18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
With Ospreys not in league action this weekend, third placed Ulster have a chance to leap frog above them, but the Welsh region will then have two games in hand over the Irish province. A trip to Scotland will hold no fears for the Ulsterman as they have won on 12 on the 13 previous occasions they have played Scottish teams.
The final game on Friday night sees Connacht's last home game of the season. Visitors Glasgow Warriors, after their victory against Leinster, will be looking to make it back to back wins over Irish provinces, but will have to overcome a poor record in Ireland to do so.
On Saturday Cardiff Blues, who have two games in hand over the current leaders, host Scotland's capital city side, Edinburgh Rugby. Blues are unbeaten in their last 11 games at the Arms Park and need to start turning their games in hand into points if they are to mount a late challenge for the title.
In the final game of the round, Heineken cup semi-finalists Llanelli Scarlets, visit the reigning European champions, Munster, in what is bound to be a difficult encounter as Munster will be anxious to prevent their visitors completing a treble over them this season, and seek redress for Scarlets ending their own European campaign.