Scarlets are the next side on the agenda as we continue our previews of this season’s Heineken Champions Cup contenders. 

European Cup record 

Scarlets have twice reached the semi-finals, with their first last-four appearance in 2007 ending in a 33-17 defeat to Leicester Tigers. The 2018 competition saw them exit at the same stage, going down 38-16 to eventual winners Leinster Rugby. They have been knocked out in the quarter-finals on a further five occasions. 

Last season   

A 23-19 win at Bath Rugby was enough to see Scarlets advance from the Heineken Champions Cup pool stage amid coronavirus disruption, but their European campaign would come to an end in the Round of 16 as they succumbed to a 57-14 defeat at home to Sale Sharks. 

Head coach   

76-time Wales international Dwayne Peel was on the coaching staff at Bristol Rugby and Ulster Rugby before taking over at Scarlets. The former British and Irish Lions scrum-half scored 12 tries in 56 games in European competitions over spells with the Welsh region and then Sale Sharks. 

Key players 

Lions prop Wyn Jones, centre Jonathan Davies and full-back Liam Williams are all vastly experienced Welsh internationals, while flanker Aaron Shingler and scrum-half Kieran Hardy are also prominent figures. Blade Thomson is a versatile Scotland forward, while Tonga’s Sione Kalamafoni is another key man in the back row. 

Pool fixtures   

Scarlets visit Bristol Bears in their Pool B opener on December 11, before welcoming Union Bordeaux-Bègles in Round 2 on December 19. They are away at the French side on January 16 before hosting Bristol on January 22.