The Scarlets have finalised contracts with South African second row Johan Snyman adding more strength to their front five – with seven new signings announced so far this summer to boost the West Wales rugby squad for the 2012/13 season.
Snyman, the latest to join the ranks at Parc y Scarlets, adds power to a strengthened Scarlets pack; alongside South African tight head prop Jacobie Adriaanse and second rows South African George Earle, Argentinian Tomas Vallejos and Welsh-qualified South African Jake Ball.
The 26-year-old powerful lock forward currently plays for the Eastern Province Kings in Port Elizabeth and is expected to arrive in Llanelli within a month.
Another imposing player to add power and stature to the Scarlets pack, Snyman stands at 6ft 7” and weighs in at 18st 12 and has had experience with Natal Sharks, Golden Lions (part of winning 2011 Currie Cup team) and Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand. He has international experience at youth level and was part of the U19 winning South African team in the IRB Junior World Championships.
He has signed for the Scarlets for three years. With a reputation as a line-out specialist with powerful ball carrying skills and a high work-rate, Snyman is well-known to another new powerhouse in the Scarlets second row – George Earle, who had his competitive debut in a Scarlets shirt at last weekend’s 45-20 win by the West Wales side over European Champions Leinster.
A strong performance by the Scarlets pack in their opening game of the season at Parc y Scarlets last weekend follows a focused and tough regime in the pre-season for the Scarlets pack driven through by new Forwards Coach Danny Wilson and this season’s new Head Coach Simon Easterby.
And if the start of their campaign gives an indication of pack progress this season, there are positive signs that the Scarlets’ work behind the scenes in terms of preparation and a thoughtful and focused recruitment campaign will pay off.
Johan ‘Joe’ Synman is the seventh signing this summer and the fourth international level second row signing at the West Wales rugby region together with another international tight-head (Jacobie Adriaanse) and the signing of two key Welsh back line players in Kristian Phillips and Gareth Owens.
Scarlets Head Coach Simon Easterby said: “To be competitive at the top end of Europe, we need strength, power and consistency from our pack and the ability to deliver at a high level in set-piece play.
“This is another key signing for us and we’re delighted to have secured Joe to join us at Parc y Scarlets. We made a commitment last season to recruit in key areas and with our new signings we are also mindful of the impact they will have on the development of players we have coming up through our system.
“It also adds to the healthy level of competition within our squad which will further drive and motivate performance across the squad. Different experiences and input from players in the southern hemisphere can only have a positive impact and add to the energy here.
“Last weekend’s result and performance was a good illustration of the importance of a strong forwards platform for our backs to deliver from, and we were encouraged by how we took to the field against Leinster and executed our game plan.
“Our aim has been to secure players that complement our existing squad; to add to and enhance the talent and experience we have here and that fit with our ambitions over the next two to three years. We will have a big group of internationals away at key times in our league campaign, so it’s important to have depth and consistency here.
“We have been 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.”