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Last Updated: Friday, 25 April, 2003, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Stradey beckons Taylor
Mark Taylor
Taylor will compete for places with Leigh Davies and Matthew Watkins

Wales and Lions centre Mark Taylor looks set to join Llanelli next season.

The 30-year-old Swansea player was expected to join either the Swansea-Neath combined regional side or return to his native Gwent.

But it now seems likely that Scarlets coach Gareth Jenkins will be able to persuade Taylor, who toured Australia with the 2002 British Lions, to change allegiance to Stradey Park.

Taylor has won 37 caps and played in all but one of Wales' 2003 Six Nations campaign - missing the opening defeat to Italy.

He will contest the midfield positions at Stradey with fellow Wales internationals Leigh Davies and Matthew Watkins.

If Taylor signs on the dotted line for Llanelli, he will have a familiar face at Stradey as Swansea stalwart Paul Moriarty is to join the coaching staff.

The dual-code former Wales international will work alongside Nigel Davies, under head coach Jenkins, within the Scarlets' new regional setup.

Another probable mover is Wales backrow-cum-lock Michael Owen, who looks set to make a shock move to Gwent.

Owen came up through the ranks at Sardis Road and has become one of the cornerstones of the Pontypridd pack.

He has his best international years ahead of him and Owen's departure will come as a huge blow to coach Lynn Howells as he fills his roster for the Pontypridd-Bridgend region.

Owen would be a major catch for the Gwent team, who have also been linked with Swansea stars Colin Charvis and Gavin Henson.

In his BBC Sport column, Charvis admitted that he is tempted to link up again with Mike Ruddock, who will coach the Gwent team, but that the other regional sides - especially Swansea-Neath - might have just as much to offer.

Despite losing Owen's services, Howells can take some consolation in the capture of Wales full-back Kevin Morgan from Swansea, while Ebbw Vale prop Martin Jones is another valuable addition.




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