Scarlets and Wales centre Jonathan Davies has extended his contract to stay at Parc y Scarlets for the next two seasons as part of the region’s ambition to retain core Welsh players within their squad.
Davies, who has appeared 83 times in a Scarlets shirt with an impressive 30 regional tries to his name has committed to another two years at the region and will remain a Scarlet as part of one of the most exciting and accomplished backs divisions in Europe.
A significant contract signing for the Scarlets, Jonathan Davies, 23, is one of a number of young players in their international ascendancy who have come through the Scarlets development system with Davies starting out his regional rugby career as part of the Scarlets Academy aged 18.
His fast development and growing stature to become a mainstay of the Wales set-up today springboards from his first Scarlets competitive fixture against Munster in September 2007.
And he started as he meant to go on in a Scarlets shirt, scoring a try in his second ever game for the region – against Connacht, the Scarlets’ opponents in the league on Friday night at Parc y Scarlets.
He, like handful of his Wales and Scarlets colleagues including George North, Rhys Priestland, Scott Williams, Ken Owens, Rhodri Jones and Liam Williams, are examples of the rugby development system working in Wales.
Davies, was bred in the Scarlets region having grown up in Bancyfelin, near St Clears in Carmarthenshire and played his first rugby at Whitland RFC – also the rugby roots of Wales colleagues Mike Phillips and Scott Williams.
The deceptively quick and strong centre from Laugharne played 15 of the 17 internationals Wales played in 2011 and was a part of Wales’ World Cup squad and appeared for the 24th time for his country in Wales’ big win over England at Twickenham last weekend.
Scarlets Head of Rugby, Nigel Davies said: “I think given the current climate, this says a lot about Jon’s values as an individual and ambitions as a player and his belief and commitment to our Scarlets squad and rugby environment. It was important to Jon to stay in Wales and he wanted to further his career within our set-up as somewhere where he knows he will play a crucial role going forward.
“He’s hitting some of the form of his career currently and as a player he’ll push on now with more experience to gain. He’s worked hard and he deserves credit what he’s achieved already in terms of his commitment, talent and work ethic as a player. He is a great talent with plenty more to give – so it’s exciting that he’s staying in Wales for club and country.”
Nigel Davies said the young centre talent was a key part of the jigsaw in the make-up of the Scarlets squad next season and beyond. “We’re obviously delighted that we signed a new deal with Jon, it’s been in our planning for sometime and is part of our ongoing rugby strategy to retain our Welsh talent and importantly maintain consistency and continuity, where possible, in our team.
“He has grown-up in Scarlets rugby and is a great example of our development pathway working coming from our Academy system and then to senior rugby at the Scarlets four years ago. Jon typifies the Scarlets way and our values and our philosophies in the way he approaches his training, his performances on the field and his character of the field. He’s very much core and a part of our rugby family and as a popular local boy, I’m sure our supporters will be equally pleased that he’s remaining with us.”
On his extended contract with the Scarlets Jonathan Davies said: “I’m delighted to be staying at the Scarlets – the region has done a lot to support my rugby career to date and it’s where I feel at home as a player and where I feel I am best placed to further my ambitions both at regional and international level.
“There’s great team ethic, the Scarlets boys all work hard for each other and we’re a close-knit group because so many of us have come through the ranks together from within the region. There’s a strong and ambitious spirit in this team and we know what it means to wear the Scarlets shirt, given our great heritage. Our style and brand of rugby suits me as a player and I’m just looking forward to being part of an exciting set of Scarlets backs next season.
“We have a first-class rugby environment at Parc y Scarlets to train and play at and I’m just pleased to be staying and grateful to the coaches for the opportunities and support I have been given to date and look forward to an exciting 2012/13 season in the jersey.”
Jonathan Davies biography
Region: 83 appearances, 150 points, 30 tries.
DoB: 5th April 1988
Debut: Against Munster September 2007
Senior Debut: 2009 season against Canada. Brace of tries on tour of North America against the USA.
Part of Wales World Cup squad – tries against Fiji and Namibia scoring a superb individual try against Ireland in the quarter-final.
7 international tries to date.
Education/Other: He attended Dyffryn Taf Comprehensive School before going on to study Sports Science at Trinity College, Carmarthen. A keen sportsman, Davies also names kayaking and cricket as passions other than rugby.