumoured to be on his way to the Premiership with London Wasps and Leicester interested in signing him.
The fly-half follows in the footstep of centre Scott Williams who also extended his contract at Parc y Scarlets.
He said: “I’m really pleased to secure my contract with the Scarlets going forward and continue my commitment to rugby in Wales.
“As Scarlets we want to push on next season, we have some exciting players to make that happen and drive us forward and I want to be part of a team that takes that ambition and helps makes it become a reality for our Region. With players like Scott and Reggie (Regan King) in our squad we have some world-class talent in our team along with some of the most passionate support in world club rugby.
“The Scarlets is where I’ve developed as a rugby player and have been supported since I first started playing – with some good coaches and experienced senior players helping me in my career.
“It’s important to me to continue my commitment to a great rugby community, environment and team that I am proud to be a part of.  We have a very strong team ethic at the Scarlets, we’re a tight group. It’s good to belong to an environment that means a lot to me as an individual and has a real heritage and tradition as well.
“I’m pleased to have this all decided now, so I can focus on our Six Nations rugby campaign before returning back to the Scarlets for what should be an exciting finish to the league season.
Head Coach Simon Easterby added: “Rhys has become one of our most experienced players and has a lot to contribute to the region on and off the field. He’s a key figure in our squad, an intelligent rugby player who thinks quickly, reads a game well.
“A lot has been said about how to retain our best players in Wales; and while market forces can be difficult to battle at times, there is another dimension to this discussion and that’s about creating a regional rugby environment and culture that engenders loyalty, motivation and drive in players with the support to succeed.
“It was really important to us all to keep Rhys and other players at Parc y Scarlets – our supporters will be delighted too as he is a popular local player. We are delighted that someone of his ability, experience and with genuine passion for our region, has committed to remain with us.”

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