Josh Macleod returns to lead Scarlets in Cork

Rob LloydNews

Josh Macleod, Tom Rogers and Johnny Williams return from injury to take their place in the Scarlets’ match-day squad to face Munster in Round 15 of the BKT United Rugby Championship at Musgrave Park on Friday evening (19.35; BBC Wales, Viaplay).

Macleod captains a side showing three personnel changes from the team that claimed a bonus-point victory over Edinburgh last time out.

Behind the scrum, Rogers comes onto the right wing with Steff Evans shifting to the left. Ryan Conbeer is ruled out with the shoulder knock he picked up against Edinburgh.

Joe Roberts and Ioan Nicholas again combine in midfield, while Dane Blacker gets the nod at scrum-half with Gareth Davies dropping to the bench.

Up front, Kemsley Mathias, Shaun Evans and Sam Wainwright are again selected in the front row, while the return of Macleod from a knee injury sees Vaea Fifita shift to the second row to partner fellow Tonga international Sam Lousi.

In the back row, openside flanker Dan Davies will make his 50th Scarlets appearance.

Johnny Williams, who last played in the defeat to Benetton in round three, comes onto the bench after recovering from a calf issue.

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel said: “It is a big test and it is something we need. We have been on a good run, but there are not many bigger tests than going to Munster. I am looking forward to it as a coach, the players are looking forward to it, we need to see where we are at. Like us, Munster have really hit form and are playing well.

“Over the last couple of weeks we have been growing and getting better and the boys are in a good space. Obviously, there are areas we need to work on and we know It is going to be a massive step for us. We need to be able to compete and push ourselves against the likes of Munster over there.”

Scarlets team to play Munster at Musgrave Park on Friday, March 3 (19:35 BBC Wales, Viaplay)

15 Johnny McNicholl; 14 Tom Rogers, 13 Joe Roberts, 12 Ioan Nicholas, 11 Steff Evans; 10 Sam Costelow, 9 Dane Blacker; 1 Kemsley Mathias, 2 Shaun Evans, 3 Sam Wainwright, 4 Vaea Fifita, 5 Sam Lousi, 6 Josh Macleod (capt), 7 Dan Davis, 8 Sione Kalamafoni.

Replacements: 16 Taylor Davies, 17 Steff Thomas, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Morgan Jones, 20 Carwyn Tuipulotu, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Dan Jones, 23 Johnny Williams.

Unavailable because of injury

Ryan Conbeer, Daf Hughes, Tom Price, Jac Price, Aaron Shingler, Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams, Ryan Elias, Corey Baldwin, Alex Jeffries, Callum Williams, Samson Lee.

Unavailable because of international duty

Ken Owens, Wyn Jones, Rhys Patchell, Leigh Halfpenny, Kieran Hardy