sport

Williams signs Scarlets deal

Scarlets have announced Wales centre Scott Williams has signed a contract extension with the club.

The 23-year-old, who came through the RaboDirect PRO12 club's development system and has made 70 appearances for the province, committed his future to remaining in Wales despite interest from outside of the country.

Williams said: "I'm really pleased to have secured my contract with the Scarlets going forward and to have committed my future to rugby in Wales.

"It's really good to have this all secured now, so I can concentrate solely on my rugby and the campaign ahead of us, both with Wales in the Six Nations and then back to RaboDirect PRO12 league action with the Scarlets."

Williams, who has 24 caps for Wales, was due to be out of contact at Parc y Scarlets in the summer along with fly-half Rhys Priestland.

With the current uncertainty surrounding the future of the Welsh regions, with the Welsh Rugby Union calling for them take their place on the board of European Rugby Cup for a meeting about the future of European Rugby, Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby is pleased Williams has pledged his future to the region.

"Scott is an exceptional talent, he has shown his maturity and skill now on the big stage," Easterby said.

"He is everything you need from a top-class centre - he's powerful, quick and decisive with a very good passing and kicking game.

"We are all delighted that he's staying at the Scarlets and committing his future to our region. It's great news for our whole rugby community from the coaches, to our Scarlets players, supporters, sponsors, partners and all those involved in supporting and developing talent in our region.

"Given all the debate about retaining our best players in Wales, it's a real positive for Welsh rugby as a whole that one of our top internationals has chosen to stay here to play his rugby."