Pacy y Scarlets will play witness to a mammoth clash as Cardiff Blues look to avenge their Round 10 defeat to Scarlets. In that game, Scarlets managed to pip their Welsh rivals by two points, the final whistle sounding with the score etched at 16-14.Both sides put together two tries apiece in an attractive game where running rugby was the order of the day.
The tradition and history behind this fixture will no doubt fuel the urgency and aggression expected by both outfits.
Both Scarlets and Cardiff Blues are competing in Conference B with the former occupying third spot and the latter languishing in second-last position ahead of the Kings.
Johnny Williams will make his Scarlets debut as Guinness PRO14 action returns to Parc y Scarlets with an-all Welsh clash against Cardiff Blues on Saturday (3pm kick-off Premier Sport).
The centre, signed from Newcastle Falcons this summer, takes his place in a much-changed line-up from the one that took the field last time out against Munster back in February.
Leigh Halfpenny and Johnny McNicholl join Steff Evans in an all-international back three, while Williams is partnered by captain Steff Hughes in midfield. Dan Jones and Wales No. 9 Gareth Davies combine at half-back.
Up front, head coach Glenn Delaney is able to select three Wales internationals in his front row — Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias and Samson Lee. Club captain Ken Owens is named among the replacements. Sam Lousi has been cleared to play following his red card against Munster and packs down alongside Lewis Rawlins in the second row.
The back row is made up of Scotland international Blade Thomson, who returns for the first time since the Boxing Day win over the Ospreys, No. 8 Uzair Cassiem and openside Josh Macleod. Cassiem is the leading carrier in the PRO14 this season, while Macleod tops the league’s turnover charts.
On the bench, Phil Price, Owens and Werner Kruger provide front-row cover; Jake Ball has overcome the shoulder injury he picked up during the Six Nations to take his place in the match-day squad, while flanker James Davies is poised to make his first appearance of the season following a hip injury. Kieran Hardy, Angus O’Brien and Paul Asquith make up the remainder of the replacements.
A number of players have been given an extra week to overcome niggles, including fly-half Rhys Patchell. Wales and Lions centre Jonathan Davies returned to full training this week, while prop Rob Evans is recovering from a neck issue. Liam Williams is nursing a foot injury which continues to be monitored in the hope that he will be available for the European Challenge Cup quarter-final against Toulon next month.
Wales back-rower Aaron Shingler is also set for a spell on the sidelines.
New signings Rhys Carré and Cory Hill go straight into the starting line-up as Cardiff Blues return to action for the first time since February.
John Mulvihill’s men travel to face the Scarlets in Llanelli on Saturday (3pm), more than five months since facing Edinburgh at Murrayfield.
Carré and Hill had both agreed a return to the Blues ahead of the 2020-21 season but with rugby now restarting with a condensed finale to the Guinness PRO14, they are available for action.
John Mulvihill is relishing the return of rugby and expects two weeks of typically intense Welsh derbies to prime his side for the next campaign.
He has named a familiar side including 10 Wales internationals and with Carré and Hill the new faces. Josh Turnbull will captain Cardiff Blues as he returns to his former stomping ground once again.
Turnbull captains the team and is joined in the back-row by Olly Robinson and Will Boyde.
A quintet of Wales internationals are selected in the front-five with Hill partnered by Rory Thornton and Carré packing down alongside Kristian Dacey and Dillon Lewis.
Tomos Williams and Jarrod Evans continue their familiar partnership at half-back while Harri Millard, Josh Adams and Hallam Amos all start in the three-quarters after overcoming injuries during the enforced break
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