Yannick to add some French polish — for first time ever
FRENCH flyer Yannick N'Gog could create a little bit of Scarlets history in Galway this evening.
In 130 years of Llanelli rugby, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, USA, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Italy have all been represented — yet no Frenchman has ever pulled on the famous scarlet jersey.
The 26-year-old, capped at under-19s and under-21 level, is currently one week into a three-week trial with the Scarlets.
But with Wales wing Mark Jones having undergone an operation to remove his appendix at the start of the week, N'Gog has been drafted in for the trip to the West of Ireland.
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"He has impressed in training and we are keen to take a look at him in a match-day scenario," said Scarlets team manager Garan Evans.
N'Gog wasn't originally named in the 22-man squad, but Kiwi lock Simon Maling strained a hamstring in training yesterday and has been replaced by Vernon Cooper, who had been among the replacements.
With Lou Reed also on the bench, Scarlets head coach Nigel Davies has opted to plump for another back in N'Gog, alongside Gavin Cattle and Wales fly-half Stephen Jones, who has been struggling with a stomach bug all week.
The Scarlets are hoping to add further momentum to their league campaign following the festive wins over the Blues and Dragons, although Davies is fully aware of the perils that await in Connacht's backyard.
"Connacht have put in a couple of performances of late. They are a very difficult side to play against," he said.
"It is a small field, they play a basic game and they play it very well.
"We have to be very clinical and have a real tough mentality."
Davies added: "The Magners is a peculiar league at the moment because everyone seems to be beating each other and six or sevens sides can still win it.
"If we can string together three or four wins we can pull away from the crowd.
"The Ospreys are blazing a trail and we have to make sure we stay close to them over the next couple of months before they come down here.
"It is disappointing to be out of the EDF and Europe, and if we were still in those competitions then the Connacht match would probably take on a different priority.
"Certainly not this time."