Scarlets make three changes for capital clash

2 Jan 2020
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Scarlets will take on Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park on Friday evening (7.35) showing three changes to the side that took the field against the Ospreys on Boxing Day.

All the changes come up front with Werner Kruger replacing Samson Lee at tight-head prop, Fijian international Tevita Ratuva coming in for Sam Lousi at lock and Uzair Cassiem taking the place of Blade Thomson at No. 8. Lee, Lousi and Thomson are named among the replacements.

Head coach Brad Mooar has given a vote of faith to the same match-day 23 that registered a record 44-0 victory over the Ospreys.

With Johnny McNicholl still nursing an ankle injury, Leigh Halfpenny, Ryan Conbeer and Steff Evans continue in the back three.

Evans’s derby double took his try tally to six in the Guinness PRO14 this season and the winger now has an impressive strike rate of 44 tries in 108 appearances in a Scarlets jersey.

Steff Hughes remains the one ever-present this season and again links up with Wales international Hadleigh Parkes in midfield.

Angus O’Brien, on the back of successive man-of-the-match performances, partners Gareth Davies at half-back.

Kruger joins Wyn Jones and skipper Ken Owens in the front row, while Jake Ball packs down alongside ‘Tex’ Ratuva in the second row. Aaron Shingler and Josh Macleod start alongside Cassiem in the back row.

Scarlets sit third in the Conference B table, four points ahead of the Blues after nine rounds of action. 

Scarlets forwards coach Ioan Cunningham said: “It’s a massive challenge, we had a difficult time at the Arms Park last year so we know how tough it is going to be.

“They are a good side, well coached, but we are excited by the challenge and the prospect of playing in front of a packed crowd in the capital. The Conference standings also add an extra spice to it.”

 

Scarlets v Cardiff Blues (Cardiff Arms Park, Friday 7.35pm ko)

15 Leigh Halfpenny; 14 Ryan Conbeer, 13 Steff Hughes, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans; 10 Angus O’Brien, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ken Owens (capt), 3 Werner Kruger, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Tevita Ratuva, 6 Aaron Shingler, 7 Josh Macleod, 8 Uzair Cassiem.

Reps: 16 Phil Price, 17 Ryan Elias, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Paul Asquith.

 

Unavailable because of injury

Jonathan Davies (knee), Rhys Patchell (shoulder), James Davies (back), Rob Evans (neck), Johnny McNicholl (ankle), Dan Jones (ribs), Tom Phillips (hand), Kieron Fonotia (calf), Tom Prydie (hamstring), Dan Davis (foot), Joe Roberts (knee).