Shinglers lift the Scarlets with double boost
STEVEN Shingler says he is looking forward to reuniting with big brother Aaron at Parc y Scarlets after the pair handed the West Wales region a welcome tonic to their new year blues.
As revealed in last week's Post, Steven is returning to the Scarlets from London Irish after penning a three-year contract.
And in a double boost to the Scarlets, Aaron has also agreed a new three-year deal.
"Although I left the region, I've always remained a supporter and the Scarlets will always be a huge part of my life," said Steven, who is currently in his second season at the Madejski.
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"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.
"I am very grateful to have this opportunity to come back to Wales and back to what I consider my rugby home. 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 fly-half, who has also played at centre and full-back for the Exiles, the Hendy product will be a valuable acquisition for head coach Simon Easterby.
His return to the regional game will also give the 21-year-old the chance to push forward his international ambitions after being caught in an eligibility wrangle between the Welsh and Scottish rugby unions — his mother is Scottish — last season.
As for Aaron, it is understood a number of clubs were chasing a forward whose stock has soared on the back of impressive displays in the Wales back row during the autumn series. He has also been one of the most consistent players at the Scarlets in the last two seasons.
"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," said head coach Simon Easterby
"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 important to us as a senior figure in our pack as he gains more experience at the top level of the game."
Easterby also revealed the region are currently negotiating new deals with other key players who are out of contract at the end of the season.
"There are more players that we're looking to secure in contract next season and beyond. Those decisions are based on building as much depth as possible and strengthening in the right areas of our squad as our resources allow," he added.
"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."