Llanelli coach Gareth Jenkins has told his players they are equal to
reigning Heineken Cup champions Leicester Tigers - and Wales' most
successful coach hopes a 10,000 plus Stradey Park capacity crowd in full
voice can give the Scarlets the edge in this weekend's European clash.
Leicester are the English cup and league champions and Heineken Cup holders.
They are currently riding high at the top of the Zurich Premiership and are
unbeaten this season in Europe, but Llanelli are the only team to stop the
Tigers scoring a try this season - and they have only lost 2 from fifteen home
matches since their European campaign began in 1996.
The Scarlets finished within three points (9-12) of the champions in the
match that kicked off this season's Heineken Cup at Welford Rd, but neither
team crossed the opposition try line.
And Jenkins knows he must win the return fixture in the final match of Pool One at Stradey Park on Saturday, in order to qualify for a Heineken Cup
quarter final place as one of two best Pool runners up.
"They are the most respected and feared side in Europe," said Jenkins.
"But we are a proud club and we know at least our destiny is in our own
"I rate our chances as 50/50 on the day and we have a good try-count in our
favour so qualification for the next stage is there if we can grab it.
"It's Wales against England and hopefully the intense atmosphere of a packed Stradey Park will be a shock to the system for the Tigers and give us an
"Whatever the result it's going to be a mammoth Anglo-Welsh clash and
these are the type of games that every one in rugby wants to be a part of.
Llanelli went down to a big away defeat at Perpignan last week, ruling
out automatic qualification from their Pool and gifting Leicester the top
spot before this weekend's match is played.
Leicester, 1998 Cup winners Bath Rugby, Stade Francais, Munster and
Leinster are all safely through to the prestigious knock-out stages. For
the Scarlets, Ulster, Castres, Biarritz Olymique, Montferrand, Cardiff and
Glasgow Rugby it will go down to the wire for the final three quarter-final
places in Round 6 this weekend.
But with a superior try count of 22 beating each of their rivals the
Scarlets are ideally placed to qualify as a best placed runner up, if they can beat the Tigers.
"We don't need to tell you how disappointed we are after last weekend, not only with the result but the performance," added Jenkins.
"But we don't have time to dwell on that, we just have to pick ourselves up
because the European champions are coming to Stradey Park on Saturday and
we have to beat them.
"There is no bigger motivation than that Leicester Tigers are coming to town
and at least it will be easy to get our mind set right."
LLANELLI'S HEINEKEN CUP RECORD AT 'FORTRESS' STRADEY PARK
In 17 European matches at Stradey Park Llanelli have won 15 games, losing
The Scarlets have beaten English opposition to decide pool qualification
once before, they beat London Wasps 25-15 to secure a quarter final place
against Cardiff in the 99/00 Heineken Cup competition - that season they
lost 28-31 to eventual winners Northampton in the semi-final at Reading.
96/97 W Leinster 34-17
W Pau 31-15
97/98 W Benetton Treviso 39-18
W Pau 14-10
W Caledonia 31-10
98/99 L Leinster 27-33
W Begles-Bordeauz 22-10
W Stade Francais 17-13
99/00 W Bourgoin 29-10
W Ulster 20-3
W London Wasps 25-15
W Cardiff 22-3
00/01 L Gloucester 20-27
W Roma 46-0
W Colomiers 34-21
01/02 W Perpignan 20-6
W Calvisano 93-14
Played: 17, Won: 15, Lost: 2
POOL 1: Qualified - Leicester Tigers as group winners
Maybe - Llanelli. Cannot top group but must beat Leicester to challenge as
one of best runners-up. They also have the best try count in the
competition to date with 22 tries. Mathematically they can still qualify
if they lose to the Tigers, but only in a complicated scenario which
involves Ulster losing to Benetton Treviso at home. Maximum 8 points Out -
Perpignan, Ghial Amatori & Calvisano
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.
A joint venture between the WRU and Admiral saw hundreds of children enjoy the Admiral Festival of Rugby held at the National Centre of Excellence at the weekend where Welsh internationals Sam Warburton, Scott Williams and Rob Evans were in attendance.
Wll Jones leads Wales U18s into battle this afternoon against Italy where the Welsh side will be seeking to bounce back from their narrow defeat to SA Schools in their opening clash of the U19 International Series
All four regions attended a successful training camp staged last weekend at the WRU National Centre of Excellence. It was a chance for new Wales Women's head coach Rowland Phillips to deliver his key messages to players and coaches as he prepares for the new season.
Wales U18 Team Manager Gethin Watts believes the next couple of weeks will be 'extremely beneficial' to the future of Welsh rugby as his side prepare to take part in the Under 19 International Series being staged in South Africa.
The WRU is searching for 12 new rugby development apprentices following a successful first year of its WRU Coach Core programme. Craig Duncan and Jess Hancock have flourished in the first year of the programme which has given them a real direction in their lives.
The WRU signed TV comedian Rhod Gilbert up to a 'Coaching Children Level 1' course before letting him loose on an U8s side at Whitland Junior Borderers - we went behind the scenes to film the making of 'Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience' see the results here.
Llandovery are aiming to make it three titles in a row in this year's Foster's National 7s being held at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 28 August. Drovers assistant coach Simon Davies and Lee Rees assess their sides chances
A pioneering strength and conditioning programme has been delivered to more than 8000 boys and girls at hub schools throughout Wales this season, helping to develop stronger, more flexible athletes for rugby and other sports.
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series returns to the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on July 22nd when all four Welsh regions go head to head. Scarlets skills coach Dai Flanagan and Blues Elite Performance Pathway Manager Richard Hodges along with current Welsh squad members were at the launch of this season's event