Scarlets coach Simon Easterby rings changes for Edinburgh clash
TWENTY-year-old scrum-half Rhodri Williams is handed his first start of the season as the Scarlets look to get their RaboDirect Pro12 campaign back on track in Edinburgh tomorrow.
Williams, who has missed the last two matches with a shoulder injury, replaces the injured Gareth Davies (calf strain) in one of five personnel changes to the side beaten by the Dragons at Rodney Parade last weekend.
With Gareth Owen sidelined with a knee injury, Liam Williams moves to his preferred No. 15 spot with Nick Reynolds coming in for his first start of the season on the wing.
Up front, new Wales cap Emyr Phillips gets the nod at hooker with Ken Owens dropping down to the bench, while at lock Joe Snyman replaces fellow South African George Earle.
With Aaron Shingler ruled out with a neck strain, Josh Turnbull slots in at blindside flanker, alongside Rob McCusker and Scotland international John Barclay in the back row.
British Lion Jonathan Davies takes over the captaincy from McCusker, who will run out for his 100th appearance for the region.
Edinburgh, meanwhile, will be without key internationals Greig Laidlaw and Tim Visser for the Murrayfield clash.
Laidlaw is still sidelined with a knee injury, while Visser is ruled out after picking up a bang to his head in the defeat to the Ospreys last weekend.
Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons has made a number of changes with 20-year-old scrum-half Sam Hidlago-Clyne set for his first start. Elsewhere, Kiwi centre Ben Atiga comes in for the injured Dougie Fife; Lee Jones starts in place of Visser, while Jack Cuthbert, is preferred to Nikki Walker.
Up front, Tongan hooker Aleki Lutui is missing after being banned for two weeks following his dangerous hit on Tom Smith at the Liberty.
Solomons said: “Scarlets are another consistently impressive Welsh side, so will present another big challenge.
“Like us, they haven’t had the start they would have wanted and, having won here last year, will look at this match as an opportunity to put their campaign back on track.”
Edinburgh: G. Tonks; L. Jones, N. De Luca, B. Atiga, J. Cuthbert; H. Leonard, S. Hidalgo-Clyne; A. Dickinson, R. Ford (capt), W. Nel, G. Gilchrist, I. van der Westhuizen, D. Basilaia, D. Denton, R. Grant. Reps: J. Hilterbrand, W. Blaauw, G. Cross, S. Cox, H. Watson, S. Kennedy, J. Dominguez, M. Tait
Scarlets: L. Williams; N. Reynolds, J. Jonathan Davies (capt), S. Williams, J. Williams; R. Priestland, R. Williams; P. John; E. Phillips, S. Lee, J. Ball, J. Snyman, J. Turnbull, R. McCusker, J. Barclay. Reps: K. Owens, R. Evans, J. Adriaanse, G. Earle, S. Timani, A. Davies, A. Thomas, G. Maule.