Wales' Liam Williams misses Scarlets trip to Zebre amid move talk

Liam Williams

PRO12: Zebre v Scarlets
Date: Saturday, 3 December Venue: Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma Kick-off: 14:05 GMT
Coverage: Updates on BBC Radio Wales and the BBC Sport website. Highlights later on the BBC Sport website and Scrum V

Wales full-back Liam Williams will miss Scarlets’ Pro12 trip to Zebre with an ankle injury as the region refuse to admit defeat over his prospective move to Saracens.

Williams, 25, suffered the ankle injury during Wales’ win over South Africa.

Reports have suggested Williams has agreed to join the European champions for the 2017-18 season.

“As soon as that decision is made 100%, we won’t be holding it back,” Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac said.

“Liam is getting a rest this week, but in terms of contracting, no change.

“I’m just concerned about what Sanjay [Williams} tells me, and so I’m comfortable where things are at.

“I haven’t thought down that line, but we do have [new Kiwi wing/full-back] Johnny McNicholl here.”

Pivac is hopeful of having Williams back for the European Champions Cup double-header against Toulon on 11 and 18 December.

Internationals rested

Wales squad quartet Jonathan Davies, Gareth Davies, Samson Lee and Jake Ball are set to return to regional action, but centre Scott Williams and hooker Ken Owens will be rested.

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Scotland flanker John Barclay is being assessed following his international spell and South African lock David Bulbring is out with shoulder trouble which may need an operation.

“There’s three of the internationals that are having a bit of time off. The guys that have been here from the pre-season right the way through, with a lot of minutes [on the pitch] and a lot of loading through training,” Pivac added.

“We’ve got to be smart, look at the games coming up and the best opportunities to have the odd break, a couple had breaks for Treviso and Dragons earlier in the season.”

Wales prop Rob Evans is likely to play his first rugby of the season against Zebre following surgery on a wrist injury.

“He’s chomping at the bit, he’s an excitement machine around the building, he’s full of energy and we’ve got to get him focussed, but certainly he’s in consideration for the trip” said Pivac.

“Rob’s up for the challenge [of regaining his Scarlets and Wales jerseys], he knows it’s going to be roll your sleeves up from day one.”

Captains’ contracts

The Scarlets are to step up contract talks with regional captain Owens and his regular stand-in as skipper, Kiwi centre Hadleigh Parkes.

“Ken is one we’ve left alone because he’s [been] in the international camp, I’m sitting down with Ken next week to discuss what we do going forward, he’s currently the captain of the side so we’d like to think he won’t be going too far” Pivac explained.

“[Hadleigh] is the captain while Ken’s away and we’d like to think he’s not going too far either.”

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