SCARLETS v DRAGONS (Tomorrow, KO 7.05)
THE SCARLETS will be going all out to stop a reinvigorated Toby Faletau tomorrow night, former Newport Gwent Dragons forwards coach Danny Wilson has revealed.
Confirmed as Wales’ continuing Under-20s coach yesterday, Wilson left Rodney Parade in the summer to take up his new post as Scarlets forwards guru.
He has been busy plotting the downfall of his old side this week with No 8 Faletau, excellent in the Dragons’ 32-12 home win over Edinburgh last Friday, identified as their opponents’ key man.
“He is an important player, who gives them go forward – he is a game-breaker,” Wilson said.
Wales star Faletau hasn’t, by his own high standards, enjoyed the best of form at the start of this season.
But that all changed last week when the 21-year-old was the man of the match in a performance that showcased his defensive qualities rather his better known attacking capabilities.
In a Lions season, the 2012 Grand Slam winner will be looking to up his game in the coming months as he aims to secures a place on that tour to Australia.
Wilson, who coached Wales U-20s to their historic 9-6 win over New Zealand at the Junior World Championships in South Africa in the summer (a game in which Dragons wing Tom Prydie kicked two penalties), added: “We need to be keyed in as to where Toby will turn up in their phase play and where he will like to carry and cause us problems.
“He is someone we need to keep an eye on, but it is about preparing against the whole team.
“There are a number of threats and we have been working hard on our game and dealing with the Dragons game and tomorrow night, we will be ready to go out and perform.”
Wilson had seen his side get off to a great start to their campaign with three wins in a row but they are now wobbling after successive defeats.
The Scarlets pack let them down in their 23-16 home defeat to the Ospreys and then in their last-minute 22-20 setback away at Treviso last Saturday.
He admits he has invaluable inside knowledge about the Dragons but insists victories usually belong to sides who wants it most in blood and thunder derbies.
“I probably know quite a bit of how the Dragons would like to play and where their strengths and possible weaknesses will be,” Wilson said.
“But it is a derby and we have seen before in derbies, a lot of the prep comes down to who wants it the most and that hunger and passion on the day – something we didn’t deliver against the Ospreys and something we need to deliver against the Dragons.”