The Scarlets have succeeded in retaining one of their most prized assets with influential second-row Sam Lousi signing a new contract to remain in Llanelli.

Talented second-row Lousi has been a key player for the Scarlets since moving to the Northern Hemisphere from top New Zealand Super Rugby outfit the Hurricanes in 2019. His new contract was announced on Tuesday night during a meeting between the region's bosses and supporters. With playing budgets dropping to as low as £4.5m next season all four professional sides in Wales - Cardiff, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets - will have to cut their cloth accordingly.

At one stage it looked as if Tongan international Lousi, who had offers from elsewhere, would leave the Scarlets but he has decided to remain in west Wales. The Scarlets have suffered a torrid season, which has so far only yielded three victories, with supporters voicing their anger at the club's performance.

SIGN UP: Get the new exclusive Inside Welsh rugby newsletter for full insight into what's really going on around all the big issues. This special offer will get you full access for the entire year for just £10 instead of £40.

READ MORE: Wales rugby matches move to new subscription channel in major announcement

But despite the financial constraints the Scarlets are set to appoint a rugby performance director to work alongside head coach Dwayne Peel as they look to get back on track. Most pundits have identified the front-five as their Achilles heel but the Scarlets are working hard to strengthen this area.

The retention of Lousi will come as a boost, while the west Walians are set to sign Australian second-row Max Douglas from Japanese outfit Yokohama Canon Eagles.

They have stalled on a deal to sign Waratahs tighthead Archer Holz due to injury concerns, but it is not dead in the water yet and they have other irons in the fire.