Scarlets v Zebre - RaboDirect PRO12 match preview
Last Updated: 03/11/12 6:11pm
Johnathan Edwards: Will captain the Scarlets with Rob McCusker absent
The Scarlets have made a host of changes for their RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Zebre at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday.
With a number of his players now on international duty with Wales ahead of the autumn internationals, head coach Simon Easterby has freshened up his starting XV for the visit of Zebre.
Morgan Stoddart keeps his place, albeit after a switch from wing to full-back, but there are big changes elsewhere in the backs as Gareth Maule and Gareth Owen come into the centres.
The wing places are occupied by Kristian Phillips and Andy Fenby, while Aled Thomas and Gareth Davies maintain their half-back partnership.
Johnathan Edwards captains the side from flanker in the absence of Rob McCusker, whose place at No. 8 is taken by Kieran Murphy.
Tomas Vallejos switches to blindside flanker, leaving Johan Snyman and George Earle at lock while Deacon Manu and Kirby Myhill come into the front row to partner Phil John.
RaboDirect PRO12 new boys Zebre are still searching for their first win in the competition and will have to cope without five Italy internationals.
In addition captain Gonzalo Garcia and scrum-half Luca Martinelli are not travelling to Wales due to injuries suffered against Munster last time out while prop Salvatore Perugini is ruled out due to a fever.
Scarlets: 15 M Stoddart, 14 K Phillips, 13 G Maule, 12 G Owen, 11 A Fenby, 10 A Thomas, 9 G Davies, 8 K Murphy, 7 J Edwards (c), 6 T Vallejos, 5 J Snyman, 4 G Earle, 3 D Manu, 2 K Myhill, 1 P John.
Replacements: 16 C Hawkins, 17 S Hopkins, 18 P Edwards, 19 S Timani, 20 C Price, 21 A Davies, 22 O Williams, 23 N Reynolds.
Zebre: 15 R Trevisan, 14 D Odiete, 13 M Pratichetti, 12 D Halangahu, 11 S Pace, 10 P Buso, 9 T Tebaldi, 8 A Van Schalkwyk, 7 F Cristiano (c), 6 F Ferrarini, 5 F Cazzola, 4 J Sole, 3 L Redolfini, 2 A Manici, 1 M Aguero.
Replacements:16 A De Marchi, 17 L Leibson, 18 C Fazzari, 19 E Caffini, 20 N Belardo, 21 A Chiesa, 22 L Sarto, 23 A Benettin.
What they said...
Scarlets attack Coach Mark Jones
"As we saw last season, we have plenty of talent and ambitious players here to bolster us during the period and do well when our internationals are away," Jones told his side's official website
"We are very fortunate that the group here very often drive things even harder as a result. It's great to work with these guys as they put everything into their performances and training and see it as their opportunity to come into the team and make an impact.
"It's now their fight for a spot in the next European rounds and hopefully that will give the coaching team a headache or two."