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louw starts for llanelli

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    Posted: 24 March 2006 at 11:36am
Springbok lock Hottie Louw will figure for Llanelli in their testing Premiership clash at second-placed Bridgend tomorrow (2.30).

Louw was a high-profile summer signing for the Scarlets from Clermont Auvergne, but the former Stormers Super 12 star has struggled to live up to expectations this season. He is currently out of favour with the region and has to be content with a place in a much-changed Llanelli side at the Brewery Field.

With the Scarlets calling on half a dozen of Llanelli's key men, the Stradey Park coaching team have been forced into a major reshuffle.

In all, there are nine changes from the side that had to hang on grimly to a 16-14 home win over Maesteg at Stradey last Friday.

The front row changes en bloc with Carmarthen fly-half Craig Evans coming in the No. 10 jersey and talented Bath University student Rhidian McGuire given a rare start at scrum-half.

Louw partners Tristan Bowen at lock, while behind the scrum Ryan Llewellyn gets a run on the right wing with Emyr Williams waiting to slot into midfield if Gavin Evans is required by the region.

''There a lot of changes, but this is an opportunity for other players within our squad,'' said team manager Gren Cole.

''After targeting a top-six place we are comfortable in fifth at the moment and could still snatch fourth.

''We are not playing as well as we know we can at the moment and are struggling with discipline.

''Bridgend are a good all-round side and now they are out of the cup, they are concentrating all their efforts on the league, which they can still win.'It is going to be a tough game for us."

Llanelli are also without centre Paul Mackey (back) and lock Adam Powell (thumb

Llanelli: N. Jones; R. Llewellyn, M. Jones, E. Williams, D. Gravell; C. Evans, R. McGuire; S. Hopkins, A. James, K. Jones, T. Bowen, H. Louw, I. Cunningham (capt), D. Godfrey (capt), M. Evans. Reps: I. Jones, J. Hughes, I. Ohlsson, D. Morgan, R. McCusker, C. MacDonald, M. Hook


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