Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac has named his side to take on Leinster in the Guinness PRO12 semi final at the RDS on Friday evening.
Heading into the semi final on the back of a record home victory over regional rivals Ospreys the Scarlets will be looking to carry a similar vein of form into the final stages of the Guinness PRO12 campaign.
Pivac is in a position to welcome the return of turnover maestro James Davies who has recovered from a shoulder injury suffered in the Judgement Day clash against Newport Gwent Dragons back in April.
Internationals Jake Ball and Ken Owens however are not available for the semi final clash suffering with shoulder and ankle injuries respectively.
Scotland international and captain John Barclay also returns from injury and will lead the Scarlets in Owens’ absence.
Carmarthen born hooker Ryan Elias, who was last week named in Wales’ squad for the summer tour, joins international props Rob Evans and Samson Lee in the front row. Lewis Rawlins links up with Tadhg Beirne, making a return to his home province, in the second row whilst Aaron Shingler joins Davies and Barclay in the back row and will be hoping to see a repeat of his try-scoring exploits only a fortnight ago.
The backline remains unchanged from the side that faced the Ospreys with Rhys Patchell at the helm at fly half with international scrum half Gareth Davies by his side.
Steff Evans, Liam Williams and Johnny Mcnicholl add strength and firepower in the back three whilst internationals Scott Williams and Jonathan Davies pair up in midfield.
Looking ahead to his first PRO12 semi final head coach Pivac said; “It’s a big task but it’s one we’re relishing having. We haven’t been in this position since this group of coaches, and players, have been together. It’s a great challenge and they are a really good side.
“They’re a very strong side defensively, they make it very difficult for attacks. They’re scoring a lot of tries themselves at the moment and it makes them a pretty complete package.
“It will be a big, big challenge for us but it’s also a great opportunity. That’s what the hard work all season has been done for. We’re not far off having our top side available, we’re going in there with some confidence, not over confident, but confidence that we deserve to be there and we’re going to enjoy the occasion.”
Scarlets team to take on Leinster at the RDS on Friday 19th May, kick-off 7.45pm;
15 Johnny Mcnicholl, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Gareth Davies, 1 Rob Evans, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Samson Lee, 4 Lewis Rawlins, 5 Tadhg Beirne, 6 Aaron Shingler, 7 James Davies, 8 John Barclay [c]
Replacements; Emyr Phillips, Wyn Jones, Werner Kruger, David Bulbring, Will Boyde, Jonathan Evans, Hadleigh Parkes, DTH van der Merwe
Leinster v Scarlets, Friday 19th May at the RDS, kick-off 7.45pm
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