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    Posted: 17 October 2014 at 9:34am
By Colin Clarke | 16/10/2014

The British and Irish Cup

I think a little clarity is essential in explaining the confusion caused recently by the Clubs’ participation in the British and Irish Cup.

The problem appears to be that Gareth Jenkins, the Head of Development and Recruitment, had asked that all three clubs, Llanelli, Llandovery and the Carmarthen Quins before any games had been played this year, irrespective of who won the qualifier, that a combined team called the Scarlets Premiership Development would represent the region in this tournament.

Although Llandovery and Llanelli were fully aware and in agreement of this back in mid-August, it appears a complete breakdown of communication regarding this created a big issue, after the Quins won the play- offs and found they would not be representing the regions totally in its own right as thought and contrary to the beliefs of the Scarlets.

At a meeting of the Carmarthen Quins general committee on Thursday 2nd October the members decided that the “lost” request of the Scarlets would be accepted and that the club would compete, not as the Carmarthen Quins in the British and Irish Cup, but as the Scarlets Premiership Development team.

Not surprisingly, this decision was not taken lightly.

After some discussion, the majority supported the “lost” request from Gareth Jenkins, of the Scarlets.

Ironically, as a result of the delay in making this decision, the WRU were unable to change the club and the Carmarthen Quins remains as the named team in the competition and plays in its own kit with the 3 home venues shared and players from the 3 clubs making up the squad.

Ioan Cunningham and Dai Flanagan of the Scarlets with Paul Fisher of the Quins would be choosing and coaching the squad, many of which are under the control of the Scarlets Academy and Development Programme, whereby they would be able to identify these players who possibly could make regional representation in the near future.

The reasons the committee decided to support the “lost” request were as follows:

Gareth had stated that this was an opportunity of bringing the best together from the three premiership clubs in the Scarlets region to seriously compete against the likes of the Irish A’s and, the RFU Greene King Championship.
It was felt by the majority of the Quins committee that any injuries could be problematic with the six extra games, three home and three away, putting huge demands on the Quins squad with 3 members already committed to the National Welsh 7’s squad.

Various players are unavailable on the Friday due to work commitments. We must remember that the Irish A and RFU Greene King IPA Championship players are fully professional.

The club enjoys working with the region and fielded on one occasion last year six 18 year olds in one game and when mixed with some of our slightly more experienced and older players, felt that the whole idea of premiership underpinning the region with support working both ways was beneficial to everyone involved in Regional and Welsh rugby.

It was said how fortunate we are of the quality of the young developing players from our area that have been taken on by the Scarlets Academy and then have been placed back with us to develop further. These players have given supporters some superb rugby to watch and the recent game in the park against Llanelli was a classic encounter.

It was also mentioned that the free use at the Scarlets of a first class gym, fitness centre, indoor artificial pitch and nutritional advice facility has been invaluable to improving the general fitness, health and strength of our players.

The committee also felt that it would be in the premiership league and Welsh Cup where the Carmarthen Quins would be individually judged on performance and its standing in Welsh rugby.

We hope this explains some of the reasons the decision was made to support the Scarlets request and hope to have your continued support.

Brian Jones
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