IT has been 11 years since the Scarlets played the then defending champions Munster in the Quarter final of Europe.

That match, which ended 24-15 in favour of the Welsh side took place at Stradey Park in Llanelli. They went on to face Leicester Tigers at Welford Road in the semi-final, succumbing to a 33-17 defeat.

Skip forward over a decade and the Scarlets have finally secured a knock out spot in club rugby’s greatest competition.

It wasn’t an easy ride, after losing their opening two matches first in France against Toulon and later falling short against Bath at home. It seemed the long pattern of European failure would continue.

However they never gave up, responding with back to back victories over Benetton and a superb display at the REC against Bath.

A record home European crowd of over 14,000 turned out for their final pool stage match against Toulon where a vocal crowd helped push the Welsh region onto victory.

Now all eyes turn to Friday (Mar 30) where French flyers La Rochelle travel to Llanelli for the ‘biggest match’ in Parc Y Scarlets history and one of the most important fixtures in the clubs history.

A spectacle not to be missed, with a record crowd of almost 15,500 it’s fair to say Llanelli will be busy.

Kick off for Friday’s European Champions Cup quarter-final is at 5:30pm.

SCARLETS fans are being encouraged to make travel plans in preparation for this Friday’s quarter final match versus Stade Rochelais.

This Friday will see Parc y Scarlets host its first ever European Rugby Champions Cup quarter final with a record attendance of nearly 15,500 rugby fans.

The game versus Stade Rochelais will be played to a sold out stadium bringing with it an increase in traffic. Three park and rides have been put in place – Festival Fields, Schaeffler (UK) Ltd and Technium Dafen.

People are being encouraged to make use of these park and ride facilities to help alleviate traffic build up around the stadium. People are also being asked to show consideration to residents living near the stadium and the emergency services when parking their cars.

Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, Cllr Emlyn Dole said: “We’re expecting thousands of fans to visit Carmarthenshire to enjoy not only the rugby but the fantastic croeso that Carmarthenshire and Llanelli will offer. This is an important sell-out match which will create a fantastic atmosphere at Parc y Scarlets, the third time this season to draw crowds of this number. It is providing a big boost to the local economy with hotels and guest houses booked up. No doubt restaurants, pubs and retailers will benefit too. I’m sure many French visitors will make a weekend of it and explore the county’s coast, countryside and local attractions – but of course we hope the better side wins – West is Best!”

Follow @OfficialScarlets on Facebook and @scarlets_rugby on Twitter for up to date information.

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