The Scarlets have confirmed that one of Wales’ most talented young backs Gareth Owen has signed a two-year contract with the region.
Owen, 23, who is from Bridgend, joins Parc y Scarlets from the Ospreys where he was regarded as one of their most promising up-and-coming players.
The utility back who can play at full-back, centre or fly-half, has appeared 50 times for the Ospreys and has Wales 7’s caps under his belt as well as being capped at international age-grade with appearances for Wales U19’s in the IRB World Championships and then onto U20’s. Owen started his domestic club rugby with Maesteg RFC.
Owen is back in training after missing last season with a significant knee ligament injury but is delighted with the opportunity being given to him by the Scarlets to get back on the pitch and is already enjoying pre-season training at Parc y Scarlets after being released by the Ospreys.
Scarlets Attack Coach Mark Jones said: “Gareth is a talented player, we’ve obviously seen him perform here in Wales for a few years and the attraction for us is that he’s so versatile, has real potential on the field for us and can provide some exciting attacking options.
“He is in pre-season training and looking very comfortable and with the support and knowledge that we have in terms of our conditioning and medical team who have a great deal of experience working with knee injuries, we are looking forward to supporting him on his return to full fitness and witnessing his rugby talent back on the field.
“We understood that he was eager for the right opportunity to get back on the field and we feel it will be a really good fit for both the Scarlets and Gareth in terms of the potential and skill he offers as a player and his future rugby development. We believe it’s important to keep promising up-and-coming players like Gareth in the Welsh rugby system, rather than risk losing them to a foreign club.”
Gareth Owen said: “This is a great opportunity for me and I’m really eager to get back onto the field and enjoy my rugby again. It’s been a long break but that just motivates you more.
“The Scarlets have a very ambitious squad and strong coaching team and I think I’ll fit in very well here in terms of the style of play and the energy there is around the set-up at Parc y Scarlets.
“I have a lot of respect for the coaches here; Simon Easterby, Mark Jones and Danny Wilson have clear goals and ambitions for next season and I’m really excited by the challenge ahead of me. I’m grateful for the support they are giving and that they are showing faith in my ability and backing my return to form.
“It’s been tough having to sit-out for a season, but it just makes you more determined and I’m keen to get game time. This is a very competitive environment here in terms of the Scarlets backs division and the strike players the region has, so that will really push me on.
“This is a very positive move for me and I look forward to working hard in the pre-season and getting back on the pitch in the forthcoming season.”