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Three of Pro Rugby’s Welsh sides are in European rugby action this weekend with the Scarlets looking to light up fortress Parc y Scarlets when they host French side Racing 92.

After the disappointment of Cardiff Blues defeat to Harlequins on Thursday night in the Challenge Up, our three remaining pro teams in Wales are looking to secure big wins in round two of the European competition.


Scarlets captain Ken Owens makes a return from injury to lead the Scarlets in the first home game of the European Rugby Champions Cup campaign against Racing 92 on Saturday.

Head Coach Wayne Pivac has made three changes to the side that narrowly lost against Northampton Saints away from home last weekend with captain Owens returning to the front row alongside Phil John who comes in for Rob Evans.

The only change in the back line is at fly half with young Dan Jones handed his first Champions Cup start.

The replacements bench includes Dylan Evans and newcomer Michael Collins looking for their first Champions Cup encounter and Steffan Evans who makes a return from an elbow dislocation.

Speaking earlier this week Pivac said: “Following last week’s result what is a comfort to us is that we all feel that we’re not too far off. We’ve made steady progress and that’s what we’re trying to do each week. I think we’re heading in the right direction.

“The first two games are vital in this tournament and it’s important that we get some points on the board early or otherwise we’re chasing the pack. The fact that we didn’t get four points last weekend puts more significance on this game. This evening’s game is very much a must win situation.

“We’re expecting a big battle up front from Racing 92 and having a couple of players coming back from injury is good. We’ll be slightly stronger than last week.”

Scarlets team to take on Racing 92 at Parc y Scarlets, Saturday 21st November kick-off 5.30pm; 15 Aled Thomas, 14 Michael Tagicakibau, 13 Gareth Owen, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Daniel Jones, 9 Gareth Davies, 1 Phil John, 2 Ken Owens [c], 3 Peter Edwards, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Maselino Paulino, 6 Aaron Shingler, 7 James Davies, 8 John Barclay

Replacements: Emyr Phillips, Dylan Evans, Samson Lee, Tom Price, Lewis Rawlins, Aled Davies, Michael Collins, Steff Evans


The Men of Gwent take on hard-hitting French side Castres on Saturday 21st November, KO 17:00 at Stade Pierre Antoine.

Lyn Jones’ men opened their European Cup campaign in spectacular fashion after facing Sale Sharks at Rodney Parade. They look to go to France this weekend and repeat their fantastic bonus-point winning performance and remain at the top of their pool.

The back three remain in place with fullback Carl Meyer joining wings Ashton Hewitt and Nick Scott. The centre pairing also remains unchanged with Adam Hughes and Adam Warren being selected, with Dorian Jones and Sarel Pretorius retaining their places in the half backs.

The front row has one change made to it as Phil Price gets the nod and joins hooker Elliot Dee and prop Shaun Knight. The second row also has one change made to it as Matthew Screech moves from the bench to join skipper Rynard Landman. The back row sees the inclusion of flanker Nick Crosswell, who replaces Lewis Evans after he sustained a calf injury during the Sale Sharks match. Crosswell joins Ollie Griffiths and Ed Jackson in the back row.

Dragons team to face Castres: Carl Meyer, Ashton Hewitt, Adam Hughes, Adam Warren, Nick Scott, Dorian Jones, Sarel Pretorius; Phil Price, Elliot Dee, Shaun Knight, Matthew Screech, Rynard Landman ©, Nick Crosswell, Ollie Griffiths, Ed Jackson.

Replacements: Rhys Buckley, Boris Stankovich, Lloyd Fairbrother, Cory Hill, Nic Cudd, Charlie Davies, Jason Tovey, Ross Wardle.


The Ospreys will be looking to build on their positive start after a good home win against Exeter last Sunday in the Champions Cup, as they take on Clermont Auvergne out in France.

Head Coach Steve Tandy said:Exeter came here full of confidence after the start they’ve had to the season and most people weren’t giving us much of a chance, but we got what we wanted from the game which is really pleasing.

“As pleasing as it was to get the win last Sunday in front of a noisy and passionate crowd, we aren’t falling into the trap of believing we’ve cracked it. That’s not the Ospreys way, we understand there’s a long way to go yet. Aspects of our game are going in the right direction but we have to keep working hard, day in day out, and then transfer what we do on the training ground into the match day consistently.

“This weekend’s game is definitely one that will keep us grounded, if that was needed. We’re aware of how tough it’s going to be, of Clermont’s record at their ground, but these are the kinds of challenges that you have to enjoy as rugby players and coaches.

“There’s a few of the group have been there before and understand what kind of environment we are stepping into and they’ve told the rest of the squad that they should be excited about Sunday. It’s a youthful squad we’ve got but there is the experience of big games, tough environments and winning big games mixed in and that will stand us in good stead.

The Ospreys team to play Clermont Auvergne at Stade Marcel Michelin on Sunday 22nd November 2015, KO 2.00pm (local), is as follows:  15 Dan Evans; 14 Tom Grabham; 13 Jonathan Spratt; 12 Josh Matavesi; 11 Eli Walker 10 Dan Biggar; 9 Brendon Leonard; 1 Paul James; 2 Scott Baldwin; 3 Dmitri Arhip 4 Lloyd Ashley; 5 Alun Wyn Jones (Capt); 6 Dan Lydiat; 7 Justin Tipuric; 8 James King

REPLACEMENTS 16 Sam Parry; 17 Ryan Bevington; 18 Aaron Jarvis; 19 Rory Thornton; 20 Dan Baker; 21 Tom Habberfield; 22 Sam Davies; 23 Hanno Dirksen

Rory Thornton will make his European Cup debut if he comes off the bench