Guinness Pro14: Scarlets v Cardiff Blues
Venue: Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli Date: Saturday, 29 Dec Kick off: 17:15 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru the BBC Sport website and app

Scarlets and Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny will go back for its first time in seven months to face Cardiff Blues from the Pro14 on Saturday.

Halfpenny suffered concussion against Australia on 10 November but proceeds to displace the injured Rhys Patchell, with a hamstring issue.

Wales centre Hadleigh Parkes again starts at 10 in Patchell’s absence.

Cardiff Blues have made three employees changes from the side which beat the Dragons.

Scrum-half Lloyd Williams replaces Tomas Williams, prop Brad Thyer comes in to the injured Rhys Gill, while second-row George Earle comes Set for flanker Olly Robinson. Josh Turnbull switches from lock to the back-row. Prop Dmitri Arhip returns among the replacements.

Halfpenny was the casualty of a late speech in Australia centre Samu Kerevi and has not played since.

Parkes is again preferred to Dan Jones from the Scarlets fly half job after launching against Ospreys and will line up against fellow New Zealand born Wales international Gareth Anscombe.

Wales second-row Jake Ball injured a shoulder against Ospreys and is substituted in the Scarlets pack by Josh Helps, that will get his first league start of this season.

Scarlets have lost their past four games and mind coach Wayne Pivac expects to break this cycle in Llanelli.

“We’re considering ourselves at the moment and getting our game in order,” explained Pivac.

“They have had some excellent results and so they’ve probably had any they mightn’t be pleased with, we’re not any different.

“It is two teams to arrive to the game knowing the significance of our individual conventions. It’s a game for individuals that we need to win.

“It’s a home game and we have a joyful album in home and we need this to keep.

“We view them as a dangerous competitor as it’s a derby. There’s a great deal at stake and a lot of play .”

Blues head coach John Mulvihill wants his side to build on the 21 December triumph over Dragons.

“We were happy with the four things against Dragons but there were several areas where we let ourselves down,” said Mulvihill.

“The Scarlets are a Championship club , they have some good players and I am convinced they’ll look for a way playing home.

“We experienced a tiny bad patch as well so we understand their mind set. They is going to be dangerous.”

Scarlets: Leigh Halfpenny; Tom Prydie, Jonathan Davies, Kieron Fonotia, Johnny McNicholl; Hadleigh Parkes, Gareth Davies, Rob Evans, Ken Owens (capt), Samson Lee, Josh Helps, David Bulbring, Ed Kennedy, James Davies, Will Boyde.

Replacements: Ryan Elias, Wyn Jones, Werner Kruger, Tom Price, Dan Davis, Kieran Hardy, Dan Jones, Paul Asquith

Cardiff Blues: Dan Fish; Blaine Scully, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Garyn Smith; Gareth Anscombe, Lloyd Williams; Brad Thyer, Kristian Dacey (capt), Dillon Lewis, George Earle, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi, Nick Williams.

AR1: Craig Evans (WRU). AR2: Adam Jones (WRU)

TMO: Ian Davies (WRU)


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