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Three Lions in Scarlets’ 23 for Belfast test

Guinness PRO14 Rugby Editor

14 Sep 2017

Leigh Halfpenny

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac has named his side to take on Ulster in the third round of the Guinness PRO14 and has included all three of the region’s Lions in the matchday 23.

Captain Ken Owens returns to lead the side as he prepares for his first appearance in a regional jersey since the emphatic victory over regional rivals Ospreys at the Parc in May.

The test Lion slots in to the front row alongside international props Rob Evans and Samson Lee whilst Welsh international Jake Ball returns to the line-up after last week’s break to partner Irish lock Tadhg Beirne.

The backrow, of Aaron Shingler, Will Boyde and John Barclay, who were so effective against Zebre last weekend remain unchanged.

The only change of personnel in the backline is the return of Lion Leigh Halfpenny with one positional change that sees Jonny Mcnicholl move across to the wing.

Centre Jonathan Davies, who was named Lion of the Series in New Zealand after playing every minute of every test, will look to make a return to Scarlets action from the replacements bench.

Speking ahead of the clash head coach Wayne Pivac said; “We talked about getting off to a better start than last year. We expected to as a group as we’ve been together a while here now as a group. We expected to get a better start and have done that but there’s still plenty to work on.

“It’s well documented how we want to play the game. We adjust our play slightly in terms of where we attack from depending on the weather. You can only play what’s in front of you.

“Friday is definitely a step up and it’s two unbeaten teams. We have the utmost respect for Ulster, they have a lot of strike power. It’s going to be a good test for us at the Kingspan. That’s what the players want. They want to come up against world-class players and you want to challenge yourself against the best.”

Scarlets team to take on Ulster, Friday 15th September at Kingspan Stadium, kick-off 7.35pm;

15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Johnny Mcnicholl, 13 Hadleigh Parkes, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Gareth Davies, 1 Rob Evans, 2 Ken Owens ©, 3 Samson Lee, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Tadhg Beirne, 6 Aaron Shingler, 7 Will Boyde, 8 John Barclay

Replacements; Ryan Elias, Wyn Jones, Werner Kruger, David Bulbring, Josh Macleod, Jonathan Evans, Rhys Jones, Jonathan Davies

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