Davies prepared for battle to keep Scarlets stars

Guinness PRO12 Editor

17 Feb 2012

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Scarlets coach Nigel Davies admits he faces a fight to keep hold of his best players for next season following speculation Gloucester are closing in on the signature of No.8 Ben Morgan.

 

Jonathan Davies, George North, Tavis Knoyle, Rhys Priestland, Rob McCusker, Josh Turnbull, Scott Williams and Liam Williams and have all earned call ups to the Wales squad off the back of their impressive RaboDirect PRO12 form with the Scarlets.

And Davies admits it will be a challenge to keep all his best players with the region though, with 18 contracts up for renewal.

“We've had several approaches for lots of our players at the moment,” said Davies.

“I think a lot of the players individually are doing very well and there's an interest out there.

“We have 18 players out of contract, like most regions do, and our first priority is to work with those players.

“In my role as coach probably only about 5 per cent of my time is spent on the rugby field.

“The rest of it is away from that in the management of the players and a big part of that, of course, is putting together competitive squads.

“That's a fact of life and that's what I have to deal with. I enjoy what I do and it's a challenge and we're working through that challenge.

“We've done particularly well at it over the years and I'm sure we'll do well against this season."

Morgan, who turns 23 on Saturday, has a contract with Scarlets until the end of the 2012-13 season and while Gloucester are rumoured to be keen to sign him this summer, Davies insists he’ll decide the No.8’s fate.

“Ben is contracted to us for another season. At the moment we're in the middle of renegotiating contracts and putting together a competitive squad for next year within the confines of the resources that we've got,” he added.

"So we're looking at all the possibilities and what's available to us and over the course of the next couple of months we'll put that squad together.

"But in Ben's case in particular, we're completely in control of that situation.”