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Page last updated at 11:11 GMT, Thursday, 11 September 2008 12:11 UK

Scarlets drop Llanelli from name


Welsh regional team Llanelli Scarlets have decided that from now on they will be known only as the Scarlets.

The change has been decided to help reflect more accurately the Scarlets' geographical area of influence.

Stuart Gallacher, the Scarlets chief executive, said: "The Scarlets represent an area which stretches far beyond the town of Llanelli.

"We need to reflect that in our name... but the history and passion of Llanelli rugby club continues in the Scarlets."

The Scarlets' area of responsibility stretches from Llanelli, through mid-Wales and into north Wales.

The decision was made by the region's board last week and has the backing of Llanelli RFC, which will carry on the name of the town in the Welsh Premier Division.

"We will always be a major flag bearer for the town of Llanelli - it's our home and that will not change," Gallacher added.

It will be much simpler for the region to be known as the Scarlets and our Premiership side to be Llanelli

President of Llanelli RFC, Derek Quinnell

"With a fantastic new stadium here, we will continue to bring visitors from far and wide as well as helping attract investment and commercial opportunities for Llanelli."

The remodelled name heralds the start of a new chapter for the region, who will quit their famous Stradey Park ground for their new stadium Parc y Scarlets in around 10 weeks' time.

President of Llanelli RFC, Derek Quinnell, said: "Llanelli and the Scarlets will always be linked in the same breath however you care to look at it.

"However, the reality is that we need to have two clear identities and I think it will be much simpler for the region to be known as the Scarlets and our Premiership side to be Llanelli - it makes sense.

"The name the Scarlets embodies everything that is great about the rugby region as a whole, takes away any confusion and is simpler all round."

The Scarlets follow the Ospreys in doing away with a geographical location in their name.

Their west Wales rivals dropped the Neath-Swansea moniker from the Ospreys title at the end of the 2004/5 season.

The other two regions, the Cardiff Blues and Newport-Gwent Dragons, are not thought to currently have any plans to change their names.

see also
Dragons 25-27 Scarlets
10 Sep 08 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
23 Mar 08 |  Wales
Magners Celtic League
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union

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