Scarlets want to keep centre Williams, says coach Easterby

Wales and Scarlets Scott Williams
Wales and Scarlets Scott Williams

Head coach Simon Easterby says Wales centre Scott Williams is a player the Scarlets want to keep.

Williams signed a contract extension at Parc Y Scarlets in April but is a free agent in the summer.

He played in three of Wales' autumn Tests but has seen his Scarlets centre partner Jonathan Davies announce he has signed a two-year deal with Clermont Auvergne in France.

"Scott is one of a number of players we want to retain," said Easterby.

"He is one of many we want to try to keep hold of."

The Scarlets have already seen centre Davies announce his departure to France, while wing George North left Wales in the summer join Premiership side Northampton Saints on a three-year deal.

The 21-year-old had one year left on his Scarlets contract but was unable to agree fresh terms.

Williams' stock has risen in recent months after his performance for the Scarlets in the 33-26 Heineken Cup victory against Harlequins.

Easterby says he intends to sit down and discuss Williams's future now he has returned to the Scarlets from Wales.

"He has been away for a few weeks, so we left him to concentrate on nailing that 12 jersey for Wales," said Easterby.

"That was really important for him. I spoke to him before he left for camp and had a good sit down and discussed a few things.

"But he and I felt it was important he concentrated on that 12 role for Wales.

"We have valued him pretty highly anyway and he was very good for us against Harlequins and Racing Metro.

"He, along with a few others, we targeted a while ago."

Phil Bennett, the Scarlets president, says he believes it is too early for Williams to leave Parc y Scarlets and he should stay in Wales.

"There are so many rumours going about players leaving the Ospreys, players out of contract at the Blues and Scarlets etc," said Bennett.

"Scott is a young man who has just broken onto the international scene and it is not for me to say what he should do, but Jonathan Davies at 25 and 26 was probably the right time to leave.

"Scott is a little bit younger and perhaps he needs to stay around the Welsh rugby scene for a while to cement his place in the Welsh team.

"We have Jamie Roberts coming back for the Six Nations, so Scott is a different prospect. I just hope he stays, along with Rhys Priestland, and let Regan King take the pressure off them."