Principality Premiership competitors Llanelli RFC have announced their three-man coaching team will be headed up by former Wales U21 coach Kevin George.
George will work closely with Scarlets second row Vernon Cooper, who becomes Llanelli RFC forwards coach, and Paul Fisher who becomes backs coach. after three years in the back-room coaching team.
George, who has headed the Scarlets Academy for five years, said: “With the imminent move to a stunning new stadium, these are exciting times for the Scarlets and Llanelli RFC.
“It’s crucial that our Principality Premiership players are given every chance to develop as professionals and internationals. As part of a superb new coaching structure, I’m determined to play a major role in that process.”
George, 44, played top-flight club rugby at scrum-half and centre for a host of famous Welsh clubs sides including Llangennech, Llanelli, Neath, Swansea and Aberavon.
His first foray into coaching came with eight years at Felinfoel. Around the Millennium, he coached Neath for four years. He has also coached Llanelli RFC before, Wales U21s and Wales U18s.
Former Wales international Cooper, 31, has been a Stradey Park lock for 10 seasons and remains an important figure in the senior squad.
He said: “I’m delighted to take my first step into coaching with Llanelli. I have the greatest respect for the coaches I’ll be working with and I can’t wait to get started.”
Fisher, aged 26, was a Llanelli RFC coach for the past three seasons having been a Scarlets development officer for two years, a WRU development officer for five years and a Scarlets coach at U16s and U20s levels.
He’s a former player with Llanelli, Carmarthen Quins, Kidwelly, Wales U16s, U18s and U19s, and said: “Being part of the Stradey Park set-up for so long, I understand the desire for success. Anthony Buchanan has assembled a strong coaching team and I feel there are exciting times ahead.”
Anthony Buchanan believes the appointment is key to Llanelli competing at the top level of Welsh club rugby. “Llanelli RFC should be a force within Welsh rugby and should be developing players for the region and for Wales. We can only do that with quality coaches.
“Kevin George is a gifted coach and well qualified to help us build the identity of our Principality Premiership squad, creating a strong platform for success," he said.
“The addition of Vernon and Paul can only be good for us – they’re top quality individuals who have hugely impressive rugby knowledge and experience.
“With the imminent move to a stunning new stadium, these are exciting times for the Scarlets and Llanelli RFC.
“It’s crucial that our Principality Premiership players are given every chance to develop as professionals and internationals. Our superb new coaching team will play a crucial role in that process.”