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South African tighthead in at Scarlets, Harlequins pick up a Championship loosehead prop

(Photo by Eoin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Scarlets have added South African tighthead prop Pieter Scholtz to their front row resources while Harlequins have confirmed the signing of Bedford Blues loosehead prop Joe Wrafter on a short-term deal.

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Scholtz had been playing for the now liquidated Southern Kings in the Guinness PRO14, while the 26-year-old also had spells with Currie Cup sides the Pumas and Lions during his professional career in South Africa.

With Samson Lee on international duty and Alex Jeffries recovering from surgery on an elbow issue, Scarlets wanted to strengthen their options at No3. Scholtz is due to arrive at Parc y Scarlets next week and will be available for action later this month once he has undergone the necessary Covid-19 protocols.

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Scarlets head coach Glenn Delaney said: “At the moment Javan Sebastian and Werner Kruger are doing a fine job for us, while young Harri O’Connor has shown a huge amount of promise, but it’s an area we felt we needed to strengthen. 

“We have been watching Pieter for a while. He is a strong scrummager and has a lot of experience playing in South African rugby. We look forward to welcoming him to the Scarlets.”

Meanwhile, Paul Gustard’s Harlequins have welcomed loosehead prop Wrafter into the fold at the London club ahead of next weekend’s start to the 2020/21 Gallagher Premiership season.  The 24-year-old Bedford front row was previously in National League One with Birmingham Moseley, having also spent time in Worcester’s academy.

Wrafter said: “I’m really excited to join Quins. This is one of the most famous rugby teams in the world so to be offered the chance to pull on the jersey is brilliant. The opportunity to learn from the likes of Adam Jones and Jerry Flannery as coaches as well as some of the experienced players here is one I couldn’t pass up. I’m excited to add to the environment and compete for a spot in a Premiership matchday squad.”

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Gustard added: “We’re grateful to Bedford for allowing their talented young loosehead prop Joe Wrafter to join us on a short-term contract. Joe’s arrival gives us another option in a position in which we are lacking in terms of depth, which is further compounded while Joe Marler is away with England.

“Joe Wrafter is an explosive carrier and aggressive young man who is well known to us through our contacts in the Championship and National League One. He comes with a good reputation on the field and excellent recommendations off it.”

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