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“Shocking” Pitch Is Severely Hampering Scarlets’ PRO14 Final Preparatations

The Scarlets have an opportunity to exact revenge on Leinster in this weekend’s Guinness PRO14 final.¬†

This Saturday will be the fourth time the sides have met each other this season and the record suggests that it is advantage Leinster to secure a historic European and domestic double.

Scarlets haven’t beaten the Irish side since last season’s PRO12 semi-final and this season, Leinster won at the RDS and drew in Llanelli. Most recently, Leinster produced a blistering performance at the Aviva Stadium to power past Scarlets in the Champions Cup semi-final.

This exciting and developing rivalry will reach a new level on Saturday but preparations from a¬†Scarlets’ perspective have been far from ideal due to the Scotstoun surface which was the site of their PRO14 semi-final win over the Glasgow Warriors on Friday evening.

Many of the Scarlets players are suffering from grazes, wounds and burns due to the artificial surface in place at Glasgow’s home ground and the injuries are to such an extent that the players didn’t train on Monday and only some players took part in training today (Tuesday).

“The main thing is to make the burns heal up,” head coach Wayne Pivac told BBC Sport.

“So, no-one trained yesterday [Monday] in terms of rugby work on the field and there will be some who won’t train today which is unfortunate, but we will have a full training session on Thursday.

“It’s things that won’t stop them playing, but it’s not ideal.”

Scarlets and Wales winger, Steff Evans, who sports a burn injury on his arm, said that sleeping has been difficult as a consequence.

“These [wounds] are going to be stuck with me for a while, it is a tough field that 4G,” he said.

“It was just really dry. It wasn’t soft, it was a hard ground.

“The weather didn’t help, it was like playing on carpet, it was shocking.

“You are waking up in bed and the sheets are stuck to your leg about seven times a night.”

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter