WALES back row forward Aaron Shingler has signed a new contract with reigning Guinness PRO14 champions Scarlets.

The 30-year-old has been a Llanelli stalwart for nearly a decade and has amassed 170 appearances for the region, scoring 19 tries.

Shingler was recalled to the Wales squad for the summer tour clashes with Tonga and Samoa earlier this year and featured in the autumn series clashes with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

The athletic blindside has followed openside James Davies, loosehead Wyn Jones and fly-half Rhys Patchell in agreeing fresh terms.

"I'm very happy to have signed a long-term deal with the Scarlets. I'm in my 10th season at the region and really enjoy playing my rugby here," Shingler said.

"Winning the league with this group of people was a special moment last season, but we want to continue to build and develop which will lead to us hopefully winning more silverware."

Shingler impressed for Wales in the autumn, stepping up in the absence of the likes of Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty.

He earned his recall to the Test scene thanks to his exploits in the Scarlets' dynamic style that earned the PRO14 title.

"Aaron is an all-rounder; not only his work ethic at training and the values that he brings but he's also a great player and a pleasure to coach," said Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac.

"He's worked very hard at his game and has become a real leader in the group over the last 12 to 18 months, particularly when the internationals have been away.

"He was a big part of the championship win last season and his hard work and diligence has paid dividends winning re-selection to the Wales squad. He is going to play a big part in this club's future.

"The big area he was told he needed to work on was his physicality, the collision area, a massive part of a loose forward's game and that is ball-carrying as well as his defensive work.

"He has worked really hard on it and statistically over the last three years he has gone through the roof in all those areas and that has been seen by the national selectors.

"I think he showed in that autumn series he deserved his selection."

Shingler will sit out the Scarlets' European Champions Cup clash at Treviso this weekend with a foot injury.

Meanwhile, Jim Mallinder has been sacked as Northampton director of rugby.

Former England full-back Mallinder was the Premiership's longest-serving rugby director, having taken over at Franklin's Gardens in 2007.

Northampton currently lie 10th in the Premiership, having won just four league games all season, while they prop up their European Champions Cup pool following three successive losses.

The final straw appears to have been last Saturday's 43-32 European home defeat against the Ospreys, while Saints have also twice shipped more than 50 points to Saracens this term.

Attack coach Alan Dickens will take over in a short-term position of interim head coach until a replacement is found for Mallinder.