Ahead of Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup opener against Bath, head coach Glenn Delaney spoke to the media.
This is what he had to say.
How has preparation been with all the Covid disruption?
GD: “We have done as much as we can. We have had about 20 players in at the start of the week. The international boys have been in and we have been working through how they are after a big block of rugby. The vast majority of the guys are back in on Thursday in accordance with public health guidelines. Team meetings have been a little bit different this week, but everyone has been there thanks to the marvel of modern technology! It’s been a surreal year and I suppose this is our turn to have something like this happen. It is unforeseen but we are making the best of it and looking forward to Saturday.”
What is the latest injury update?
GD: “Johnny Williams, Liam Williams, Cubby (James Davies) and Rhys Patchell are not going to be right for this week, but we will just keep working with them and assessing them. Josh Macleod and Johnny McNicholl are in training. In terms of the international boys, we have a massive block of matches coming up, a seven-week stretch with these two European games, the derbies and then another two rounds of Europe. The reality is we have so many guys in that group we will be managing everyone according to what we need at the Scarlets. We have been building a squad to cope with so many guys being away. The thing with us is we don’t have to throw everyone in every game, we can use our squad and the growth in the young guys over the last month or so has been great. We will look at everyone individually and the reality is the best team will go out each week because these games are massively important.”
It hasn’t been the ideal preparation, but how excited are you for the start of this competition?
GD: “These are the moments we want, we love this competition, we want to go well in it and put a good account of ourselves. Before this season started the last game we had was a quarter-final in Toulon which was huge for us. You get that sort of hunger for Europe and being in the Champions Cup is massive for us.”
Have you been showing the boys repeats of the 2018 win over Bath at The Rec?
GD: “The boys have been showing me! That was a wonderful chapter and a great campaign for us and Tadhg Beirne’s sidestep, what a flourish to finish for that try. That is part of our history and we’re really proud of our history. The job of this group is to start creating more history and more memories like that. Look, we go out there with the spirit of the Scarlets firmly in our hearts and that is how we will play.”