Glenn Delaney spoke to the media ahead of Friday’s Guinness PRO14 clash with Cardiff Blues. Here are the highlights from his press conference.
How much are you looking forward to this swift return against the Blues?
GD: “It is an opportunity and we’ve got to take it. We are preparing well and we looked pretty hard and correctly at the game we played in Cardiff. We obviously had a red card and the sanction has come out so there is some behavioral change in that area, being responsible about things. The fact of the matter is we still went 20-18 up but didn’t manage the back end of the game. I would still back us to manage that even with 14 men. We have learned a lot from it and you can’t stand still, as long as we are taking things from the game that apply. We have another chance and we are looking forward to it. This is wonderfully proactive from the PRO14, getting this game on with the best players on the field. Hopefully it will fuel a lot of interest.”
Do you expect an immediate impact from Dai Young?
GD: “It is great to have Dai back in the game, I have known him a long time and he is a good rugby man, a Cardiff man through and through. We have caught up a couple of times and he is enjoying being back in the hot seat. They will be focusing on what they can bring to this contest and we are no different.”
What is the latest on your injured players?
GD: “We’ll start with Rhys Patchell and Aaron Shingler. Both are making definite improvements. Rhys is in our return-to-play group, we have a plan over the next six weeks to see how we can keep extending him, getting him up into training and into games. That is well under control, he is in and around the environment and contributing.”
“Shings is making real progress. We have worked through probably the toughest bit and now it is about reconditioning him. He is running three to four times a week. Like Patch, he is a great man to have about and you can just see the spark is back, he knows he has been through a pretty tough journey and is on the way back. Obviously, it is a fluid situation. We need to get a decent baseline for Aaron over the next four weeks, it is almost like a pre-season for him. We have to look after him the right way. “
“Ken Owens is in full training and has a real spring in his step. It is good to have him back in full training, he is very much in contention this week.
“Jake Ball is also in training and we have to make the right call with Jake. We want to make sure he is fit and firing before we pull the trigger. Johnny McNicholl is also back in training after having to isolate because of close contact stuff
“Rob Evans, Samson Lee and James Davies are all working their way back through concussion issues. We have to be unbelievably responsible on this and our duty is a duty of care to the players. The seriousness of this is enormous and we do take it deadly seriously. The care around the players is better than the game has ever had and that’s the way it should be. There is no pressure on a return date for any of the guys.”
Can Scarlets fans expect you to fill the spaces left by the departures of Jake Ball and Tevita Ratuva?
GD: “We are on that case now. You have to look at the calibre of individuals leaving, they are big holes to fill. We have a wonderful process where the likes of Morgan Jones, Jac Price, Josh Helps, Danny Drake are coming through, but we are looking at the balance of the group. We are losing a lot of experience with Jake and a lot of athleticism with Tevita. For me as a coach that is an area where we are definitely looking at strengthening.”