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Williams to lead Scarlets in New Year derby

Guinness PRO14 Rugby Editor

30 Dec 2016

Scott Williams

Centre Scott Williams will lead the Scarlets in the New Year’s Day derby at Parc y Scarlets as the West Wales region look to do the double over Cardiff Blues.

Head Coach Wayne Pivac has rung the changes ahead of the New Year’s Day clash with his side looking to bounce back to winning ways following defeat to Ospreys on Tuesday.

Williams will be joined in the centre by fellow international Jonathan Davies as he makes a return to fitness from a hamstring injury.

A new-look back-three sees Aled Thomas at fullback with Johnny Mcnicholl and Steff Evans on the wings. Rhys Patchell and Jonathan Evans make up the halfback pairing with Gareth Davies moving to the replacements bench.

Wyn Jones and Ryan Elias come in to the front row to partner international tighthead prop Samson Lee whilst Lewis Rawlins joins Jake Ball in the second row. Tadhg Beirne moves to the blindside flank in Aaron Shingler’s absence with Will Boyde and John Barclay remaining at 7 and 8 respectively.

“Up until [Tuesday] we were reasonably happy to be honest. The slow start seems a long, long, time ago now. We’d won seven on the trot, we’re going ok in Europe and we we’re pretty pleased.

“[Tuesday] was one of those days where under pressure we made some mistakes. I think it’s a good learning for us, we’re by no means the finished article. Players need to have a good look at that game and make sure learn from it and don’t make the same errors again.”

Pivac went on to say; “It’s a big game for both teams; we can put some space on them or we can close it right up and the race for top six, let along top four. It’s an important game.”

Scarlets team to take on Cardiff Blues at Parc y Scarlets, Sunday 1st January kick-off 3pm;

15 Aled Thomas, 14 Johnny Mcnicholl, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams [c], 11 Steff Evans, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Jonathan Evans, 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Samson lee, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Lewis Rawlins, 6 Tadhg Beirne, 7 Will Boyde, 8 John Barclay

Replacements; Emyr Phillips, Rob Evans, Werner Kruger, Tom Price, Josh Macleod, Gareth Davies, Dan Jones, Hadleigh Parkes