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Captain Owens Makes 200th Appearance

Ken Owens will make his 200th appearance as Scarlets take on Benetton Rugby in the PRO12.

Owens, 30, will add his name to the region's history books on Saturday 8th April by becoming only the second player in the region's history (since rugby went regional in 2003) to reach the 200 game milestone joining an elite club with loosehead prop Phil John.

Looking back at his regional debut Owens said, "It was a pre-season friendly against Northampton back in 2006, things got a little bit heated!

"It was a good experience, especially playing against a good side like Northampton.

"They still had the likes of Steve Thompson playing and Ben Cohen, Carlos Spencer; it was a star-studded team really.

"It was a bit of a shock playing the U19s World Cup in Dubai then coming straight into my first pre-season and a game against Northampton!

"That feels like a long time ago now!"

Owens has come a long way since his regional debut, in August 2006, and has in recent months signed another contract with the Scarlets keeping him in West Wales for another few years.

He went on to say; "Scarlets is my home region. Since the game in Wales went regional Scarlets has been my team. I came through the Academy, started my career here and looks like I'll finish my career here too.

"Not a lot of people manage to do that these days. People move away for different reasons and different opportunities but to be fair the Scarlets have given me all of the opportunities and support that I needed to do what I wanted to do in my career.

"With a young family now I want to give my son the same opportunity to grow up in a Welsh and local community like I did."

With eleven years under his belt at the region Owens has come across a plethora of players but says that a special few left an impression on him.

"One of the people who I got on with well from the beginning and is still a good friend today is Daf Jones.

"I remember how good a player he was, he gave the players around him a lot of confidence.

"The first front row I played with was Phil John and John Davies.

"For a season I was the youngest in the squad and John was the oldest.

"I learnt a lot from those boys and played a lot of games over the years with Phil. We all as players owe a lot to the likes of Wayne James (kit man) too for all of the hard work he puts in behind the scenes and for looking after us when we've left a vital piece of kit at home!"

Now in a similar position to the likes of John Davies over a decade ago, and holding the reins as captain, Owens says that the responsibility of helping the next generation is an honour.

'I was very lucky'

"I had a lot of support and advice, not just about rugby but away from the field too. Hopefully I learnt from those boys and can now pass on some of my experience to the younger players around me at the club.

"I don't see it as pressure, that's what happens and that's what should happen.

"I'm in a similar position now with players like Rob Evans and Samson Lee as John Davies was when I started playing.

"I remember Steff Evs coming up to me in my first season asking me for an autograph at Stradey! I'm starting to feel old now that those guys are now playing in the same team as me but it's great!"

Scarlets take on Benetton Rugby at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday night as the race continues to the top four and coveted play-off spot.

"Owens' first season is still one of his favourites but believes the current squad can kick-on to something special too.

"My most memorable period is probably still my first season. We got to the semi finals of Europe that year.

"I was a part of every squad apart from one I think.

"It was great to be a part of that. We were all disappointed with how that ended in what was a very hard-fought game against Leicester at Walkers.

"I'm very proud of how we performed that season as a squad.

"I'm also enjoying this time as captain.

"The region has developed a lot over the last three years. We're close to a play-off spot and hopefully we can keep building and kick on to win some silverware."

Scarlets v Benetton Rugby, Saturday 8th April kick-off 7.35pm at Parc y Scarlets.

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