Josh Macleod score for Scarlets against Cheetahs during a Pro14 game in February 2019

Venue: Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma, Italy Date: Saturday, 17 December Kick-off: 15:15 GMT
Coverage: Live updates on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru. Live scores, match report and reaction on the BBC Sport website and app.

If you ever wanted evidence of strange fixtures modern rugby administrators cook up you just have to look at what the Scarlets are doing this weekend.

Dwayne Peel’s side will travel to Italy to face a South African side in a European competition when they play Cheetahs in the Challenge Cup.

Cheetahs normally play home matches in Bloemfontein but will this time be almost 8,000 miles away in Parma.

“It is a very alien [concept],” said Scarlets head coach Peel.

South African sides have been included in European competition for the first time with Cheetahs based in Italy having beaten French side Pau last weekend.

“It is a different challenge with both sides away effectively,” added Peel.

“We have spoken about that this week who is going to be there, any sort of fans, hopefully we will have a few going over.

“The atmosphere is going to be different so it’s about creating your own.

“The Cheetahs are on tour so you get that sort of tight bond with that and it will be a tough task.

“They will have a point to prove as well because they were left replaced in the URC by the other four South African sides. We respect that and the challenge that is coming.

“So the atmosphere will be alien but it’s about us being on task and creating our own atmosphere.”

Scarlets opening Challenge Cup win over Bayonne was only a second win this season but Peel believes his side can be contenders in this tournament.

“We want to go ahead in this competition and get into the next round and that is the attitude we will take,” added Peel.

“You need a bit of luck along the way but that’s the goal. We will go hard this week and see what happens beyond that.

“There are four games in the pool and it goes quite quickly.”

Scarlets have made three personnel changes with captain Jonathan Davies rested and replaced by centre Scott Williams, while wing Steff Evans comes in for hamstring victim Tom Rogers.

Lock Vaea Fifita has recovered from the blow to his nose he suffered against the Lions.

Sione Kalamafoni reverts to number eight while flanker Josh Macleod takes over the captaincy. Hooker Ryan Elias will play his 150th game for Scarlets.

Cheetahs: Mafura; Kasende, Brits, Fortuin, Hartzenberg; Masuku, Pienaar; Ferreira, Van Rensburg, Coetzee, Bernardo, Sekekete (capt), Maartens, Olivier, Rudolph.

Replacements: Van der Westhuizen, Majola, Van Wyk, Zito, Qoma, Kruger, Ebersohn, Jasper.

Scarlets: McNicholl; S Evans, I Nicholas, S Williams, Conbeer; Costelow, Blacker; Mathias, Elias, John, Lousi, Fifita, Shingler, Macleod (capt), Kalamafoni.

Replacements: Owens, S Thomas, Sebastian, T Price, Lezana, Hardy, Patchell, Halfpenny.

Referee: Chris Busby (Ireland)

Assistant referees: Dan Carson & Padraic Reidy (Ireland)

TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)

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