Preview: Scarlets v Leicester

Date published: October 24 2014

Leicester appear to have turned a corner in the past fortnight as wins over Quins and Ulster give them confidence heading to the Scarlets.

Leicester appear to have turned a corner in the past fortnight as wins over Harlequins and Ulster give them confidence heading to the Scarlets.

Although they remain without a great deal of their first-team – add outside centre Manu Tuilagi to that list – the Tigers look back to something near their dominant form, with the Scarlets having a job on their hands building on their Toulon showing and getting one in the win column on Saturday.

Wayne Pivac’s side did themselves proud in France last Sunday as they certainly had Toulon realising that the return trip would not be easy.

Scott and Liam Williams were impressive in the backline while Samson Lee, Emyr Phillips and Rob Evans certainly held their own in the scrum.

Scarlets coach Pivac has named an unchanged XV, showing belief and confidence in the side that took Toulon to the wire at Stade Felix Mayol.

The hosts will field no less than eleven internationals in the starting XV, six of which have been named in Warren Gatland’s squad for the upcoming November Test Series.

“I’m very much looking forward to it. These sides don’t come and play us every day of the week and it’s good to see international players from other countries playing in your backyard,” said Pivac ahead of the Scarlets’ home bow in the 2014/15 competition.

Meanwhile, Anthony Allen returns to the Tigers line-up and resumes at centre on his return from injury, teaming up with Vereniki Goneva after Tuilagi’s injury in the win over Ulster.

Miles Benjamin starts on the wing and Owen Williams is at fly-half ahead of Freddie Burns.

Marcos Ayerza makes his 50th European appearance since his club debut in 2006. He becomes the eleventh Tigers player to reach this landmark in European competition.
The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Michael Tagicakibau, 12 Scott Williams (c), 11 Kristian Phillips, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Rory Pitman, 7 John Barclay, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Rob Evans.
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Phil John, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 James Davies, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Steven Shingler, 23 Jordan Williams.

Leicester: 15 Matthew Tait, 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs (c), 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Sebastian De Chaves, 20 Robert Barbieri, 21 David Mele, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Matt Smith.

Date: Saturday, October 25
Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Referee: Johnny Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Gary Conway (Ireland), Eddie Hogan-O’Connell (Ireland)
Television match official: Simon McDowell (Ireland)
Timekeeper: Terry Thomas (Wales)
Assessor: David Herbert (Wales)