Scarlets v Leinster - Heineken Cup match preview

Last Updated: 20/10/12 4:00pm

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Scarlets coach Simon Easterby has made two changes to his starting XV for Saturday's Heineken Cup clash with Leinster at Parc y Scarlets.

Andy Fenby, the Scarlets' joint top try-scorer this season, returns to the line-up on the wing after recovering from a dead leg with Gareth Maule in a centre partnership with Scott Williams to replace the injured Jon Davies (groin).

Easterby has kept faith with his forwards - backing the same pack that delivered a strong, brave and committed first 40 minutes in last weekend's defeat to Clermont.

New second-row signing Argentina international Tomas Vallejos comes onto the bench with the opportunity to earn his first appearance in a Scarlets jersey. Second rower Sione Timani (knee) misses out.

Morgan Stoddart is free to play after a double yellow carding last weekend and is amongst the replacements.

As for the visitors, Gordon D'Arcy returns to the Leinster starting line-up to earn his 209th cap for the province.

The inside centre, who is now the most capped Leinster player of all time having overtaken Shane Horgan in his last game three weeks ago - is one of two changes to the starting line-up that defeated Exeter last time out.

Fergus McFadden switches to the wing and is named in a back three alongside Isa Nacewa and Ian Madigan, who will again wear the number 15 jersey.

The other change to the starting XV sees hooker Sean Cronin, a second-half replacement last weekend, make his 30th appearance in a front-row where he is joined by fellow Ireland internationals Cian Healy and Mike Ross.

Leo Cullen leads the team and is named again alongside Damian Browne in the second row, with Jamie Heaslip, Shane Jennings and Kevin McLaughlin again forming the back-row unit.

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Gareth Maule, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Andrew Fenby, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Rob McCusker, 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 George Earle, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Shaun Hopkins, 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Jon Edwards, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Morgan Stoddart.

Leinster: 15 Ian Madigan, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Damian Browne, 4 Leo Cullen (c), 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Andrew Conway, 23 Fionn Carr.

What they said...

Scarlets coach Simon Easterby

"We can't read too much into our first result, we know that Leinster will come here with a renewed intensity and ambition not least because it's Heineken Cup second round but they are the holders of the European Cup and showed last week against Exeter that they won't give up that crown without a fight," he said.

"Our games against Leinster are always highly competitive and tightly fought contests and we know that after our fortunes in France last week, we need to get a result here this afternoon to maintain a grip on our European campaign. The boys have had an excellent attitude this week.

"With four players making their Heineken Cup debuts last weekend, Samson Lee, George Earle, Joe Snyman and Richard Kelly there was no lack of edge, spirit, courage or determination from the boys and we can take confidence from our opening 40 minutes.

"This is a must win game for us but one that is still firmly in our grasp. I have no doubt it will be another great Scarlets European occasion and we'll be delighted to welcome crowds of supporters from across our region."

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