Easterby excited at making European bow

Guinness PRO12 Editor

2 Oct 2012


News, Scarlets

Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby admits he is chomping at the bit to get his debut Heineken Cup stint underway.

The Llanelli-based side have been flying high in the RaboDirect PRO12 this season, Easterby taking to life in the Scarlets hotseat with relative ease with the club winning three of their five games to sit second in the table.

But in just two weeks time Easterby will have something else to concentrate on as the Heineken Cup gets underway, Scarlets drawn in Pool 5 alongside Clermont, Leinster and Exeter Chiefs.

Before Easterby can put his European head on the Scarlets have a RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Welsh rivals Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday night to worry about.

But with the chance to test themselves against reigning Heineken Cup champions Leinster, 2007 champions Clermont and English Premiership surprise package Exeter, Easterby confesses his thoughts are already drifting to a fortnight’s time.

“It’s all about the competition created by pitting yourself against the top teams in Europe and there are some real challenges for us here but equally they are exciting events to be part of both home and away,” he told This Is South Wales.

"It’s probably one of the toughest pools in the draw but it's great for us to have the European champions; they have set the standard for teams in Europe with the quality they have.

"We want to pit ourselves against the best and we certainly have that in our forthcoming Heineken Cup campaign.

"We've met Clermont in Europe in 2007/8 and last season played them in our pre-season fixtures; they have a great coaching set-up, they, like Leinster, are one of the power houses of Europe and have quality throughout and will be targeting Europe particularly after coming so close to taking their opportunity over Leinster in the semi-final this year.

“For an added bit of spice, there's our former Scarlet favourite Regan King to contend with at Clermont as well."