Stephen Jones is back to his best form, claims Scarlets coach Nigel Davies.
THE Scarlets head to the Stoop hoping to turn the tables on Harlequins and in the process improve their ranking for next season's Heineken Cup.
Nigel Davies's side began this season's European campaign against Dean Richards' outfit at Stradey Park with a 22-29 defeat and followed that up with consecutive defeats to Stade Francais and Ulster. Their luck continued to desert them when they could only muster a draw against Ulster at Parc y Scarlets but they turned the form book inside out last weekend with a comfortable victory over French big spenders Stade Francais.
Outside half Stephen Jones pulled the strings perfectly from behind the scrum in a performance which had Davies claiming his star was playing some of the best rugby of his career.
After last week's encouraging team performance, Jones has warned Quins that the Welsh region are hoping to continue to rebuild their European credentials.
Jones said: "Although the Heineken Cup is over for us this season, our ambitions are to keep going forward as a side. We need to keep on gathering momentum and improving our performances.
"We have a tough game against Harlequins before refocusing on the Celtic competition, and, while it's all about performing well now, it is also important to secure points for the ERC European rankings for next year.
"As for the match on Saturday in London, when you see the Scarlets play the type of game that we played against Stade last weekend - and which we know we can do and have done in the past, though probably didn't do last year - I think we have the ability to win."
This weekend's Scarlets team sees scrum-half Lee Williams keep his place on the wing where he played last week due to back-three injuries. Ceiron Thomas remains at full-back and, on the bench, there are recalls for lock Scott MacLeod, centre Gavin Evans and full-back Morgan Stoddart.
Stephen Jones admitted that a home European defeat to Quins at Stradey Park in October had had a negative effect on the Scarlets' season.
He said: "Going back to our first game against the Quins earlier in the tournament we were outstanding in the first half and probably should have won a bonus point by half-time. But we didn't achieve that and the second half really knocked us. It took us a long time to recover so hopefully we'll see a full 80-minute performance this time.
"We did Quins a favour by beating Stade last weekend but it was always about us in that game and we would like to think we've re-established some European credentials."
It was the Scarlets' debut European win at their new home at Parc y Scarlets and Jones believes it will prove only the first of many.
"We seem to have built up something nice here in this stadium and it feels like home now. Winning here was definitely good for us, good for the fans and good for the future. We have to make sure people are keen to come here and if we keep playing like that there's no reason why we shouldn't continue winning.
"We've not given our fans much to cheer about in the last 18 months so we are pleased for them with this important result. From our perspective, things don't happen straight away so it's with moments like this victory in the Heineken Cup against a top team that you create more history for the club.
"Because not only are we are very happy with the victory, but also our performance was good. The challenge for us was to sustain the pressure for a full 80 minutes and we managed that.
"We probably showed more enthusiasm and hunger than them, the boys believed in themselves and were outstanding."
Wales flanker Dafydd Jones replaces the injured Johnathan Edwards, who broke his arm in the 31-17 win over Stade Français last Sunday, as the only enforced change in the Scarlets line-up.
Scarlets 15 Ceiron Thomas, 14 Darren Daniel, 13 Regan King, 12 Jonathan Davies, 11 Lee Williams, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Martin Roberts; 1 Phil John, 2 Matthew Rees, 3 Deacon Manu, 4 Vernon Cooper, 5 Dominic Day, 6 Simon Easterby (c), 7 Dafydd Jones, 8 David Lyons.
Reps - 16 Ken Owens, 17 Iestyn Thomas, 18 Scott MacLeod, 19 Josh Turnbull, 20 Gavin Cattle, 21 Gavin Evans, 22 Morgan Stoddart.
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Martyn Phillips has discussed details of the newly published 'Strategy for Welsh Rugby' which puts in black and white terms the plans and direction of the governing body of the national sport in Wales for the next decade.
WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips has urged Welsh rugby fans to follow in the footsteps of their soccer counterparts at last summer's Euro Championship by backing their team to the hilt in the upcoming RBS 6 Nations campaign.
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Students at Brynllywarch Hall School, near Newtown, have transformed their own lives, and are now having a positive impact on others through rugby. The sport has had a life-changing effect on the well-being of the students who are now delivering rugby sessions to local primary schools and playing for a new mixed ability side
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When the Wales squad were asked to nominate individuals who played a big part in their early playing days, Wales and Dragons full back and wing Hallam Amos thought of his former Monmouth School rugby coach John Bevan.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.