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Preview: Scarlets v Edinburgh

21st February 2014 11:19

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Alan Solomons Edinburgh DOR 2013

Unchanged side: Alan Solomons

Edinburgh boss Alan Solomons has named an unchanged side for Saturday's PRO12 clash with the Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets.

After a month out of action, the capital men were left frustrated by last weekend's 11-7 loss to Connacht in Galway and take to the road once more, this time to face the Welshmen.

"We made a rod for our own back against Connacht", said Solomons.

"A consequence of not playing for a month and fielding new combinations is that we made too many unforced errors and consequently were unable to attain field position in the second-half.

"Overall I'm happy with how we've reacted and trained this week.

"I'm happy with the direction in which these guys are going but we always have to be introspective, and cut our error rate."

The only changes to the 23-man squad see elite development front-row forwards George Turner (hooker) and Ewan McQuillin (prop) come on to the bench for Ross Ford and Geoff Cross, who have been selected for Scotland to face Italy in the Six Nations.

Replacement appearances would realise long-awaited debuts for the young pair who were given the same opportunity a fortnight ago against Dragons, only for the match to be postponed because of an unplayable pitch.

"Tomorrow's match is a tough assignment", added Solomons.

"They [Scarlets] are well-balanced, well-organised side that's been together for some time, and that makes a big difference.

"It will be a very tough game for us going there but we're looking forward to it and are looking for an improved performance from the match against Connacht.

"The more this team practice and play together the more cohesive we will become. If we can keep our momentum of improving I think this team will continue to come together well."

Meanwhile, Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby has made three changes, one positional, to the side that was named to take on Ulster last weekend with Welsh internationals Emyr Phillips and Samson Lee returning to bolster the side.

Former England international Olly Barkley will make his Scarlets debut at Parc y Scarlets this weekend having joined the region earlier this month. Lining up at inside centre alongside Adam Warren Barkley, who won 23 caps for England, will bring experience to the backline.

"Olly brings a lot of experience to our squad both from his distinguished test and club career in England; he adds much needed cover for us as we have so many players unavailable during the international call ups as well as some long term injuries we have in midfield," said Easterby.

Form: Scarlets Round 14 game in Ulster fell foul of the weather, the Welshmen's' 41-33 victory in Treviso in round 13 ended a four game losing run in the PRO12.

Scarlets have won just two of their last six home games in the tournament - against Treviso and Ulster.

Edinburgh have slipped to defeat in their last two PRO12 matches against, Glasgow Warriors and Connacht, whilst their only away victory in the competition since December 2012 came at Zebre in March. The Scotsmen have won just once in their last 17 visits to Wales since 2009, 21-19 over the Blues at the Arms Park in September 2012.

The Scarlets have won six of their last seven fixtures against Edinburgh, the loss being 23-26 at Murrayfield on 30th March 2012, whilst Edinburgh's only victory at Parc y Scarlets was 17-16 in December 2009.

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Jordan Williams, 14 Kristian Phillips, 13 Adam Warren, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Frazier Climo, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Rob McCusker (c), 7 John Barclay, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 George Earle, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Richard Kelly, 20 Sione Timani, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Gareth Maule, 23 Gareth Owen

Edinburgh: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Carl Bezuidenhout, 9 Grayson Hart, 8 Cornell du Preez, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Mike Coman (c), 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 WP Nel, 2 James Hilterbrand, 1 Wicus Blaauw
Replacements: 16 George Turner, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Ewan McQuillin, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Tomas Leonardi, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Sam Beard, 23 Harry Leonard

Date: Saturday 22nd February
Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Kick-off: 1430 (local and GMT)
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Ita)
Assistant referees: Sean Brickell, Craig Evans (both Wal)

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