SCARLETS centre Jonathan Davies returns to action this weekend after suffering a hamstring strain and will lead his side against Isuzu Southern Kings at Parc y Scarlets, Saturday 29th September, kick-off 18:30.
Saturday’s clash will be Davies’ first outing in this season’s Guinness PRO14 having pulled out of the pre-match warm-up against Leinster in round 2.
The British & Irish Lion centre will lead the side with club captain Ken Owens amongst a group of internationals rested this weekend.
A new-look all-international front row will get a first start this season in Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias and Werner Kruger as head coach Wayne Pivac rotates the squad. Jake Ball and David Bulbring combine in the second row with Dan Davis coming in to the openside flank alongside Ed Kennedy and Blade Thomson in the back row.
Scrum half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne gets his second start of the season as he comes in to partner Rhys Patchell in the halfbacks. Twenty-year old Ioan Nicholas and Australian centre Paul Asquith come in for their first competitive starts of the season as they line up in the backline alongside the experienced Johnny McNicholl, Clayton Blommetjies and Davies.
Newcomer Marc Jones is named on the replacements bench as he looks to make his debut for the Scarlets, having made the move recently from Sale Sharks. Phil Price, Simon Gardiner, Tom Price and Uzair Cassiem provide cover for the pack with Kieran Hardy, Angus O’Brien and Steff Evans providing cover for the backline.
Looking ahead to the game head coach Wayne Pivac said; “We will be doing our very best to get a much stronger performance this weekend, which we will need to have. We saw the Kings beat a very good Glasgow team on the weekend. If that wasn’t a warning shot I don’t know what is.
“The Kings have probably given everyone a wake up call with their performance, obviously we play the way we did against Connacht and we’ll find every match tough. We have to keep working hard and make sure that we improve.
“There’ll be no excuses this weekend. We have to go out there and perform. You saw the energy and excitement that Connacht brought every time Connacht won a turnover and we felt that we weren’t as energetic as they were.
“The boys are hurting and we expect to see a much better performance.”
Scarlets team to take on Southern Kings, at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday 29th September, kick-off 18:30;
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Paul Asquith, 11 Ioan Nicholas, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Werner Kruger, 4 Jake Ball, 5 David Bulbring, 6 Ed Kennedy, 7 Dan Davis, 8 Blade Thomson
Replacements; 16 Marc Jones, 17 Phil Price, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Tom Price, 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Angus O’Brien, 23 Steff Evans
Rested; Leigh Halfpenny, Tom Prydie, Kieron Fonotia, Hadleigh Parkes, Gareth Davies, Ken Owens, Samson Lee Unavailable; Steve Cummins, Lewis Rawlins, Will Boyde, James Davies, Dylan Evans, Jonathan Evans, Rob Evans, Josh Macleod, Aaron Shingler