Clermont Auvergene v Scarlets: Heineken Cup match preview
The Scarlets have brought several Wales starts into their back line for their Heineken Cup clash at Clermont Auvergne.
Last Updated: 13/10/12 11:23am
The Top 14 outfit boats a formidable record at Stade Marcel Michelin, going unbeaten there over the last three years.
But the Scarlets, who lie third in the RaboDirect PRO12 table having scored more tries than any other side in that competition, will hope a host of internationals can lead them to a surprise victory.
As well as Liam Williams at full-back and George North on the right wing, Morgan Stoddart comes in on the left wing, Rhys Priestland starts at fly-half and Jonathan Davies comes in to partner Scott Williams in the centres following the league win over Newport-Gwent Dragons last time out.
But Andy Fenby, a standout performer on the wing this year, is absent with a dead leg.
In the forwards, Joe Snyman partners George Earle for the first time in the second row, while Wales U20 prop Samson Lee retains his place in the front row after impressing against the Dragons.
Clermont make nine changes to the side that lost to Castres in the league last week, with France stars Aurelien Rougerie and Morgan Parra returning to the starting XV.
Brock James is preferred to David Skrela at fly-half, while former Scarlets full-back Lee Byrne features in a fearsome back three alongside Naipolioni Nalaga and Sitiveni Sivivatu.
Clermont Auvergne: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Naipolioni Nalaga, 10 Brock James, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Gerhard Vosloo, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Julien Pierre, 20 Elvis Vermeulen Loic Jacquet, 21 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 22 David Skrela, 23 Benson Stanley.
Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Morgan Stoddart, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Rob McCusker (capt). 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 George Earle, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Shaun Hopkins, 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Sione Timani, 20 Kieran Murphy, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Gareth Maule.
What they said...
Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby
"It doesn't get much tougher than travelling to Clermont; the history they have in their home ground is second to nobody and we are fully aware of the task ahead of us. There are 47 teams before us haven't been able to win there - so we respect them and what they do at home.
"However, we also have to impose our game on them, as much as their back line is full of quality, ours is too and in terms of quality on paper we are fairly evenly matched.