As the new President of the Scarlets, Phil Bennett will work directly with new Chairman Nigel Short and Chief Executive, Mark Davies in support of the region's expanding business interests as it seeks to grow and extend its support.
As well as hosting a number of key Scarlets events, he will work closely to foster strong partnerships within Scarlets grassroots rugby including links with regional clubs, colleges and schools programmes to help develop young people through sport.
His responsibilities will include being global ambassador for Scarlets Rugby, hosting guests at home match days as well as a busy schedule of rugby related Scarlets events and dinners throughout the year. He will work in close association with Scarlets and Llanelli RFC past players as a link between the region and its distinguished hall of fame of great players.
Phil Bennett, who was awarded an OBE for services to sport in 1979, will also play a key role in the Scarlets new Ambassador programme, to be unveiled early next season. The investment programme will underline and support the Scarlets' ongoing vision and commitment to the development of Welsh rugby talent through the use of scholarships and related funding, helping ensure a continuous and successful stream of skilled young rugby players come through the region's academies such as Jon Davies, George North, Rhys Priestland and Scott Williams.
Scarlets Chief Executive Mark Davies said: "This is one gentleman in rugby that you can truly say has earned his place as a global sporting icon. His distinguished service and commitment to Llanelli, the Scarlets, Wales and game of rugby on the world stage speaks for itself and we are delighted that he has agreed to take forward the new role of President of the Scarlets.
"As one of the genuine 'Welsh fly-half factory' legends, Phil always stand out in the history books for decades to come - what's inspiring for us today is his continued passion for the game and his quiet dedication in helping young people in our region pursue their ambitions. He has strong ties with all the clubs of the region and the people who give of their time to run them.
"He has a reputation within world rugby for his humility, humanity, passion and insight. There can only be very few who can truly be a global face for Scarlets Rugby and we look forward to working more closely with Phil in the coming season and beyond."
Some of the Scarlets' most rich rugby heritage will be celebrated over the next year as the region celebrates it 5000th game - a world first in rugby, on September 24th 2011 at Parc y Scarlets against Leinster.
And next year, the club will celebrate its 40th anniversary of the 9-3 Llanelli victory over the All Blacks victory, a date Phil Bennett will remember well as "the day the pubs ran dry" in Llanelli in 1972.
Scarlets President Phil Bennett said: "I am very proud to be taking this role, and as I look at the Scarlets today and what they are doing on and off the field to help develop the region and its young talent it will be a pleasure to be involved. There is a lot of hard work going on to secure the future of this wonderful rugby club and its very passionate support.
"It will be a privilege to be involved next season in an official capacity as Scarlets President and support the region that has been at my very heart for so long. I look forward to lending my support, views and experiences wherever possible help the club that I was honoured to serve as a player and captain.
"There is lots of good work going on behind the scenes with plenty more to do and I am excited to be part of the Scarlets as we continue to build on a strong foundation over the next few years that can ensure we get the club back to where it belongs and keep it there."
The Committee of Llanelli RFC has recently elected a new President, a role established when the regions were formed to maintain and promote the club's heritage. The new Llanelli RFC President is Marlston Morgan who takes over the role from Llanelli great and Wales rugby legend Derek Quinnell, who steps down after three years of excellent service. Marlston Morgan is a former Llanelli RFC captain, and has appeared 444 times for the club. He has been a Llanelli RFC Committee member for the past four decades. Mr Morgan also sits on the Scarlets Board as a heritage director.
Mark Davies expressed thanks on behalf of all Scarlets to former Llanelli RFC President Derek Quinnell: "We are all immensely grateful to Derek for his outstanding service and commitment to the Scarlets and for his continued support. He has done an excellent job as President of the Llanelli RFC over the past three years right across our region, and I am sure Marlston with his experience and belief in all things Scarlet, will continue the good work in the best interests of our club - promoting our great heritage to a wide range of supporters."
Phil Bennett - Biography
Phil Bennett was born and bred in Felinfoel, Llanelli and from a humble background reached the top heights of rugby achievement as captain of Llanelli RFC, Wales, The British Lions and The Barbarians.
Bennett earned 29 caps for Wales between 1969 and 1978 scoring 166 points for his country. His international debut came on the 22 March 1969 against France in Paris at the age of 20 when he became the first ever Welsh substitute in international rugby. Bennett's international form meant that he joined the British Lions on their famous tour to South Africa in 1974, scoring an impressive 103 points. His 50-yard try against South Africa at Pretoria on that tour ranks as one of the supreme examples of individual brilliance on a rugby pitch. Bennett was captain of the British Lions on the 1977 Tour. He also played 20 times for the Barbarians, including the famous game against the All Blacks in January 1973 and was the catalyst for the Gareth Edward's try early in the game that connoisseurs of the game still regard as the finest ever scored.
Another career defining moment was being part of the side that saw Llanelli to a 9-3 victory over the same touring All Blacks in October 1972.
He retired from international rugby in 1978 but still entertained the crowds at Stradey Park playing for Llanelli until 1981. "Benny" showed throughout he is Scarlet through and through, and played a total of 14 seasons for the club, including six as Captain, winning four Welsh cups along the way. A career high came in 1972 when he turned in a magical performance to inspire them to a magnificent 9-3 victory over the mighty All Blacks.
Phil was awarded the OBE in 1979 for his services to sport and is a member of the World Rugby Hall of Fame, the Welsh Rugby Hall of Fame and the Welsh Sporting Hall of Fame.