Kieron Fonotia returns for crucial top-of-the-table clash with Edinburgh

Rob Lloyd News

Kieron Fonotia returns from injury as Scarlets resume their Guinness PRO14 challenge with a top-of-the-table clash against Edinburgh at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday (3pm ko).

The Samoan international centre has recovered from a calf issue to take his place in a side showing six changes from Scarlets’ last match – the European Challenge Cup victory over London Irish in January.

With Johnny McNicholl and Leigh Halfpenny on Six Nations duty, Angus O’Brien wears the No. 15 shirt for the first time this season, slotting into a back three with Corey Baldwin and Steff Evans.

Fonotia partners skipper Steff Hughes in midfield, while half-backs Dan Jones and Kieran Hardy continue their partnership. Jones, who recently celebrated a century of appearances, is closing in on 500 points in a Scarlets jersey.

Up front, Phil Price starts at loose-head prop; hooker Taylor Davies makes his first appearance since the home game against Irish in November, while Samson Lee continues at tight-head.

There is a new second row pairing of Lewis Rawlins and Sam Lousi, while the back row of Wales international Aaron Shingler, Josh Macleod and Uzair Cassiem is the same as the one that took on Irish at the Madejski.

On the bench, Wales U20s hooker Dom Booth is poised to make his competitive debut. The 19-year-old Tenby product is another who has come through the region’s academy pathway. Booth has featured in Wales’ U20s Six Nations matches against Italy and Ireland.

There is also a welcome return for flanker Dan Davis, who has been sidelined since early November with a serious toe injury.

After 10 rounds of Guinness PRO14 action, Edinburgh sit top of Conference B, three points ahead of Scarlets.

Due to the weather warnings in place this weekend, the Scarlets would like to remind supporters to take extra care when travelling to and from Parc y Scarlets.

Any updates will be made via the Scarlets’ social media channels and on the official website.

SCARLETS (v Edinburgh, Parc y Scarlets; February 15, 2020; 3pm ko)

15 Angus O’Brien; 14 Corey Baldwin, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Steff Hughes (capt), 11 Steff Evans; 10 Dan Jones, 9 Kieran Hardy; 1 Phil Price, 2 Taylor Davies, 3 Samson Lee, 4 Lewis Rawlins, 5 Sam Lousi, 6 Aaron Shingler, 7 Josh Macleod, 8 Uzair Cassiem.

Reps: 16 Dom Booth. 17 Rob Evans, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Tevita Ratuva, 20 Dan Davis, 21 Dane Blacker, 22 Paul Asquith, 23 Ryan Conbeer.

Unavailable due to injury

Jonathan Davies (knee), Rhys Patchell (shoulder), James Davies (back), Daf Hughes (knee), Blade Thomson (concussion), Marc Jones (calf), Steffan Thomas (knee), Joe Roberts (knee).