Scarlets welcome back Johnny Williams for Dublin trip

Scarlets welcome back Johnny Williams for Dublin trip

Wales international Johnny Williams returns to the Scarlets side for Saturday’s BKT United Rugby Championship round five match with Leinster in Dublin (19:35; S4C).

Williams has overcome a hamstring issue to start at inside centre in a line-up that includes 10 personnel changes from the team that took the field against Emirates Lions in Llanelli last weekend.

In the back three Tom Rogers switches to full-back in place of Johnny McNicholl, Ryan Conbeer comes in on the left wing and Tomi Lewis is handed his URC debut on the right wing.

In midfield, Williams links up with British & Irish Lion Jonathan Davies, who takes over the captain’s armband.

Former Loughborough University student Charlie Titcombe is handed his first URC start in the No. 10 jersey and he partners Wales international scrum-half Kieran Hardy.

In the front row, Wyn Jones and Shaun Evans pack down alongside Harri O’Connor. Jac Price is recalled at lock, while Ben Williams replaces Taine Plumtree – who picked up a shoulder injury against Lions – in the back row.

Prop Steff Thomas will make his 50th Scarlets appearance if he comes off the bench. Experienced Wales international centre Scott Williams is also included in the match-day squad for the first time this season.

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel said: “We have a big few weeks and it is about managing the squad so a couple of guys get an opportunity this week. It is obviously a tough challenge going to Dublin for any team, but we are looking forward to it. What sets Leinster apart is how efficient they are at the fundamentals of the game. For us, it is important we stay in the fight and we don’t give them anything loose because they will punish you if we do.”

Scarlets team to play Leinster at the RDS on Saturday, November 18 (19:35)

15 Tom Rogers; 14 Tomi Lewis, 13 Jonathan Davies (capt), 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Ryan Conbeer; 10 Charlie Titcombe, 9 Kieran Hardy; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Shaun Evans, 3 Harri O’Connor, 4 Alex Craig, 5 Jac Price, 6 Ben Williams, 7 Teddy Leatherbarrow, 8 Carwyn Tuipulotu.

Reps: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Steff Thomas, 18 Sam Wainwright, 19 Morgan Jones, 20 Iwan Shenton, 21 Archie Hughes, 22 Ioan NIcholas, 23 Scott Williams.

Players unavailable because of injury

Kemsley Mathias, Taine Plumtree, Josh Macleod, Sam Lousi, Dan Davis, Ken Owens, Samson Lee, Dan Jones, Sam Costelow, Isaac Young.

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