Scarlets v Ulster - RaboDirect PRO12 match preview

Last updated: 2nd December 2012  

Paul Marshall Ulster

Paul Marshall: starts for Ulster

Tomas Vallejos Argentina 2012

Tomas Vallejos: Back on Scarlets' bench to face Ulster

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Ulster will be aiming to maintain their perfect start to the RaboDirect PRO12 against the second-placed Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets stadium.

The home side welcome back three of their squad from international. Deacon Manu (Fiji), Tomas Vallejos (Argentina) and Kirby Myhill (Wales) are available and on the Scarlets' bench.

A big win over Munster last week has kept competition tight between the top six and the Scarlets know how important a home win will be to their ambitions for a top four play-off place later in the season.

Ulster coach Mark Anscombe has made nine changes for the top-of-the-table clash.

Captain Johann Muller has returned from a thumb injury to captain the side in one of five changes to the pack, while Rory Best is fit enough to be named on the bench after overcoming neck problems.

After their exertions in recent weeks, Anscombe has decided to rest back row players Nick Williams and Chris Henry, in addition to backline stars Ruan Pienaar, Paddy Wallace and Jared Payne. Stephen Ferris, Lewis Stevenson and Declan Fitzpatrick are all sidelined through injury.

Scarlets: 15 Dan Newton, 14 Kristian Phillips, 13 Gareth Maule, 12 Gareth Owen, 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Kieran Murphy, 7 Johnathan Edwards (c), 6 George Earle, 5 Richard Kelly, 4 Johan Snyman, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John.
Replacements 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Shaun Hopkins, 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Craig Price, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Adam Warren, 23 Nick Reynolds.

Ulster: 15 Peter Nelson, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Roger Wilson , 7 Robbie Diack, 6 Iain Henderson, 5 Nigel McComb, 4 Johann Muller (c), 3 John Afoa, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Callum Black.
Replacements: 16 Rory Best, 17 Tom Court, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Dan Tuohy, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Niall O'Connor, 23 Tommy Bowe.

What they said...

Scarlets attack coach Mark Jones

"They have threats all over the park, so we know we'll have to be at the top of our game.

"It's going to be a real challenge for us, one we're looking forward to and a great game of rugby is in prospect if the conditions allow."

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