Scarlets huge test as Connacht bid to extend record league run

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Scarlets huge test as Connacht bid to extend record league run

Pat Lam’s unchanged side will face a Scarlets outfit that has been bolstered by the return of their internationals for this crunch clash, as both sides seek a top-six place to guarantee Heineken Cup qualification.

The odds, as always, favour Simon Easterby’s side. Having targeted a semi-final, the Scarlets’ loss to Glasgow last weekend has sharpened their focus. Internationals Ken Owens, Rhodri Jones and Jake Ball return to the pack, while Rhys Priestland, Liam Williams and Jonathan Davies, who captains the side, adds considerable experience in the backline.

Connacht, never having won at Parc Y Scarlets, last recorded a win over the Llanelli outfit in Stradey Park 10 years ago, and although Connacht should have beaten the Welsh side on their visit to the Sportsground in November, they lost by 24-21.

However, Lam says his side is playing with more “confidence and belief”.

“The Scarlets are one of the better Welsh teams. They have few weaknesses and a host of internationals, but we have set our goal and we want the win.”

Hooker Jason Harris-Wright will earn his 40th cap for the province tomorrow afternoon, starting in a front row with Denis Buckley and last week’s try scorer Rodney Ah You, while Muldoon, who scored a two of four tries last week against the Dragons in their third bonus-point win, will captain the side from the back row.

A bonus point win could well be beyond Connacht in Sunday’s fixture as Connacht seek to achieve another new milestone.

CONNACHT: R Henshaw, T O’Halloran, E Griffin, D McSharry, F Carr, D Parks, K Marmion, D Buckley, J Harris-Wright, R Ah You, A Muldowney, M Kearney, J Muldoon, E Masterson, E McKeon.

Replacements: D Heffernan, R Loughney, N White, M Swift, A Browne, F Murphy, M Nikora, D Leader.

SCARLETS: L Williams, K Phillips, J Davies (cpt), O Barkley, J Williams, R Priestland, G Davies, P John, K wens, R Jones, J Ball, J Snyman, J Turnbull, J Barclay, S Timani.

Replacements: E Phillips, R Evans, J Adriaanse, R Kelly, L Rawlins, R Williams, A Thomas, G Maule.

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