Newport Gwent Dragons v Scarlets (Sat)


Jonathan Davies has made eight Pro12 appearances for Scarlets this season
Pro12: Scarlets v Newport Gwent Dragons
Date: Saturday, 15 April Venue: Principality Stadium Kick-off: 17:15 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

Jonathan Davies and Liam Williams return to the Scarlets starting line-up for their Judgement Day game against Newport Gwent Dragons on Saturday.

Ken Owens, who scored on his 200th appearance in Scarlets’ 51-5 demolition of Treviso, retains his starting place.

The Dragons make five changes with Adam Warren, Sam Hobbs, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech and Nic Cudd all returning to the XV.

Kingsley Jones’ side will be looking to end a run of nine consecutive defeats.

Scarlets can finish in the top four this season and can leapfrog Ospreys into third place depending on the Swansea region’s result against Cardiff Blues in the first Judgement Day game.

Werner Kruger makes the replacements bench for the west Wales region after recovering from illness while David Bulbring returns from a shoulder injury and could come on to make his first appearance since November.

Meanwhile DTH van der Merwe, who scored a hat-trick of tries in the win against Treviso, drops to the bench.

The Dragons, who are currently 10th in the Pro12 following their defeat by lowly Zebre last time round, can finish as high as ninth this season but are just two points away from 11th.

What are they saying?

Dragons backs coach Shaun Connor: “We see this as a new challenge, the experience of coming here for some of our players will be massive and I’m sure some of them will want to put their hands up for selection for the Welsh tour at the end of the season. What a perfect opportunity to put the wrongs right.

“Cory Hill looks like an international player now when he plays for us, Tyler Morgan is dual contract and he’s starting to hit a bit of form and Ollie Griffiths is another one who’s put his hand up for us.”

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac: “We’re not going to underestimate them, they’re playing for the same reasons that we are; the big occasion, [national] selectors will be there, there’s everything to play for.

“There’s a lot to play for and it starts with a good performance against the Dragons this weekend.”

Scarlets: Johnny Mcnicholl, Liam Williams, Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams, Steff Evans, Dan Jones, Gareth Davies, Rob Evans, Ken Owens, Samson Lee, Jake Ball, Tom Price, Tadhg Beirne, James Davies, John Barclay

Replacements: Emyr Phillips, Wyn Jones, Werner Kruger, David Bulbring, Will Boyde, Jonathan Evans, Hadleigh Parkes, DTH van der Merwe

Newport Gwent Dragons: Carl Meyer, Adam Hughes, Tyler Morgan, Sam Beard, Adam Warren, Angus O’Brien, Charlie Davies; Sam Hobbs, Rhys Buckley, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, Cory Hill, Ollie Griffiths, Nic Cudd, Lewis Evans (capt)

Replacements: Thomas Rhys Thomas, Phil Price, Brok Harris, Ashley Sweet, Harrison Keddie, Dorian Jones, Tom Prydie, Jack Dixon

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

Assistant referees: Dan Jones (Wales), Sean Brickell (Wales)

TMO: Jon Mason (Wales).

Source link