Preview: Dragons v Scarlets

Date published: April 29 2016

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Dragons head coach Kingsley Jones has made three changes to his starting line-up for Saturday's derby with the Scarlets in Cardiff.

Full-back Carl Meyer retains his position in the back three alongside wings Adam Hughes and Hallam Amos. The centre partnership sees the inclusion of Adam Warren and Jack Dixon comes in off the bench, with Tyler Morgan missing out due to him sustaining an ankle injury during training this week. 

The half-backs are all change as Angus O'Brien and Charlie Davies get the nod with Dorian Jones and Sarel Pretorius moving to the replacements bench.

The pack remains unchanged as props Phil Price and Brok Harris start alongside hooker Elliot Dee. The second row includes Rynard Landman, who makes his 50th start for the Welsh region, and Nick Crosswell. 

The back row consists of skipper Lewis Evans, Nic Cudd and number eight Taulupe Faletau.

The replacements bench has four changes to it as Luke Garrett, Sarel Pretorius, Dorian Jones and Geraint Rhys Jones join Rhys Buckley, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech and Ed Jackson.

Meanwhile, the Scarlets have been boosted by the return of vice-captain Scott Williams, who has been named in the starting line-up at inside centre.

Williams, 25, last featured for the Scarlets in 2014-15 season's dramatic finale away to Treviso and is set to make his first appearance of the current campaign in Saturday's must-win clash, making a return to action for the first time since suffering a knee injury in September.

In addition to the return of Williams head coach Wayne Pivac has made another five changes to the back-line that took on defending champions Glasgow Warriors at Parc y Scarlets a fortnight ago.

Liam Williams, Steff Evans and Hadleigh Parkes make up positional changes moving to right wing, left wing and outside centre respectively whilst Aled Davies replaces Gareth Davies at scrum half and Michael Collins comes in at fullback.

Lewis Rawlins is the only change to the pack making his first appearance since Scarlets' defeat to Connacht in late January.

Former Wales U20 hooker Ryan Elias joins props Dylan Evans and Peter Edwards on the replacements bench whilst Jack Condy has named hoping to make an appearance for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury at the start of the year.

Speaking earlier this week Wayne Pivac said: "Europe is at stake for us. We'd like to get a result and hopefully put that to bed. We know it's going to be a massive occasion, we're looking forward to it like all the other guys are.

"Their (Dragons) defence has been very, very good in the last three of four games. You can see that there's a real desire and passion in the group and I think they've come very far in a short space of time.

"We've been in the top four up until last week. To be in that top four throughout has been very pleasing. We've eked out the wins when we've needed to. We want to finish the season strongly.

"The way we played in the first half (against Glasgow) and mistakes we made, we've addressed that. We have had a really had a good look at it, put it to bed and moved forward and we're now really looking forward to this game."

Form: Dragons have slipped to eight successive Guinness PRO12 defeats since beating Leinster in Newport in round 13 – their worst run ever. Dragons have visited Principality Stadium on three previous occasions and have yet to record a win. A Scarlets victory would guarantee their seeding as the top Welsh region, may be less if the earlier 'Judgement Day' result goes their way. Scarlets have lost their last two Guinness PRO12 fixtures, at home to Cardiff Blues and Glasgow Warriors but their only defeat in four precious visits to Principality Stadium in all tournaments was 13-17 to Blues in "Judgment Day II". Scarlets only defeat in their last 15 encounters with Dragons in the PRO12 was 16-23 at Rodney Parade in September 2013

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Carl Meyer, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Adam Warren, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Angus O'Brien, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 Taulupe Faletau 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans (c), 5 Nick Crosswell, 4 Rynard Landman, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Phil Price 
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Luke Garrett, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Ed Jackson, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Dorian Jones, 23 Geraint Rhys Jones

Scarlets: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Hadleigh Parkes, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Steven Shingler, 9 Aled Davies, 8 John Barclay 7 James Davies, 6 Lewis Rawlins, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens (c), 1 Rob Evans
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Dylan Evans, 18 Peter Edwards, 19 Jack Condy,20  Morgan Allen, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Gareth Owen

Date: Saturday, April 30
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 17:00 BST (16:00 GMT)
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Gwyn Morris (Wales), Wayne Davies (Wales)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)

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