Prop Rob Evans to make first PRO14 start of season

Rob LloydNews

Wales international prop Rob Evans makes his first Guinness PRO14 start of the season in the Scarlets side to take on Zebre at Parc y Scarlets on Sunday (17:15 S4C).

Evans replaces Phil Price at loose-head as one of three changes to the team narrowly beaten by Edinburgh last time out.

Behind the scrum, wing Ryan Conbeer comes in for his first PRO14 appearance of the campaign, slotting into a back three that contains Wales internationals Johnny McNicholl and Steff Evans.

Steff Hughes, who again leads the side, and Paul Asquith continue in midfield, while Angus O’Brien and Dane Blacker remain at half-back.

There are two changes in the pack — Evans for Price and Jac Price for the suspended Josh Helps at lock. Jac packs down alongside his Wales U20s second-row partner Morgan Jones.

Uzair Cassiem, Jac Morgan and Sione Kalamafoni make up the back row for a second successive week.

There are a number of changes on the replacements’ bench with two more of the Scarlets’ promising youngsters — prop Kemsley Mathias and fly-half Sam Costelow — set to make their PRO14 debuts.

Danny Drake, recently recalled from a loan spell at Gloucester, goes straight into the match-day 23 to provide second-row cover.

Scarlets attack coach Richard Whiffin said: “We want to go out and execute an 80-minute performance. We have shown in parts our ambition to play, our defence has been outstanding, obviously we know we need to sharpen up on our discipline. If we can nail those three things hopefully we can get on the right side of the result.”

Scarlets (v Zebre; Sunday, Nov 8, 2020; 17:15 S4C)

15 Johnny McNicholl; 14 Ryan Conbeer, 13 Steff Hughes (capt), 12 Paul Asquith, 11 Steff Evans; 10 Angus O’Brien, 9 Dane Blacker; 1 Rob Evans, 2 Marc Jones, 3 Javan Sebastian, 4 Jac Price, 5 Morgan Jones, 6 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Jac Morgan, 8 Sione Kalamafoni.

Reps 16 Taylor Davies 17 Kemsley Mathias 18 Werner Kruger 19 Danny Drake 20 Ed Kennedy 21 Will Homer 22 Sam Costelow 23 Tyler Morgan.

Unavailable because of injury

Ken Owens (shoulder), Josh Macleod (hamstring), Lewis Rawlins (neck), Marc Jones (groin), Tomi Lewis (knee), Alex Jeffries (elbow), Daf Hughes (knee), Aaron Shingler.