Planet Rugby

Preview: London Irish v Scarlets

31st January 2014 12:14

Share:

Jonathan Davies

Return: Jonathan Davies

London Irish have recalled James O'Connor, Ofisa Treviranus, David Paice and CJ Van Der Linde to face the Scarlets.

Matt Parr, Paice and Van Der Linde make up the front row. David has returned from injury and CJ is due to make his first start for the club. Bryn Evans and Nic Rouse will start in the second row with Ofisa Treviranus, Danny Kenny and Chris Hala'ufia in the back row.

Tomás O'Leary and Shane Geraghty will continue at half back with Eamonn Sheridan and Fergus Mulchrone back together in the centre. Andrew Fenby, Sailosi Tagicakibau and James O'Connor make up the back three.

"We have made seven changes to the starting side from last week," said Exiles boss Brian Smith.

"It is great to have David Paice back from injury and CJ van Der Linde in for his first start. We want to finish this tournament well in front of our home supporters as we build back into the Premiership next week."

Meanwhile, world-renowned international centre Jonathan Davies will return to action this weekend, after being sidelined with a pectoral tear since the Autumn Internationals, and will line up alongside fellow Scarlets captain Rob McCusker against Irish.

Previous LV= Cup encounters between the two sides came in November 2010 and January 2012 with the Scarlets victorious on both occasions; 16-25 and 27-19 respectively.

Davies makes a welcome return to the Scarlets jersey having last played for the region against Zebre in October.

"It's an opportunity for Jon to get game time after such a long lay-off. It's good news he's had such a speedy recovery and he's done really well to get back in the timeframe he has. He's ready and will play his part for us on the weekend," said Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby.

Deacon Manu also makes a return to action after a long injury; he made his last appearance for the region against Benetton Treviso at Parc y Scarlets in September 2013 when he suffered a fractured arm. Manu start at tighthead prop with Rob Evans his opposite at loosehead and young Darran Harris taking up the hooker berth.

Despite securing victory over Gloucester in poor conditions at Parc y Scarlets last Friday evening Northampton Saints' victory over the Dragons on Saturday means that the Scarlets are no longer in the running for a semi final spot in the LV= Cup competition.

"We're disappointed not to be battling it out for a semi-final spot but it's still important," added Easterby.

"We had some momentum last season from a couple of good performances in the LV= Cup and took that into the PRO12. We have an important month coming up in the league."

Easterby has made seven changes to the side who faced Gloucester last weekend and once again has opted for a mix of youth and experience for this weekend's encounter against London Irish.

Rob McCusker returns to captain the side with Frazier Climo also returning from the sidelines (concussion) and young flanker Lewis Rawlins making his second start for the region.

Irish: 15 James O'Connor, 14 Andrew Fenby, 13 Fergus Mulchrone, 12 Eamonn Sheridan, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Shane Geraghty (c), 9 Tomás O'Leary, 8 Chris Hala'ufia, 7 Ofisa Treviranus, 6 Danny Kenny, 5 Nic Rouse, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 David Paice, 1 Matt Parr
Replacements: 16 Jimmy Stevens, 17 John Yapp, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 George Skivington, 20 Gerard Ellis, 21 Topsy Ojo, 22 Ian Humphreys, 23 Sean Kennedy

Scarlets: 15 Jordan Williams, 14 Aaron Warren, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Gareth Owen, 11 Frazier Climo, 10 Josh Lewis, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Rob McCusker (c), 7 Craig Price, 6 Lewis Rawlins, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 Richard Kelly, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Darran Harris, 1 Rob Evans.
Replacements: 16 Torin Myhill, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 George Earle, 20 Daniel Thomas, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Adam Warren

Date: Saturday, February 1
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Kickoff: 16:00 GMT
Referee: Steve Lee (England)
Assistant Referees: Jonathan Healy (England), Roy Maybank (England)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs Australia14:30
USA vs New Zealand15:00
More International Match fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Preview
Glasgow vs Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Ospreys vs ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Preview
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs Munster17:15
Scarlets vs Zebre18:00
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615