Heineken Cup match preview: Clermont ring the changes for trip to Wales

Last Updated: 19/01/13 5:23pm

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George North: returns on the wing for the Scarlets this weekend

George North: returns on the wing for the Scarlets this weekend

Sky Bet

Scarlets welcome back George North and Jonathan Davies as they take on unbeaten Pool 5 rivals Clermont Auvergne on Saturday.

The Welsh side have yet to rcord a win in Europe this season, including going down to a 49-16 loss against their next opponents at the start of the competition.

Head coach Simon Easterby has opted to move Rob McCusker to number eight with Sioni Timani starting at blindside flanker, whilst Johan Snyman comes into the second row.

Exciting prospect Samson Lee starts at tighthead prop, meaning South African Jacobie Adriaanse drops to the bench.

Clermont, meanwhile, know a win in Wales would make certain of a home quarter-final. They have yet to taste defeat in the group stages, including a 46-3 thrashing of Exeter last time out.

The Heineken Cup favourites have made no less than eight changes from the side that put the Chiefs to the sword, including handing a start to Wales international Lee Byrne at full-back.

Julien Malzieu comes in on the right wing with Benson Stanley partnering captain Aurelien Rougerie in the centres. David Skrela is the other change in the backs, coming in at fly-half for Brock James.

In the pack, Raphael Chaume starts in place of Thomas Domingo, with Alexandre Lapandry and Elvis Vermeulen joining Julien Bonnaire into the back-row.

Clermont reached last season's semi-finals only to be knocked out by eventual winners Leinster, who are still hopeful of making it out of the same pool this year.

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Kristian Phillips, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Rob McCusker, 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Sione Timani, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 George Earle, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Richard Kelly, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Gareth Maule, 23 Andy Fenby.

Clermont Auvergne: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Julien Malzieu, 13 Aurélien Rougerie (c), 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 David Skrela, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Elvis Vermeulen, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Raphael Chaume.
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Julien Pierre, 20 Damien Chouly, 21 Ludovic Radoslavjevic , 22 Kevin Senio, 23 Regan King.

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