Scarlets snap up Shingler brothers

Mon, 21 Jan 2013 19:14
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The Scarlets will welcome back flyhalf Steven Shingler next season with older brother Aaron Shingler also committing to a new three-year contract.

The Scarlets will welcome back talented 21-year-old flyhalf Steven Shingler next season with older brother Aaron Shingler also committing to a new three-year contract.

Uniting the two Shinglers at the Scarlets will be seen as a boost for the region, with both players in the prime of their careers, with the younger of the two brothers having gained some valuable experience during his recent spell at London Irish.

Steven Shingler says he’s delighted to have the opportunity to return back to the Scarlets and play his rugby in Wales alongside brother Aaron at the home of West Wales rugby.

Steven has signed a three-year contract with the Scarlets starting next season, with his older brother, Wales international lock Aaron, 26, committing to another three years of rugby at Parc y Scarlets.

Steven Shingler, who has appeared 39 times for London Irish to date said:  “Although I left the region, I’ve always remained a supporter and the Scarlets will always be a huge part of my life.

“You never lose that if you’ve grown up supporting Llanelli as a youngster – it’s a strong rugby family and one of most passionate rugby communities around.

“I’ve had some great experience from my time at London Irish and it’s been good for me to play in the intensity and physicality of the Premiership.

“During my time at London Irish, I’ve been lucky to work with and learn from some great people like Mike Catt who have pushed me forward and improved my game.

“My aim before leaving Llanelli was to get experience and plenty of rugby and I hope to achieve 50 appearances for London Irish and that can only be great experience for me going forward.

“I am very grateful to have this opportunity to come back to Wales and back to what I consider my rugby home; playing for a region I feel so strongly about and that has such devoted supporters.

“I’ve been following the Scarlets performances throughout and there’s a very talented squad of players that I’m excited to be a part of. I look forward to working with the coaching set-up and I know from my brother how committed, close-knit and hard working the group at Parc y Scarlets is.”

A versatile back, Steven’s favoured position is flyhalf but has also performed well at centre or fullback. With an impressive kicking percentage of 83%, the ambitious flyhalf has scored 122 points for the Exiles.

Shingler will receive a warm welcome home to West Wales after starting his rugby at Hendy, then moving to Llanelli RFC in 2009-2011 then to the senior Scarlets squad in 2010.  

He caught the eye of London Irish after a getting his first taste of playing at Madejski Stadium in 2010 for the Scarlets in their LV=Cup win over London Irish when he scored 20 points.

The young back says the eligibility tug of war between Wales and Scotland for international senior selection was well behind him and he just wanted “to move on” and get into playing rugby in West Wales again.

With 14 appearances for the Wales Under-20s, Shingler was a product of the Scarlets development pathway having played for Scarlets Under-18s.

Aaron Shingler, who has four Wales caps to date and 57 appearances for the Scarlets, says he was looking forward to being reunited on the rugby field with his brother at Parc y Scarlets.

He said: “I am committed to the Scarlets and delighted to have secured an extension to my contract here at Parc y Scarlets for the next three seasons. There’s a lot to come from our group and we know and believe as players we have the potential to achieve much more going forward.

“I’ve always enjoyed my rugby here and the chance it gives me to develop at international level as well. I’m grateful for the opportunities and support I have been given by the region in pushing forward my rugby career and want to give as much I can in the future.

“There’s a lot of hard work going into our rugby environment behind the scenes and all of our rugby group are committed professionals that want to achieve the very best for our region and our supporters."

Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby said: “It’s important for our progression to have secured these two talented players from our region who will add real value to our squad going forward.

“Steven will fit into our Scarlets system very well as he’s grown up in our region - he’s a versatile and ambitious player who has broadened his horizons and benefited from the two seasons with London Irish.

“Aaron is a committed professional, his career is on the rise and it’s been good to see his quick progress at international level as well as with us at Parc Y Scarlets. He’s a strong, athletic and intelligent player and will be an important to us as a senior figure in our pack as he gains more experience at the top level of the game.

“There are more players that we’re looking to secure in contract next season and beyond and those decisions are based on building as much depth as possible and strengthening in the right areas of our squad as our resources allow.

“These discussions continue and when we’re in a position to announce any additional contract extensions or signings we of course will; but as always our responsibility is to ensure everything is in place for our players and internal rugby environment first before we confirm our contract arrangements publicly.”

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