The Scarlets have a strong tradition of producing home grown talent, with restrictions on non-welsh players the success of the region is depended on the development of it's pathway with players being capable of playing professional rugby.
The Scarlets Academy, in conjunction with Coleg Sir Gâr, was established in 2000 but with the introduction of regional rugby in 2003 the Scarlets re-aligned the academy to meet the demands of the professional game.
The academy has 2 tiers with the junior academy, 16 to 18 years of age, and the senior academy, 18 years and over.
The Academy sits within the Scarlets pathway and entry into the academy is through the age grade and semi-professional systems.
The academy is not a team, it's there to support the elite players to maximize their potential, the program focuses on the individual and supports the principles of long-term athlete development.
The players in the program have skill and positional development, nutrition and diet advice and a holistic balance with their schooling requirements.
Each player has individual needs and requirements, with the academy managing training loads, game time and the level of competition that suits the individual.
The academy has full time skills coaches, conditioners and a medical team, which supports the players and gives the academy members the best opportunity to achieve their potential.
U15 - DEWAR SHIELD - 5 DISTRICTS X 30 PLAYERS
There are five School District U'5 rugby teams within the Scarlets Region, namely Pembrokeshire Schools, Ceredigion Schools, Carmarthen Schools, Mynydd Mawr & Dinefwr Schools and Llanelli Schools. The vast spread of these teams across the Region provides Rugby Development Pathway opportunities for all, irrespective of geographic location.
Players at the end of year 9, or in exceptional circumstances year 8, are nominated and identified by PE Staff and Hub Officers to attend a Summer Development Programme that is run by each respective District Squad, which commences in July. There are approximately fifty players per squad that get the opportunity to experience this type of programme for a period of eight weeks, where the emphasis is based upon the fundamental and unit skills. At the end of August, each District will select a final squad of around twenty-five players, to represent their Schools District area for the forthcoming season and campaign.
MAKE UP OF EACH DISTRICT
Pembrokeshire Schools - Bro Gwaun, Sir Thomas Picton, Tasker Milward, Milford Haven, Pembroke, Preseli, St Davids, Greenhill
Llanelli Schools - Strade, Bryngwyn, Coedcae, Glan Y Mor, St John Lloyds, St Michaels
Carmarthen Schools - Bro Myrddin, Queen Elizabeth High, Dyffryn Taf
Mynydd Mawr & Dinefwr - Bro Dinefwr, Maes Y Gwendraeth, Dyffryn Aman
Ceredigion - Penweddig, Penglais, Dyffryn Teifi, Aberaeron, Cardigan, Gyfun Emlyn, Bro Pedr
GAMES AND TRAINING
All Schools District Squads will train on a weekly basis and under the new WRU Season Structure will participate in three friendly fixtures in November, prior to the Dewar Shield Competition phase, which commences in the New Year. Each team will play approximately twelve fixtures in total.
SCARLETS AGE GRADE U16 EAST AND WEST - 2 TEAMS X 30 PLAYERS
Players are nominated and selected to attend the Regional Age Grade Summer programmes based upon their performances and possible potential from the Schools District Dewar Shield matches.
MAKE UP OF EACH DISTRICT
There are two Scarlets Regional Age Grade teams at U16. This is to increase the number of players in the Development Pathway, which allows more players to gain exposure and experience at this level of rugby.
The Scarlets West U16s are based in Haverfordwest and the dynamic of the squad is made up from players that represented Pembrokeshire Schools, Ceredigion Schools and the Dyffryn Taf based Carmarthen Schools players at U15s.
The Scarlets East U16s are based at Parc y Scarlets and the dynamic of the squad is made up from players that represented Llanelli Schools, Mynydd Mawr & Dinefwr Schools and Carmarthen Schools at U15s
GAMES AND TRAINING
The Scarlets West and East Squads train on a weekly basis, in addition to multiple Strength and Conditioning sessions. In this particular environment players will be introduced to the use of analysis individually and as a team, they will also preview and review fixtures, and they will generally gain experience of being involved in a professional rugby environment.
The Scarlets West and East Regional Age Grade Squads follow a WRU fixture programme that is currently played in August and February. Each individual squad will play a series of seven fixtures, before a final Scarlets U16s Squad will be selected to play against the other Regions in a National Competition over the Easter period.
SCARLETS AGE GRADE U18 - 1 TEAM
The Scarlets Regional Age Grade 18s commence a Summer Development Programme in July with approximately sixty players. The Development squad consists of players that have played Scarlets Age Grade 16s, players nominated from District U19s and credible recommendations via club / school coaches and Regional Rugby Coordinators based on current form.
An identification process takes place throughout the summer programme, in addition to pre season friendlies against the likes of Wasps, Gloucester and Leicester. Following the Summer Programme players return to play in the College League, School League and Youth Rugby. The final selection for the Scarlets 18s takes place at the October Half Term, as the competition phase commences at the end of December.
The age grade teams will play the other regions home and away, training once a week with the emphasis on developing game understanding and awareness.
A competitive league will be completed with a finals day for the top 2 teams.
National U18 selection will take place after the completion of the age grade fixtures.
SCARLETS SEMI-PRO PATHWAY - LLANELLI - CARMARTHEN - LLANDOVERY
The semi-professional teams consist of Llanelli, Carmarthem and Llandovery, who play in the premiership league and are a major feeder into the professional game.
The Scarlets U18 players (30) are placed in the 3 feeder clubs and are integrated into their system. The 3 feeder clubs also manage their own areas and monitor the local talent from around the region, this monitoring has paid dividends in the past with late developers coming through the system to pick up professional contracts.
Also the semi-professional teams pick up players from other regions and clubs and give those players an opportunity to change environment and trial at being a Scarlet. The feedback to the senior coaches is constant and the opportunity to play in a higher tournament like the British and Irish is a step closer to being a professional rugby player.