Scarlets back row a perfect fit – Turnbull

Guinness PRO12 Editor

25 Sep 2012

23.02.12 Scarlets v Treviso...
Josh Turnbull scores try.
© Huw Evans Agency

Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby won 65 caps for Ireland at flanker as well as going on a tour with the British Lions so it’s little surprise he’s got the back row working well in West Wales.

While the RaboDirect PRO12 leaders slipped to their first defeat of the season at home to the Ospreys last weekend, their back row trio of Aaron Shingler, Josh Turnbull and Rob McCusker again impressed.

And Turnbull admits that having all come through the Scarlets academy together the internationals complement each other perfectly at Parc y Scarlets.

He said: “I’ve been concentrating on playing at seven over the past couple of seasons but with the style of play that we want to play the number on your back doesn’t really matter too much.

“We want to play expansive rugby and keep the ball alive as much as possible. We have Aaron Shingler who carries in open space and uses his speed across the ground.

“Then you have Rob who puts himself in there and does the dirty work on the floor.

“I like to pride myself on my physicality and in the contact area. We all complement each other well.

“I can play all three positions in the back row, as can Rob, and Aaron is very versatile as well.

“That’s a good option to have but sometimes you want to focus on one position and nail it down.

“Obviously we are very frustrated to have lost against the Ospreys, especially in front of a packed house like that. I thought they deserved a bit more than that but when you go into a derby the form book can be turned on its head.

“To be fair the Ospreys came down and did a job on us.”

Despite their defeat the Scarlets held on to top spot one point ahead of Munster and the Blues in the RaboDirect PRO12.

Next up is a trip to Treviso this weekend and after a frustrating summer tour with Wales Turnbull insists it has been a boost returning to the Scarlets this season.

He added: “It was a bit disappointing on the summer tour not to have played as much as I would have liked.

“But with Sam Warburton and Dan Lydiate playing as well as they are it was always going to be difficult.

“I need to keep working hard and it will pay off. It’s good to be back with the Scarlets now and we want to play a brand of rugby which is exciting to watch.

“We are lucky to still be top so we have to put it right against Treviso. The longer we can stay in the top four the better for us."