Scott Williams: Scarlets centre 'responding well' after Wales omission

Scott Williams Wales
Centre Scott Williams has won 48 Wales caps and scored 10 tries

Scarlets coach Wayne Pivac says Scott Williams' surprise Wales omission could prove a blessing in disguise.

Williams, a Six Nations winner in 2012 and 2013, was left out of Warren Gatland's squad for the autumn series.

But Pivac has been impressed by the disappointed 27-year-old's reaction.

"He's responded by sitting down with myself and the other coaches and talking about the areas of his game that he wants to focus on after speaking with Warren," Pivac said.

"Together as a group we have put things in place and he's responded very well."

Williams will retain the Scarlets captaincy for Friday's Pro14 game against Benetton

"He's got a spring in his step and in hindsight maybe it's a chance for him to step back and watch from the outside and get that hunger back and desire to pull that [Wales] jersey back on," Pivac said.

"He's definitely going the right way and it's very pleasing to see the way he's training."

Williams' team-mate Hadleigh Parkes was selected instead, even though he does not qualify for Wales on residency grounds until the final game against South Africa.

Wales' opening match against Australia is on 11 November followed by Tests against Georgia, New Zealand and the Springboks.

Barclay back on track

Scarlets are top of Conference B and face a Benetton side at Parc y Scarlets who have won three of their seven Pro14 fixtures so far this season.

Scotland captain John Barclay could make his return for Scarlets from a head injury assessment.

The back-row has not played since taking a heavy blow against Edinburgh in September.

"John's on track. He trained yesterday and came through that fully," said Pivac.

"He's been training with us for a good week now. The last box to tick is contact, which he's doing today. If he comes through that, the plan is that he's released and will train with us on Thursday in preparation for Friday.

"Then it's a matter of us having a look between [him] starting or on the bench, given the balance of experience or lack of that we have."

Scarlets will have Parkes back from the Wales squad but will be without 14 players through international duty, as well as being without injured flanker James Davies.

"It's a big test of this squad. Some young players are going to get an opportunity that they have been waiting for," Pivac added.

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