Returning Lion Jonathan Davies Will Be Tamed, Promise Edinburgh

Lions hero Jonathan Davies has been promised an unhappy return on Saturday when he makes his first start of the season for the Scarlets.

The warning comes from Scotland lock Ben Toolis who insists Edinburgh can repeat their victory of last season at Parc Y Scarlets, whether Davies plays or not.

Both teams are coming off the back of Guinness Pro14 defeats last week, with the Scarlets losing at Ulster and Richard Cockerill’s Edinburgh victims of a shock home defeat to Treviso.

But after a “brutal” debrief session by Cockerill, Toolis insists they can dish out another defeat to a Welsh region following their win at Cardiff Blues a fortnight ago and home victory over the Dragons.

“Obviously it will be extremely difficult, especially down there, it’s a tough place to play,” said Toolis

“That being said, we beat them last year at home when they had big names playing, Jonathan Davies, John Barclay and James Davies among others. We don’t think we can’t do it. We’ll be going down there confident.

“Against Cardiff and the Dragons we got out of the deep end, came away with the win and pushed on.

“I think it’s quite easy to front up to a strong team like Scarlets. It’s always easy to get the motivation up for these games. It’s games like against the likes of Benetton, when you are expected to win, that it can be harder to get that motivation.

“It will be easy to get the heads straight, stick it to them and show them what we’re all about.”

Saturday night will also be a big evening for Wales tight-head prop Samson Lee who will be making his 100th appearance for the Scarlets.

The region’s pack remains unchanged from the one that fell to defeat against Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium last Friday evening with test Lion Ken Owens captaining the team from hooker.

The return of Davies means Hadleigh Parkes moves to No.12 in the only change to the back division.

“We’re not going to change the way we play because we had a hiccup as it was our first loss in ten matches, it’s just making the right decisions and knowing when it’s on and when it’s not,” said Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac. “It’s not a panic situation, it’s just being a little bit smarter in certain situations in the game.”

Edinburgh coach Cockerill has wielded the axe for his sides visit to the reigning champions making seven changes to his starting XV.

The only alteration to an otherwise unchanged back-three sees Tom Brown replace Damien Hoyland on the wing, with Phil Burleigh replacing Robbie Fruen in the midfield.

In the front-row, Stuart McInally returns at hooker after missing last weekend’s fixture due to injury, with captain Magnus Bradbury reverting back to No 8. The 22-year-old will feature alongside Hamish Watson and Jamie Ritchie – who returns to the side after being rested last weekend.

“We know that Scarlets are going to be an incredibly tough side to break down defensively, but we’ve got confidence in this group of players,” said Cockerill.



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