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'What better way early on to test yourself' - Pivac discusses daunting early fixtures as Wales boss

By Jack Davies
Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac.

Wayne Pivac says a tour to New Zealand is “on the horizon” for his first year in charge of Wales.


Scarlets chief Pivac will take over from current Wales coach Warren Gatland after the 2019 Rugby World Cup and his first major assignment will be the following year’s Six Nations.

But the Kiwi could be back on home soil soon after, with the Welsh Rugby Union said to be planning a series against the All Blacks.

“That would be fantastic if it was to come to fruition,” said Pivac. “It would be a proud moment for me.

“I have heard it’s on the horizon but when it’s confirmed, it’s confirmed.

“It would be a Six Nations followed by three matches against the All Blacks.

“What better way early on to test yourself against one of the best teams, if not the best, in the world?

“That would be a big challenge but one I’m sure everyone would look forward to.”


It was also confirmed on Thursday that Scarlets duo Rhys Patchell (hamstring) and Jake Ball (shoulder) could be out for up to six weeks, making them doubts for the start of the Six Nations.

Leigh Halfpenny, meanwhile, returns to face Cardiff Blues this weekend having not played since suffering concussion in Wales’ win against Australia on November 10.

Looking ahead to the game against Cardiff Blues on Saturday at Parc y Scarlets, head coach Wayne Pivac said; “We’re looking internally at ourselves at the moment and getting our own game in order. They’ve had some good results and they’ve probably had some that they wouldn’t be happy with, we’re no different.

“It’s two teams coming in to the game knowing the importance of the game for our individual conferences. It’s a game for us that we need to win. It’s a home game and we’ve got a proud record at home and we want that to continue.


“We see them as a dangerous opponent because it’s a derby. There’s a lot on the line and plenty to play for.”

Commenting on the conference standings he went on to say; “If you look at ourselves, Ulster, Edinburgh and Benetton with what’s coming up I think it’s going to be an interesting run-in. There’s a lot of water to go under the bridge yet and this conference is well and truly alive.”

Scarlets team to take on Cardiff Blues at Parc y Scarlets, Saturday 29th December, kick-off 17:15;

15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Kieron Fonotia, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Hadleigh Parkes, 9 Gareth Davies, 1 Rob Evans, 2 Ken Owens ©, 3 Samson Lee, 4 Josh Helps, 5 David Bulbring, 6 Ed Kennedy, 7 James Davies, 8 Will Boyde

Replacements; 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Tom Price, 20 Dan Davis, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Dan Jones, 23 Paul Asquith


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