Scarlets know they must be at their best to beat Ulster

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The Scarlets travel to Ulster tonight for their RaboDirect PRO12 play-off with their minds firmly fixed on delivering their best performance of the season.

The Scarlets go into the knockout phase as underdogs against an Ulster side who led the table for 15 of the 22 rounds and finished top.

The Scarlets had won five league games in a row but slipped up to Treviso last Friday. Ulster have also won five of their last six contests against the West Wales region.

Scarlets coach Simon Easterby said: “All that happened last week against Treviso has been firmly put to bed now. We are one of four teams that have 80 minutes of rugby in front of them to prove their ability and battle for a place in the final.”

Easterby has made three changes with Wales stand-off Rhys Priestland starting after two appearances from the bench on his return from injury. Emyr Phillips replaces injured hooker Matthew Rees on the bench and Gareth Owen comes onto the bench for Gareth Maule, who has a thumb injury. Back row Rob McCusker who picked up a rib injury against Treviso returns as captain.

Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe makes four changes and one positional switch to the team that beat Cardiff last weekend. Irish internationals Paddy Jackson, Tom Court, Declan Fitzpatrick and Dan Tuohy all return, while Ruan Pienaar switches from No 10 to scrum-half.

The game will be the last in front of Ravenhill’s historic grandstand which opened in 1924. Demolition work starts next week as part of a £14.7 million ground redevelopment.

Scarlets: L Williams, G North, J Davies, S Williams, A Fenby, R Priestland, A Davies, P John, K Owens, S Lee, G Earle, J Synman, A Shingler, J Turnbull, R McCusker (capt). Replacements: E Phillips, R Jones, J Adriannse, J Ball, S Timani, G Davies, O Williams, G Owen.

Ulster: J Payne, A Trimble, D Cave, S Olding, T Bowe, P Jackson, R Pienaar; T Court, R Best, D Fitzpatrick, J Muller (capt), D Tuohy, R Diack, C Henry, N Williams; Replacements: R Herring, C Black, R Lutton, I Henderson, M McComish, P Marshall, M Allen, P Nelson.