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|25 - 15||
- Guinness PRO12
- 8th Feb 2013
- KO 19:30
- Ground: Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli
- Att: 5,886
Scarlets v Connacht - RaboDirect PRO12 preview
Connacht have made a number of changes to their side to they face the Scarlets in the RaboDirect PRO12 on Friday.
Brett Wilkinson, Jason Harris Wright and skipper Nathan White make up the front-row trio.
Mick Kearney starts in the second-row alongside Connacht's highest capped player Michael Swift.
Eoin McKeon returned from injury last week and starts at No 8, joining flankers Andrew Browne and Johnny O'Connor in the back row.
In the backline, Tiernan O'Halloran is named at full back. Danie Poolman and Fetu'u Vainikolo are named on the wings.
Kyle Tonetti will earn his first start for Connacht this season following a lengthy battle with injury. He will start at inside centre in a partnership with Eoin Griffin.
The half-back pairing of Dan Parks and Kieran Marmion remains.
The Scarlets, meanwhile, are strengthened with some returns from injury and are also able to welcome back Welsh international back-row Josh Turnbull.
Scarlets captain Rob McCusker returns to the pack after a sinus injury to lead his team and there are also returns to the pack for second row George Earle and young tighthead Samson Lee.
Young fly-half Owen Williams is rewarded with another start. He will partner scrum-half Aled Davies.
Andy Fenby, Kristian Phillips and Gareth Owen are the back-three and complete the Scarlets team.
Scarlets: 15 Gareth Owen, 14 Andy Fenby, 13 Nick Reynolds, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Kristian Phillips, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Kieran Murphy, 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Rob McCusker (capt), 5 Johan Synman, 4 George Earle, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Shaun Hopkins, 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Lewis Rawlins, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Gareth Maule.
Connacht: 15 Tiernan O'Halloran, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Kyle Tonetti, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Johnny O'Connor, 6 Andrew Browne, 5 Mick Kearney, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Nathan White (capt), 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Rodney Ah You, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 Willie Faloon, 20 John Muldoon, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Gavin Duffy.
What they said...
Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby
"This is the first of four very important games for us in our play-off ambitions; there is still a lot of rugby left and teams right through the league table can easily ramp up points during these period so we have to make these next four games count," he told the club's official website.
"We have to set a platform ourselves in this next block of games and the players know full well what we need to achieve over the next few weeks.
"The good thing is that we have seen some real ambition from some of our emerging players in the past fortnight; they have really stepped up and that's a real positive for the Scarlets squad.
"It's a big game for us, Connacht are a well-coached side and are very competitive, they have some quality players in their ranks and experience in key positions like Dan Parks at 10; they can also can build continuity in their side at this period of the season, without losing so many internationals as us."
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Thursday 1st January|
|14:05||Dragons vs Cardiff Blues|
|17:00||Connacht vs Munster|
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Glasgow Warriors|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Zebre|
|14:40||Leinster vs Ulster|
|17:05||Scarlets vs Ospreys|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:35||Connacht vs Edinburgh|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:40||Cardiff Blues vs Leinster|
|15:00||Zebre vs Munster|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Ulster|
|16:00||Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Wednesday 14th January|
|TBC||Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Munster vs Cardiff Blues|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Connacht|
|TBC||Zebre vs Glasgow|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Ulster vs Benetton Treviso|
|Saturday 21st February|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Ulster|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Connacht|
|TBC||Leinster vs Zebre|
|14:40||Scarlets vs Munster|
|17:15||Glasgow vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 28th February|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Edinburgh|
|Sunday 28th December|
|Zebre 16 - 26 Treviso|
|Saturday 27th December|
|Ospreys 17 - 15 Scarlets|
|Glasgow Warriors 16 - 6 Edinburgh|
|Friday 26th December|
|Ulster 13 - 10 Connacht|
|Munster 28 - 13 Leinster|
|Cardiff Blues 17 - 23 Dragons|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Dragons 25 - 11 Zebre|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Ospreys 31 - 20 Ulster|
|Glasgow Warriors 21 - 18 Munster|
|Friday 19th December|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 9 Scarlets|
|Edinburgh 48 - 0 Treviso|
|Leinster 21 - 11 Connacht|
|Sunday 30th November|
|Glasgow Warriors 19 - 15 Dragons|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Connacht 14 - 8 Scarlets|
|Leinster 18 - 12 Ospreys|
|Zebre 18 - 10 Edinburgh|
|Friday 28th November|
|Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 Treviso|
|Munster 21 - 20 Ulster|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff Blues|
|Treviso 24 - 24 Leinster|
|Friday 21st November|
|Ulster 25 - 16 Ospreys|
|Connacht 43 - 3 Zebre|
|Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow Warriors|
|Dragons 12 - 38 Munster|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com