Rugby

Sam Wainwright: Wales mainstay joins Scarlets de Saracens

Sam Wainwright has earned three international caps for Wales

Wales mainstay Sam Wainwright will join Scarlets from Saracens until the end of the 2022-23 season.

The 24-year-old hardhead is currently part of the Wales Autumn Test squad.

As he will be joining a Welsh club, Wainwright will now be available for the final match against Australia on November 26, which falls outside of Word Rugby’s official window for international play.

“I’m excited to get back to playing my rugby in Wales,” Wainwright said.

Wainwright’s deal, who replaced Wales against Georgia and Argentina, was initially announced until the end of the season, although a longer-term deal could be on the horizon.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity that Dwayne (head coach Peel) and everyone at Scarlets has given me to do this,” he added.

“This is a great club with a proud history.

“I’m really looking forward to joining and meeting all my new teammates after finishing the autumn campaign with Wales. I can’t wait to get stuck in and meet everyone.”

“My whole family and I are extremely excited and proud to be part of a great club.”

Wainwright will arrive at Parc and Scarlets at the end of the series, ahead of Scarlets’ European Challenge Cup matches against Bayonne and the Toyota Cheetahs.

Hailing from Prestatyn in North Wales, Wainwright rose through the ranks at Rhyl RFC before playing for RGC 1404 in the Welsh Premiership where he earned a Wales Under-20 call-up.

He was picked up by Saracens, making his Gallagher Premier League debut in 2019, and this summer received a call-up to the touring Wales squad in South Africa, where he made his Test debut in the historic win over the Springboks in Bloemfontein.

Wainwright has seen his playing time this season limited to just two Premiership Cup appearances as a substitute.

He came off the bench in the win over Argentina last weekend and is set to earn his fourth cap when Wales take on Georgia at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

The Scarlets are without the injured Welsh prop Samson Lee and have fellow internationals Javan Sebastian, WillGriff John and Harri O’Connor.

“We are delighted to bring Sam on as part of a group of talented young forwards at the club,” Scarlets head coach Peel said.

“With Samson (Lee) still recovering from a prolonged Achilles tendon injury, Sam will provide an additional option on the tight-fisted side, as well as bring his recent international experience with Wales to bear.”

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