Planet Rugby

Preview: Scarlets v Exeter

07th December 2012 10:34

Share:

Jonathan Davies

Captain: Jonathan Davies

Scarlets play host to Exeter Chiefs on Saturday with both sides hunting their first Heineken Cup victory this season

A bonus-point victory is a must if either side hopes to stay in touch in Clermont and Leinster.

Exeter have yet to score a try in this Pool but won't have a better chance to do that than against the Scarlets who have leaked the most in the group.

The Scarlets have lost five or their last Heineken Cup six matches but welcome back six of their Welsh internationals into the starting line-up.

And they will be looking to give their loyal supporters an early Christmas present with a big European win at their home ground, as they add to a strong home record this season with a victory at the last game of 2012 at Parc y Scarlets.

A warm welcome back to heart and soul rugby country will await popular international Scarlets Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams, Liam Williams, Matthew Rees, Rhys Priestland, Aaron Shingler, Tavis Knoyle, Sione Timani, and young tight head prop call-up Samson Lee.

With under a week to integrate the international players back into the fold, forwards coach Danny Wilson said it was a challenge for all Welsh regions but one they had to get on with.

He added that selection had been tough this week following the strong performances shown by the wider squad during the international window and it was a balancing act between injecting individual international-class quality alongside in-form Scarlets players who had been performing well for their region in recent weeks.

"We knew from the outset how tight it would be for us bringing back the internationals as we go into these double headers in Europe. Of course it's difficult with just a week's prep and with the intensity of international rugby and how that impacts the players bodies," he said.

"But you just get on with it - it's a another challenge you face and all that really matters is getting a result on Saturday and for our players returning it's another big, intense game of rugby."

In the backs centre Jonathan Davies captains the side alongside centre partner, Scott Williams; young Carmarthen scrum-half Aled Davies (20) gets a huge opportunity with his first European start, with Rhys Priestland controlling at 10, Dan Newton at full-back and Liam Williams and Andy Fenby on the wings.

Meanwhile, Exeter coach Rob Baxter has tinkered last week's winning line-up slightly with recalls in the pack for Simon Alcott, Hoani Tui, Damian Welch and Tom Johnson; whilst behind Gonzalo Camacho and Sireli Naqelevuki are also included from the outset.

"We never entered the Heineken Cup saying it is all about where we end up in the table," said the Chiefs coach.

"What we said was that we will give it a real go in every game and that I want to make sure the players experience everything that can from the Heineken Cup."

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Dan Newton, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Jonathan Davies (capt), 12 Scott Williams, 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Kieran Murphy, 7 Johnathan Edwards, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Richard Kelly, 4 George Earle, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Shaun Hopkins, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Johan Synman, 20 Sione Timani, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Gareth Maule.

Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Sireli Naqelevuki, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Tom Hayes (capt), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Simon Alcott, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Neil Clark, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Carl Rimmer, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Dean Mumm, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Ian Whitten.

Date: Saturday, December 8
Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Kick-off: 13:35 GMT
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland vs TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Preview
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs Taranaki19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 15 - 17 Ospreys
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26