Hot on the heels of revealing the new-look coaching team for 2009/10, Neath have released the first batch of new signings for the forthcoming season - with the promise from chairman Geraint Hawkes that more will follow.
One new face already in the public realm is that of former Wales full-back Kevin Morgan who was introduced last week as the club's fitness and conditioning coach.
He is joined by another former Wales man in centre Nathan Brew whose younger brother Aled played for Neath during their first title-winning season of 2004/5. Nathan, a graduate of Neath College, won his only Welsh cap against Romania in 2003 when with the Dragons. He then switched to the Scarlets and Bristol, and, despite being offered a contract in France, he chose Neath and will add pace to the Neath back division.
In the back-row, Adam Whitney has been brought in at open-side flanker. Whitney won age-group honours, was briefly an Osprey and played for Bridgend and Cardiff before heading to Moseley.
Joining him in the back row will be Cup final replacement Craig Price (Abercrave) who figured in the Neath back row towards the end of last season, and was recommended to the club by former Neath and Wales No 8 Mark Jones.
Neath have beefed up the front row by signing two props in Anthony Lott from Ebbw Vale who has appeared at regional level for the Dragons and Emyr Lewis, who hails from the Amman Valley, and who has arrived via Spanish club El Salvador.
Aberystwyth-product, Wales Under-18's scrum-half Tom James who has played for Llandovery, will contest scrum-half duties with New Zealander Kevin Farrell while goal-kicking outside-half Gareth McCarthy is on board from Pontypridd as is Lloyd Phillips, son of ex-Neath coach Rowland.
Neath are also planning for the future in offering development players the chance to train with the squad with a view to making the step up over an 18-month period.
Six players are currently training with the Neath squad on these terms - wing Richard Smith (Bryncoch), props James Reeves (Skewen) and Matthew Jeffreys (Abercrave), flanker George Barden (Gwernyfed) along with the Ystradgynlais pairing of scrum-half Ryan Jones and centre Dean Howells.
Richard Smith and George Barden figured last season for Neath while scrum-half Jones is the son of ex-Neath scrum-half Gareth (Sparky), who was man-of-the-match when Neath lost the 1984 cup final 19-24 to Cardiff.
Chairman Hawkes commented, "We are delighted to have sealed these new signings for what will be an exciting season and I am confident that we will have a quality squad that is hungry for success. Further moves are in the pipeline as we seek to build on the success we have achieved in past years."
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