Cup quest put aside for vital league points
LLANELLI and Aberavon will put their British & Irish Cup quest on the back-burners to focus on firing up their Premiership challenge tomorrow.
The sides meet in front of the S4C cameras at Parc y Scarlets (6.45pm) looking to build on an encouraging cross-border campaign so far.
Llanelli have picked up a bonus-point victory over Connacht and a losing bonus point against Bedford from their two ties, while Aberavon, after a win in Gala, are waiting to hear whether their abandoned match against Bristol will have to replayed.
Both, though, will have their focus firmly on league points this weekend.
Llanelli, currently in fifth spot in the table, will be aiming to make up ground on the early pacesetters, while the Wizards will be keen to haul themselves off the basement after just the one win from four matches.
"This is an important game," said Llanelli head of rugby Anthony Buchanan.
"Like us, they have been fielding players from other sides in the British & Irish Cup, so some of their regular players will get another chance.
"They are a decent team, they have proved that in qualifying for the British & Irish Cup."
Llanelli are strengthened by Scarlets full-back Gareth Owen, prop Rhodri Jones and back-rower Craig Price, while lock Adam Powell also returns as skipper.
After two weeks without a match, second-placed Carmarthen Quins return to action with a visit to Bedwas.
"The break has been good, but now we're ready to come back," said rugby manager Steffan Thomas.
"It would have been nice to keep the momentum going, but we did have a couple of small injuries.
"We can look on it as a positive that those problems have had a chance to recover.
"We're in the same position as Bedwas, they haven't played for a while either, so no team can complain.
"We're up for the game. We've won five on the bounce and we're confident going anywhere. No ground holds any fear for us."
The Quins will be without hooker Rhodri Clancy, who has an ankle injury, as well as back-rower Sion Bennett, who is facing an extended spell on the sidelines.
The highly-rated Scarlets flanker dislocated his shoulder while representing Llanelli at Bedford last weekend.
Swansea's match against city rivals Cardiff at the Arms Park has been put back to Sunday (2.30pm).
Neath aren't in action this weekend after their home match against Pontypridd was postponed as a mark of respect following the sudden death of Ponty prop Stuart Williams this week.
A Neath spokesman said: "Our thoughts go out to Stuart's family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time."
LLANELLI: G. Owen; K. Evans, S. Evans, Jonny Lewis, J. Adams; Josh Lewis, A. Davies; S. Hopkins, C. Hawkins, R. Jones, A. Powell (capt), R. Kelly, L. Rawlins, C. Price, D. Thomas. reps: R. Thomas, D. Harris, A. Hopkins, N. White, E. Price, J. Evans, N. Damjanovic, D. Jones.