Scarlets make three changes for Murrayfield test

Rob Lloyd News

Ioan Nicholas makes his first Guinness PRO14 appearance of the season as one of three changes to the Scarlets side for Saturday’s round four clash with Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield (7.35pm ko).

The 21-year-old Nicholas played most of his rugby last season on the wing but comes in at centre for the injured Paul Asquith, who picked up a blow to his face late on during the 54-10 victory over Zebre last time out.

Elsewhere in the back division, Tom James replaces fellow Wales international Steff Evans, who is ruled out because of illness. James links up with Johnny McNicholl and Ryan Conbeer in the back three. 

Steff Hughes again leads the side from centre, partnering Nicholas in a home-grown midfield, while Dan Jones and Kieran Hardy continue their half-back partnership.

Up front, there is just one change with Steve Cummins drafted in at second row for the injured Lewis Rawlins, who is ruled out with a shoulder issue.

Wales props Rob Evans and Samson Lee pack down in the front row, while hooker Taylor Davies is rewarded for his try-scoring performance against Zebre with a second PRO14 start.

Head coach Brad Mooar keeps faith with the same back-row that has started all three previous wins – Tom Phillips, Josh Macleod and Uzair Cassiem, who has made more carries than any player in the Championship in the opening three rounds.

Samoa international Kieron Fonotia becomes the first of the Scarlets’ World Cup contingent to return to action and is named among the replacements.

SCARLETS: 15 Johnny McNicholl; 14 Ryan Conbeer, 13 Steff Hughes (capt), 12 Ioan Nicholas, 11 Tom James; 10 Dan Jones, 9 Kieran Hardy; 1 Rob Evans, 2 Taylor Davies, 3 Samson Lee, 4 Steve Cummins, 5 Juandre Kruger, 6 Tom Phillips, 7 Josh Macleod, 8 Uzair Cassiem.

Reps: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Phil Price, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Josh Helps, 20 Dan Davis, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Angus O’Brien 23 Kieron Fonotia.

Unavailable because of injury/illness

Steff Evans (illness), Paul Asquith (facial injury), Tom Prydie (hamstring), Lewis Rawlins (shoulder), Corey Baldwin (hip), Joe Roberts (knee).