Scarlets confirm Patchell signing from Cardiff Blues

Rhys Patchell will play for the Scarlets next next season

Welsh Pro 12 side the Scarlets have confirmed that they have signed fly half Rhys Patchell for the 2016-17 season from fellow Pro 12 side Cardiff Blues.

Cardiff Blues announced Patchell’s departure after he turned down an offer from the Blues. It was widely expected that he would join the Scarlets and that move has now been confirmed.

Cardiff Head Coach Danny Wilson said,”We are disappointed that Rhys has turned down a contract offer from Cardiff Blues and will move elsewhere at the end of this season.

“We have good competition for the No.10 jersey and it is a shame that Rhys will not be a part of that from the end of the current campaign.

“He has played well for us at both full back and fly half this season and I know he will continue to give everything he has for the region until the end of the season.

“We must have strong competition at Cardiff Blues for every jersey and nobody can be assured of a place. We want players who want to be here and fight for a place in the team.

“We are continuing to make really positive progress for next season in terms of the make-up of our squad and future recruitment announcements will be made in due course.”

Patchell, 22, is the second new addition to Scarlets’ squad for the forthcoming season joining former Scarlet Jonathan Davies on the region’s new recruit list.

He joins a strong pool of existing Scarlets already signed up including captain Ken Owens, Jake Ball, John Barclay, Aled Davies, James Davies, Rob Evans, Samson Lee, Aaron Shingler, Liam Williams and Scott Williams.

Gaining international honours at Under-18 level and for Wales Sevens, the Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf product stormed onto the domestic scene with a man-of-the-match performance at outside half on his PRO12 debut against the Newport Gwent Dragons at the beginning of the 2012-13 season. He went on to get his first cap for Wales in the tour of Japan.

In 69 regional appearances Patchell has scored 517 points, including 11 tries. He scored 17 of Blues’ 37 points in the Challenge Cup win over Montpellier on the weekend including a dramatic first minute try where he booted the ball into space before picking up and dotting down after only 43 seconds of play.

Jon Daniels, Scarlets General Manager of Rugby at the Scarlets said,”As we have stated previously, we are always interested in quality players who can add something to our squad and Rhys certainly fits that bill. He has the ability to make things happen on the field and we are delighted he will be joining us next season. He has taken great care to make the right decision for himself based on his very clear ambition to play outside half for Wales.

“He is still a young man with areas of his game requiring further development but under the tutelage of Stephen Jones we are hopeful Rhys can become the latest in a long line of Scarlets outside halves to wear the number 10 jersey of Wales.”

Head Coach Wayne Pivac added,”Rhys is an exciting young player who will bring a new dimension to our game next season.

“He’s been playing particularly well for the Blues in recent weeks. We will look to help Rhys fulfill his potential here at the Scarlets and he will be joining what is shaping up to be a very exciting backline.”

Commenting on the news Patchell said,”Firstly, I’d like to thank Cardiff Blues for giving me an opportunity and supporting my development over the last few seasons.

“As a Cardiff boy it has been a really difficult decision to have to make, and one that I have deliberated over for quite some time.

“I will continue to give my all to the Blues as we look to build on recent victories in both the PRO12 and Challenge Cup. I will leave the region with fond memories and having made lifelong friends.”

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