Planet Rugby

Preview: Scarlets v Munster

28th February 2014 10:23

Share:

jonathan davies scarlets 2011

Back: Jonathan Davies

Wales centre Jonathan Davies returns to action for the Scarlets as they prepare to take on Munster in the PRO12 on Saturday.

Davies' inclusion is head coach Simon Easterby's only change to the side that triumphed over Edinburgh last Saturday.

Davies will line-up alongside former England international Olly Barkley in a new-look centre partnership for the Scarlets as the home side look to continue with their winning run.

"Munster are a pretty good outfit at the minute and are pretty settled," said Easterby.

"They are still able to pick a very strong team despite missing a number of internationals.

"We are under no illusion that they'll be coming here nothing less than well equipped to mix up their game and we will have to be at our best and far better defensively.

"Having narrowly missed out on a victory late on in injury time against Munster at Musgrave Park before Christmas we've had plenty of motivation in training this week! We put ourselves in a really good position to win away from home but gave them a foothold in the dying minutes and managed to stick at it."

With nine points from ten in the previous two rounds Easterby went on to say: "We had a clear vision coming back into this block of RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures, there were 50 points up for grabs and we're focused on being as clinical as we can be to pick up as many of those 50 points as we can.

"We just need to keep believing and keep pushing. I definitely feel that we can take confidence from the last couple of results and take on Munster with plenty to look forward to in the coming weeks."

Meanwhile, Donncha O'Callaghan joins Donnacha Ryan in the second-row for the trip to Llanelli as one of eight changes to the Munster side that beat Ospreys last weekend with James Coughlan captaining the team.

There are four changes in the backs with Duncan Williams taking the place of Cathal Sheridan at scrum-half after the Sligo man broke a bone in his forearm last week with Ian Keatley remaining at fly-half.

Johne Murphy and Gerhard van den Heever are both drafted into the side on the wings with Simon Zebo moving to full-back.

Denis Hurley comes in at inside centre with Casey Laulala keeping his place at outside centre.

Two of the four changes in the forwards involve the front-row with Irish international props Dave Kilcoyne and Stephen Archer joining hooker Duncan Casey who maintains his place to make his fifth start for the province.

O'Callaghan and Ryan make up the second-row and CJ Stander takes the place of Sean Dougall in the back-row with Tommy O'Donnell keeping his place and Coughlan captaining the side from number eight once again.

Young Munster's Ger Slattery, James Cronin and BJ Botha provide the front-row cover with Dave Foley and Dougall also ready to make an impact off the bench.

Gerry Hurley, JJ Hanrahan and Ronan O'Mahony are the three backs named in the replacements.

Form: Scarlets have won their last two matches in the RaboDirect PRO12, in Treviso and at home to Edinburgh, but have not won three in a row in the tournament since last April. The Welshmen have won three of their last four fixtures with Irish provinces at Parc y Scarlets. Munster's single defeat in the PRO12 since round 3 was 19-29 against Ulster at Ravenhill on 3rd January. The Munstermen are going for a clean sweep of 8 successive wins over Welsh regions this season, a feat that has never been accomplished by any side before. The Scarlets 18-10 victory over Munster at Parc y Scarlets in February 2013 ended an impressive run of success for Munster in matches played in Llanelli - the home side never having won on their own park since March 2007.

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Jordan Williams, 14 Kristian Phillips, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Frazier Climo, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Rob McCusker (c), 7 John Barclay, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 George Earle, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Richard Kelly, 20 Sione Timani, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Gareth Maule, 23 Adam Warren

Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Denis Hurley, 11 Johne Murphy, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 James Coughlan (c), 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Duncan Casey, 1 Dave Kilcoyne
Replacements: 16 Ger Slattery, 17 James Cronin, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Dave Foley, 20 Sean Dougall, 21 Gerry Hurley, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Ronan O'Mahony.

Date: Saturday, March 1
Kick-off: 18:30 GMT
Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Wayne Davies, Rhys Thomas (both WRU)
Citing Commissioner: Gwyn Bowden (WRU)
TMO: Tim Hayes (WRU)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
Exeter vs WaspsExeter vs Wasps Preview
London Irish vs BathLondon Irish vs Bath Preview
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Italy vs South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Preview
Scotland vs TongaScotland vs Tonga Preview
Romania vs CanadaRomania vs Canada Preview
Ireland vs AustraliaIreland vs Australia Preview
Wales vs New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Preview
England vs SamoaEngland vs Samoa Preview
France vs ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Preview
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Benetton Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
Northampton 18 - 24 ExeterNorthampton vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 18 - 20 ArgentinaItaly vs Argentina Report
Canada 13 - 23 SamoaCanada vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets
Ospreys 35 - 51 DragonsOspreys vs Dragons Report
Sunday , November 9
Wasps 43 - 22 London Irish
More LV= Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton726
2Exeter724
3Bath724
4Saracens724
5Wasps720