Romanian prop Horatiu Pungea set for Scarlets debut against Zebre
ROMANIAN prop Horatiu Pungea is set to make his Scarlets debut in tomorrow’s RaboDirect Pro12 clash with Zebre in Parma (6.30pm UK time).
The 27-year-old international is named on the bench as head coach Simon Easterby tinkers with his squad for the trip to Italy.
The bulk of the Scarlets’ Wales squad members are included with British Lion Jonathan Davies leading the side once again.
Fly-half Rhys Priestland drops to the bench with Steve Shingler handed an opportunity in the No.10 jersey, while Gareth Davies starts at scrum-half in place of Rhodri Williams, who is also named among the replacements.
With Jordan Williams nursing a shoulder sprain, fit-again Kristian Phillips comes in on the wing, while up front, Joe Snyman comes in for Jake Ball at lock as the only change to the pack.
Scarlets backs coach Mark Jones said: “As a Scarlets team, we’ve worked hard this season in training and have a group of very committed and talented players who really want to show what Scarlets rugby is all about.
“That ambition came together in the Heineken Cup and now we have to bring that level of intensity, hunger and consistency to our league form.
“We know that Zebre have been building as a team and are no push-overs and they have a decent try scoring record in this competition. We know we have a lot to do over there and ensure our execution is the right level.
“This game may not have the profile around it as last weekend’s but the team knows these away games were a vital element in us achieving a top-four spot in the Pro12 last season — and that’s our target again.”
Scarlets: Liam Williams; Nick Reynolds, Jonathan Davies (capt), Scott Williams, Kristian Phillips; Steve Shingler, Gareth Davies; Phil John, Emyr Phillips, Jacobie Adriaanse, George Earle, Joe Snyman, Aaron Shingler, Josh Turnbull, John Barclay. Reps: Kirby Myhill, Rob Evans, Horatiu Pungea, Jake Ball, Sione Timani, Rhodri Williams, Rhys Priestland, Gareth Maule.