Jake Ball back to bolster Llanelli's cup hopes
SCARLETS lock Jake Ball will bolster Llanelli's bid to make the British and Irish Cup quarter-finals against Moseley tomorrow (2.30pm).
The Aussie-born powerhouse travelled as a reserve to Dublin for the region's Heineken Cup clash last weekend so missed Llanelli's impressive bonus-point victory over Gala in the Scottish Borders.
However, he is back in action for the club side at Parc y Scarlets as Llanelli look to overhaul Moseley at the top of Pool 6.
The Midlanders currently lead the way with 19 points, five ahead of Llanelli in second and it means Anthony Buchanan's men will have to claim a bonus-point win and stop Moseley getting anything out of the match to have any chance of progressing.
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However, Llanelli go into the contest in confident mood following their 33-20 victory at Netherdale and have named a strong line-up that includes a number of players with regional experience this season.
"It is has been a hugely competitive pool this season and we are still in there fighting," said Buchanan.
"We have spoken about how we are going to approach the game and it is important we don't go chasing the win too early.
"Hopefully, we can get away from Moseley and then try to build the win we need."
The Parc y Scarlets side struggled at the set-piece in the corresponding fixture in October, but have selected an experienced front row for tomorrow's round six tie with the Hopkins brothers, Shaun and Aled, packing down alongside Craig Hawkins, who wears the captain's armband in the absence of Adam Powell.
Wales Under-20s squad members Dan Thomas, fly-half Owen Williams and full-back Dion Jones are also named in the starting XV.
Moseley coach Kevin Maggs, the former Ireland centre, has made a number of changes to the side which edged out London Scottish last weekend and has opted to rest former Swansea and Wales prop Ben Evans, who signed for the club last month after parting company as player-coach from Championship strugglers Jersey.
Maggs said: "We have to try to balance the need to win this match with the fact that we have an equally important league match next week. My aim is to keep the squad as fresh as possible."
Llanelli: D. Jones; D. Ford, N. Reynolds, C. Keenan, K. Evans; O. Williams, A. Davies; S. Hopkins, C. Hawkins (capt), A. Hopkins, J. Ball, J. Galley, D. Eager, C. Price, D. Thomas. Reps: to be announced.
Moseley: B. Robinson; B. Hunt, G. King, A. Carter, S. Hunt; B. Davies, A. Day, S. Thorp, S. Wilkes, D. Herriott, T. Hicks, M. Powell, N. Burrows, B. Pienaar, O. Robinson. Reps: T. Warren, C. Meddick, A. Caves, B. Lawrence, S. Dickenson, S. Brown, G. Hughes.