Scarlets team to take on Cell C Sharks

Scarlets team to take on Cell C Sharks

Johnny Williams will make his first Scarlets start since October in Saturday’s BKT United Rugby Championship round 16 clash with Cell C Sharks at Parc y Scarlets (17:00; S4C).


Wales international Williams made an impressive contribution off the bench against Munster last time out and is named at inside centre in a side showing four personnel changes from that thriller in Cork.


Tom Rogers switches to full-back to replace Johnny McNicholl, who picked up a knee ligament injury at Musgrave Park. Steff Evans moves to the right wing and Ryan Conbeer returns from injury on the left.


Williams partners Joe Roberts in an exciting midfield combination, while the other change behind the scrum sees Wales and British & Irish Lions scrum-half Gareth Davies come in for Dane Blacker.


Up front, tight-head prop Javan Sebastian is back from international duty with Scotland to take his place in the front row alongside Kemsley Mathias and hooker Shaun Evans.


Tongan duo Vaea Fifita and Sam Lousi again combine at lock, while the back row of Josh Macleod - who leads the side - Dan Davis and Sione Kalamafoni is also unchanged.


On the bench, the experienced Aaron Shingler makes a return from injury, while scrum-half Kieran Hardy is the lone Welsh Six Nations squad member included in the match-day 23.


Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel said: “The Sharks are coming over with some world-renowned players so we know it is going to be a big challenge, but the boys are raring to go. Whenever you play South African sides, regardless of what names are on the team-sheet, you know you have to reach a level of physicality, be error free and also be able to put pressure on them. We played the Bulls here not long ago, they also brought some big names and it was a great game of rugby.”


Scarlets team to play Cell C Sharks at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday, March 25 (17:00 S4C, Viaplay)

15 Tom Rogers; 14 Steff Evans, 13 Joe Roberts, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Ryan Conbeer; 10 Sam Costelow, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Kemsley Mathias, 2 Shaun Evans, 3 Javan Sebastian, 4 Vaea Fifita, 5 Sam Lousi, 6 Josh Macleod (capt), 7 Dan Davis, 8 Sione Kalamafoni.


Replacements: 16 Taylor Davies, 17 Steff Thomas, 18 Sam Wainwright, 19 Morgan Jones, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Dan Jones, 23 Ioan Nicholas.


Unavailable because of injury

Johnny McNicholl, Tom Price, Jac Price, Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams, Ryan Elias, Corey Baldwin, Alex Jeffries, Callum Williams, Samson Lee.

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