The Scarlets have finalised contracts with South African tight head prop Jacobie Adriaanse adding more strength to their front five along with the signing of locks George Earle, Tomas Vallejos and Jake Ball this summer.
The 27 year-old Prop from MTN Lions is highly regarded as a technical scrummager and effective ball carrier with strong defensive skills and has been playing Super Rugby at the Lions for the past two years.
The Scarlets finalised details on a three year-contract for the sought-after tight head prop on Friday, with Adriaanse joining the West Wales region at the end of the Currie Cup campaign in the late autumn.
Former Emerging Springbok Adriaanse, who is 5ft 10in tall and weighs 18st 4lb, has also played for Boland Cavaliers, Cheetahs, Golden Lions and Griquas.
The addition of Adriaanse to the squad gives a boost to the Scarlets pack for the forthcoming season along with experienced Scarlets international tight head Deacon Manu who has extended his contract at the region and now moves into his seventh season in Llanelli, together with fellow Scarlets Props Phil John (loose head) and Peter Edwards.
With these proven players adding weight to the front row, it also enables young, emerging Welsh players Rhodri Jones and Samson Lee and loose head prospect Rob Evans the opportunity to work closely with an experienced group of props and develop their ability further.
Scarlets Head Coach Simon Easterby said: “This is an important signing for us and we’re really pleased Jacobie is joining us both in terms of his technical ability and to broaden our strength in this area of our squad. We know that he’ll have a positive impact for us going forward adding real strength to our pack this season.
“Securing someone of his ability and track-record is in line with our philosophy to carefully research, manage and target the right players to bring into our set-up. We want to add to and enhance the talent and experience we have here and bring players to the Scarlets shirt that fit with our ambitions over the next two to three years.
“These players need to contribute not only in terms of performance and our focused targets for our three competitions this season and next, but also contribute to the wider development of our squad – particularly our next generation players.
“Jacobie’s arrival ensures we have powerful options at tight head and also enables us to properly manage the development of Rhodri (Jones) and Samson (Lee) making sure we don’t over commit two of the most promising forward prospects in Welsh rugby at a critical stage in their development.
“We are working closely with the WRU to ensure the players we recruit contribute to the development of Welsh rugby as a whole. They need to be fully committed to our values as a rugby region and have real ambitions to achieve within Welsh rugby and our three competitions – the Heineken Cup, RaboDirect PRO12 and LV=Cup.”
Easterby added that confirmation of the new signing brings the region close to the conclusion of the Scarlets’ recruitment this summer with the target to build a strong front five platform to support the Scarlets impressive backs division in their ability to perform.