Rugby progression is clear to see as the Scarlets and Wales U20 players get set to join the senior Scarlets squad for pre-season training next week with four of the region's most promising new players handed development contracts for 2012/13 and beyond.
The all Scarlets U20 World Cup front row of Samson Lee (Llanelli), Kirby Myhill (Llanelli) and Rob Evans (Pembrokeshire) together with Carmarthenshire's Daniel Thomas (flanker) will join senior training next week after a break from the rigors of their successful World Cup campaign in South Africa.
Kirby Myhill who captained the Wales U20 side goes into his second year of development with the senior squad and says he's looking forward to making as much of an impression as possible, despite the obvious competition for starting places at hooker.
He said: "Having that competition is what it's all about if you want to improve and push yourself further. To have Matthew, Ken and Emyr in the squad means I have to focus and work hard can that will only be good for me in the future.
"We're just looking forward to getting into our pre-season now with the squad; it's been good to have a few weeks off after the World Cup because that was intense and a fairly tough four weeks physically but it's time to get back into it now and I'm looking to improve where I left off.
"It was a big honour to play for Wales in that level of competition and the experience we got as players coming up against a pack like the All Blacks is something that's a highlight in your career and we won't forget beating them in a hurry.
"The World Cup performances and success for Wales have given us all a boost and some added confidence; but we also know we have to work hard with the senior squad, learn from the experienced players that we have around us and then take our opportunities when they come. The great thing is that you know that this region hands opportunities to young players you just have to prove you're good enough and work hard."
The Scarlets have secured future talent with tighthead Prop Samson Lee - much-talked about player in the Junior World Cup, signing a five-year development contract with the region, along with Prop Rob Evans who has signed a three-year deal and Dan Thomas a five-year contract with his region.
The Wales U20 players are looking forward to linking up with their Wales U20 national coach Danny Wilson, now the Scarlets Forwards Coach who they said was excellent in helping them push their game on technically.
And coming up through the ranks, are a number of Scarlets Academy players from across the Scarlets region, that are well into their pre-season training.
A new crop of talented young rugby players looking to make an impression and enjoying the Parc y Scarlets environment under WRU and Scarlets Academy manager Kevin George and Skills Performance Coach Ioan Cunningham.
The Scarlets welcome Tom Phillips (back row) and Daniel Jones (outside half) into their first year of Scarlets Academy development with Daniel Jones known in Welsh cricket circles and highlighted as a big talent with Glamorgan cricket.
Into their third year of Academy training and development go Thomas Ball, Connor Lloyd, Dion Jones, Dylan Morgans, Steffan Hughes (pictured) as well as 2nd rowers and twins Carwyn and Llewellyn Jones, Lewis Rawlings (from Cross Keys) and Rheon James with Sion Bennett who has been with the WRU 7s and captains the Scarlets Academy in 2012/13.
"The key focus of our role as coaches is to run and deliver principal skills and support these young players through the range of development phases we are responsible for at the Academy stage," said former Llanelli captain Ioan Cunningham, who is coaching up and coming players.
"The Academy players are between the ages of 16 and 20 and are on the first step of their career in professional rugby and it's a crucial time to instill the right ethos and approach to top level sport and competition in these young athletes.
"It's vitally important that we deliver the Scarlets way and develop key skills into their game which work when they move up into the senior squad - making way for a more joined up transition to senior rugby.
"To have that seamless approach to developing and mentoring young players at this age and up is key to our success in Welsh rugby and at the Scarlets. It's good to see the enthusiasm and ambition these young players have coming into the Academy and all are working hard to progress their game, compete and develop as strong athletes.
"It's great to be working with these boys because there is so much energy and appetite to learn and progress. They have the added impetus of watching former Academy players moving up the ranks now with players that have come through our system and age-grade teams like Kirby Myhill, Aled Davies and Rhodri Jones all experiencing appearances in the Scarlets shirt and some getting Heineken Cup time with the first team.
"To have close peers that you can aspire to and compete with and then witness them get their opportunities early on with the Scarlets will only focus our young players more and spur them on."