Dwayne Peel has urged his players to “be bold” as the Scarlets begin their 2023-24 BKT United Rugby Championship campaign against the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria on Sunday (2pm UK).
The heat and humidity will add to the challenge of a powerful home unit, but Peel says his side have to go toe to toe with the South Africans.
“Coming out here first is a tough challenge, it’s a big start for us,” Peel said.
“The Bulls all have intent. If you go hard, they want to go harder. When you’re playing out here, every collision is huge.
“The Bulls have a strong squad, haven’t got too many in that Springboks squad and a couple of their senior Springboks are behind.
“People like Ruan Nortje, Marcell Coetzee, who I know from my time at Ulster, Elrigh Louw, they’re quality players.
“It’s a special place to play in, Loftus. We want to start fast, we want to show what we can do, we’ve got plenty of experience in our team and we’ve got to be bold, go and play and fly into them.”
Peel has handed a first URC start to 21-year-old No.8 Ben Williams at Loftus.
“I love his attitude in pre-season and last season,” said Peel.
“He picked up a knock for Llanelli last year because otherwise he’d have had a few more opportunities, but he’s got a lot of intent about him. You’ll get a huge shift every time he trains and plays. He deserves his place to start.”