South Wales Scorpions have brought four former players back to the club for the 2014 season.
The Scorpions, who kick off at their new home of Maesteg RFC when they take on Oldham Roughyeds on Sunday 2nd March, say that all four players approached the club for a possible return after time away.
Barrie Phillips from Cardiff played 19 games in Scorpions first season in 2010 before playing just one Challenge Cup game the year after. Since then he has been played for the Scorpions’ feeder sides Valley Cougars and South Wales Hornets before making appearances for Cardiff Demons last year.
Shaun Owens from Bridgend played for the Scorpions in 2010 and 2012 when he made 23 appearances. He spent much of the 2013 out of the game with an injury and played some local rugby union before returning to the club for the 2014 season.
Alan Pope made just two appearances for the Scorpions in 2010 and starred for feeder side Valley Cougars in 2011 which earned him a recall to the Scorpions in 2012 when he played 13 times. He has since been turning out for his local rugby union side Waunarlwydd RUFC.
Finally, former Celtic Crusaders first team player Chris Vitalini played 23 times for the Scorpions throughout 2012 and in the first half of the 2013 season. The Italian international left the club last May to join local rivals Gloucestershire All Golds and after failing to reach a deal with them in 2013, has come back to South Wales.
Scorpions coach Mike Grady has spoken highly of all four players.
He said: “I'm pleased Barrie has agreed to return to the club. As soon I got the job he was one of the first names on my list. His experience and style of play will be much needed for the 2014 season, while his attitude and application towards training so far has been faultless. I'm looking forward to working with him this season.
“Shaun is again another who was on top of the list when I came in. Had a number of glowing reports about him which he has back up in training so far. He has a big future in the game, will be an exciting player for us this season and he will form a lethal half-back partnership with Paul Emanuelli.
“I’m delighted Alan has rejoined the club as I worked really closely with him with Wales Dragonhearts during the Four Nations. He showed his quality then and he was immense for Wales Select against the full Wales World Cup Squad.
“Chris is a player whose experience is going to be vital for myself and the club this season. He has proven already in training that he is a leader and I'm looking to him to have a big year for the club.”
South Wales Scorpions season tickets start at just £5 for juniors and go up to £70 for adults, and can be bought by going to www.scorpionsrl.com. Match tickets for their first game of the season when they entertain Oldham Roughyeds on Sunday 2nd March, can also be bought.