Scott Williams Wants Scarlets Farewell To Be Trophy Repeat

Scott Williams admits he will have a tear in his eye when he plays his final match at Parc Y Scarlets on Saturday.

The Wales centre will line up for his region in Llanelli for a final time when the champions host the Cheetahs in their Guinness Pro 14 play-off quarter-final.

Williams, 27, has spent a decade at the region but is moving down the road to join the Ospreys in the summer.

“It will be an emotional occasion and it will feel a little bit strange the first time I jump in the car and go down to Llandarcy,” said Williams.

“I’m going to go out there and give all I can. We’re the defending champions so we’re not going to make it easy for anyone.

“There’s no better feeling than winning something with the boys you spend every day with, and knowing how much work everyone’s put in – the players, coaches and staff.

“It’s one of the best feelings I’ve experienced in the changing room. That’s the motivation for the boys over the next couple of weeks. We’re going to do everything we can do win it again.”

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The Scarlets are looking to become the first Welsh region to retain their title and they made sure of second place in Conference B with a comfortable 33-8 victory over Dragons at the Principality Stadium last week.

For the Cheetahs, they successfully booked their play-off place in what is their first season in the Championship with a 29-20 win over fellow South African side Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.

An away semi-final at Glasgow Warriors awaits the winners. The Scarlets are unbeaten at home in the league all season, with Leinster’s 10-10 draw the closest anyone has come to beaten the champions on their own turf.

The Cheetahs have also been strong at home in the campaign, but have struggled for consistent results away from Bloemfontein, picking up just four victories on the road.

Winger Tom Prydie makes his first appearance in over two months, following his return from an ankle injury, and he is one of three changes made from the win against Dragons.

Prydie replaces Ioan Nicholas on the right wing, while captain Ken Owens is brought back in at hooker after being left on the bench in favour of Ryan Elias last week.

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John Barclay comes in at No.8 for Will Boyde, while head coach Wayne Pivac has named fit-again loosehead prop Wyn Jones among the replacements.

Head coach Rory Duncan has made a couple of changes from the team that defeated Southern Kings, the most significant being South Africa international Johan Goosen brought in at fly-half.

Last week’s No.10, Niel Marais, moves to inside centre, meaning Clinton Swart moves to the bench, with the one change in the forwards seeing lock Rynier Bernardo replace Reniel Hugo.

Influential full back Clayton Blommetjies has been named in the line-up subject to a fitness test to an ankle problem, with Swart ready to replace him should he miss out.

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac: “They (Cheetahs) play an open expansive sort of game, which we like watching and playing. I’m not surprised that they’ve reached the play-offs, they’ve got some talent.

“Their season has been a very credible one and they’re going to be a tough opponent on the weekend. They’ve given themselves every opportunity to go further and we’re going to have to be at our best.”

Cheetahs head coach Rory Duncan: “It’s obviously a special game for us, I don’t think there’s any moving away from the guys realising that they’re in the play-offs and it’s exciting for us to be there.

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“With regards to the Scarlets and the way they’ve performed they’re obviously a quality outfit and they’ve got some great players in their line-up.”

Key battle – Rhys Patchell v Johan Goosen

Johan Goosen has come out of retirement to help the Cheetahs to this stage and the 25-year-old Springbok has experience of reaching the latter parts of big competitions before.

He has plenty of fast runners outside of him, while he’s more than capable of picking holes in the opposition defence himself.

That is something Rhys Patchell has been doing all season, during which his all-round game at fly-half has come on leaps and bounds and he’ll be looking to control this match from the start.

Key stat: Cheetahs won the only previous meeting, when they defeated Scarlets 28-21 at Bloemfontein in December.

Did you know? Scarlets are unbeaten in their last 20 home matches in the Guinness PRO14, their longest-ever run.

Scarlets: Leigh Halfpenny, Tom Prydie, Scott Williams, Hadleigh Parkes, Steff Evans, Rhys Patchell, Gareth Davies, Rob Evans, Ken Owens, Samson Lee, Lewis Rawlins, Steve Cummins, Tadhg Beirne, James Davies, John Barclay

Replacements: Ryan Elias, Wyn Jones, Werner Kruger, Aaron Shingler, Will Boyde, Jonathan Evans, Dan Jones, Steff Hughes

Toyota Cheetahs: Clayton Blommetjies, William Smart-Smith, Francois Venter, Niel Marais, Sibahle Maxwane, Johan Goosen, Tian Meyer, Ox Nche, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Johan Coetzee, Carl Wegner, Rynier Bernardo, Paul Schoeman, Oupa Mohoje, Uzair Cassiem

Replacements: Jacques du Toit, Charles Marais, Tom Botha, Reniel Hugo, Henco Venter, Zee Mkhabela, Clinton Swart, Lloyd Greeff

TV: Live on S4C and SuperSport


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