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 , April 18
Harlequins vs Leicester19:45
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs Sale15:00
Bath vs Worcester15:00
Wasps vs Gloucester15:15
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London Irish14:00
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton Treviso17:00
Glasgow vs Ulster19:35
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
Connacht vs Munster18:15
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys16:45
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs BluesHurricanes vs Blues Preview
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954