Efan Jones to make first URC start in Galway

Rob Lloyd Featured, News

Scrum-half Efan Jones will make his first BKT URC start for the Scarlets in Saturday’s round 11 clash with Connacht at the Dexcom Stadium in Galway (17:05 S4C, Viaplay).

North Walian Jones, a summer signing from RGC, came off the bench for his competition debut against Munster and is now handed the No. 9 jersey for the trip to the west coast of Ireland.

Head coach Dwayne Peel has made seven personnel changes to the team beaten by Munster at Parc y Scarlets last time out.

With Johnny McNicholl having announced he is returning to New Zealand, Ioan Nicholas wears the No. 15 jersey. Tomi Lewis and Steff Evans are named on the wings.

In midfield, Johnny Williams returns from suspension to partner Eddie James. Dan Jones links up with Efan Jones at half-back.

There is an all-new front row of Wyn Jones, Shaun Evans – who has recovered from a hand injury – and Sam Wainwright. Alex Craig is released from Scotland duty and he packs down alongside Jac Price.

Sam Lousi, who again skippers the side, shifts to the back row in place of new signing Jarrod Taylor, who is expected to be sidelined for a number of weeks with the hamstring injury he suffered on his debut.

Joe Jones, Steff Thomas, Morgan Jones, Ben Williams and Ryan Conbeer come into the match-day 23 and are named among the replacements.

Scarlets team to play Connacht at Dexcom Stadium on Saturday, March 3 (17:05)

15 Ioan Nicholas (Pontyberem); 14 Tomi Lewis (Gwernyfed), 13 Johnny Williams (Rams), 12 Eddie James (Carmarthen Quins), 11 Steff Evans (Felinfoel); 10 Dan Jones (Carmarthen Quins), 9 Efan Jones (Wrexham); 1 Wyn Jones (Llandovery), 2 Shaun Evans (Felinfoel), 3 Sam Wainwright (Rhyl & District), 4 Alex Craig (Stewartry), 5 Jac Price (Carmarthen Quins), 6 Sam Lousi (Bay Roskill Vikings; capt), 7 Dan Davis (Llandeilo), 8 Vaea Fifita (Lions, Tonga).

Reps: 16 Eduan Swart (Pumas), 17 Steff Thomas (Newcastle Emlyn), 18 Joe Jones (Mold), 19 Morgan Jones (Hinckley), 20 Ben Williams (Gilfach Goch), 21 Archie Hughes (Tenby), 22 Charlie Titcombe (Stamford), 23 Ryan Conbeer (Narberth).

Players unavailable because of injury

Jarrod Taylor, Josh Macleod, Tom Rogers, Taine Plumtree, Teddy Leatherbarrow, Ken Owens, Isaac Young, Ed Scragg.