Nigel Davies has named his matchday squad for this weekend's Magners League opener at home to European champions Leinster (Parc y Scarlets, Saturday, 6.30pm).
There will be starts for international new recruits Sean Lamont, Richie Pugh and Rhys Thomas and a replacements berth for exciting 19-year-old fly-half Dan Newton who impressed in both pre-season friendlies against Bath.
Skipper Mark Jones lines up in a strong back division featuring fellow Welsh caps Daniel Evans, Jonathan Davies and Martin Roberts.
The pack is a mix of great experience and highly promising youth, with second rows Lou Reed and Dominic Day given the job of quelling the threat of influential Leinster skipper Leo Cullen.
Head Coach Nigel Davies said: "Apart from not picking our Lions and a couple of longer term injuries, we're all fit and enjoying a clean bill of health - it's good position to be in.
"We've been able to run out as two separate teams before this first league match, something that's been hugely beneficial from a coaching perspective and for the players because they feel that pressure before the Leinster match itself. That's a luxury we probably didn't have last year.
"Dan Newton has done a great job in pre-season. I've been really impressed about how he has gone about his business - he's an unassuming young character and but he knows his rugby and he is very accurate and precise. However, Rhys Priestland is fit - so Rhys will start at 10 and Dan will be on the bench.
"Simon Easterby, David Lyons and Richie Pugh will be in the back row on Saturday. There's lots of competition here - we're particularly strong if you look at our second rows and our back row.
"It is going to drive these players on and they know they are going to have to work hard to get their jersey."
"Last year, with the stadium move and injuries, there was a lot pressure on and off the field. The group have been great in the way they have reacted this season and I think we all have put it behind us and are looking forward to this season.
"We are really excited about the fact that we have got such an energised group and they are going to give it their all. I am certain about that. We still have a long way to go, we have a lot of youngsters with us, but it has been fantastic how they have reacted to the pre-season and I really do believe that we have been able to put last season behind us."
Scarlets 15 Daniel Evans, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Rob Higgitt, 12 Jonathan Davies, 11 Mark Jones (c), 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Martin Roberts, 1 Iestyn Thomas, 2 Ken Owens, 3 Rhys Thomas, 4 Lou Reed, 5 Dominic Day, 6 Simon Easterby, 7 Richie Pugh, 8 David Lyons
Reps - 16 Phil John, 17 Emyr Phillips, 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Vernon Cooper, 20 Dafydd Jones, 21 Lee Williams, 22 Dan Newton.
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Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland discusses his team selection for the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations where he leads his side against Ireland, on Sunday. As WRU TV's Luke Brodley discovers, Gatland is fully aware of the challenges the defending champions pose
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