Preview: Scarlets vs Newport Gwent Dragons

Preview: Scarlets vs Newport Gwent Dragons

Scarlets vs Dragons

Friday night sees high flying Scarlets host the Newport Gwent Dragons in an all-Welsh battle. League leaders Scarlets will look to keep their unbeaten start to the season alive against a side who they have bested in all but one of their last 14 matches, and a team whom have never beaten them at home in the Pro12. Never-the-less, last weeks win over Treviso for the Dragons will have them in confident mood as they make the short journey to Llanelli.

The Scarlets were hugely impressive last week as they squeezed past old foes Munster in a titanic top of the table clash. The signing of DTH Van Der Merwe from rivals Glasgow has proved to be a master stroke, as the Canadian has become the leagues early top try scorer. However, the Scarlets will have to do without him this week, as Van Der Merwe along with Samson Lee have been rested following their world cup exploits earlier this month. This means Harry Robinson comes in on the left wing, with Tom Williams starting on the right. They book-end a strong midfield partnership containing Hadleigh Parkes and Regan King. Up front, Peter Edwards replaces the rested Lee, with john Barclay captaining the side from number 8.

The Dragons preparations wont have been aided by the news this week that Toby Faletau is trying to force a move away from the Welsh side to join English side Bath. The move was blocked by the WRU but still will have unsettled the camp as they enter a crucial period. Faletau starts at 8 on his return from World Cup duty, joining Nick Cudd and Ed Jackson in the back row. Elsewhere Dorian Jones continues at ten, as does talisman Jason Tovey at full back.

Always a fiery clash between these two, expect Fridays clash to be no different. The recent form of this Scarlets side, allied with the recent history between these sides, bodes well for the home team. But don’t expect the proud Dragons to just roll over either. Coverage on the app starts at 5:45 GMT on Friday evening.

Last three matches

25/4/15 Newport Gwent Dragons 10 – 29 Scarlets

5/10/14 Scarlets 26 – 13 Newport Gwent Dragons

2/5/14 Scarlets 34 – 23 Newport Gwent Dragons

Prediction: Scarlets by 10.

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