The Scarlets have announced that Wales U20 Head Coach and Newport Gwent Dragons Forwards Coach, Danny Wilson will join their coaching set-up next season.
The highly-regarded, successful 36-year-old forwards coach will take over responsibility for the pack’s performance at Parc y Scarlets with particular focus on set-piece play.
The Scarlets have appointed Wilson as their new forwards coach starting in the 2012/13 season with the U20’s Head Coach still continuing to commit to international age-grade commitments with the WRU.
Wilson has a wealth of experience in skills and forwards coaching at national and club level already in his career.
Previous roles have included Head Coach of London Welsh RFC from 2008 – 2010 and WRU Academy Skills Coach from June 2005 – 2008.
Originally born in the West Country, near Weston Super Mare and now living in Llanelli, Wilson has spent the majority of his coaching career in Wales.
A former University of Wales Cardiff graduate, he has previously been skills and forwards coach throughout the age-grades for Wales Under 18s, 19s & 20s.
Set piece play at the Dragons over the past two seasons has delivered some impressive statistics under Wilson’s guidance with an 85% winning line-out and scrum quality figures showing improvements of around 11% on previous seasons while in the process of developing a number of young front row forwards.
Scrum coach Garin Jenkins’ work with the Scarlets has been on a temporary contract since mid season last year and comes to a conclusion at the end of this month; and former Scarlets second row and the region’s forwards coach in his first season in 2011/12, Vernon Cooper will also be leaving the Scarlets’ back room.
Scarlets Head Coach Nigel Davies said: “Our sincere thanks go to both Vernon and Garin for their commitment and hard work this season with our pack; both are good guys to have involved and have given a great deal to the coaching set-up here this season. Their work has been valued and respected by their colleagues, players and everyone at Parc Y Scarlets.”
Davies said that the addition of Danny Wilson alongside Scarlets Defence Coach Simon Easterby and Skills and Attack Coach Mark Jones would create a focused, dynamic and ambitious coaching team to push performance forward at Parc y Scarlets next season.
He said: “These three coaches working together will create a very open, analytical and testing environment for our group of players. They are three highly capable, intelligent rugby professionals and their passion for the game and ambitions for the future will push us further forward next season.
“They are all committed to our belief in handing opportunities to emerging players and investing in and developing young Welsh talent. Their proven ability to connect with both experienced, senior professionals and younger players will be crucial as we go forward next season.
“I am delighted that Danny is joining us. He’s already achieved notable success coaching at both national and regional level and will bring real drive, ambition and a playing philosophy that will fit in well with what we have established here already. He understands and respects our Scarlets values and is excited about our set-up and vision for rugby going forward.
“He will continue with international age-grade rugby and that can only be beneficial for the Scarlets region in terms of experience and knowledge he brings back and for Welsh rugby as a whole as we work in partnership to support the investment that we are all making into emerging talent in Wales.”
Danny Wilson said: “This is a great opportunity for me – the Scarlets are an ambitious and progressive Welsh region and have impressed on and off the field this season.
“It’s a very exciting prospect for me to be part of a very close-knit rugby community with great traditions and what will be achieved with such an exciting squad of talented players.
“The set-up is impressive with a great infrastructure and first class facilities at Parc Y Scarlets and the whole rugby environment is underpinned by honest leadership and strong values from well-grounded individuals.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Rodney Parade over the past year and thank everyone there for their support as I now look forward to a new chapter in my coaching career.”
Wilson worked with four out of the 10 forwards that featured in the World Cup last year and said a focal point for his work initially at Parc y Scarlets would be on Scarlets set-piece play.
He said: “We’ve had a number of Wales’ new breed of young forwards coming through from the Dragons and that’s something I’ve been proud to be part of. I’m looking forward to working with some very talented and experienced forwards at Parc y Scarlets as well as helping develop young players.
“We all know that set piece performance is now so fundamental to the game today particularly in Europe and you only have to see how the top clubs use it as a real weapon to know how crucial it is to your ambitions to get to the final stages of any competition.
“The Scarlets are a model for Welsh regional rugby working well – particularly with the links they have with their Premiership clubs and how seamless they are in their partnerships with a number of young emerging players being advanced through regular Premiership game exposure.”