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Scarlets stars caught up in derby buzz

Guinness PRO12 Editor

28 Sep 2010


Scarlets stars Stephen Jones and Regan King have spoken of their excitement ahead of the big west Wales derby with the Ospreys this weekend.

Jones and King and co welcome the Ospreys across the Loughor Estuary on Saturday for what looks set to be a classic encounter at the Parc-Y-Scarlets.

And despite the fixture still being four full days away, it’s plain to see that Scarlet fever is grabbing the entire region ahead of the most-eagerly anticipated match of the season.

"You look forward to these kinds of fixtures", said Wales fly-half Jones, who knows the rivalry better than most having been a lifelong Llanelli player.

"As a player these are the kind of games you look forward to. There is so much at stake.

"I enjoy playing in the derbies and they have been crackers in the past. If you can't get excited for these games then there is something wrong with you."

The game is a continuation of the old rivalry between the Llanelli and Swansea club sides but New Zealander King finds it a little unusual to have such big rivalries just a stone’s throw apart.

"It's quite strange", said King, who played for Waikato and the Chiefs and was capped once by the All Blacks eight years ago.

"There are some Ospreys supporters in Llanelli and I guess that is just testament to the success they've had.

"But I find it really weird that the big rivalry is so close. The nearest rivalries in New Zealand are like two hours away."

The Scarlets are high on confidence right now after winning their last three matches and scoring 13 tries in the process, while the Ospreys have experienced a mixed bag of results having won two and lost two of their opening four fixtures.

But while the media have been singing the Scarlets’ praises and questioning the Ospreys’ current form, King is fully aware of the challenge his side will face, particularly in midfield and out wide where the visitors have an abundance of talent.

"Tommy Bowe is a big strong man, he's fast and Andrew Bishop has been playing really well for the last few seasons", added King.

"So we are wary of the threat there. James Hook's maybe on the bench and he's another attacking threat. We are definitely wary but prepared.

"Everyone wants bragging rights and we definitely owe them one. Whenever you play a Welsh region there's a different tempo. There's always that rivalry there, especially against the Ospreys."