Scarlets team to face Dragons at Rodney Parade

Rob Lloyd Featured

Sam Costelow, Vaea Fifita and Steff Evans return from injury to boost the Scarlets side for their New Year’s Day clash with Dragons RFC at Rodney Parade (17:15 S4C & Viaplay).

Costelow was a late withdrawal from the Boxing Day derby with the Ospreys; Fifita missed that game because of an ankle injury, while Evans has overcome a leg issue to take his place on the left wing.

Costelow’s return to the No. 10 jersey sees Ioan Lloyd move to full-back. Tom Rogers again starts on the right wing; Evans replaces Ryan Conbeer on the left.

In midfield, Johnny Williams and Joe Roberts continue their partnership. Eddie James is ruled out for a number of weeks because of an ankle injury.  

Costelow links up with fellow Wales international Gareth Davies at half-back.

The front row of Kemsley Mathias, Ryan Elias and Sam Wainwright are again named to start with Morgan Jones coming in to partner Alex Craig in the second row.

There is a reshuffle in the back row. Fifita slots in at eight so skipper Josh Macleod switches to his preferred openside spot. Teddy Leatherbarrow is going through his return to play protocols after picking up a knock against the Ospreys.

The only change to the bench sees Jac Price swap places with Morgan Jones.

Scarlets defence coach Gareth Williams said: “We were all disappointed with what happened on Boxing Day. We know we have to execute better in all aspects of our game and that has been a big focus for us going to Rodney Parade.

“The Dragons have a lot of good individuals in their team, Rodney Parade will be hostile, they will want a reaction after their defeat to Cardiff and we will want the same. It is going to be a battle.”

The BKT United Rugby Championship round nine encounter will be broadcast live by S4C and Viaplay.

Scarlets team to play Dragons at Rodney Parade on Monday, January 1 (17:15)

15 Ioan Lloyd; 14 Tom Rogers, 13 Joe Roberts, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Steff Evans; 10 Sam Costelow, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Kemsley Mathias, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Sam Wainwright, 4 Alex Craig, 5 Morgan Jones, 6 Sam Lousi, 7 Josh Macleod (capt), 8 Vaea Fifita.

Reps: 16 Shaun Evans, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Joe Jones, 19 Jac Price, 20 Ben Williams, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Jonathan Davies, 23 Ioan Nicholas.

Players unavailable because of injury

Teddy Leatherbarrow, Eddie James, Carwyn Tuipulotu, Dan Davis, Johnny McNicholl, Taine Plumtree, Ken Owens, Dan Jones, Iwan Shenton, Isaac Young.