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The second of Europe’s back-to-back pre Christmas clashes will see three of Pro Rugby’s teams in action on Saturday evening with the Ospreys kicking off first in Bordeaux and the Scarlets back on home soil and determined to defend a great home record at Parc y Scarlets.

It will be a big test of character for the Ospreys away from home in France after a great bright start to their European Champions Cup campaign.

A late team change has seen Ospreys outside half Sam Davies step into the centre at 13 for Josh Matavesi who was pulled out with a calf problem with Ben John switching to 12.

The Ospreys team to play Bordeaux at Stade Chaban-Delmas, on Saturday 19th December 2015, KO 6.15pm (local time), is as follows: 15 Dan Evans; 14 Jeff Hassler

13 Sam Davies; 12 Ben John; 11 Eli Walker; 10 Dan Biggar; 9 Tom Habberfield; 1 Paul James; 2 Scott Baldwin; 3 Dmitri Arhip; 4 Lloyd Ashley; 5 Alun Wyn Jones (Capt) 6 Dan Lydiate; 7 Justin Tipuric; 8 James King

Replacements: 16 Sam Parry; 17 Ryan Bevington; 18 Aaron Jarvis; 19 Rory Thornton 20 Dan Baker; 21 Olly Cracknell; 22 Martin Roberts; 23 Hanno Dirksen

Ospreys Head Coach, Steve Tandy, said: “We’ve put ourselves in a strong position in the pool at this stage with our performances so far but nobody in this environment will be getting carried away with ourselves. We realise that we are only at the halfway stage at this point and, starting on Saturday, we have to go all over again.

“There’ll be a typically passionate French crowd on Saturday, we are going into an environment where they have the biggest average crowd in European rugby, so we know it’ll be a test of character as much as ability, as it always is on the road in top competitions like this. We’ve got to thrive on that and stand up to the challenge.

“They have a team packed with quality. That’s the depth that a €20m operating budget gives you. We can’t worry about things like that though, it’s about our preparation.”


Scarlets Head Coach Wayne Pivac has made nine changes and two positional to his side for the upcoming fourth round European Rugby Champions Cup clash against Glasgow Warriors at Parc y Scarlets.

Following a disappointing defeat to the Warriors at their Scotstoun home last Saturday Scarlets will be looking to put in a good performance in the second leg of the back-to-back festive fixtures against the Scottish side.

Captain Emyr Phillips is one of four unchanged positions along with scrum half Gareth Davies, flanker Lewis Rawlins and number 8 Morgan Allen.

Fullback Steff Evans moves to the wing with Kiwi Michael Collins coming in at fullback and Gareth Owen moving from inside to outside centre partnering up with another Kiwi in Hadleigh Parkes.

DTH van der Merwe makes a return to face his former side for the first time since his departure over the summer and Aled Thomas takes the reins at fly half.

Five changes in the pack see the return of Rob Evans, Samson Lee, Jake Ball and Maselino Paulino with 21-year-old Jack Condy getting his first start for the Scarlets.

Speaking ahead of the Champions Cup clash Pivac said: “We have had to learn a lot from a performance like that and we have to make sure that what we didn’t do we last weekend do this week. They scored a lot of points off our mistakes, discipline, penalties, which we control to a degree.

“It went against what we’ve been about this year, fighting over the 80 minutes for each other, clawing way to some tight wins and good performances for long periods throughout games.

“We need to put in a good performance for our supporters who obviously would have been gutted with last week’s performance. It’s irrelevant that we’re out of Europe. It’s a home game, we have a proud record at home. Glasgow will be coming back later in the season, we want to have a strong performance on Saturday.”

Scarlets team to take on Glasgow Warriors in the European Rugby Champions Cup clash on Saturday 19th December, kick-off 7.45pm at Parc y Scarlets; 15 Michael Collins, 14 Steffan Evans, 13 Gareth Owen, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Gareth Davies, 1Rob Evans, 2 Emyr Phillips [c], 3 Samson Lee, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Maselino Paulino, 6 Lewis Rawlins, 7 Jack Condy, 8 Morgan Allen

Replacements: Ken Owens, Wyn Jones, Rhodri Jones, George Earle, Tom Price, Aled Davies, Steve Shingler, Harry Robinson


The return fixture for the Men of Gwent sees them travelling to the Stade Municpal de Hameau to take on the French side in the European Rugby Challenge Cup on Saturday 19th December, KO 20:45.

The Welsh Region remain at the top of the table, one point clear of Sale Sharks and will look to retain this position this weekend.

There is one change made to the back three, after an injury to wing Tom Prydie sees him sit out of this match. Nick Scott takes his place and joins fellow wing Ashton Hewitt and full-back Carl Meyer. The centre pairing once again remains untouched as Adam Hughes and Adam Warren retain their places. Scrum half Sarel Pretorius is given the nod again and is joined in the half backs by experienced fly-half Jason Tovey.

The front row sees two changes made to last weekends line-up with Phil Price being joined by fellow prop Lloyd Fairbrother. They are also joined by hooker Elliot Dee. The second row has one change made to it with Cory Hill joining Rynard Landman. The back row sees number eight Taulupe Faletau joined by flankers Nick Crosswell and Nic Cudd.

Newport Gwent Dragons team to face Pau; Carl Meyer, Nick Scott, Adam Hughes, Adam Warren, Ashton Hewitt, Jason Tovey, Sarel Pretorius; Phil Price, Elliot Dee, Lloyd Fairbrother, Cory Hill, Rynard Landman ©, Nick Crosswell, Nic Cudd, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Rhys Buckley, Brok Harris, Shaun Knight, Matthew Screech, Ollie Griffiths, Charlie Davies, Dorian Jones, Ross Wardle.