Preview: Scarlets v Glasgow Warriors

Date published: November 21 2014

Regan King will start for the Scarlets when they return to Guinness PRO12 action against Glasgow Warriors at Parc y Scarlets on Friday.

Regan King will start for the Scarlets at centre when they return to PRO12 action against Glasgow Warriors at Parc y Scarlets on Friday.

King returns to the side after a lengthy period on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury received in the season opener against Ulster.

He will be joined by Gareth Owen at inside centre while Harry Robinson and flying Fijian Michael Tagicakibau add power and pace out wide.

Young full-back Steff Evans has been rewarded after good performances against Zebre, Northampton Saints and Cardiff Blues in recent weeks.

John Barclay adds weight to the back of the scrum and will also lead the Scarlets against his former side. Joining him in the back-row will be Aaron Shingler and James Davies. The PRO12 fixture on Friday will also see Shingler senior make his 100th appearance for the Scarlets.

“Zebre was a valuable victory for us and the next two weeks are very important for us. The extend squad is very, very, important to us here, particularly whilst the international campaign is running,” said Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac.

“We’ve had a squad training for this game since last week whilst the LV= Cup was running and the boys who have put the work over the last week and more get the start with the internationals adding impact off the bench.

“It’s great to have Regan back in the side as a player of his quality in the ranks as he lifts the boys around him.

“Glasgow have been playing an expansive game, they have made more passes than anyone else in the league, scoring a lot of tries and their defensive work has been very good.

“They’ll be a tough nut to crack and it’s a very big game for us. We understand the importance of these games come the end of the season and we’ll be hoping for a decent result.”

Meanwhile, 18-year-old Zander Fagerson will make his first start for Glasgow on Friday while 21-year-old scrum-half, Ali Price will make his debut, after joining in 2013 from Bedford Blues. He is part of the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 3 group.

Also in the team will be the returning Al Kellock who recently captained the Barbarians in two matches against Australia and Leicester Tigers earlier this month.

In the backs, Peter Murchie will play his second game in a row at full-back. Lee Jones is also retained on the right wing following the victory over Treviso at the end of the October.

In the centre, the pairing of Richie Vernon and James Downey will link up once again. On the left wing, Rory Hughes will make his first start of the season.

The half-back pairing will be Peter Horne and debutant Price.

In the forwards, Alex Allan makes his first start at loosehead since early October, Pat MacArthur is retained at hooker and Fagerson starts at tighthead.

Tom Ryder partners captain Kellock in the second-row, with Ryan Wilson starting at number eight and both Josh Strauss and Chris Fusaro completing the back-row.

Form: Scarlets only loss in their last five Guinness PRO12 encounters was 6-17 to Munster in Limerick in Round Six. The Welshmen have not been defeated at Parc y Scarlets in the PRO12 during 2014 with their most recent loss at the venue being when Ospreys were the visitors on Boxing Day. Glasgow Warriors continue to breathe down Ospreys neck at the top of the PRO12 table and have suffered just a single loss so far this season, at Ulster in rRound Six. The Warriors have won their last four contests with Welsh regions and are going for a third successive victory in Wales having already beaten the Blues and the Dragons on their own patch this season. Glasgow achieved a league double over Scarlets last season for the first time since 2009/10, whilst Scarlets have not scored a try against the Warriors since Liam Williams did so in April 2013, 194 playing minutes ago.

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Steffan Evans, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Regan King, 12 Gareth Owen, 11 Michael Tagicakibau, 10 Steven Shingler, 9 Aled Davies, 8 John Barclay (c), 7 James Davies, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 George Earle, 3 Peter Edwards, 2 Kirby Myhill, 1 Rob Evans.
Replacements: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Phil John, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Rob McCusker, 20 Rory Pitman, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Steffan Hughes.

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Richie Vernon, 12 James Downey, 11 Rory Hughes, 10 Peter Horne, 9 Ali Price, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Josh Strauss, 5 Al Kellock (c), 4 Tom Ryder, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Alex Allan.
Replacements: 16 Kevin Bryce, 17 Jon Welsh, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 James Eddie, 20 Tyrone Holmes, 21 Niko Matawalu, 22 Connor Braid, 23 Glenn Bryce.

Date: Friday, November 21
Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Kick-off: 19:35 local (GMT)
Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Craig Evans (Wales), Jon Mason (Wales)
Television match official: Tim Hayes (Wales)