Edwards relishing visit of his old region
FOR Scarlets flanker Johnathan Edwards, a regional date against the Blues always comes with a bit of added spice thrown in. Coming through the ranks as a talented openside, Edwards had been part of the academy system at the Arms Park before, at the age of 21, being told his services were no longer required.
The Scarlets scouting network quickly got wind of Edwards's availability and seven years and more than a century of appearances later, the 28-year-old flanker remains an integral member of the Parc y Scarlets squad.
"I was transferred from the Warriors to the Blues Academy and then I was told I was being released," he recalled.
"I got my CV out, Gareth Jenkins picked it up and brought me down here.
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"Over the years I have enjoyed every game I have played against the Blues regardless of which competition it is in — it doesn't take any of the spice away."
Edwards captained the Scarlets in the Pro12 win over Zebre two weeks ago and, along with centre Gareth Maule, is viewed as a senior figure in a squad attempting to overcome the absence of 15 players on autumn international duty.
Edwards came off the bench late on during last weekend's opening LV= Cup defeat to Worcester at Sixways, but believes the Scarlets can salvage plenty of positives ahead of Saturday's clash with the Blues in Llanelli.
"The result was disappointing, but there was definitely encouragement for us," he added. "The younger boys will have learned a lot of lessons from that match.
"After the match Gareth (Maule) spoke about the little things in games.
"They are things that you can get away with at semi-pro level that can get exposed at this level, but the only way you learn those things is by playing. We have youngsters coming through and showing up well and although this is a lower-tier competition, we look at it as another opportunity to play for the Scarlets."
Looking ahead to the arrival of a Blues side who opened their Anglo-Welsh account with a much-needed home win over Wasps, Edwards added: "That was a good win for them and with the current situation they are in they are going to be targeting this game as another W.
"As for us, we have some key fixtures coming up so we need a win to move into those games, but also we need some points in this competition."