Preview: Scarlets v Dragons

Date published: October 29 2015

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Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac has made six changes, including two positional switches, to his starting line-up for Friday's PRO12 clash with the Dragons at Parc y Scarlets.

Hadleigh Parkes and Lewis Rawlins are the two positional tweaks to the side, moving to the centre and second-row respectively.

Tom Williams comes into the starting line-up as Parkes joins Regan King in the centre in place of Gareth Owen, who is out with a hamstring strain. Harry Robinson makes a return to regional action for the first time since undergoing neck surgery.

Speaking ahead of the derby clash, Pivac said: "Despite the win we know we still have some work to do. As I've mentioned previously we haven't put a complete performance together but it is very pleasing to be five from five and at the top of the table.

"Much has been said about us heading in to the game as favourites. I'd imagine because of our record at home and where we are in the table that we may well be.

"What this game is however is a derby. When you bring a derby in to the equation anything can happen!

"Dragons like to try a few things, have some things up their sleeves and have already scored some good tries this season. We will need to be on our game to ensure we get that all-important victory.

"We're looking at this as a week-by-week process and not getting ahead of ourselves. We have to keep chipping away at these opponents and our biggest game of the season now is Dragons and that's the way we're approaching it.

"We're all rolling our sleeves up and I think that you're seeing that the team is slowly evolving and long may it continue." 

Meanwhile, Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau returns to the Dragons starting XV in this first Welsh derby of the season.

The 24-year-old is set to make his first start since returning to the region after Wales were knocked out of the World Cup just a fortnight ago.

Faletau is one of four personnel changes and two positional switches to the team that took the win away from Treviso last weekend at Rodney Parade.

The back-three sees the inclusion of Jason Tovey who moves from fly-half to full-back, he joins wingers Ashton Hewitt and Nick Scott.

The centre partnership that was named last weekend remains unchanged, with Adam Hughes and Adam Warren retaining their places. Dorian Jones steps into the fly-half position whilst Charlie Davies is given the nod as scrum-half.

The front-row has no changes made to it as props Boris Stankovich and Brok Harris retain their places alongside hooker Elliot Dee.

Rynard Landman is named as skipper for this match and is joined in the second-row by Matthew Screech.

The back-row sees Ed Jackson move to flanker alongside Nic Cudd, and Faletau.

The replacements bench see Cory Hill, Geriant Rhys Jones and Carl Meyer join Rhys Buckley, Phil Price, Shaun Knight, Ollie Griffiths and Sarel Pretorius.

Form: Scarlets now remain as the only unbeaten side in the PRO12 this season and have in fact won their last nine fixtures in the competition since their home defeat to Edinburgh in March. That 15-26 reversal is their only defeat at Parc y Scarlets in the PRO12 in their last twenty matches since December 2013. Dragons last seven matches in the PRO12 have all been won by the home side on the day whilst Dragons most recent away victory in the competition came when they visited Treviso in March. The Dragons have beaten Scarlets just once in their past 14 encounters in the PRO12 – 23-16 at Rodney Parade in September 2013, whilst they have been defeated on all nine trips they have made to Parc y Scarlets in all competitions.

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Aled Thomas, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Regan King, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Steven Shingler, 9 Rhodri Williams, 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 Emyr Phillips, 17 Dylan Evans, 18 Will Taylor, 19 George Earle, 20 Jack Condy, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Dan Jones, 23 Jacob Cowley.

Dragons: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Ashton Hewitt, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Nick Scott, 10 Dorian Jones, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Ed Jackson, 5 Rynard Landman (c), 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Boris Stankovich.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Phil Price, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Ollie Griffiths, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Geraint Rhys Jones, 23 Carl Meyer.

Date: Friday, October 30
Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Kick-off: 18:00 GMT
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Neil Hennessy (Wales), Dan Jones (Wales)
TMO: Tim Hayes (Wales)

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