Scarlets have announced that Dwayne Peel will join the club as head coach having been released from his contract with Cardiff Blues. The former scrum-half had been in line to join Cardiff from Ulster this summer, with his departure from the Irish province confirmed in December.
However that move was quickly thrown into doubt when reports emerged that Scarlets were hopeful of highjacking his return to Wales.
And the Blues have today confirmed that Peel will now not be joining the club, with a club statement outlining that Peel “recently indicated his desire not to honour a signed three-year contract, which was due to start in July 2021.”
And Scarlets have confirmed that Peel will now be returning to the club he represented 151 times during nine seasons as a player, and will join ahead of the 2021/22 season.
In his playing days, Peel was capped 76 times for Wales and also toured with the British and Irish Lions in 2005.
Following spells with Sale Sharks and Bristol, Peel hung up his playing boots to become part of Bristol’s coaching team before taking up a role as assistant coach with Ulster in 2017.
Peel’s appointment will see current Scarlets head coach Glenn Delaney take up the position of director of rugby.
“The Scarlets has always meant a massive amount to me and my family and I’m thrilled to be returning to my home club as head coach,” Peel said.
“I have been part of some incredible occasions with the Scarlets during my time at Stradey and I know everyone involved with the club has ambitions to be challenging regularly for silverware and competing with the top sides in Europe.
“As a player, I have experienced first hand the passion of the Scarlets fans, there is a special bond between the supporters and the club and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone back at Parc y Scarlets next season.”
Scarlets executive chairman Simon Muderack added: “It is fantastic news for Scarlets fans that a legend of the club like Dwayne is coming home.
“His outstanding playing career speaks for itself, but he has also become a widely-respected coach during spells with Bristol and more recently Ulster.
“Dwayne understands what the Scarlets is all about, he knows the ‘Scarlets Way’ and he is hugely excited about coming back to West Wales to take up this role in the coaching team.
“Dwayne’s appointment is part of our long-term planning to further strengthen our team off the field and I am sure everyone associated with the Scarlets will be excited by what he will bring.
“We wish Dwayne well for his final couple of months with Ulster and look forward to welcoming him back to the Scarlets in the summer.”
Meanwhile Cardiff have announced that Matt Sherratt is returning to the Arms Park to take up a role as an assistant coach, and will join from Worcester Warriors at the end of the season.
Sherratt previously spent two seasons working with Cardiff but departed following their Challenge Cup success in 2018, spending two seasons with the Ospreys and one with Worcester Warriors.
Cardiff director of rugby Dai Young said: “Securing the return of Matt is a great coup for Cardiff and I am excited about the impact he can have here.
“He is someone who comes highly recommended as a very good technical coach, who pays great attention to detail and is a good man, who will slot back in seamlessly.
“We have a lot of young and exciting potential across our squad, particularly in the backs, and I believe that Matt can bring the best out of them.”
Cardiff Blues chief executive Richard Holland added: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome a coach of Matt’s calibre back to our set-up after the success he enjoyed during his first stint here.
“We were disappointed to see Matt leave in 2018, but he departed on good terms and has maintained a strong relationship with us.
“He remains a hugely popular figure within our group, embodies our cultural values and wants to be part of Cardiff’s exciting future. He is also an excellent coach, so this brings about a perfect solution to a situation that was far from ideal.
“We look forward to welcoming Matt back in the summer and wish Worcester, whom we thank for their professionalism and integrity throughout the process, all the very best for the remainder of their season.”
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