A TENBY rugby player 'should have been played earlier' according to his coach after making his first start for the Scarlets last weekend.

20-year-old Archie Hughes made his first competitive start for the senior Scarlets side in last Saturday’s 38-17 loss to Clermont in France in the ECPR Challenge Cup.

The Wales U20s scrum half was praised by Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel during a pre-match press conference for tomorrow night’s ECPR Challenge Cup clash with Edinburgh, where Peel said that he feels they should have played Archie sooner than they did but said that he deserves the opportunity he was given.

Peel also praised Haverfordwest’s Kemsley Mathias who has just been named in the Wales squad for the 2024 Six Nations.

He said: “I think some of the young players we have been playing have played on merit if I’m perfectly honest. The likes of Eddie James, I know Kemsley Mathias played a lot of rugby for us last season. Ben Williams is probably one that’s come in and played some rugby for us this year.

“Archie Hughes, was Wales U20s scrum half last year and to be fair, we probably should have played Archie a bit sooner, but he’s got two international nines ahead of him which is obviously difficult for him then.

“But I think for us, the likes of Eddie, Archie, Ben Williams etc, they’ve been given opportunities, but they deserve it. I think, for me, those type of guys, regardless of who we would have that this year, they would have been given an opportunity because they’re good players and they deserve to play.”

Unfortunately for Archie, he misses out for the Edinburgh game on Friday night as internationals Kieran Hardy and Gareth Davies take the role of starting and replacement scrum halves respectively.

Fishguard’s Josh Macleod also misses out after injuring his knee during the Clermont defeat. It has not yet been revealed the extent of the injury or if he faces a lengthy lay-off.

The Scarlets face Edinburgh at Parc Y Scarlets on Friday, January 19 at 8pm. The game is live on S4C, S4C Online and BBC iPlayer.