Wayne Pivac: Scarlets coach relishing first Welsh Pro12 derby

Scarlets' Gareth Davies is tackled by Nic Cudd of the Dragons
Scarlets beat Dragons at Parc y Scarlets in May

Scarlets' New Zealand coach Wayne Pivac is relishing his first Welsh derby in the Pro12 with Newport Gwent Dragons on Sunday.

Pivac, who succeeded Simon Easterby, has been involved in crunch derbies in his homeland but never in Wales.

Scarlets and Dragons go into the game with only one win apiece after four games.

"I'm looking forward to it," Pivac said.

"I guess it would be like an Auckland-Canterbury game or Auckland-North Harbour."

Pivac's side have lost one and drawn two while Lyn Jones' Dragons secured their first win of the season against Treviso last weekend.

Scarlets are seventh in the Pro12 table, one place above Dragons and Pivac is expecting a competitive match against their Welsh rivals.

"Games like this are always good to be involved in and more importantly good games to win - bragging rights until the next time you meet," Pivac added.

"They [the Dragons] will be very physical I have no doubt about that. They have an aggressive defence competitive defence and very competitive at the break down.

"They will test us in those areas and we have to be up for it."

Scarlets let a 14-point lead slip as Edinburgh almost claim an unlikely win with a late comeback at Murrayfield.

The Scarlets are boosted by having scrum-half Gareth Davies back in action.

Davies missed last weekend's 20-20 draw with Edinburgh in Murray field after picking up a bang to the head in the win over Treviso the previous week.

The Wales international has undergone the necessary concussion protocol and Pivac has revealed he is okay to return to action this weekend.

"He has had a light workload, but he has passed his concussion tests so he will take a full part in training on Friday," said the New Zealander.

Pivac also confirmed that South African lock George Earle will be part of his 23-man squad after making his return from ankle surgery for Llandovery against Neath in the Premiership last weekend.

Wing Michael Tagicakibau faces a late fitness on a knee injury.

But Scarlets continue to be without captain Ken Owens, sidelined for 10 weeks and centre Regan King.

They will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing result in Edinburgh, the region's second draw in four games, and a result which left Pivac unhappy.

"[Edinburgh was] very disappointing. It was the second one of the season. We had 70% possession in the first half and we really needed to put the foot on the throat," Pivac said.

"On another day, who knows it could have been a different result.

"It's more draws than I've had in a season.

"Both games we had done enough to win and it's about closing those games out. It's something we have spoken about.

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