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Scarlets

  • Maule, Turnbull, Davies, Davies,
    Penalty goals: Priestland (2),
    Conversions: Priestland (3),
32 - 30

Connacht

  • Carr, McKeown, Henshaw, Marmion,
    Penalty goals: Parks (2),
    Conversions: Nikora (2),
  • Guinness PRO12
  • 30th Mar 2014
  • KO 14:05
  • Ground: Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli
  • Att: 6,111

RaboDirect PRO12 preview: Scarlets v Connacht

Last updated: 28th March 2014  

John Muldoon Connacht 2013

John Muldoon: Skipper makes his 40th Connacht appearance

WALES LOCK JAKE BALL GIVING A HIGH FIVE

Jake Ball (right): Returns to the Scarlets' ranks

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Scarlets are boosted by the return of three internationals as they prepare for Sunday's vital clash with Connacht.

Head Coach Simon Easterby welcomes back Ken Owens, Rhodri Jones and Jake Ball into the Scarlets' ranks as his team look to maintain an unbeaten home record against these opponents that dates back to October 2004.

Also returning to action for the Welsh side are Rhys Priestland, Liam Williams and Jonathan Davies, who will captain the side in the absence of Rob McCusker.

A delighted Easterby told the club's website "Despite coping reasonably well during the Six Nations campaign the quality the boys bring to the table now is important.

"This week is about putting in the performance and we've had a little more time together to prepare and for the players to get back into their patterns.

"The likes of Rhys and Jon have a lot of responsibility in terms of performance, they'll be able to lead us through the last five games; there are plenty of positives still to come!"

Connacht go into Sunday's clash on the back of four successive wins and are now just four points behind the hosts, in seventh place. Conversely, they have lost their last four encounters with Scarlets. "Their scrum and line-out drive has been really effective and our discipline has got to be spot on against them.

"They've started to find their feet under Pat Lam and they have a really effective set piece, driving line-out and scrum, they're well equipped pretty much right across the park," said Easterby.

Lam has again been able to name an unchanged line-up, meaning that hooker Jason Harris-Wright will make his 40th appearance for Connacht, while back-rower John Muldoon will captain the side as he looks to add to the four tries he has scored in his last two matches.

Speaking on the team's website, Head Coach Lam said "Being able to put out the same team for the third fixture in a row is testament to the performance of those players selected. The recent team performances have been driven by huge competition for places within the squad.

"Our training has certainly gone up another level in the last number of weeks and we have some experienced and quality players in key positions all pushing hard for a starting place. It makes selection tough in one way but it is also great to see the guys named striving to perform on behalf of the entire squad."

Scarlets: 15 Williams, 14 Phillips, 13 Davies ©, 12 Barkley, 11 Williams, 10 Priestland, 9 Davies; 1 John, 2 Owens, 3 Jones, 4 Ball, 5 Snyman, 6 Turnbull, 7 Barclay, 8 Timani. Replacements: 16 Phillips, 17 Evans, 18 Adriaanse, 19 Kelly, 20 Rawlins, 21 Williams, 22 Thomas, 23 Maule.

Connacht: 15 Henshaw, 14 O'Halloran, 13 Griffin, 12 McSharry, 11 Carr, 10 Parks, 9 Marmion; 1 Buckley, 2 Harris-Wright, 3 Ah You, 4 Muldowney, 5 Kearney, 6 Muldoon ©, 7 Masterson, 8 McKeon.

Replacements: 16 Heffernan, 17 Loughney, 18 White, 19 Swift, 20 Browne, 21 Murphy, 22 Nikora, 23 Leader.

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Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - December 26 2014
Pos Team P Pts
11 Zebre 10 9
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Saturday 27th December
Guinness PRO12
14:40Glasgow Warriors vs Edinburgh
17:15Ospreys vs Scarlets
Sunday 28th December
14:00Zebre vs Treviso
Thursday 1st January
14:05Dragons vs Cardiff Blues
17:00Connacht vs Munster
Friday 2nd January
19:35Edinburgh vs Glasgow Warriors
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Treviso vs Zebre
14:40Leinster vs Ulster
17:05Scarlets vs Ospreys
Friday 9th January
19:35Connacht vs Edinburgh
19:35Glasgow vs Scarlets
Saturday 10th January
14:40Cardiff Blues vs Leinster
15:00Zebre vs Munster
Sunday 11th January
14:00Treviso vs Ulster
16:00Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Wednesday 14th January
TBCLeinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons
TBCScarlets vs Connacht
TBCEdinburgh vs Ospreys
TBCUlster vs Benetton Treviso
TBCZebre vs Glasgow
TBCMunster vs Cardiff Blues
Saturday 21st February
TBCBenetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues
TBCNewport Gwent D'gons vs Connacht
TBCLeinster vs Zebre
TBCEdinburgh vs Ulster

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Phil Edwards

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