Scar­lets play­ing wait­ing game with Mo­ri­arty

The Rugby Paper - - Regional Results - ■ By ST­EF­FAN THOMAS

SCAR­LETS in­sist the ball is in Ross Mo­ri­arty’s court as they hope to make the Wales and Bri­tish & Ir­ish Lions back-row for­ward a mar­quee sign­ing.

Llanelli bosses are look­ing to put to­gether ‘their strong­est squad for years’ in a bid to help last sea­son’s Guin­ness PRO12 cham­pi­ons reg­u­larly reach the knock-out stages of the Cham­pi­ons Cup.

Head coach Wayne Pi­vac wants Mo­ri­arty to lead the way, but faces com­pe­ti­tion from the Dragons and a host of big-spend­ing English and French clubs for the Glouces­ter man’s sig­na­ture.

“We’ve made no se­cret of the fact we ad­mire Ross’ abil­ity as a player,” said Scar­lets gen­eral man­ager of rugby Jonathan Daniels.

“Know­ing him on the field and a bit about him off the field, I think he would be the right fit to come here and help us with our am­bi­tions to be cham­pi­ons of the PRO14 and reg­u­larly ap­pear­ing in the last eight of Europe.

“But Ross, like any other player, has to make his de­ci­sion over where he thinks the next chap­ter of his rugby ca­reer will take him. We’d like it to be here. We want to reg­u­larly be in the Cham­pi­ons Cup knock-out stages and I think it’s an achiev­able goal.”

Wales stars Jonathan Davies, Gareth Davies, Scott Wil­liams and Jake Ball are among the Scar­lets who are out of con­tract at the end of the sea­son

Daniels is con­fi­dent Pi­vac’s best play­ers will not only com­mit their fu­ture, but says the Kiwi head coach will be able to make new signings and have a stronger squad at his dis­posal next sea­son.

“I’m con­fi­dent most of the squad will stay,” said Daniels. “Al­though we’ve been quiet in terms of an­nounce­ments, we haven’t got to Novem­ber with­out hav­ing a lot of those play­ers nailed down.

“It’s hard to put a num­ber on the amount of new signings we’ll make be­cause it’s a mov­ing beast.

“That could mean three, four or five play­ers com­ing in – but what we can say is our squad for next year will be the strong­est squad we’ve had for years.”

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