Can Rhys kick Scarlets on?
THE Scarlets will look to upset the European order once again this evening (6), with Rhys Priestland handing the West Wales region a massive pre-match lift.
Priestland was considered a major doubt for the Heineken Cup clash against Racing Metro because of a foot injury he picked up before last weekend's stunning opening victory over Harlequins at The Stoop.
However, he has come through a fitness test and will be a key player as the Scarlets look to maintain their shock position at the head of Pool 4.
The Wales No. 10 was outstanding in the 33-26 triumph over Quins, returning to the confident form that made him such an influential performer for Wales at the World Cup two years ago.
And it means Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby has to make just two enforced changes to his starting XV for tonight's encounter.
Nick Reynolds will make his first Heineken Cup start after coming in on the wing for Kristian Phillips, who has failed to recover from the calf strain that saw him limp off midway through the first half last weekend, while South African tight-head Jacobie Adriaanse replaces banned prop Samson Lee.
Lee is forced to sit out the next two matches after being found guilty of stamping on Quins scrum-half Danny Care.
The 20-year-old has been the cornerstone of some impressive scrummaging displays by the Scarlets this season, but hooker Emyr Phillips believes the home camp can still make their mark at set-piece, even though Racing's all-international front row are set to pose their sternest challenge yet.
"The French have a huge mindset to scrummage, you can see them egging each other on before each scrum. They just want to dominate each aspect of the game," he said. "It is a real strength of Racing's. They are really hungry and work well together as a pack. It is going to be a huge challenge for us.
"But we are happy where we are at the moment. We are looking forward to putting in a good performance because we know against a French pack that is where it starts.
"We know the standards are going up every week, but we feel as if we went well last weekend and we know that if we can produce a key scrum at a key time, then it could be a game-changing moment."
The Scarlets are expecting their biggest crowd of the season at Parc y Scarlets with skipper Jonathan Davies urging the fans to replicate the support shown by those who travelled to The Stoop.
"For the boys to run out with the surge that a huge home roar gives you will be a huge boost," he said. "The support in London was brilliant and we need everything that West Wales rugby stands for to come together for this game."
Racing, meanwhile, have made seven changes to their starting XV from Sunday's 13-9 win over Clermont. Wales and Lions back-rower Dan Lydiate returns to the side and wears the No. 7 jersey, while former Saints prop Soane Tonga'uiha is named at loose-head.