Howard Evans (Llanelli Programme Notes)

We look forward tonight to welcoming the Llanelli rugby squad (The real Scarlets) and also their splendid ‘young’ coach Paul Fisher and the ‘aged’ Anthony Buchanan.

One thing about any side that Paul coaches is that you know they will always attempt to play good rugby and that is becoming a rarity in club matches these days.

My first visit to Stradey Park was in 1948 when taken by my father to watch Cardiff beat Llanelly (it was spelt that way) on a night with no floodlights.

That was before Gareth Jenkins, ‘Buks’ and Paul were born, but also before floodlights were used. And it gets dark early in West Wales!

I had never been there before and my next visit was the day they beat The All Blacks. However, I had met Carwyn James twice before then – in the back of East Wales grandstands.

I also met Ossie Williams, a great Wales/Llanelli forward, and he was amused when I said he was a dirty player for hitting Bleddyn Williams. He smiled at me and said: “Ah, it’s only way to stop the bugger, but I take care of him for Wales.”

They know their rugby in Llanelli and produce a heck of a lot more top-class players than Cardiff do. Now, the likes ex-Scarlets Jason Hyatt, Rowan Jenkins, Rhys Fawcett and Aled Thomas will be looking to put one over them. It makes for a good game.