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
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Preview
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Pumas vs Western Province15:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , September 21
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Connacht 10 - 9 LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Brive 13 - 53 ToulonBrive vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Exeter310
4Leicester Tigers39
5Harlequins38