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Wales Cap Ioan Lloyd Believes Scarlets Move Will See Him Sparkle

By David Williams

Ioan Lloyd believes his move to the Scarlets from Bristol can take him to the next level as an attacking talent.

The 22-year-old, who has played across the back division during his four-year stint at Ashton Gate, will move to west Wales ahead of next season.

Lloyd won two caps as a replacement during the Autumn Nations Series in 2020 but believes a switch to Parc y Scarlets can help him maximise his potential thanks to their attack-minded philosophy under head coach Dwayne Peel.

Lloyd said: “It has been a very hard decision to leave Bristol.

“I’ve had a fantastic four years at the club and I leave having made many good friends. However, having sat down a few times with Dwayne, I feel a move to the Scarlets is a good rugby one for me and will help me further develop as a player.

“I feel the Scarlets’ game-plan will suit my style of play and I’m excited to get stuck in next season.

“But for now, my focus is on working hard to help Bristol finish the season strongly.”

Had Lloyd not moved to a Welsh team, he would have been ineligible for his country as players plying their trade outside the country require a minimum of 25 caps under current selection policy.

Peel said: “Ioan is a high-quality player with a huge amount of talent, a ball player with the ability to break the line and take on defences.

“He is a player who we feel will fit well with the way we look to play here, and we are looking forward to welcoming him in the summer.”

Bristol rugby director Pat Lam added: “With Ioan’s contract expiring in the summer and the 25-cap rule in place in Wales, he had to make a tough decision about his future.

“While we were keen for Ioan to stay, the move back to Wales to play club rugby protects his international ambitions and we as a club support him and want him to be successful.”

A former pupil of Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf in Cardiff, Lloyd was part of the Cardiff Blues pathway before moving to Clifton College where he linked up with the Bears.

He became Bristol’s youngest-ever player in the English Premiership when, at the age of 18, he made a try-scoring appearance as a replacement in the West Country derby against Bath.

Lloyd was capped at U18s and U20s level and graduated to Wales senior honours in 2020, making two appearances off the bench during the Autumn Nations campaign that was played at Parc y Scarlets. He has made 78 competitive appearances for Bristol.

Lloyd’s signing comes on the back of Wales international hooker Ryan Elias committing himself to the Scarlets with a new deal.

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