DWAYNE Peel – one of the finest players to have pulled on the Scarlets jersey – says he is thrilled to have rejoined his home club as head coach ahead of the 2021-22 season.

Hailing from Tumble, Peel was capped 76 times at scrum-half for Wales and was a Test starter with the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand in 2005.

The former international scrum-half, a former pupil at Ysgol Gyfun Maes-yr-Yrfa in Cefneithin, played 151 matches during nine seasons at Stradey Park.

After spells with Sale Sharks and Bristol, Peel hung up his playing boots to become part of Bristol’s coaching team, before taking up a role as assistant coach with Ulster in 2017.

“The Scarlets has always meant a massive amount to me and my family, and I’m thrilled to be returning to my home club as head coach," said the 39 year-old.

“I have been part of some incredible occasions with the Scarlets during my time at Stradey, and I have some great memories of my time with the Club.

"I know everyone involved with the club has ambitions to be challenging regularly for silverware and competing with the top sides in Europe.

“As a player, I have experienced first hand the passion of the Scarlets fans, there is a special bond between the supporters and the club.

"I’m looking forward to seeing everyone back at Parc y Scarlets next season.”

Peel’s appointment will see current head coach Glenn Delaney take up the position of director of rugby.

“It is fantastic news for Scarlets fans that a legend of the club like Dwayne is coming home," said Scarlets executive chairman Simon Muderack.

"His outstanding playing career speaks for itself, but he has also become a widely-respected coach during spells with Bristol, and more recently Ulster.

“Dwayne understands what the Scarlets is all about, he knows the ‘Scarlets Way’ and he is hugely excited about coming back to West Wales to take up this role in the coaching team.

“His appointment is part of our long-term planning to further strengthen our team off the field and I am sure everyone associated with the Scarlets will be excited by what he will bring.

"We wish Dwayne well for his final couple of months with Ulster and look forward to welcoming him back to the Scarlets in the summer.”

Peel was originally set to come back to Wales from Ulster on a three-year deal as senior assistant coach at Cardiff.

But with his move to Scarlets now confirmed, Cardiff Blues have recruited Worcester Warriors backs coach Matt Sherratt as assistant coach.

Sherratt worked for Cardiff Blues as backs and attack coach between 2016 and 2017, before joining Ospreys and then moving on to Worcester in 2020.

The Cardiff hierarchy has changed since Peel's appointment, with Dai Young handed the director of rugby role after the departure of previous head coach John Mulvihill.

Cardiff were reluctant to let Peel go, but said that they feel Sherratt is an ideal alternative attack coach to work with Young.