Champions Cup: Scarlets' Gareth Davies says Toulon 'there to be taken'

Gareth Davies
Gareth Davies made his Wales debut against South Africa in June, 2014
European Champions Cup: Toulon v Scarlets
Date: Sunday, 11 December Venue: Stade Felix Mayol Kick-off: 15:15 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Wales AM, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live scores online

Scarlets and Wales scrum-half Gareth Davies says former European champions Toulon are "there to be taken" in their Champions Cup encounter.

The Welsh region have not won in France since beating Brive in 2009-10.

"I don't think Toulon are the team they used to be. I think they are there to be taken, we're really excited about it," Davies told BBC Wales Sport.

Both sides lost to European Champions Cup holders Saracens but have beaten Sale in the first two rounds.

Scarlets are strengthened by the return of full-back Liam Williams after injury and

The Scarlets hope to have Wales full-back or wing Liam Williams fit after an ankle injury along with fellow internationals centre Scott Williams and hooker Ken Owens who were rested for the 31-24 Pro12 win at Zebre.

Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny
Wales rivals and sometimes team-mates Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny could face each other on Sunday in Toulon

However, Wales and British and Irish Lions centre Jonathan Davies misses the match with a hamstring injury.

Gareth Davies was on the bench in Parma, and praised the way the team coped with the absence of internationals in November.

"The boys have done really well while we were away so there's a lot of pressure on us to keep the performances," he said.

"It's a massive game for us out in Toulon, I think it's all to play for.

"We've done a lot of analysis, looking at different ways to play the game and I think it'll be a cracking game."

Toulon's stars await

Davies missed the trip to the Stade Felix Mayol in 2014-15, when the Scarlets fought hard in their 28-18 defeat before slumping 26-3 at home.

"The boys say it's a cracking place to play. Hopefully the sun will be shining and the atmosphere is going to be amazing," said Davies, who saw rival Jonathan Evans score two opportunist tries in the Zebre match.

Toulon's star back-line options include Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny, ex-New Zealand centre Ma'a Nonu, powerful French international Mathieu Bastareaud and Australia winger James O'Connor.

"You've got to back yourself, they're a team you want to play against and they've certainly built a reputation in the last few years." said Scarlets centre Hadleigh Parkes.

Ma'a Nonu (R) and Mathieu Bastareaud
Mathieu Bastareaud and Ma'a Nonu could combine to face Scarlets in Toulon's midfield

"They've got a few big names from around the world, but it's exciting," said Parkes.

"They're powerful men, but we've got to get stuck in and hopefully we can get a win, and west Wales will be very happy."

BBC Wales has learned that New Zealander Parkes has agreed a new contract with Scarlets to keep him there beyond the end of 2016-17, but he dead-batted questions on the subject.

"It's all pretty interesting. I'm pretty happy. Hopefully I can go out and play some good games," he said.

Toulon travel to Parc y Scarlets on Sunday, 18 December, seven days after their' first meeting.

Top Stories