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Tonga lock Sam Lousi pens new Scarlets deal

By Josh Raisey
Sam Lousi of the Scarlets blocks a tackle from Jason Harries of Cardiff Rugby during the United Rugby Championship match between the Scarlets and Cardiff Rugby at Parc y Scarlets on October 08, 2022 in Llanelli, Wales. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Tonga lock Sam Lousi has signed a new deal with the Scarlets after what he has described as a “tough season”.

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The 32-year-old has spent five influential years at Parc y Scarlets so far since arriving from the Hurricanes in 2019, being named the players’ player of the season for the past two years.

Despite sitting in 14th place in the United Rugby Championship, one point ahead of Zebre at the foot of the table, the former NRL player said after signing that the club has a clear vision for the seasons ahead that he looks forward to being a part of.

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“Myself and my family are delighted to be staying here with the Scarlets, a place we have made our home for the last five years,” he said after signing.

“It has been a tough season, but the club has a clear vision for the coming years and I am looking forward to being part of that.

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“The supporters have given us amazing support since I have been here and hopefully we can reward them with some big performances in our remaining matches this season.”

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel added: “It is fantastic news that Sam has signed a new deal. He is a key figure for us, an international second row with a huge amount of experience and a player who leads by example.

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“From our conversations with Sam, he has faith in what we are building and our ambitions here at the Scarlets. We are a young squad and having someone of Sam’s stature in our leadership group can only help in bringing through the emerging talent we have at the club.”

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Jon 1 days ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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