Preview: Dragons v Scarlets

Date published: April 24 2015

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Newport Gwent Dragons lock Rynard Landman has been named in the starting XV to take on the Scarlets at the Millennium Stadium.

The 28-year-old is one of six personnel changes and two positional changes that have been made to the team that played against Edinburgh in the Challenge Cup semi-finals.

Director of rugby Lyn Jones has made a change at full-back as Geraint Rhys Jones steps into the back three alongside unchanged wings Tom Prydie and Hallam Amos.

The front row has two changes and one positional change made to it; Brok Harris moves across to tighthead prop as Phil Price is named as loosehead alongside hooker Rhys Buckley, who joins them in the front row. The second row takes on a different shape as two changes are made to it with youngster Matthew Screech joining skipper Landman.

Flanker James Thomas moves from the second row to the back row to replace Nick Crosswell, who moves to the bench. He joins flanker James Benjamin and Welsh international number eight Taulupe Faletau in the back row.

Newport Gwent Dragons head coach Kingsley Jones commented: "We've tried not to look back at Edinburgh too much. We play them again in a fortnight's time and the big plus for us is that we play at the Millennium Stadium this week and we play Edinburgh again the week after.

"After the poor performance we had last week you can't ask for two better fixtures for the players and for all of us.”

Meanwhile,  Scarlets and Wales hooker Ken Owens returns to lead a strong Scarlets side.

No less than eight internationals have been named in Scarlets' starting XV with Rhys Priestland named at the pivotal outside half berth whilst Aled Davies keeps his place at scrum-half.
 
Kiwi back Hadleigh Parkes partners Scott Williams in the centre with Regan King providing cover on the replacements bench. International star Liam Williams is joined in the back-three by Harry Robinson and 20-year-old Steff Evans who returns to action after a long-standing hamstring injury.
 
In the pack Phil John and Peter Edwards pack down either side of captain Owens with Jake Ball and Lewis Rawlins making up the tight five. Aaron Shingler returns from injury to join James Davies and John Barclay in the back-row.
  
Looking ahead to the derby clash Pivac said: "I think four teams on the one pitch, the national coach sitting there, a World Cup squad to be named in a few weeks time, bragging rights and everything around that; I think there's all the motivation in the world. Dragons will certainly bring some momentum into it.”

Form: The Dragons have appeared just twice at Millennium Stadium, losing both "Judgement Day" encounters, to Scarlets in 2013 and to Ospreys last season. Scarlets' two defeats in the last six rounds of Pro12 matches came against Ulster in Belfast in round 16 and at home to Edinburgh in round 18. Scarlets have made three previous trips to Millennium Stadium, beating Bath 27-26 in the semi-final of the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2006, and then the last two "Judgement Days" – beating Dragons in 2013 and tripping up to The Blues twelve months ago. Dragons only victory in their last 13 Pro12 encounters with Scarlets was 23-16 at Rodney Parade in September 2013.

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Geraint Rhys Jones, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Dorian Jones, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 James Benjamin, 6 James Thomas, 5 Rynard Landman (c), 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Rhys Buckley, 1 Phil Price
Replacements: 16 T. Rhys Thomas, 17 Luke Garrett, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Nick Crosswell, 20 Ollie Griffiths, 21 Luc Jones, 22 Carl Meyer, 23 Ashton Hewitt

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Hadleigh Parkes, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Aled Davies, 8 John Barclay, 7 James Davies, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Lewis Rawlins, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Peter Edwards, 2 Ken Owens (c), 1 Phil John
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Rob McCusker, 20 Rory Pitman, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Steven Shingler, 23 Regan King

Date: Saturday, April 25 
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 16:45 local (15:45 GMT)
Referee: George Clancy (IRFU)
Assistant Referees: Neil Hennessy, Sean Brickell (both WRU)
TMO: Tim Hayes (WRU)

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