Friday, 11 April 2014

Scarlets field experienced side to take on Zebre at the Parc

British & Irish Lion Jonathan Davies will lead an experienced Scarlets side sprinkled with international talent on Saturday evening, 12th April kick-off 6.30pm, as they take on Italian side Zebre Rugby at Parc y Scarlets.
Having won the last four games at Parc y Scarlets the West Wales region will be looking to go one further than the 16-all draw game against Zebre at the Stadio XXV Aprile back in October 2013.
Scarlets Head Coach Simon Easterby has made six changes, one positional, to his starting line-up for Saturday's clash against Italian side Zebre from the side that secured an all important victory over Connacht just under a fortnight ago.
International scrum half Rhodri Williams is the only change amongst the backline, replacing injured Gareth Davies (dead leg), with Aled Davies deputising on the replacements bench.
Rhys Priestland will take charge at outside half, former England international Olly Barkley partners Davies in the centre whilst Jordan Williams, Kristian Phillips and Liam Williams cover the back three.
It's a welcome return to action for fellow Welsh international Aaron Shingler. The Scarlets flanker makes his first regional start since the side's defeat to Harlequins at Parc y Scarlets in the Heineken Cup in January. Josh Turnbull moves to the right flank with Tongan international Sione Timani packing down at number 8.
South African lock George Earle also makes a return from injury and will partner international lock Jake Ball in the second row.
A new-look front row sees loose head prop Rob Evans and hooker Emyr Phillips pack down alongside Welsh tighthead prop Rhodri Jones.
Scarlets only defeat to an Italian opponent was at home to Treviso in round 22 last season and won two and drawn one against Zebre on three previous occasions.
Whilst Aaron Shingler makes a return to the starting line-up, younger brother Steven will be hoping to make his first regional appearance since the victory over Ulster at the Parc in November from the replacements bench as he makes a return from a long-term shoulder injury.
Scarlets Head Coach Simon Easterby: "I think we only have to look back to the end of October when we travelled away to Zebre, we were lucky to come away with a draw on that day.
"Our driver from here on in is our own performance. Results more often than not fall in after that. If we get the performance right then that's the most important thing. We missed out on a top four spot because of our early season form and losing games we should have won. The most important thing now is that we finish strongly; we have to get as many points in the bag as we can and finish as high as we can.

"I think if we play similarly to what we did with ball in hand against Connacht then we'll be difficult to beat but we're not taking Zebre's challenge lightly.”

Scarlets team v Zebre at Parc y Scarlets, Saturday 12th April kick-off 6.30pm:

15 Liam Williams, 14 Kristian Phillips, 13 Jonathan Davies ©, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Jordan Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Rhodri Williams, 1 Rob Evans, 2 Emyr Phillips, 3 Rhodri Jones, 4 Jake Ball, 5 George Earle, 6 Aaron Shingler, 7 Josh Tunrbull, 8 Sione Timani
Replacements: Ken Owens, Phil John, Samson Lee, Johan Snyman, Richard Kelly, Aled Davies, Steven Shingler, Gareth Maule


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