Scorpions swoop for Wales international

South Wales Scorpions have signed Welsh international forward Gareth Dean until the end of the 2010 season.

The Ynysybwl-born 29-year old started his rugby league with Cardiff Demons in 1998 playing alongside future Lions rugby union star Gethin Jenkins.

From there he was snapped by Wigan Warriors after being spotted by scout Jackie Edwards, Shaun’s father, before playing for London Broncos, Workington Town and Celtic Crusaders. He will return to Carcassonne for the 2010-11 French Elite League season.

Dean, who made his debut at Rochdale Hornets yesterday, has won 11 caps for Wales so far. He was unavailable to play in last year’s European Cup winning side but hopes to make a return for his country in 2010 as Wales strive to qualify for the 2011 Four Nations.

“It’s good to be back in Wales,” he said. “It’s been a while since I last played here – back in 2008 – so it’s good to come back and see some familiar faces here at the Scorpions, people like Geraint Davies and Hywel “Tractor” Davies.

“We’ve a young team here, some new faces, some I’ve not met before, but I’m sure that I’ll get to know them pretty quickly.”

Dean has been supportive of the Scorpions since the start, sending them a good luck message in February when he heard of their existence.

“It’s a good thing that there’s a second professional team in Wales now,” he said. “It gives the younger Welsh players to have a go and play for a professional team.

“Pre-season’s already started in France so I’ll be here until the end of August at least and if Scorpions qualify for the play-offs, we’ll go from there.”

His next aim is to get back into the Wales side for arguably the most important Welsh international rugby league campaign in ten years. The Wales international fixtures for 2010 will be announced in full tomorrow (Monday) and Dean is looking forward to the campaign.

“I’m putting myself up for selection for the Wales team in October,” he adds. “I’ve spoken to Iestyn Harris and I hope to be involved. It’s an important year for us as we want to qualify to play against Australia, New Zealand and England in 2011.”

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