TEIFI rugby star Steffan Thomas has signed committed his future to the Scarlets with a new contract.

The loose-head, who recently celebrated his 25th birthday, has enjoyed a breakthrough season with the senior squad, making nine URC appearances.

From a farming family, Thomas played his club rugby for Newcastle Emlyn RFC, and his cousin Gareth Thomas plays for rivals Ospreys.

He was educated at Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi and went on to study at Coleg Sir Gar while at the Scarlets Academy.

A Wales U18s and U20s cap, he has played in the Welsh Premiership for Carmarthen Quins.

He has battled back from a couple of serious knee injuries early in his professional career to establish himself in the Scarlets squad.

“I am enjoying having a regular run of matches and feel my all-round game has really come on this season,” said Thomas.

“It is fantastic to have a coach of the calibre of Ben Franks, someone who has won World Cups with the All Blacks, to learn off as well as the all the international boys who are helping mentor the younger front-rowers who are coming through at the club.

“We have come up against some big scrums this season, particularly when we went to South Africa – they had virtually a Springbok front-row against us when we played the Sharks – but I feel we have been more than holding our own and there is a lot more to come from us."

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel said: “Steff is one of a number of promising young front-rowers we have at the club who have taken their chances this season.

“They have all put their hands up and the great thing is there is a huge amount of growth to come from them.

“Players like Steff are pushing senior internationals for the starting spot and that can only be a good thing for the squad.

"I am looking forward to seeing how Steff continues to develop over the next few years.”

Other players to have already signed new contracts with the Scarlets are Sam Lousi, Scott Williams, Rhys Patchell, Johnny McNicholl, Sam Costelow, Ryan Conbeer, Gareth Davies and Jonathan Daves.

Tivyside Advertiser: Steffan Thomas has signed a new Scarlets contractSteffan Thomas has signed a new Scarlets contract