Planet Rugby

Preview: Scarlets v Clermont

17th January 2008 13:39

Share:

stephen jones scarlets

Jones: Can he guide the Scarlets to a much needed win?

The Scarlets have made four changes for their last Pool Five Heineken Cup clash against Clermont at Stradey Park on Saturday.

Without a point from their last five games the Scarlets are playing for pride, although they play host to a Clermont side who are entertaining faint hopes of a quarter-final place. However, the likelihood is that this game will make no difference to the final outcome of the pool.

The changes made by Scarlets director of rugby Phil Davies see Stephen Jones return at fly-half in place of Rhys Priestland, and a return on the right wing for Dafydd James.

James's inclusion sees Darren Daniel drop down to the bench, along with Morgan Stoddart who returns after a slight injury.

Gavin Thomas also returns, prompting a re-shuffle of sorts. Thomas takes the seven jersey meaning captain Simon Easterby switches to the blindside and, in turn, Dafydd James moves to number eight.

At hooker Wales international Matthew Rees takes over from James Hayter, and there is a place on the bench for new signing Mahonri Schwalger. Schwalger signed on a short-term contract in the week to act as cover for the injured Ken Owens.

Clermont know they are all but out, but they still field a strong team to go in search of the impossible.

Springbok Marius Joubert forms a powerful centre pairing with Fijian Seremaļa Bai, while Brock James will need to be at his best at fly-half if Clermont are to rack up the points they need.

Elvis Vermeulen joins Alexandre Audebert and Julien Bonnaire in a strong back row unit, whilst up front Mario Ledesma packs down between Martin Scelzo and Laurent Emmanuelli.

Form: Clermont beat Munster last weekend but couldn't deny the Irish a losing bonus-point which effectively killed their own hopes due to the head-to-heads between the sides. It will be an against all odds progression for Clermont to now qualify. The Scarlets have failed to pick up a single point in the pool of death and were thrashed 40-7 by Wasps. But Phil Davies's men will be targeting next season already and will want to end their campaign with a confidence boosting win.

Scarlets: 15 Ceiron Thomas, 14 Dafydd James, 13 Matthew Watkins, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Mark Jones, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Liam Davies, 8 Dafydd Jones, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Simon Easterby (c), 5 Scott MacLeod, 4 Adam Eustace, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Iestyn Thomas.

Replacements: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Ben Broster, 18 Nathan Thomas, 19 Alix Popham, 20 Gavin Cattle, 21 Darren Daniel, 22 Morgan Stoddart.

Clermont: 15 Anthony Floch, 14 Grant Esterhuizen, 13 Marius Joubert, 12 Seremaļa Bai, 11 Julien Malzieu, 10 Brock James, 9 Pierre Mignoni (c), 8 Elvis Vermeulen, 7 Alexandre Audebert, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Thibaut Privat, 4 Loic Jacquet, 3 Martin Scelzo, 2 Mario Ledesma, 1 Laurent Emmanuelli.

Replacements: 16 Mirko Lozupone, 17 Davit Zirakashvili, 18 Christophe Samson, 19 Sam Broomhall, 20 Arnaud Pic, 21 Pierre-Manuel Garcia, 22 Vilimoni Delasau.

Date: Saturday, 19 January

Kick-off: 17:35 GMT

Venue: Stradey Park

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

Touch judges: Olan Trevor (Ireland), Gordon Black (Ireland)

Television match official: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821