New contracts for midfield trio

Rob LloydNews

Three of the Scarlets’ bright young backs have agreed new contracts.

Midfield trio Joe Roberts, Ioan Nicholas and Eddie James, who have all come through the Scarlets Academy, have penned new deals to commit their future to the club.

Roberts has been a revelation this season since returning from a knee injury in the new year. The 22-year-old from Llanelli has made 23 appearances since making his debut against the Dragons in 2020, scoring his first try against Bayonne in January.

Pontyberem product Nicholas became the youngest player to represent the Scarlets when he made his debut at the age of 17 years and 134 days in a pre-season friendly against Jersey in August 2015, making his Guinness Pro12 debut against Ulster the following month. Now 25, he has gone on to play 69 matches, featuring on the wing, full-back and at centre.

James, 20, is the latest Carmarthen product to graduate to the Scarlets senior squad. A Wales U20s international, the strong running centre made a try-scoring URC debut against Edinburgh in February and ran out for his first Championship start against Glasgow last weekend. Has also featured this season in friendlies against Bristol and Saracens.

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel said: “Joe, Ioan and Eddie are three talented young home-grown players who have come through our academy system here.

“Joe has been outstanding since recovering form the knee injury he picked up against the Stormers at the end of last season and is putting together an impressive run of performances.

“Ioan is a classy footballer with a great attitude to improve. He’s been at the club a long time now and is developing into a leader on the pitch. His versatility has been a real asset. He’s the type of player that can get the best out of the players around him.

“Eddie is a player we are really excited about and has already given us a glimpse of his talent this season.

“We are delighted that all three have signed new contracts and are going to be a big part of our plans moving forward.”

A big thanks to player sponsors Toptotz Day Nursery (Joe Roberts), LHP Chartered Accountants (Ioan Nicholas) and Jason and Ann Jones (Eddie James).