The Scarlets powerful and influential no8, David Lyons returned to pre-season training with his squad this week after a six-week break in preparation for what he believes will be a key season for the region at Parc y Scarlets.
With a number of the team's younger players gaining international experience with Wales this summer, the 43-capped Australian international said the exposure of the Scarlets' rising talent to the All Blacks in New Zealand would be of real benefit to the team next season – regardless of results.
He said: "They know what level they have to perform at now, having seen first-hand some of the best players in the world and having that experience will be invaluable for them as individuals – it was similar to my early career, I was thrown into that top level week-in-week out and that's what you need as a young player to focus on the standards you need to achieve."
And he added that it was time to deliver for the Scarlets – saying that irrespective of age they all had to 'to step-up' next season, adding that achieving better and more consistent Magners League form would be a prime focus for the squad next season.
Lyons, who represented the Wallabies at two World Cups has consistently performed for the Scarlets putting in an impressive 59 appearances in the past two seasons for the region – missing only three competitive games since his arrival from Australia. He played in all 30 of the Scarlets league and cup matches in his first season and was rested for just three last season (2009/2010).
Popular with the Scarlets supporters for his commitment to the Scarlets jersey, the Australian back row who captained the region for the majority of the past season to cover for the injured Mark Jones said that the region had a lot to offer him as a player.
The 30-year-old said: "I really want to be part of this Scarlets squad going forward, there is a lot to look forward to and there are some good guys coming through the ranks. I did have the option to look at some other offers but I wanted to stay with the Scarlets and for me it is the best place to be. We have a lot of work to do, but it's a really good group, both players and coaches, and I'm confident we are going in the right direction and I want to play my part in that.
"The region has great supporters, they're really passionate about their rugby we have a brilliant facility here at Parc y Scarlets and the focus now has to be on achieving more consistency as a team next season."
Lyons signed a four-year deal with the Scarlets in May 2008 and has another two seasons to run at Parc y Scarlets which he says he looks forward to. The experienced forward will be a big part of the Scarlets campaign next season and his confirmation that he'll see out the rest of his two-year contract at Parc y Scarlets will delight Scarlets supporters.