Bitter West Wales rivals Scarlets and Ospreys will trade centres next summer as Scott Williams heads to the Liberty Stadium, with Kieron Fonotia going the other way.
Welsh international Williams will leave the region who’s pathway he came through and has made 123 appearances for after 11 years to sign a three-year deal with the Ospreys, after finding his opportunities limited at Parc y Scarlets due to Hadleigh Parkes’ presence.
The 50-cap centre told BBC Wales Sport, “This has not been an easy decision for me, but ultimately, I feel it is a move that is the right option for me at this time in my career. I’ve loved every minute of my 11 years at the Scarlets.”
Meanwhile Fonotia will make the move to Llanelli after just the one full season with the Ospreys due to arriving after a New Zealand Provincial campaign.
With 29 appearances and six tries from his time at the Liberty he now switches to Scarlets to challenge Parkes and Jon Davies for a starting spot, and crucially will be available throughout February and March.
The 7-cap Samoan international told the Scarlets official website, “I’m very excited to be joining the Scarlets next season and playing again with a few familiar faces. They’ve had a very successful couple of years playing some good rugby and hopefully I can help develop that further.
“However, my priority now and for the remainder of the season, is to help improve the league position at the Ospreys and make sure the Ospreys climb up the conference and finish the season successfully.”
The Guinness Pro14 reigning champions have also announced that flanker James Davies has committed his future to the region by signing a new contract.
Last season’s league leader in turnovers, who remarkably remains uncapped by Wales, has 68 Scarlets appearances to his name and will lead a back row that is losing Scotland captain John Barclay next season.
Speaking to the official website he said, “”It has been a frustrating start to the season for me on a personal note having to watch from the sidelines but I am pleased to have signed a contract extension with the Scarlets.”