Stephen Jones in action for the Scarlets in last season's Heineken Cup
Lynn Howells, the former Celtic Warriors and Wales assistant coach now in charge of Italian club Leonessa, will know exactly what to expect from the Clermont Auvergne fly half when the clubs clash in the European Challenge Cup Round 1 First Leg match at Campo Comunale di Rovato on Saturday.
Stephen Jones, the Wales fly half, moved from Llanelli Scarlets to Clermont Auvergne (formerly Montferrand) in the summer after scoring 550 points in 48 appearances in the Heineken Cup for the Scarlets.
"I am looking forward to seeing Stephen again - on and off the field," said Howells. "He is both a world-class player and a wonderful person.
"That said, obviously Montferrand and Stephen will be clear favourites for the match. They have talent running right through their side and have the potential to be one of the best teams in Europe let alone in the European Challenge Cup. "If Stephen doesn't play at No 10 then they have Gerald Merceron to slot in and if Stephen does play then Gerald will come in at centre. They have so many options as well as so many talented players. "But it is games like these where we can measure ourselves and we are looking forward to welcoming to our ground.
"However, we have only been together as a squad for just over eight weeks so we are doing in-season what should have been done pre-season, which is not that brilliant.
"It is slow work but I feel we are getting there. What we need most of all are some results to boost confidence because I am determined to get things right - the only pressure on me is the pressure I am putting on myself.
"We have some good players in the squad - like half backs Rima Wakarua, our playmaker, and scrum half Juan Manuel Queirolo - but what we lack are decision makers, players to take a firm grip on the game."
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.