Scarlets v Saints Anglo Welsh LV= Cup Preview

Northampton Saints have named their team to play Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets in the Anglo Welsh LV =Cup with four changes to the side that beat Newcastle last week.

James Wilson’s return at full-back brings a move to the wing for Tom Collins, with Jamie Elliott having the week off.

Meanwhile up front there is a direct swap in the back row, with Ben Nutley starting and Teimana Harrison on the bench, while in the front row Ross McMillan and Tom Mercey replace Mike Haywood and Gareth Denman respectively.

On the bench hooker Matti Williams is in line for his first senior action since his injury against London Irish last April, while Alex Waller, Salesi Ma’afu, Calum Clark, Lee Dickson and Ben Foden all return to the match day squad.

Meanwhile, two of the Scarlets’ young talents will make their debuts on Friday with scrum half Kieran Hardy and second row Shaun Jones rewarded for strong performances in the British and Irish Cup in recent weeks.

The next generation players, which include last week’s debutant Steffan Evans and former Wales Under 20s captain Steffan Hughes, are supported in the starting XV by some of the region’s more experienced players.

South African second row George Earle will captain the side and props Phil John and Peter Edwards as well as flanker Rob McCusker, who returns from injury, add experience and maturity to the pack.

“We have a lot of experienced guys and international age grade players and they’ve had experience in the LV= Cup and Guinness PRO12. It’s great that they get more time in the shirt,” said Scarlets LV= Cup squad coach Ioan Cunningham.

“We’re all about winning our home games and in the hard conditions last week I thought the result was excellent and led into this week nicely for us.

“We have to win our home games, its something we take massive pride in. We have to make this place somewhere that is really difficult to come and get a result and every home game is huge for us.”

Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Kick-off: 19:30 GMT
Match Officials
Referee
: Thomas Foley (England)
Assistant referees: Wayne Davies, Justin Williams

Teams

Scarlets

15 Steff Evans, 14 Jordan Williams, 13 Steffan Hughes, 12 Gareth Owen, 11 Frazier Climo, 10 Steven Shingler, 9 Kieran Hardy, 8 Rory Pitman 7 James Davies, 6 Rob McCusker, 5 George Earle (c), 4 Shaun Jones, 3 Peter Edwards, 2 Kirby Myhill, 1 Phil John.

Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Phil Day, 20 Sion Bennett, 21 Rhodri Davies, 22 Josh Lewis, 23 Aaron Warren.

Northampton Saints

15 James Wilson, 14 Howard Packman, 13 Tom Stephenson, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Tom Collins, 10 Will Hooley, 9 Joel Hodgson, 8 Jon Fisher, 7 Ben Nutley, 6 Phil Dowson (c), 5 Christian Day, 4 Alex Woolford, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Ross Mcmillan, 1 Ethan Waller.

Replacements: 16 Matti Williams, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Salesi Ma’afu, 19 Calum Clark, 20 Teimana Harrison, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Harry Mallinder, 23 Ben Foden.

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