Planet Rugby

Preview: Scarlets v Zebre

02nd November 2012 09:00

Share:

andy fenby scarlets

Hot streak: Andy Fenby

The Scarlets host Zebre on Saturday with the Italian side still looking for their first win in the RaboDirect Pro12.

The Scarlets come into the game on the back of a five-point bonus win at Murrayfield last weekend against Edinburgh and sit in second on 25 points - one point short of unbeaten Ulster, who have a game in hand.

The Scarlets have only lost two games in their campaign to date and with four tries under their belt last weekend are keen to keep their hold on their top two place before they break for LV=Cup action next week.

With 12 of the Scarlets squad now on duty with Wales ahead of the November internationals, the home game is a chance for the West Wales region to hand starting-place opportunities to a number of their younger developing players and wider squad members.

Former Ospreys duo Kristian Phillips and Gareth Owen get starts in the side to face Zebre with Owen partnering up with Gareth Maule in the centre. Phillips replaces the absent George North on the right wing with Andy Fenby, who has notched up five tries in six appearances this season returning to the field after a fortnight out with injury. Morgan Stoddart moves to full-back.

In the pack, hooker Kirby Myhill returns from a injury with South African second row pairing George Earle and Joe Snyman back to the field after a week's absence and Argentinean international Tomás Vallejosmoves to the back row alongside Johnathan Edwards who takes over as Scarlets skipper with Rob McCusker on international duty and Kieran Murphy comes in at number eight.

"We spoke after our disappointment in Europe about maintaining our momentum in the league and the boys fronted up well, there were a lot of pleasing things in the game and overall to come away from Murrayfield with five points is a good day in the office," said Scarlets attack coach Mark Jones.

Meanwhile, five internationals selected by Italy coach Jacques Brunel are unavailable for Zebre's match with the Scarlets due to the November test matches - Bergamasco, Geldenhuys, Giazzon, Orquera and Venditti.

There are few changes to the starting line-up selected from last Friday's match with Munster, although captain Garcia and scrum-half Martinelli are not travelling to Wales due to injuries suffered at Thomond Park while Perugini is ruled out due to a fever.

Zebre's skipper for the game will be flanker Cristiano on his fifth appearance in the PRO12. Marco Bortolami is still recovering from shoulder surgery.

Form: Scarlets have won their last two RaboDirect PRO12 matches, against Newport Gwent Dragons and Edinburgh, but have slipped to defeat in two of their last three games at Parc y Scarlets in all competitions. Scarlets have already been beaten by an Italian team this season: 20-22 in Treviso on 29 September. Zebre are still looking to add to their tally of just one league point gained so far, during their 19-22 loss in Glasgow in round five of the RaboDirect PRO12. The two teams have never met before. Five Italian teams have visited Parc y Scarlets and all have lost with only Treviso attaining a losing bonus point during a 16-22 defeat on 27 March 2011.

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Morgan Stoddart, 14 Kristian Phillips, 13 Gareth Maule, 12 Gareth Owen, 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Kieran Murphy, 7 Johnathan Edwards (c), 6 Tomás Vallejos, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 George Earle, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Kirby Myhill, 1 Phil John
Replacements: 16 Craig Hawkins, 17 Shaun Hopkins, 18 Peter Edwards, 19 Sione Timani, 20 Craig Price, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Nick Reynolds.

Zebre: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 David Odiete, 13 Matteo Pratichetti,12 Daniel Halangahu, 11 Samuele Pace, 10 Paolo Buso, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Filippo Cristiano (c), 6 Filippo Ferrarini, 5 Filippo Cazzola, 4 Josh Sole, 3 Luca Redolfini, 2 Andrea Manici, 1 Matias Aguero
Replacements:16 Andrea De Marchi, 17 Luciano Leibson, 18 Carlo Fazzari, 19 Emiliano Caffini, 20 Nicola Belardo, 21 Alberto Chiesa, 22 Leonardo Sarto, 23 Alberto Benettin.

Date: Saturday, 3 November
Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Kick-off: 18.30
Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU)
Assistant Referees: Greg Morgan, Alan Jenkins (both WRU)
TMO: Tony Rowlands (WRU)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs Edinburgh19:05
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058