Scarlets prepare for the return of the Regan King
THE Scarlets will tomorrow welcome back one of their great European headliners when Regan King returns to Llanelli in the colours of Clermont Auvergne.
After struggling to command a regular spot in his first season and a half with the French giants, King has been at his dazzling best in recent weeks, helping put Exeter Chiefs to the sword at the Stade Marcel Michelin last weekend.
His sleight of hand and gliding runs in that 46-3 victory were reminiscent of the All Black at his silky best for the Scarlets — notably in that memorable Heineken Cup triumph in Toulouse six years ago.
And the Scarlets are on red alert for a player who lit up many a European performance during his six years in West Wales.
"We've got a lot of respect for Regan. He's a class player and a class act," said flanker Josh Turnbull.
"We watched bits of his game from last week and he was dropping players off, showing dummies and flicking passes through the back door.
"He makes things happen for them.
"But everyone around him is class as well — they've got two-and-a-half international teams! They've got a lot of players to pick from and it's tough when you come up against teams like that.
"What you've got to do is concentrate on your own game and take it to them."
While Clermont are targeting a clean sweep of victories in the pool to guarantee them a home tie in the quarter-finals, the Scarlets are desperate to avoid a whitewash of defeats after a miserable European campaign.
"We never intended it to be like this," added Turnbull. "The defeats to Exeter put a downer on it and we had a bad run in the Pro12 as well then. We want to go out and spoil the party. We want to show what we're capable of. We've done it in patches but not for the full 80 yet."
The Scarlets are set to welcome back George North, who missed last weekend's defeat to Leinster with a neck injury.
Meanwhile, chief executive Mark Davies has told a meeting of the Scarlets' supporters' group Crys16 that Sean Holley will take up a coaching post with the region during the Six Nations.