Scarlets coach Simon Easterby admitted it was a boost having two of his Welsh squad members available in the Anglo-Welsh Cup after watching his side claim a 22-16 win over Cardiff Blues.
Full-back Liam Williams and tighthead prop Samson Lee were sent back to the region after not being selected in the Wales matchday squad in Friday’s defeat to Samoa.
Williams was a constant threat for the Scarlets, who sit second in the RaboDirect PRO12, with his entries into the three-quarter line, and also had a try ruled out after not quite grounding the ball.
And Easterby has his fingers crossed that the influential duo will remain available for the Parc y Scarlets outfit as they look to build on Saturday’s victory over Cardiff.
“Liam is going well and has gone well all season,” said Easterby. “He plays well most weeks and we had no complaints about having him back.
“It was great having them both back. To be fair (Wales interim head coach) Rob Howley has been excellent at giving us an early indication over who is available.
“They have both done really well – we have been pretty pleased with Liam for a couple of years now and Samson has come on this year and been very effective.
“After the Samoa match Wales might change things and I am sure Liam and Samson will be on their radar to take on the All Blacks, but if they are not we would love to have them here.”
The Blues had opened their Anglo-Welsh campaign with a win over Wasps last weekend, and were 13-3 up early on following Luke Hamilton’s try and eight points from Gareth Davies.
But the Scarlets hit back through a 35th-minute converted penalty try and a Williams penalty which levelled the scores before half-time.
Davies kicked the Blues back in front, but Aled Thomas stepped up to land three late penalties and lead the hosts to victory, and Easterby was particularly pleased with his side's second half performance.
“We lacked a bit of accuracy in the first half but the second half was much better – we got good field position and had plenty of possession,” added the 37-year-old.
“We are trying out new combinations in this competition and I was pleased we came through to win the game.”