Munster v Scarlets: Pivac welcomes Nigel Owens as referee

Nigel Owens
Nigel Owens has taken charge of 68 international matches
Munster v Scarlets
Date: Saturday, 7 May Venue: Thomond Park Kick-off: 15:00 BST
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app. Highlights online & on Scrum V BBC Two Wales Sunday 18:00.

Coach Wayne Pivac has welcomed the appointment of referee Nigel Owens for Scarlets' Pro12 match in Munster.

A bonus-point win would seal Scarlets' place in the end of season-play-offs, while Munster need two points to qualify for the Champions' Cup.

Pivac says the vociferous Thomond Park crowd makes a strong referee essential.

"They get a good crowd there and they can be influential, and I'm glad that Nigel Owens is in the middle because no one will influence him," he said.

"The home supporters know that the job's not done for Europe and they've got to get some points out of the game to guarantee it, so they'll be urging them along."

Welshman Owens refereed the World Cup final between New Zealand and Australia last October and will be in charge of the European Champions Cup final later this month.

Scarlets clinched their place in next season's Europe's top-flight competition when they beat Dragons 34-20 in Cardiff on 30 April.

But they are point behind fourth-placed Ulster, who play Ospreys at Liberty Stadium.

Pro12 positionTeamPoints
4thUlster64
5thScarlets63
6thMunster58
7thOspreys54
8thEdinburgh53

With Ospreys needing to get four points more than Munster from Saturday's game to overtake the Irish province and claim sixth spot and European qualification, there is plenty at stake for all four teams.

Because they have won more games than Ulster, Scarlets need to get one more point than Ulster to overtake them. Anything less than that will see Ulster retain their position.

Pivac's side are guaranteed to be the top Welsh region in the final table, but he is keen to see his side finish the season on a positive note against twice European champions Munster.

"They've got a good driving lineout," he said. "They push the letter of the law - the boundaries if you like - around those forward exchanges and combating that is something we've looked at this week.

"They are very challenging, especially at home and they could miss out on Europe and I wouldn't have thought that would be an acceptable outcome for Munster."

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