SCARLETS club captain Ken Owens returns to action this weekend against regional rivals Ospreys in the first Welsh derby of the season.
Owens will lead the Scarlets out at Parc y Scarlets in the first Guinness PRO14 derby as the West Wales clubs go head-to-head for the first time this season.
Both Scarlets and Ospreys are second in their respective Conferences with both vying for a victory to finish off the opening block of Guinness PRO14 fixtures on a positive note ahead of the opening rounds of the European campaign.
Head Coach Wayne Pivac has named a strong side for the derby clash with an all-international backline, including a welcome return to action for Leigh Halfpenny, Tom Prydie, Hadleigh Parkes and Gareth Davies who were rested for last weekend’s clash against Southern Kings.
Owens is joined by fellow internationals Wyn Jones and Samson Lee in the front row with Will Boyde making a long awaited return from injury in the back row. Notable additions to the replacements bench also sees Josh Macleod return to action after sustaining a shoulder injury against Leinster in the second round of the competition.
Looking ahead to the game Pivac said; “Ospreys are much improved on last year. They haven’t conceded a lot of tries, they’ve had a marked improvement defensively.
“They’ve got a strong forward pack, a lot of the game I guess will be centred around the collision area. We respect them. We know that regardless of what team goes on the teamsheet we’ll get a performance.
“We totally respect them, I love these games. It brings the best out of the players. National selection is just around the corner and every body wants to win these derby games. They know our game inside out, makes for an interesting encounter. We think that if we get enough quality ball we’ll hopefully be able to test them.”
Scarlets team to take on Ospreys at Parc y Scarlets, Saturday 6th October, kick-off 15:00;
15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Gareth Davies, 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ken Owens (c), 3 Samson Lee, 4 Jake Ball, 5 David Bulbring, 6 Ed Kennedy, 7 Will Boyde, 8 Blade Thomson
Replacements; 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Phil Price, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Tom Price, 20 Josh Macleod, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Angus O’Brien, 23 Paul Asquith