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Scarlets combine experience with youth for opening Anglo-Welsh Cup clash

Gareth Owen adds experience to the Scarlets back line

Scarlets have named an exciting side for Friday night’s Anglo-Welsh Cup clash against Bath Rugby at Parc y Scarlets.

This season’s Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign offers the coaches another golden opportunity to blood some of the region’s brightest young talents.

One of the exciting new heroes named in the starting line-up by Scarlets’ Anglo-Welsh Cup Head Coach Ioan Cunningham is 17-year-old winger Ryan Conbeer.

Conbeer, from Saundersfoot, played his early rugby for Tenby and Narberth RFC before joining Scarlets Under 16s West before being drafted in to the Scarlets Academy. He is one of the youngest players to represent the region since the game in Wales went regional in 2003. The record, held by winger Jordan Williams, stands at 17 years and 131 days.

 

Another teenager joining Conbeer in the backline is 18-year-old centre Ioan Nicholas. Pontyberem bred Nicholas missed out on become the youngest player to represent the region by three days when he made his first senior appearance in the pre-season friendly against Jersey on 15th August 2015.

The teenagers can call on experienced players beside them in the backline. The halfback pairing of Aled Davies and Dan Jones have 117 regional appearances between them whilst Gareth Owen offers a wealth of experience in the midfield alongside young Nicholas.  Richard Smith, 29, and Tom Williams, 25, make up the back-three along Conbeer.

Hooker Emyr Phillips will lead the side in what will be his 130th appearance for the region and he’ll be flanked in the front row by Dylan Evans and Peter Edwards. Newcomers Tadhg Beirne and Rynier Bernardo, who joined the Scarlets in the summer, link up in the second row. Morgan Allen, number 8, is joined by 20-year-old Josh Macleod and 21-year-old Jack Condy.

Ioan Cunningham said; “Bath have a traditional big English pack, and they’ll challenge us up front with their physicality.

“Having said that they’ve also evolved their game slightly with Todd Blackadder coming in so they have threats right across the park.

“We’re very conscious that what this competition is about is giving guys opportunities. The guys that have been waiting patiently, training hard, and they get their chance this weekend and next weekend. There’s no better opportunity than now with players away on international duty.”

Two uncapped players have been named on the bench, in prop Nicky Thomas and outside half Jack Maynard. The young bench, with a combined age of 20, will be hoping to have an opportunity to make their mark in regional colours.

Scarlets team to take on Bath Rugby at Parc y Scarlets, Friday 11th November, kick-off 7.05pm, Anglo-Welsh Cup;

15 Tom Williams, 14 Richard Smith, 13 Ioan Nicholas, 12 Gareth Owen, 11 Ryan Conbeer, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Aled Davies, 1 Dylan Evans, 2 Emyr Phillips [c], 3 Peter Edwards, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 6 Jack Condy, 7 Josh Macleod, 8 Morgan Allen

Replacements: Taylor Davies, Luke Garrett, Nicky Thomas, Josh Helps, Tom Phillips, Declan Smith, Jack Maynard, Billy McBryde

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