Scarlets v Leinster

Saturday 7th March KO 5.15pm
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Scarlets Heritage

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Llanelli is one of the most famous rugby towns in the world. It is the base for passionately-supported professional team The Scarlets who compete at the highest level of European rugby.

The Scarlets were created from the original Llanelli RFC when Welsh elite rugby was restructured a few years ago. Llanelli continue to thrive as a semi-pro club in the top flight of Welsh rugby. Both teams played at Stradey Park until October 2008. The following month they both moved to the spectacular Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli.

The high-tech new stadium is a long way from the area's rugby roots. Llanelli's first recorded game occurred in 1876 at Peoples Park. The home side played in blue. However, it is thought that the club had been formed a few years earlier. As a result members, players and supporters of Llanelli RFC celebrated the club's centenary in 1972.

The famous Scarlets shirt was worn for the first time in 1884 against an Irish XV who had stopped off in Llanelli having played Wales in Cardiff a few days earlier. It has been worn ever since, giving rise to nickname The Scarlets.

Llanelli first came to prominence when they beat an Australian touring side in 1908. Since then they have lowered the colours of many international sides, including the mighty All Blacks in 1972 and world champions Australia 20 years later.

Llanelli remain the undisputed cup kings of Wales, lifting the Welsh Cup 12 times in 17 final appearances. In the 1992-93 season they won a Best Team in Britain trophy after achieving the unique treble of winning the league, capturing the cup and beating the Wallabies.

Since the onset of professionalism, the Scarlets have triumphed as Celtic League champions and as semi-finalists in Europe's premier tournament, the Heineken Cup.

But it's not just famous victories that have given Llanelli such a great rugby tradition - the town and region has produced an almost endless list of talented and world renowned players. They range from Albert Jenkins in the early 1900s to legends such as Ken Jones, Delme Thomas, Phil Bennett, Derek Quinnell and Ray Gravell. In more recent times there have been heroes like Ieuan Evans and Scott Quinnell. In total around 170 Wales internationals and 21 British Lions - as well as Lions coaches such as the legendary Carwyn James (New Zealand 1971) - have been bred at Llanelli.

It is a remarkable story of success in the world of sport.
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