Scarlets set to add Romanian international prop Horatiu Pungea to their squad
THE Scarlets are set to add Romanian international prop Horatiu Pungea to their squad for the remainder of the season.
With experienced Fijian tight-head Deacon Manu likely to be sidelined until the new year with a broken arm and Samson Lee pushing hard for a place in Warren Gatland's Wales party, head coach Simon Easterby has moved to add depth to his front-row resources.
The 27-year-old has played eight matches for The Oaks and was at The Stoop on Saturday to witness the Scarlets upset Harlequins in the opening round of the Heineken Cup.
Pungea will add options alongside South African Jacobie Adriaanse and Wales international Rhodri Jones, who is being converted from loose-head prop to tight-head.
Saturday's stunning 33-26 victory, coupled with Racing Metro's 13-9 win over Clermont Auvergne, means the West Walians top Pool 4 ahead of this weekend's clash with the Parisians in Llanelli.
Racing, who boast a squad of stellar international names, will be without British Lion Jamie Roberts, who is recovering from ankle surgery, but fellow Lions Jonny Sexton and Dan Lydiate are expected to feature.
Lydiate didn't even make the match-day 23 for Sunday night's clash with Clermont in Colombes, but Sexton did feature at fly-half.
Scarlets skipper Jonathan Davies is well aware of the game-breaking ability of the Ireland No.10, having played alongside him in Australia this summer. But he insists his side's primary focus — as it was before the Quins match — will be on raising their own game once again.
"It will be good to catch up with Jonny and Lyds, hopefully we can get a victory first and I will have a smile on my face afterwards," said Davies.
"Obviously, Racing have a very strong squad, but we have got to concentrate on ourselves.
"We have got to go away, assess our performance against Quins and try and tidy up our mistakes and improve on what we did at The Stoop.
"Coming away from home and getting a big victory is a fantastic start for us. But a couple of years ago we went to Northampton and won but then lost at home to Munster.
"We need to look after ourselves this week and deliver a performance in training like we did last week. There was huge clarity before the Quins game, we knew what we needed to do and we delivered on the day."
Davies also paid tribute to the travelling support in south west London.
"They played a huge part, were vocal throughout the game and lifted the boys when it was backs against the wall towards the end," he added.
"People travelled a long way and it was a great win for them as well as us.
"Hopefully we can get a good crowd at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday."
As part of the build-up to Saturday's game, the Scarlets, in conjunction with Crys16 the Supporters Trust, will present a question and answer evening at Parc y Scarlets this evening.
Llanelli and Lions great Phil Bennett will be joined by Scarlets captains Rob McCusker and Jonathan Davies as well as the Scarlets coaching team.
The event is free for supporters and will be held in the Phil Bennett Lounge, starting at 7pm.