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Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Matthew Rees among quartet signing new Scarlets deals

Matthew Rees
Rees featured in all three Lions Tests against South Africa in June

Wales and Lions hooker Matthew Rees is one of four Scarlets players to agree new contracts with the Llanelli region.

The 29-year-old has signed a new three-year deal while fellow hooker Ken Owens has also agreed to stay at Parc Y Scarlets for another three years.

Promising full-back Dan Evans and 33-year-old loose-head prop Iestyn Thomas have also agreed a two-year contracts.

"I am delighted these four important players continue their great service of this region." said coach Nigel Davies.

"As part of the squad that we are building up here over the next three years."

"All four of these players are true Scarlets in terms of their passion for the region and commitment to the shirt.

"I am particularly pleased that we have young guys like Ken and Dan continuing their commitment to us as we bring through and support emerging talent from within our region to play at the top levels of Welsh rugby.

"Ken and Dan are shining examples of the success of our region's academy and development system in identifying and bringing through talented young players onto the regional and international stage."

Rees joined the Scarlets in 2004 from the Celtic Warriors and Pontypridd and has gone on to make 121 appearances.

The 34-cap Wales hooker also put in three impressive performances with the British Lions in the summer as part of an all-Welsh front row alongside Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones.

Owens joined the region in 2004 as part of the Scarlets Academy and the 22-year-old's performances since breaking into the first team this season have put him into contention for Wales' Six Nations campaign next year.

Evans is one of Scarlets' emerging home-grown young talents who has quickly moved up the region's and Wales' age grade ranks and the 21-year-old has become a mainstay of the Scarlets regional squad.

Experienced Wales prop Thomas has been the cornerstone of the Scarlets pack for the past seven years. He joined from Ebbw Vale and has won 33 caps for Wales.

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