Planet Rugby

Preview: Scarlets v Racing Métro

18th October 2013 11:45

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Scarlets celeb v Harlequins

Scarlets: In high spirits

The Scarlets will look to build on an excellent start to their Heineken Cup campaign with victory over Racing Metro on Saturday.

The Llanelli side welcome their Parisian counterparts to Parc y Scarlets fresh off the back of an entertaining victory over Harlequins at The Stoop.

Stand-out performances from centre Scott Williams and wing Jordan Williams helped the Welshmen to an impressive 33-26 triumph. There were also plaudits for returning fly-half Rhys Priestland, whose kicking display and intelligence in attack caused the hosts problems.

However, coach Simon Easterby confirmed the pivot was forced to miss training on Tuesday, and is a doubt for the visit of Racing.

"He had a stamp on the foot in the week [before the Harlequins game] and as the match went on he was a little bit sore in the foot," he told the BBC.

But the ex-Ireland international was delighted with his playmaker's performance last week.

"He is back to a level, isn't he?" said Easterby.

"It kind of reminded me a little bit of the Perpignan game a couple of years ago. He is comfortable with how he is playing and he is keen to kick on now."

Meanwhile, Racing are expected to name British and Irish Lions flanker Dan Lydiate in their starting lineup, marking the Welshman's return to his native land on club duty.

The Parisians sit eighth in the Top14 table, having suffered an inconsistent start to their domestic season. Wins against Bayonne, Bordeaux-Begles and Perpignan were tempered by defeats to Toulouse, Grenoble and Toulon.

In Jonny Sexton, however, they have a world-class operator at fly-half, and he has acquitted himself well since joining the French side at the start of the season.

This is another tricky pool, particularly with the Scarelts' dazzling win last week. If the Welsh side could claim another scalp on Saturday, they would be very well-placed after the first two fixtures. Likewise, however, having overcome a much-fancied Clermont side, Racing could claim top spot with a victory ahead of the return to respective league duties next week.

For the Scarlets there are two changes to the starting line-up that beat Harlequins at The Stoop last weekend; Nick Reynolds comes onto the wing to replace the injured Kristian Phillips with South African Prop Jacobie Adriaanse coming into the starting XV for Samson Lee who was handed a two-week ban following a disciplinary this week.

Racing meanwhile have made several changes to the side that defeated Clermont last Sunday.

Adrien Plante, Henry Chavancy and Alexandre Dumoulin all come into the back-line with Laurent Magnaval at scrum-half, whilst upfront Lions flanker Lydiate returns in the seven shirt.

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Nick Reynolds, 13 Jonathan Davies (capt), 12 Scott Williams, 11 Jordan Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Josh Turnbull, 7 John Barclay, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 George Earle, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Joe Snyman, 20 Craig Price, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Steven Shingler, 23 Gareth Maule.

Racing Métro:15 Benjamin Lapeyre, 14 Adrien Plante, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Alexandre Dumoulin, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Jonny Sexton, 9 Laurent Magnaval, 8 Masi Matadigo, 7 Dan Lydiate, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Juandre Kruger, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski (capt), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha
Replacements:16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Julien Brugnaut, 19 Fabrice Metz, 20 Camille Gerondeau, 21 Ruan Snyman, 22 Fabrice Estebanez, 23 Benjamin Dambielle

Date: Saturday, 19 October
Venue: Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli
Kick-off: 18:00 BST (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Neil Paterson

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