Scarlets have to sweat it out on injured players
SCOTT Williams insists Saturday’s Heineken Cup showdown with defending champions Leinster is a game he is desperate not to miss as the Scarlets continue to sweat on a number of injury concerns.
Williams is one of eight players nursing knocks in the wake of last weekend’s bruising 49-16 defeat to Clermont Auvergne, although head coach Simon Easterby is optimistic most of those will be able to take the field at Parc y Scarlets for a match his side must win to keep alive their European ambitions.
“I twisted a knee just after half-time. It was a bit sore on Sunday and Monday it was even worse, but it’s starting to heal up now,” said the Wales centre.
“I have been icing it up and having plenty of treatment so I should be all right for Saturday.
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“It is a game I don’t want to miss and I’m trying everything I can to be able to put my hand up for selection.”
As well as Williams, midfield partner Jonathan Davies, flanker Aaron Shingler, full-back Liam Williams, skipper Rob McCusker and new Argentinean signing Tomas Vallejos are among those also undergoing treatment, with Vallejos having picked up a bump playing for Llanelli RFC in a British and Irish Cup tie at Moseley on Saturday.
“Nobody is ruled out at the moment,” said Easterby.
“We have got a number of players who haven’t been able to train so far this week so we will leave selection until tomorrow.
“Hopefully, it won’t be as bad as we first thought straight after the game on Saturday.
“There is a bit more positivity in terms of our injuries.
“There are a couple of doubts, there are probably seven or eight players carrying bumps, but we are not making any decision on them at the moment.”
Easterby will also have to wait on the outcome of a disciplinary ruling into Morgan Stoddart’s red card at the Stade Marcel Michelin.
An independent judicial officer will review the case following written submissions from the Scarlets.
“We have to provide a case to defend him and we will do our best to prove that the red card is sufficient punishment,” added Easterby.
The Scarlets know that they cannot afford two successive defeats in such an unforgiving pool, but Easterby remains upbeat about the region’s prospects.
“It is not doom and gloom in any way,” he added.
“We have been pleased with certain things that were in our game in Clermont, and what is great about this competition is that we are now playing the defending European champions a week later which heightens everything.
“We can’t afford to lose,” he added, “but if we win, and I can see Exeter surprising Clermont at Sandy Park this weekend, then it is all a level playing field after round two.”