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they’ve Got The Best Scrum In France – Jenkins

they’ve Got The Best Scrum In France – Jenkins

Llanelli director of rugby Gareth Jenkins is gearing his side up for Friday night’s Heineken Cup battle against ‘the biggest pack in Europe’.
The Scarlets – Wales’ best placed Cup side for the second year running and so often the country’s standard bearers in Europe – need to beat Bourgoin at Stradey Park to ensure they are playing for an automatic quarter-final place when they meet Glasgow the following week.
‘They’re not a typical French side,’ Jenkins warned.
‘Their coach Phillippe St Andre has brought what he learned in the Zurich Premiership and instilled it into their mentality. French clubs often have a problem with temperament, but not these guys.
‘They’ve got the best scrum in France and the biggest pack of anyone we’ve played in Europe, so Friday is going to be a tough night at the office.’
But Jenkins said Bourgoin held no fears for his side, who fell to the French club 38-54 in the second round of the tournament last October.
‘We’re not intimidated in any way and I know we’re capable of beating them at Stradey. The last time we played them, we made three mistakes in the opening 20 minutes and we were suddenly behind 21-0.
‘But we competed with them, and they know we can break their defence. If we can compete at scrum and lineout time, we’re on the road to success.’
Jenkins says there is a lot of competition for a starting jersey at Llanelli and it was a good position to be in.
‘I’ve only got one injury – Salesi Finau (Knee) – and that enables me to name my strongest side. There is fierce competition in several positions in the squad, and there are obviously a few disappointed players.’
Jenkins has opted for Wales international scrum-half Dwayne Peel, despite a strong performance from Irish international Guy Easterby in their derby victory over Swansea last week, while huge American David Hodges gets the nod at blindside flanker ahead of Wales star Dafydd Jones.
Llanelli: Barry Davies; Mark Jones, Matthew Watkins, Leigh Davies (capt), Garan Evans; Stephen Jones, Dwayne Peel; Iestyn Thomas, Robin McBryde, John Davies, Vernon Cooper, Chris Wyatt, David Hodges, Simon Easterby, Scott Quinnell.
Replacements: Martyn Madden, Marcus Thomas, Luke Gross, Dafydd Jones, Guy Easterby, Gareth Bowen, Matt Cardey.

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