Planet Rugby

Scarlets squad bolstered

02nd April 2014 10:05


Simon Easterby Leinster

Determined: Simon Easterby

Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby will be boosted by the return of a number of players for his side's PRO12 European quest.

Easterby's men took maximum points from mid-table rivals Connacht on Sunday, knowing that a top seven place is necessary to guarantee them a spot in next season's Heineken Cup replacement.

And the ex-Ireland international will soon be able to call upon many players who have been sidelined for much of 2014, with the Scarlets given a break this weekend as the European quarter-finals take place.

The Shingler brothers, Aaron and Steve, are set to make their respective comebacks from ankle and shoulder injuries, the latter missing almost all of the season to date.

Highly-rated Wales tighthead Samson Lee was ruled out of the 32-30 Connacht triumph with calf problems, but is set to be fit for next Saturday's clash with Zebre, as is second-row George Earle, who is recovering from a damaged foot.

Joint-captain Rob McCusker should also be back in the selection mix having been sidelined with hamstring trouble since the Scarlets' loss to Ulster in Belfast during March.

Easterby earlier this week cooled fears over scrum-half Gareth Davies, who was stretchered off on Sunday with a dead leg, and the hope remains that he is not out of action for too long.

"It was nice to get through the game against Connacht because we had a lot of players missing, mainly with little bumps, not major concerns," Easterby told the Llanelli Star.

"We have a week off and hopefully we will come back into the Zebre week with a clean bill of health.

"The majority of the squad will be available which will be great, there will be a real competition for places towards the end of the season."

As for the Scarlets' European ambitions, Easterby's men sit well-placed in sixth, seven points above Connacht in seventh, and enjoy home advantage for three of their remaining four PRO12 fixtures.

"We just have to concentrate on ourselves, it is in our hands now," said back-rower Josh Turnbull.

"Rob McCusker said a couple of weeks ago, it is backs against the wall and nothing other than a win will do every week. That is what we have got to keep concentrating on."

  • Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
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Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
Friday , October 10
Benetton Treviso vs Connacht19:00
Munster vs Scarlets19:35
Saturday , October 11
Edinburgh vs Newport Gwent D'gons14:40
Zebre vs Leinster15:00
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Recent Results
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Guinness PRO12
Sunday , September 28
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
Saturday , September 27
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
Friday , September 26
Leinster 37 - 23 Cardiff BluesLeinster vs Cardiff Blues Report
Glasgow 39 - 21 ConnachtGlasgow vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 20 - 20 ScarletsEdinburgh vs Scarlets Report
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
Friday , September 19
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
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