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Connacht

  • Griffin,
    Penalty goals: Nikora (2),
11 - 24

Scarlets

  • Davies, North, Williams (2),
    Conversions: Priestland, Williams,
  • Guinness PRO12
  • 15th Sep 2012
  • KO 15:00
  • Ground: Galway Sportsground
  • Att: 4,500

Connacht v Scarlets: Teams

At the Sportsground, Saturday September 15, kick-off 3.00pm

Last updated: 14th September 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Connacht v Scarlets: Teams

Jonathan Davies: Will captain the Scarlets

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Connacht will be hoping to halt Scarlets' blistering start to the new RaboDirect PRO12 season at the Sportsground.

The Welshmen have won their opening two fixtures and lead the way while Connacht gained a first win against Zebre last Friday.

The Scarlets have made eight changes to their starting XV for Saturday's PRO12 clash in Galway. Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby brings in a few new faces to his matchday squad and mixes up experience and youth with a number of player rotations for the contest.

Young Scarlets talent Jordan Williams gets his senior Scarlets debut at full-back where he replaces his namesake Liam Williams while new signing Australian Welsh-qualified second row Jake Ball is on the bench and gets his first opportunity to appear in his regional colours.

Wales international centre Jon Davies takes the captain's armband for the first time in his Scarlets rugby career.

Other changes to the back-line from last weekend's run-on side against Glasgow sees Gareth Davies replacing Tavis Knoyle at scrum-half, while Nick Reynolds comes in for Andy Fenby on the wing.

Amongst the forwards, Samson Lee starts at tight-head in his first competitive start and Phil John at loose-head prop, Sione Timani joins Richard Kelly in the second row. Lee takes over from Fiji international Deacon Manu while John and Timani come in for Rhodri Jones and George Earle respectively.

In the back row, Kieran Murphy starts at number eight with Scarlets skipper Rob McCusker on the bench and Josh Turnbull replaces Aaron Shingler on the flank.

Tough assignment

Scarlets attack coach Mark Jones expects a tough assignment, commenting: "We haven't had a great record at the Sportsground and have tripped up on our last two visits with narrow losses, so we don't put ourselves in a position where we are fighting a tight margin at the end of the game.

"We will need to be ruthless and get ahead and then protect that lead. There is certainly no complacency in this side and absolutely no expectation on winning."

Connacht head coach Eric Elwood has made six changes to his run-on side for the encounter. Injury has forced an entire new back row and sees Andrew Browne named as blindside flanker.

This is Browne's first game back since he was injured during the 2011 pre-season. Willie Faloon and Eoin McKeon complete the all new back row and replace Johnny O'Connor and George Naopu respectively.

Brett Wilkinson will start in the loosehead prop position while new signing Nathan White gets his first start as tighthead prop. In the backs, Dave McSharry has been promoted to a starting berth, replacing Mata Fifita in the centre.

Elwood was very pleased with his team's performance in their 30-17 win over Zebre in Parma last week but knows there is a lot of work to do this weekend.

"We played well in Zebre scoring three tries away from home and securing our first win of the season," said Elwood. "The lads showed huge character in Italy, especially when we were forced into making so many changes in the second half.

"Tomorrow poses another challenge as Scarlets are top of the league and are playing very well. They've had a great start to the season, scoring 10 tries in the process."

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy (c), 14 Tiernan O'Halloran, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Miah Nikora, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Andrew Browne, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Nathan White, 2 Ethienne Reynecke, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Dennis Buckley, 18 Rodney Ah You, 19 David Gannon, 20 Johnny O'Connor, 21 Dave Moore, 22 Matthew Jarvis, 23 Robbie Henshaw.

Scarlets: 15 Jordan Williams, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies (c), 12 Scott Williams, 11 Nick Reynolds 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Kieran Murphy. 7 Johnathan Edwards, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Richard Kelly, 4 Sione Timani, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Peter Edwards, 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Rob McCusker, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Gareth Maule.

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Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - February 22 2015
Pos Team P Pts
12 Zebre 15 10
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Friday 27th February
Guinness PRO12
19:35Ospreys vs Leinster
19:35Ulster vs Scarlets
Saturday 28th February
19:15Munster vs Glasgow Warriors
Sunday 1st March
12:45Cardiff Blues vs Edinburgh
17:00Zebre vs Dragons
17:15Connacht vs Treviso
Friday 6th March
19:35Cardiff Blues vs Connacht
19:35Glasgow Warriors vs Zebre
Saturday 7th March
14:40Ospreys vs Munster
17:15Scarlets vs Leinster
18:00Benetton Treviso vs Edinburgh
Sunday 8th March
16:00Dragons vs Ulster
Friday 27th March
19:35Leinster vs Glasgow
19:35Ulster vs Cardiff Blues
Saturday 28th March
TBCBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D'gons
TBCOspreys vs Zebre
14:40Scarlets vs Edinburgh
17:15Munster vs Connacht
Friday 10th April
19:35Glasgow vs Cardiff Blues
19:35Benetton Treviso vs Ospreys
Saturday 11th April
TBCEdinburgh vs Munster
TBCZebre vs Scarlets
14:40Connacht vs Ulster
Sunday 12th April
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Leinster
Friday 24th April
19:35Edinburgh vs Zebre

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