Thursday, 27 August 2009

Skipper backs young Scarlets to impress at international level

Mark Jones reckons the Scarlets' young guns will be knocking on Wales coach Warren Gatland's door this autumn.

Wales face southern hemisphere quartet New Zealand, Samoa, Argentina and Australia in a gruelling series in November. But after impressing on their debuts on the summer tour to Canada and the USA, Jon Davies and Dan Evans have been backed to stake a claim for a squad spot.

Scarlets captain Jones said: “Jon and Dan had good tours both on and off the field. Both of them worked hard and played well in the games.

“We will be looking, from a Scarlets point of view, for them to play well this year and there’s no reason why they can’t be pushing for an autumn series place if they perform well.

“They are two guys who can really push on.

“There are opportunities for players not only for Jon and Dan but also for Ken Owens and Martin Roberts if they start the season well and apply themselves. As captain, I will be encouraging the guys to do that.”

The Scarlets open their Magners League campaign with a tough assignment against reigning European champions Leinster next Saturday.

But Jones reckons the west Wales region will know where they stand following the clash at Parc y Scarlets.

Jones said: “The fact we have got Leinster and Munster in the opening games has certainly focused us as a squad.

"Last time we played Leinster out in Dublin it left a bitter taste in the mouth, we got a good hiding.

"I don't know how many of their Lions Leinster or Munster will have in their squads, but for us this is a great opportunity to make a statement."


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