Scarlets v Ospreys: Teams
At Parc y Scarlets, Friday September 21, kick-off 7.05pm
Last Updated: 20/09/12 1:56pm
Rhys Priestland: starts at No.10
Scarlets will be looking to maintain their perfect start to the RaboDirect PRO12 season when they take on Welsh rivals Ospreys on Friday.
The home side will be chasing a fourth successive win in league action and go into the derby fresh off the back of a 24-11 triumph at Connacht last weekend.
Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby has announced a strong line-up for the clash at at Parc y Scarlets, with all of the home side's internationals involved in the matchday squad.
Jonathan Davies continues his partnership with Scott Williams while Rhys Priestland is named at No.10. In the pack, Phil John starts at prop with young loosehead Rhodri Jones ruled out with a shoulder injury which was operated on last week.
"There's no doubt this is going to be a big night, and one to capture the imagination of supporters, coaches and players alike as these derbies have done for many years - and it's great that we'll have a packed house here on Friday evening and an atmosphere fitting of a big West Wales derby," said Easterby.
"Welsh regional rugby comes alive at these fixtures and there's no need for any introduction with all the history, heritage and passion between our respective rugby communities.
"Last season we held them to a draw at the Liberty as well as decent win here at Parc y Scarlets but before that we lost a run of games against them, so we're not getting ahead of ourselves and form or favourite tags don't mean much in these fixtures."
Meanwhile, Ospreys make the short trip looking to bounce back back from a home defeat to Glasgow Warriors last time out.
Tom Isaacs replaces Jonathan Spratt in the outside centre position, Rhys Webb makes way for Kahn Fotuali'i at scrum-half and the visitors are boosted by the return of skipper Alun Wyn Jones.
"This derby is always a big game, something special, and no doubt that will be the case on Friday. It's great that local rivalries still mean so much, that despite the changes in the game we can still have these big derby matches," said Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy.
"I don't think there's any doubt that who will be going into the game as favourites given recent results. They have been playing good rugby, scoring tries, and their tails will be up, but we'll be doing everything we can to ensure that our fans there on Friday night can head back this side of the bridge proud of their team."
Scarlets' 22-14 victory over Ospreys last Boxing Day ended a seven-game winless sequence against their rivals.
Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Rob McCusker (capt), 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Richard Kelly, 4 George Earle, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Peter Edwards, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Sione Timani, 20 Johnathan Edwards, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Gareth Maule.
Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Tom Grabham, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 George Stowers, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (capt), 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Joe Rees, 19 Jonathan Thomas, 20 Ryan Jones, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Jonathan Spratt.