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Clapham Joins Scarlets

Clapham Joins Scarlets

Llanelli have secured the signature of second row Paul Clapham from Bridgend – and he could be in for a baptism of fire against Heineken Cup finalists Munster at Stradey Park (31 August).
The Scarlets fixture list starts with the visit of the Irish superstars, gathers pace with three big home games over Christmas as Newport, Swansea and Bourgoin all visit and culminates in a home derby against Neath before a trip to Cardiff in May.
And Wales’ leading lights in Europe last year have strengthened their squad with Iestyn Thomas and Matthew Watkins already on the summer signings list, but an injury to Luke Gross and the release of Craig Gillies and Scott Morgan had left the Scarlets light in the second row.
“We have a strong squad at Llanelli and results in Europe and at home last year prove that,” said chief executive Stuart Gallacher.
“The few signings we have made will strengthen us even further and we’d love to recreate the sort of form that got us to the Heineken Cup semi-final, Welsh Cup final and brought the Welsh/Scottish league title back to Stradey Park last season.
“Paul is a proven second row forward, who knows his way around the Welsh rugby scene and will be a great asset to the club.
“We are delighted to welcome him into the squad to strengthen the forward line and hope he takes the opportunity to shine at a club very much at the centre of Welsh rugby.”
Llanelli and Gallacher have their sights set on all four trophies again this year, with a better show in the Celtic League and a Welsh Cup final place high on the priority list, but it is still success in Europe that they really crave.
“The aim is to go one better this year than last,” he added.
“None of the Welsh teams did themselves justice in the Celtic league in its first season and September will be a tough start for us with a visit to Nath coming soon after Munster come to Stradey.
“But it’s going to be excellent preparation for our European campaign, although we have a tough group with Sale looking strong and Glasgow, who we are yet to beat away from home.
“And we’re particularly looking forward to the boxing day visit of Newport, it promises to be a ‘top-of-the-table’ clash and should give us a capacity crowd to help celebrate Christmas.”

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