Former All Black Simon Maling has come through a late fitness test to be included in the Scarlets line-up for tomorrow's vital Magners League clash against the Cardiff Blues at Parc y Scarlets.
On the downside however, a number of players were ruled out for selection. Prop Iestyn Thomas, fullback Morgan Stoddart and winger Darren Daniel all failed fitness tests as the Scarlets attempt to win their first game since 24 October.
The Scarlets have once again been forced to put fly-half Rhys Priestland at full-back while Ceiron Thomas finds himself on the wing due to the shortage of fit back-three players in the squad.
Despite the Scarlets failing to fire in Europe this season, Maling said the players are confident of giving the in-form Blues a run for their money.
"Hopefully we can go out there and give it a real rip," said for the Kiwi second row. "I've been out of action for a while with a calf injury and upon reflection I probably tried to come back too soon out in Paris (against Stade Francais) but we were a man down. But hopefully we can go out there and get a win on board.
"I've played in a few derbies back home in my time but I'm really looking forward to lacing the boots up and playing against the Blues. The boys are confident of putting in a good showing so hopefully we can kick off the period with a win to kick-start our season."
Scarlets: 1 Phil John, 2 Matthew Rees, 3 Deacon Manu, 4 Vernon Cooper, 5 Simon Maling, 6 Simon Easterby (captain), 7 Dafydd Jones, 8 David Lyons, 9 Martin Roberts, 10 Stephen Jones, 11 Mark Jones, 12 Jonathan Davies, 13 Regan King, 14 Ceiron Thomas, 15 Rhys Priestland
Replacements: 16 Craig Cross, 17 Ken Owens, 18 Lou Reed, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Johnathan Edwards, 21 Gavin Cattle, 22 Lee Williams,
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.