Cardiff Blues will welcome Scarlets to BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Friday evening as the Welsh derby kicks off another GUINNESS PRO12 Big Weekend.
Following the opening rounds of the European Rugby Champions Cup campaign attentions return to the GUINNESS PRO12 and the Scarlets will be looking to pick up where they left off against Newport Gwent Dragons three weeks ago, with a 31-27 victory.
It was Cardiff Blues who took the spoils last season securing a double over the West Wales region but head into Friday night’s clash looking for a victory after going down to two defeats in the last two rounds of the Championship.
DTH van der Merwe, Hadleigh Parkes, Steff Evans and Rhys Patchell are joined in the backline by Jonathan Evans at scrum half, who makes his first competitive start for the region, Steff Hughes in midfield and Aled Thomas at fullback.
In the pack Wyn Jones links up with a new-look front row in Ryan Elias and Werner Kruger, Tom Price returns from injury to join David Bulbring in the second row whilst Pivac has kept his backrow of Aaron Shingler, Will Boyde and John Barclay unchanged.
Looking ahead to the big derby clash head coach Wayne Pivac said: “I think playing at home is a strength for the Blues. They’re obviously used to the fast surface, they play a game at home that is expansive.
“Last year they got the better of us physically. It’s a derby so we have to make sure we’re up for the challenge.
“Whoever takes the field 1 to 15 has a role to play. Clearly there’s an opportunity now with internationals going away. Other players will get more game time and it’s fantastic for them. You have to factor in the enthusiasm those guys bring.
“It’s going to be a difficult night. We’ve got to make it happen, it starts Friday night. It’s a big game for us but I think it’s a level playing field.”
Scarlets team to take on Cardiff Blues at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, Friday 28th October kick-off 7.35pm;
15 Aled Thomas, 14 DTH van der Merwe, 13 Steff Hughes, 12 Hadleigh Parkes [c], 11 Steff Evans, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Jonathan Evans, 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Werner Kruger, 4 Tom Price, 5 David Bulbring, 6 Aaron Shingler, 7 Will Boyde, 8 John Barclay
Replacements; Emyr Phillips, Dylan Evans, Peter Edwards, Lewis Rawlins, James Davies, Aled Davies, Dan Jones, Ioan Nicholas