SCARLETS have been able to call on the expertise of fullback Leigh Halfpenny for Saturday’s clash against his former side Cardiff Blues at Parc y Scarlets.

Having suffered a concussion against Australia during Wales’ autumn campaign Halfpenny has been unavailable for the region but makes a welcome return to action this Saturday.

The West Wales region will be keen to get the Guinness PRO14 campaign back on an even keel after defeat to the Ospreys last weekend.

With Halfpenny returning to action Johnny McNicholl retains his place wing with Rhys Patchell unavailable after suffering a hamstring injury last weekend. Gareth Davies and Hadleigh Parkes retain their 9/10 partnership with Jonathan Davies and Kieron Fonotia in midfield. Tom Prydie joins McNicholl and Halfpenny in the back-three.

Following Jake Ball’s shoulder injury against the Ospreys Josh Helps comes in to the second row alongside David Bulbring with the remainder of the pack remains unchanged.

Out injured: Scarlets lock Jake Ball

Looking ahead to the game against Cardiff Blues on Saturday at Parc y Scarlets, head coach Wayne Pivac said; “We’re looking internally at ourselves at the moment and getting our own game in order. They’ve had some good results and they’ve probably had some that they wouldn’t be happy with, we’re no different.

“It’s two teams coming in to the game knowing the importance of the game for our individual conferences. It’s a game for us that we need to win. It’s a home game and we’ve got a proud record at home and we want that to continue.

“We see them as a dangerous opponent because it’s a derby. There’s a lot on the line and plenty to play for.”

Commenting on the conference standings he went on to say; “If you look at ourselves, Ulster, Edinburgh and Benetton with what’s coming up I think it’s going to be an interesting run-in. There’s a lot of water to go under the bridge yet and this conference is well and truly alive.”

Scarlets team to take on Cardiff Blues at Parc y Scarlets, Saturday 29thDecember, kick-off 17:15;

15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Kieron Fonotia, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Hadleigh Parkes, 9 Gareth Davies, 1 Rob Evans, 2 Ken Owens ©, 3 Samson Lee, 4 Josh Helps, 5 David Bulbring, 6 Ed Kennedy, 7 James Davies, 8 Will Boyde

Replacements; 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Tom Price, 20 Dan Davis, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Dan Jones, 23 Paul Asquith

Cardiff Blues: Dan Fish; Blaine Scully, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Garyn Smith; Gareth Anscombe, Lloyd Williams; Brad Thyer, Kristian Dacey (capt), Dillon Lewis, George Earle, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi, Nick Williams

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Corey Domachowski, Dmitri Arhip, James Down, Olly Robinson, Tomos Williams, Steven Shingler, Matthew Morgan

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