Steff Evans to make 150th Scarlets appearance

Rob Lloyd

Wing Steff Evans will make his 150th Scarlets appearance in Saturday’s Round 16 United Rugby Championship clash with Dragons at Rodney Parade (15:00; BBC Wales).

Evans made his senior debut in 2014 and has gone on to establish himself as one of the leading try-scorers in the competition. The 27-year-old Wales international has 60 Scarlets tries to his name over eight seasons and currently sits seventh in the URC’s all-time chart.

Evans is named in a side showing seven changes from the team that took the field against the Dragons in Llanelli.

With Liam Williams ruled out with a hamstring injury, Angus O’Brien comes in at full-back to join Corey Baldwin and Evans in the back three, while in midfield skipper Jonathan Davies switches to outside centre to accommodate fellow Wales international Johnny Williams at 12.

Fly-half Rhys Patchell returns from a hamstring issue and he partners Gareth Davies, who replaces Kieran Hardy at scrum-half.

Another Wales international, Ryan Elias, returns at hooker, packing down between Steff Thomas and Javan Sebastian, while Sam Lousi has recovered from the knee problem which forced him to withdraw just before kick-off last weekend. The Tongan international partners Jac Price in the second row.

In the back row, there is one change with Josh Macleod coming in for Aaron Shingler, who is included among the replacements.

Also on the bench is prop WillGriff John as well as wing Ryan Conbeer, who celebrated the birth of his baby daughter this week.

Head coach Dwayne Peel said: “Rodney Parade is a tough place to go, but we are looking forward to it. There is a lot we can work on and we have trained hard this week. I am excited for the group that they get an opportunity again. Like I said last week, historically, results between the two sides have been close and I expect it to be the same again.”

Scarlets team v Dragons (Saturday, April 23; 15:00 BBC Sports Wales & Premier Sports)

15 Angus O’Brien; 14 Corey Baldwin, 13 Jonathan Davies (capt), 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Steff Evans; 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Steff Thomas, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Javan Sebastian, 4 Sam Lousi, 5 Jac Price, 6 Josh Macleod, 7 Tomas Lezana, 8 Sione Kalamafoni.

Reps: 16 Daf Hughes, 17 Rob Evans, 18 WillGriff John, 19 Morgan Jones, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Tyler Morgan, 23 Ryan Conbeer.

Unavailable through injury & illness

Liam Williams (hamstring), Sam Costelow (concussion), Blade Thomson (concussion), Joe Roberts (concussion), Steff Hughes (illness), Wyn Jones (knee), Johnny McNicholl (knee), Carwyn Tuipulotu (foot), Tom Rogers (ankle), Scott Williams (shoulder), Dan Jones (knee), Ioan Nicholas (ankle), Samson Lee (Achilles), Marc Jones (calf), Ken Owens (back), Tom Phillips (knee), Leigh Halfpenny (knee), Lewis Rawlins (concussion), Josh Helps (ankle).