Glasgow Caledonians

v Llanelli

RUGBY'S coming home tonight as far as Glasgow Caledonians are concerned, writes David Kelso.

It is the Reds against the Scarlets as Richie Dixon's success-starved side play host to Llanelli in the first Celtic League match to be staged at the spruced-up Hughenden, and the coach is hoping that the occasion will be marked by a swing in fortunes in the wake of an alarming run of defeats at the hands of opposition from the principality.

In addition to his seemingly constant injury worries, Dixon has also had a flu bug doing the rounds of the squad this week. He is upbeat, however, about their chances of halting the rot.

''There is no doubt that Llanelli will be formidable opponents. They are without a few front-liners on World Cup duty with Wales, but they still have a clutch of internationalists,'' he pointed out.

''Dixon was particularly disappointed with the manner in which his team lost to Bridgend at Aberdeen last weekend, saying: ''Again it was a match we could and probably should have won - as has been the case with virtually all our games during the campaign.

''The margin between success and failure at this level is wafer-thin and what we have to find is mental hardness. When it comes to talent and skill we are right up there with the Welsh guys, but we have definitely been lacking in terms of adapting to the conditions.

''Both at Millbrae against Ebbw Vale and at Rubislaw against Bridgend we seemed to slacken the concentration when we had the wind in our favour.''

Dixon could not disguise his happiness at the prospect of playing at Hughenden at long last. He said: ''We have been as far south as Stranraer and up to Aberdeen in order to take the game to as many corners of the country as possible.

''It is right that we should be doing that, but there is no doubt that the players will benefit from less travelling over the next few weeks, when we play predominantly in Glasgow and Stirling.''

Llanelli, meanwhile, are treating the trip north as a dress rehearsal for the forthcoming European Cup campaign.

Their spokesman, former internationalist Anthony Buchanan, said: ''We have been going along very well this season, with only the one hiccup against Swansea.

''Our thoughts are now turning towards the bigger stage of Europe and it will be useful for our guys to get into the way of travelling out of South Wales for a change.

''Although we are preparing for the European Cup, our outlook does not detract from our desire to claim another victory - and we also know it will be very tough for us in Glasgow.'' Teams:

Glasgow Caledonians - A Bulloch; J Craig, J Stuart, I Jardine, R Kerr; T Hayes, A Nicol; A Watt, G Scott, G McIlwham, S Campbell, D Burns, J White, G Flockhart, D McFadyen. Replacements: F Stott, B Irving, G Beveridge, S Griffiths, W Anderson, D Hall.

Llanelli - M Cardey; W Proctor, S Finau, N Davies, M Jones, C Warlow; P Horgan, S Emms; M Thomas, M Madden, V Cooper, C Gillies, S Easterby, H Jenkins, I Boobyer. Replacements: J Davies, A Copsey, G Thomas, I Jones, R Moon, B Hayward, G John.