Preview: Scarlets v Edinburgh

09th May 2008, 09:30

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Phil Godman: Happy to stay in Scotland

Phil Godman: Happy to stay in Scotland

Scotland fly-half Phil Godman admits he is delighted to have agreed a new contract that will keep him at Edinburgh until 2010 and he is aiming to mark the occasion with a sound display at Scarlets on Saturday.

Scotland fly-half Phil Godman admits he is delighted to have agreed a new contract that will keep him at Edinburgh until 2010 and he is aiming to mark the occasion with a sound display at Scarlets on Saturday.

The 25-year-old has played a pivotal role in Edinburgh's success this season with the team from the Scottish capital on course to surpass their previous best ever finish of fifth place in the Magners League.

As a result, Edinburgh-born Godman, who was educated at Merchiston Castle School, revealed he was overjoyed to be able to continue his development at his hometown team.

"It has been a good season and I've really enjoyed every minute of it. There is a special team spirit at Edinburgh and that has helped the team achieve success," he said.

"I think it is a really exciting place to be because we are planning to build on this season's results.

"Our aspirations are to make an even bigger impact in the Heineken Cup and the Magners League.

"It has been a good year for me. I think I've been improving and I'm looking to develop as an individual and take it on another step."

Coach Andy Robinson highlighted Godman's contribution at fly-half and commended him on showing character in order to overcome a couple of setbacks over the past 12 months.

"The way we have been developing our running game is partly due to the great skills that Phil has," said Robinson.

"He had a couple of setbacks: not being involved in the World Cup last year and finding himself out of the Edinburgh team.

"He had to pick himself up and decide what he really wanted to do. He has challenged himself over the past three or four months and he has played really well."

Ahead of the Scarlets match, Allan Jacobsen has been named amongst the replacements after suffering a two-month lay-off with a groin injury picked up while on Six Nations duty with Scotland.

In the back three, Scotland full-back Hugo Southwell returns to the starting line-up after missing the win at Ospreys because of family commitments.

As a result, Calum MacRae switches across to the right wing while replacement Craig Hamilton has returned from injury and Mark Robertson is also on the bench for the first time this season after recovering from a shoulder problem.

But Edinburgh have still got numerous injury worries with Ross Rennie (knee), Simon Cross (lower back), John Houston (head knock), Andrew Kelly (calf), Gavin Kerr (neck), Roland Reid (hamstring), Craig Smith (calf) and Simon Webster (hamstring) all ruled out for the match.

Form: The Scarlets have lost their last four matches in the Magners League. The Scarlets have been defeated in back to back matches at Stradey Park and will want to avoid setting a new unwanted record of three successive losses at the famous old ground since the region was formed in 2003. Edinburgh have won their last two games in the Magners League and need to win to secure their best ever finish in a league campaign. Edinburgh are undefeated in Wales this season, beating Cardiff and the Ospreys and drawing with the Dragons on their home soil. The Scarlets have beaten Edinburgh just once in their last five encounters in all competitions, however Edinburgh have only ever won once at Stradey Park: 21-15 in the league on 2 September 2005.

The teams:

Edinburgh:
15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Calum MacRae, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 Nick De Luca, 11 Andrew Turnbull, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair, 8 David Callam, 7 Alan MacDonald, 6 Allister Hogg (c), 5 Ben Gissing, 4 Matt Mustchin, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Augusto Allori.
Replacements: 16 Steve Lawrie, 17 Allan Jacobsen, 18 Craig Hamilton, 19 Scott Newlands, 20 Greig Laidlaw, 21 David Blair, 22 Mark Robertson.

Scarlets: 15 Daniel Evans, 14 Dafydd James, 13 Matthew Watkins, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Nathan Brew, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Liam Davies, 8 James Bater, 7 Johnathan Edwards, 6 Simon Easterby (c), 5 Scott MacLeod, 4 Vernon Cooper, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Iestyn Thomas, 17 Ken Owens, 18 Lou Reed, 19 Nathan Thomas, 20 Gavin Cattle, 21 Ceiron Thomas, 22 Darren Daniel.

Date: Saturday May 10
Venue: Stradey Park
Kick-off: 17:30 BST (16:30 GMT)
Referee: D Wilkinson (IRFU)
Touch Judges: tbc