Press Pass: Dwayne previews Benetton clash

Rob Lloyd News

Scarlets return to BKT United Rugby Championship action on Saturday (3pm) when they take on Benetton at Parc y Scarlets.

Head coach Dwayne Peel spoke to the media this week about the challenge of the Italians and welcoming back the international cavalry.

Dwayne, how have preparations been for Saturday’s game?

DP: “It’s been a good week, there is a good feeling around the place, everyone is excited to play and it’s great to have the Welsh boys back in the mix. It has been a long time since we’ve had pretty much all the squad together, we have two home games and hopefully we can use it as a statement. 

“We have five home games left out of seven this season and we are excited about this weekend. The boys are positive and looking forward to firing some shots. We have spoken about making sure we enjoy it.

“We know we are not where we need to be in terms of points in the table, but there are plenty of points still to play for. It is important we go out and play with a bit of style and how we know we can play. It is important we fire some shots and have a crack at teams, that is what I want to see happen. The fans want to see us trying to express ourselves and that is definitely what we want to do.”

Are your Six Nations players available?

DP: “Joe Roberts has a knee injury after the French game, he pulled up in training last week so there are a few investigations going on there, he won’t be available this weekend. Ryan Elias (hamstring) is also not available, but everyone else is.”

“Over the next couple of weeks we will also have people like Taine Plumtree and Jarrod Taylor back in the mix. We are starting to get strength in numbers again.”

What about the challenge of Benetton?

DP: “They have been very, very good. They are a team that has built really well over the last couple of seasons, they had 14 representatives in the Italian side last weekend and were second in the league not long ago. They are very competitive and I am sure they will come after us physically and want to dominate us there. We have spoken about that and are ready for that challenge. They have some outstanding players and a strong squad with a big overseas influence regardless of whether the Italian boys play.

“For us, it’s about going out and expressing ourselves. For the likes of Costy (Sam Costelow) etc, I want them to go out and play with a smile on their face. I am looking forward to seeing us go.”

Is there an update on Sam Lousi and Vaea Fifita’s contract situation?

DP: “There are active conversations going and hopefully in the next couple of weeks we will be clarifying a few things on that front.”