LV= Cup: Scarlets v Gloucester preview
A blend of Scarlets youth and experience will take on Gloucester at Parc y Scarlets this Friday in the LV= Cup.
Last Updated: 26/01/14 9:35am
Currently in second place in Pool 4 on four points, the Scarlets are looking to secure a victory over former head coach Nigel Davies' side to keep their campaign alive.
With 11 first-team players on international duty with Wales, and injuries to key positions, Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby has selected a team which includes a number of the region's up and coming stars.
Josh Turnbull, the only regional centurion in the starting XV, will lead the side.
"We still have an opportunity to progress in the LV= Cup, Northampton currently top the pool with nine points but if they lose at Rodney Parade on Saturday and we win Friday evening it comes down to the final fixture," said Easterby.
"It's another competition that we can potentially win silverware in and when that's the case we're going to make sure that we prepare and play as well as we can.
"The performance against Harlequins showed a lot of things and I was really positive about the way we attacked last weekend and we've worked hard on certain aspects of that to improve this weekend."
Wales Under 20 captain Steffan Hughes partners Adam Warren at centre, who made his 50th regional appearance against the Harlequins last week, in a new-look backline that collectively have only 143 regional appearances.
Warren's younger brother Aaron, who has had a great run in the British & Irish Cup with Llanelli RFC scoring nine tries in five games, comes in on the wing alongside Kristian Phillips. while Jordan Williams starts at full-back. Young stand-off Josh Lewis takes the reins alongside scrum-half Aled Davies.
The Scarlets have added an experienced edge to the pack with Turnbull alongside Craig Price and Sione Timani in the back row.
Johan Snyman and Richard Kelly form the locks with former Wales Under 20 duo Rob Evans and Kirby Myhill alongside Jacobie Adriaanse in the front row.
Second row Will James will skipper a youthful Gloucester side, including a return to face his former club for scrum-halfTavis Knoyle.
International call-ups have limited the number of players available to Gloucester this week as they try and keep alive their hopes of qualification for the knockout stages.
Experience will be provided by the likes of Knoyle and Martyn Thomas, another former Scarlet, while there is a return following injury for Jonny Bentley.
The rest of the backline relies heavily on academy prospects, with Andrew Bulumakau and Drew Cheshire set for senior bows.
The experience up front will come from Rupert Harden and Will James, although the rest of the pack, despite their youthful outlook, have all featured in first team squads this season, with the exception of Alex Woodburn who makes his full debut.
Scarlets: 15 Williams, 14 Phillips, 13 Hughes, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Aaron Warren, 10 Lewis, 9 Davies; 1 Rob Evans, 2 Myhill, 3 Adriaane, 4 Kelly, 5 Snyman, 6 Turnbull (capt), 7 Price, 8 Timani
Replacements: 16 Harris, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Pungea, 19 Carwyn Jones, 20 Rawlins, 21 Lloyd, 22 Owen, 23 Kyle Evans
Gloucester: 15 Thomas, 14 Reynolds, 13 Bulumakau, 12 Burns, 11 Cheshire, 10 Bentley, 9 Knoyle; 1 Gibbons, 2 Britton, 3 Harden, 4 James (capt), 5 Hicks, 6 Moriarty, 7 Woodburn, 8 Ludlow
Replacements: 16 George, 17 Murphy, 18 Heard, 19 Hill, 20 Kalamafoni, 21 Boughton, 22 Evans, 23 Hayward