Scarlets reshuffle pack for Cheetahs match-up

Rob LloydFeatured

Scarlets have reshuffled the pack for the resumption of the EPCR Challenge Cup and the round three visit of Toyota Cheetahs to Parc y Scarlets on Friday night (20:00; S4C).

Head coach Dwayne Peel has made two personnel changes and one positional to the team that secured a 28-22 win over Cardiff at the Arms Park last weekend.

The back division that impressed in the capital remains the same with Leigh Halfpenny at full-back and Johnny McNicholl and Steff Evans on the wings.

Joe Roberts, outstanding against Cardiff, partners skipper Jonathan Davies in midfield, while Rhys Patchell and Dane Blacker continue their half-back partnership.

All the changes come up front.

Kemsley Mathias (pictured) returns to the No. 1 jersey, packing down alongside Ken Owens and Javan Sebastian in the front row. Morgan Jones comes in at lock for his first start of the campaign, while Vaea Fifita – player of the match against Cardiff – switches to blindside flanker. Dan Davis and Carwyn Tuipulotu make up the remainder of the back row.

On the bench, Wales and British & Irish Lions prop Wyn Jones returns from a knee injury, having last played against Zebre in October. Jac Price is another to come off the casualty list, as does Sam Costelow, who has recovered from the head knock he suffered against the Ospreys on Boxing Day.

Head coach Dwayne Peel said: “We have put ourselves in a strong position in the pool so there is a big opportunity for us in the competition. The next two weekends are massively important for us.”

Scarlets team to play Toyota Cheetahs at Parc y Scarlets on Friday, January 13 (20:00; S4C)

15 Leigh Halfpenny; 14 Johnny McNicholl; 13 Joe Roberts, 12 Jonathan Davies (capt), 11 Steff Evans; 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Dane Blacker; 1 Kemsley Mathias, 2 Ken Owens, 3 Javan Sebastian, 4 Morgan Jones, 5 Sam Lousi, 6 Vaea Fifita, 7 Dan Davis, 8 Carwyn Tuipulotu.

Replacements: 16 Shaun Evans, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Sam Wainwright, 19 Jac Price, 20 Tomás Lezana, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Sam Costelow, 23 Ioan Nicholas.

Unavailable because of injury & suspension

Sione Kalamafoni, Scott Williams, WillGriff John, Ryan Elias, Josh Macleod, Blade Thomson, Tom Rogers, Corey Baldwin, Alex Jeffries, Phil Price, Tom Price, Johnny Williams, Callum Williams, Samson Lee.