We can beat big spenders
THE Scarlets will take on one of the Heineken Cup's big spenders on Saturday with scrum-half Rhodri Williams adamant the West Walians can overcome the power of Racing Metro's chequebook.
It will be a case of the 'have-nots' versus the 'haves' in Llanelli with a monstrous difference in the playing budgets of both sides.
The Scarlets' squad is largely built on home-grown talent, while Racing have offered eye-watering wages to lure some of the star names of world rugby to Paris.
Those include Lions trio Jonny Sexton, Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate as well as Argentinean maestro Juan-Martin Hernandez and former Northampton Saints props Brian Mujati and Sione Tonga'uiha.
But the Scarlets, on the back of their thrilling 33-26 victory over Harlequins in round one, believe they can strike a blow for the underdog again and defy the pre-tournament predictions to lead Pool 4 after the opening two rounds.
"You know when you are playing against Racing Metro a lot will be made in the build-up about the amount of money they have. But at the end of the day it will be 15 against 15 out there," said 20-year-old Williams, one of the Scarlets' three try-scorers against Quins.
"You have to respect Racing for the side they are. They beat Clermont in a brutal game last weekend and showed great defence in that game.
"It is going to be tough, but hopefully we can get our game right like we did against Harlequins and get another good result."
The two sides are yet to meet in the competition, although the Scarlets boast a decent record against French clubs in Llanelli.
They were well beaten by Clermont Auvergne last season, but have seen off Castres, Perpignan, Brive and Stade Francais at Parc y Scarlets.
"When the ball and the off-loads stick we are a dangerous side and we showed against Harlequins that we should be respected and can perform to a high level," added Williams.
"We were saying in the week before the Harlequins game that we hadn't been far off from everything clicking.
"In the league, our results haven't been consistent enough, it has been a case of lose one, then win one.
"Hopefully, the Harlequins win has given us a bit of confidence in this competition and we can get a good result this weekend to break that pattern."
Williams was one of Wales Under-20s' shining lights during this summer's IRB Junior World Championships and has made the most of his opportunity in the No. 9 jersey with Gareth Davies having started the season impressively before picking up a calf strain.
"It is good, healthy competition. At the start of the season I was just hoping to play more regularly. I didn't play much last year so I just wanted to play as must as I could," added the Ammanford product.
"It is a bonus playing in the Heineken Cup because it is a great competition to play in. I feel I have come on a lot as a player from when I last played in it two years ago.
"I have learned a lot from the under-20s and I just want to play as many games as possible."