The Scarlets travel to Edinburgh tomorrow evening (Fri) for their second away Magners League fixture in the past fortnight focused on turning around a cycle of defeats against the Scottish side at Murrayfield.
Head Coach Nigel Davies said the Scarlets coaching team have been looking at new ways to mentally prepare their players and get the mindset right for the crucial game on Friday night.
Edinburgh are currently second in the table on 34 points following a consistent and strong Magners League campaign this season. The home side that has ex-Scarlet lock Scott Macleod in its ranks, has won nine of its13 encounters against the Scarlets, including last time out when Edinburgh narrowly claimed a victory (17-16) at Parc y Scarlets in early December.
The Scarlets are currently neck-and-neck with the Cardiff Blues who sit one point ahead in the league. And the battle for European qualification is hotting up with five games to go, as the teams fight for a Heineken Cup place next season, as one of the three best-placed Welsh regions in the Magners League.
The Scarlets coaching team has opted to rest two internationals - outside half Stephen Jones and wing Sean Lamont after their heavy Six Nations campaigns with Wales and Scotland.
Scarlets Head Coach Nigel Davies said: "Unless you've played at that level, it is difficult to appreciate fully the level of pressure and intensity that international players come under, mentally as much as physically.
"We have an important run of games now and it is important that both Stephen and Sean have a week completely away from rugby - it will be in their best interests and ours in the medium term with the amount of games we have coming up, that they freshen up before the challenges ahead."
Wales hooker Matthew Rees, who was out injured during part of the Six Nations campaign, will however travel to Edinburgh and is on the bench for Friday night's clash. Two other Wales internationals, centre Jon Davies and hooker Ken Owens both start on Friday night.
Davies has put faith in his young squad and says the investment made in playing his younger players in key games over the last 18 months is starting to pay dividends. Local Carmarthenshire talent, 23 year-old fly-half Rhys Priestland is one of a crop of young players that Davies has invested heavily in.
He said: "Rhys is playing superbly for us and the fact that he has so much exposure this season has been good for him - you can see how much his performances have come on this season and the last couple have been right up there. The only way you will see true progression is for these players to be part of the big games - it can be painful at times but there is a swathe of young Scarlets players who are starting to come through for us."
Wing Lee Williams returns to start after injury and there is switch in selection this week at scrum-half, with Martin Roberts starting in the no9 jersey instead of 19-year-old talent Tavis Knoyle. Daniel Evans is selected at fullback and Damian Welch comes back to start following time-out from a planned operation on his ankle.
The Scarlets squad is without injured wingers Morgan Stoddart and captain Mark Jones as well as centre Rob Higgitt and flankers Simon Easterby and Dafydd Jones.
Scarlets selection v Edinburgh; Magners League 26th March 2010 (KO 1930) at Murrayfield.
15 Daniel Evans, 14 Lee Williams, 13 Regan King, 12 Jonathan Davies 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Martin Roberts, 1 Iestyn Thomas, 2 Ken Owens, 3 Rhys Thomas, 4 Damian Welch, 5 Dominic Day, 6 Josh Turnbull, 7 Richie Pugh 8 David Lyons (capt).
Replacements: 16 Deacon Manu, 17 Matthew Rees, 18 Lou Reed 19 Rob McCusker, 20 Tavis Knoyle, 21 Daniel Newton, 22 Gareth Maule
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