EasterBy: Players will step up to mark
SCARLETS head coach Simon Easterby believes he has the talent in his squad to ensure the Scarlets won't spend the season lamenting the departures of George North and Andy Fenby.
Easterby is set to unveil a new-look back-three for tomorrow's RaboDirect Pro12 opener against Leinster at Parc y Scarlets.
Former Osprey Gareth Owen is favourite to start in the No. 15 jersey with Liam Williams switching to the wing, leaving Jordan Williams and Kristian Phillips battling it out for the other wing berth.
With new Kiwi signing Frazier Climo expected to arrive next month and Steve Shingler, young speedsters Kyle Evans and Aaron Warren also providing options, Easterby has plenty of choice.
He just needs someone to step up to the mark to ease the blow of losing his two top poachers, who contributed 23 tries between them in all competitions last season.
"We've lost a couple of good players, so there's always going to be a bit of a transition in that part of our team," said Easterby.
"It gives those players an opportunity to stake their claims. They have to work as a unit and be interchangeable.
"We're confident we've got the players who are versatile enough to do that. The players have been there for a while, and hopefully we'll be bringing in Climo in four to five weeks."
Phillips, another former Osprey, will be hoping he can hit the ground running having struggled for regular first-time rugby in his first season in Llanelli.
"Kristian has trained and conditioned particularly well this summer," added Easterby.
"His challenge is to get some game time and take the opportunities.
"He is a fabulous athlete and he has shown that in a couple of pre-season games already.
"His task is to show how good an athlete he really is."