Scarlets Change Six For Emirates Lions


New Wales international Sam Costelow returns to the Scarlets' starting line-up as one of six changes to the side to take on Emirates Lions in round nine of the United Rugby Championship on Sunday at 13h30 (SA Time)

Costelow, along with Dane Blacker, joined the tour party in Johannesburg this week after being part of Wales’ squad for the Autumn Nations series.

The 21-year-old is the only change in the back division that took the field in Cape Town for the loss to the Stormers, coming in at fly-half to partner the experienced Gareth Davies.

Up front, there is a new front row of Kemsley Mathias, Taylor Davies and WillGriff John, while Vaea Fifita returns to join fellow Tonga international Sam Lousi in the second row.

In the back row, Blade Thomson comes in at No. 8 for Sione Kalamafoni who drops to the bench.

Shaun Evans, Phil Price and Javan Sebastian are new faces among the replacements, as is scrum-half Blacker.

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel said: “It is going to be another big challenge. We need to manage the game and we have to cut out the errors because that will cost us. The Lions are a physical side, who want to play territory and put pressure on you. For us, we have to be bold, if you are not bold out here then it is a tough place to come.”

Scarlets: 15. Johnny McNicholl, 14. Tom Rogers, 13. Jonathan Davies (c), 12. Scott Williams, 11. Ryan Conbeer; 10. Sam Costelow, 9. Gareth Davies, 8. Blade Thomson, 7. Dan Davis, 6. Aaron Shingler, 5. Vaea Fifita, 4. Sam Lousi, 3. WillGriff John, 2. Taylor Davies, 1. Kemsley Mathias. Replacements: 16. Shaun Evans, 17. Phil Price, 18. Javan Sebastian, 19. Sione Kalamafoni, 20. Tomás Lezana, 21. Dane Blacker, 22. Rhys Patchell, 23. Steff Evans.

Unavailable:  Wyn Jones, Johnny Williams, Jac Price, Joe Roberts, Callum Williams, Samson Lee, Griff Evans.