Peel: “Munster clash is what we need”

Rob LloydNews

Head coach Dwayne Peel says the challenge of playing an in-form Munster is what his side needs going into the final months of the campaign.

Both teams go head to head at Cork’s Musgrave Park on Friday night on the back of an impressive run of results.

Munster have won five of their last six matches in all competitions, while Scarlets are on a six-match winning streak and are unbeaten in 2023.

Ospreys were put to the sword 58-3 by Munster in the Irish province’s last outing, while the West Walians turned on the style to thump Edinburgh 42-14 at Parc y Scarlets.

“I think it is a good thing for us, to be honest,” said Peel, speaking to the media ahead of Friday’s round 15 clash in the BKT United Rugby Championship.

“It’s a big test and it is something we need at this present time. We have been on a bit of a 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 need to be able push ourselves against the likes of Munster when you have to travel over there.”

Peel also reiterated his desire to give the squad’s younger players their opportunity.

He added: “It is something I have been talking about over the last couple of weeks. Since my time here we have tried to transition the next generation, the next group of Scarlet regulars. The club have been very fortunate over the last 10 years they have had a group of players who have been excellent, who have gone on to play international rugby and a lot of them for the British & Irish Lions, it is important we see the next group of players coming through.

“If you look at the Edinburgh game, you had Shaun Evans, Sam Wainwright, Dan Davis, Kemsley Mathias, Morgan Jones starting, I have spoken about our young centres (Joe Roberts, Ioan Nicholas and Eddie James), those guys are exciting for the future of the Scarlets. It is not just about giving them opportunity, they deserve the shirt because they are performing as well.”

The squad has been bolstered by the return from injury of Wales internationals Josh Macleod, Johnny Williams and Tom Rogers, who are all in the contention for the trip to Cork.

Munster versus Scarlets kicks off at 7.35pm on Friday. The match will be broadcast live by BBC Wales and Viaplay.