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Last Updated: Monday, 14 August 2006, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Scarlets unveil Davies as coach
Phil Davies
Davies lost out to Gareth Jenkins for the Wales job
Llanelli Scarlets have unveiled Phil Davies as their new director of rugby.

Former Leeds Tykes coach Davies has signed a three-year contract to succeed Gareth Jenkins at Stradey Park.

Davies, 42, who lost out to Jenkins for the Wales job last month, quit Leeds earlier this month after they were relegated from the English Premiership.

"I spent all my playing days at Llanelli and it's always been close to my heart. It was an easy decision to come back," Davies told BBC Sport.

"Once you've played for the Scarlets, it stays with you for life. It's a great place with lots of tradition."

Scarlets chief executive Stuart Gallacher said Davies was chosen from a shortlist of six applicants.

Coaching goes through stages and this is another stage in my development

Scarlets director of rugby Phil Davies

Gallacher said: "I'm confident I've got the right man.

"I've deliberately taken my time, spoken to people whose opinion I respect because I wanted to make certain that the next guy is the right guy."

BBC Wales Sport understands careful consideration was given to an application from ACT Brumbies forwards coach and former Wallaby Ross Reynolds.

The Welsh region has also had interest from Wellington Hurricanes coach Ossie McClean and Irishman Michael Bradley, currently in charge of Connacht.

Cardiff Blues head coach Dai Young is also thought to have held talks with the Scarlets, but he opted to stay at the Arms Park.

THE PHIL DAVIES CV
Born: Seven Sisters, 19/10/63
Career: Police officer
Clubs: Llanelli (captain for six seasons), Leeds
Position: No 8, lock
Wales caps (1985-95): 46
1996-2001: Leeds player-coach, takes Tykes from Division Three to Premiership
2003: Leeds make Heineken Cup debut
2005: Leeds win Powergen Cup
2005: Leeds bottom of Premiership, gives up coaching role for director of rugby position
2006: Resigns as director of rugby at Leeds after their relegation from the Premiership
2006: Appointed Llanelli Scarlets director of rugby on three-year contract in May

Davies gave up his role as Leeds head coach last October to concentrate on his director of rugby position, but - despite a brief upturn in form - the Tykes failed to avoid the drop.

However, he did lead the Yorkshire club from Division Three to the Premiership in five years, took them into the Heineken Cup, and won the Powergen Cup last season.

He says his coaching apprenticeship in Yorkshire will stand his in good stead for the challenges at Stradey Park.

"I've had a great experience in Leeds and really enjoyed it," said the 46-capped former Wales lock and number eight.

"I've gone through varying periods of having to build a team to go into different competitions.

"In terms of learning, I think you continue to learn as long as you live. Coaching goes through stages and this is another stage in my development."

Davies added he will decide on his assistants "after having a look at what strengths we have".

Jenkins brought an end to a 24-year coaching stint at Stradey Park on Friday when the Scarlets hosted Ulster in their final Celtic League match of the season.

His assistant Nigel Davies also ended his long association with the club as he follows Jenkins to the Wales coaching set-up.



SEE ALSO
Transfer talk - Welsh regions
02 May 06 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
01 May 06 |  Wales


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