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Wednesday May 8, 2024

Welsh legend Jonathan Davies to depart Scarlets

Former Wales and British and Irish lions star Jonathan Davies has confirmed that he will depart BKT URC side the Scarlets at the end of the season.

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Per a media release from the Scarlets, Davies said,

Jonathan Davies to say farewell to Scarlets at the end of the season “It has been incredible to play for a team I supported when I was a young boy. I have enjoyed every minute and have some wonderful memories, but everything has to come to an end.

“I remember my first day coming into the Academy at Stradey, I remember walking into the changing room for training with the likes, Vernon Cooper, Matthew Rees, Iestyn Thomas, Alix Popham – who were the ‘guvnors’ of the changing room – and putting my bag on the bench and coming in afterwards and it was on the floor; I tried another spot the next day and the same happened! it was a great learning; myself, Ken and my generation were probably the last ones to have experience of that old school environment.”

After 16 seasons spanning two spells at the club, the man known as ‘Foxy’ who made his debut as an 18-year-old against the Northampton Saints in 2006 would go on to have an all time career.

Featuring in two British & Irish Lions Test Series against Australia (2013) and New Zealand (2017) – where he was player of the series. Davies has also played 96 Tests for Wales, featuring in two Grand Slam-winning sides, a further two championship wins, and two Rugby World Cups in New Zealand (2011) and Japan (2019). He has also captained the national side on four occasions.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s final home match against Ulster, Jonathan said: “I am going to miss this place and this group. Day to day, being around a great bunch of boys and saying you are working, you feel very privileged.

Recalling the highlights of his Scarlets career, lifting the PRO12 trophy in Dublin in 2017 figures at the top of the list, as does playing alongside his younger brother James ‘Cubby’.

He added: “There was a span of five or six games in which I never enjoyed rugby as much as I did during the end of that season when we won the PRO12. I have always said if we were still in European competition at that point, we would have won it.

“The rugby we played was so much fun and so natural; we were operating at a level where we didn’t really need to talk about what was expected of us. It felt as if we were operating at our highest level possible, and the talent in that group was so high that it showed in the games leading up to the final and then in the final.

“Playing alongside my brother was another special moment and winning a trophy as part of the same side is something I am very proud of.”

Discussing his future plans, Davies signalled his intention to keep playing saying, “I would love to see if there is another opportunity to play elsewhere, whether that be abroad or not,” he adds. “I still enjoy coming to train and playing. I am always told you are a long-time retired – if you feel you can add to an environment or a team, I feel I’d be stupid not to.

“The Scarlets have been a huge part of my life. When you get older, there is an appreciation of the effort that people – coaches, team-mates, staff – have put into your career. The supporters here have been amazing from day one as well.”

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