Scarlets team news v Bordeaux as Carwyn Tuipulotu set for European debut

Scarlets team news v Bordeaux as Carwyn Tuipulotu set for European debut

Scarlets boss Dwayne Peel has made six changes to his side for the European Champions Cup fixture away to Bordeaux-Begles on Sunday.

Captain Jonathan Davies returns to lead his team for the round-three clash, having missed the New Year’s Day win over the Ospreys, and highly-rated young back-rower Carwyn Tuipulotu will make his European debut if he comes off the bench.

The match on Sunday, January 16, kicks off at 3.15pm (UK time) and is being broadcast live on BT Sport.

The back-three is unchanged as Liam Williams at No. 15 combines with Johnny McNicholl and Steff Evans, Davies and Scott Williams combine at centre and Sam Costelow returns from a shoulder issue to line up with scrum-half Gareth Davies at half-back.

Wyn Jones starts at loose-head prop in place of Rob Evans, who is set for a spell on the sidelines with a knee ligament injury. Ryan Elias and WillGriff John make up an all-Wales international front row.

Aaron Shingler lines up alongside Sam Lousi in the second row, while the only change in the back row sees Tomas Lezana come in for the injured Josh Macleod, who suffered a hamstring injury early on against the Ospreys. Lezana links up with Blade Thomson and Sione Kalamafoni.

The two clubs have only met twice during the competition, during the 1998-99 season which saw each side win their home match.

The Scarlets have no fewer than 14 players unavailable due to injury.

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel said: “The boys are looking forward to this, everyone is primed and ready. It is going to be a very difficult game against a side who are flying at the moment.

“We know it is going to be a big challenge, but we feel we are in a good place and it will be good for the boys to play in front of fans again as well.

“France is always a special place to play in European competition. You have to be prepared to go there and play because you are going to be under the pump at times.

“When you think of all the big scalps Welsh teams have taken in France, they have been under the pump in a big way, you have to stick in the game and dig in and then you have a chance. It is about having that mentality to fight for the 80 minutes and see where you are at the end of it.”

Scarlets: 15. Liam Williams, 14. Johnny McNicholl, 13. Jonathan Davies (capt), 12. Scott Williams, 11. Steff Evans, 10. Sam Costelow, 9. Gareth Davies, 1. Wyn Jones, 2. Ryan Elias, 3. WillGriff John, 4. Sam Lousi, 5. Aaron Shingler, 6. Blade Thomson, 7. Tomas Lezana, 8. Sione Kalamafoni.

Replacements: 16. Marc Jones, 17. Phil Price, 18. Samson Lee, 19. Morgan Jones, 20. Carwyn Tuipulotu, 21. Dane Blacker, 22. Rhys Patchell, 23. Ioan Nicholas.

The players who are unavailable because of injury include Rob Evans (knee), Josh Macleod (hamstring), Ken Owens (back), Tom Price (ankle), Dan Davis (pectoral muscle), Tom Phillips (knee), Josh Helps (Achilles), James Davies (concussion), Leigh Halfpenny (knee), Corey Baldwin (foot), Lewis Rawlins (concussion), Harri Williams (ankle), Johnny Williams (calf), and Joe Roberts (knee).

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