Celtic League leaders Ulster will be short priced favourites to collect full points from their visit to Netherdale while Llanelli Scarlets should also go nap at home to Glasgow.
Celtic League leaders Ulster will be short priced favourites to collect full points from their visit to Netherdale and a game against bottom of the table Borders while Llanelli Scarlets should also go nap at home to Glasgow who are just one place abover their Scottish neighbours.
Ulster are the only Irish side with any tangible interest in proceedings as they seek to add the Celtic League title to the Celtic Cup they won earlier this season. The Borders have an outside chance of qualifying for Europe next year as they are only four points behind Glasgow but it is unlikely this will prove sufficient incentive to see off Alan Solomon’s side.
Elsewhere, the Irish face up to Welsh sides who have plenty to play for in this round and the remaining games.
Leinster Lions are at home to Neath-Swansea Ospreys while Munster travel to the Arms Park to take on Cardiff Blues.
The Ospreys are seven points clear of The Blues and will be mindful that any slip ups at this stage could cost them a place in Europe next season.
Cardiff will have marked down the visit of Munster as a probable five pointer, a result that would give them a fighting chance of overtaking The Ospreys for that fourth qualifying place.
For their part, Munster show nine changes from the side that started last Sunday against Wasps and they will arrive in Cardiff haunted by that defeat in Lansdowne Road.
Nor can Connacht be expected to have the usual spring in their step following the narrow defeat by Harlequins that denied them a place in the Challenge Cup final. They face a Gwent Dragons side who are just two points off the pace and Mike Ruddock’s team are the only side who could benefit if Ulster or Llanelli were to slip up.
Ulster: Bryn Cunningham, Scott Young, Shane Stewart, Paul Steinmetz, Tyrone Howe, David Humphreys, Neil Doak, Simon Best, Matt Sexton, Rod Moore, Gary Longwell, Rowan Frost, Andy Ward Capt, Neil Best, Roger Wilson.
Replacements:Paul Shields, Ronan McCormack, Tim Barker, Neil McMillan, Kieran Campbell, Paddy Wallace, Tommy Bowe.
All the news at: www.ulsterrugby.ie
Leinster Lions: Girvan Dempsey; Gordon D’Arcy, Brian O’Driscoll, David Quinlan, Brendan Burke; Felipe Contepomi, Brian O’Meara; Reggie Corrigan Capt, Shane Byrne, Peter Coyle, Malcolm O’Kelly, Ben Gissing, Des Dillon, Niall Ronan, Victor Costello.
Replacements: Emmett Byrne, Gavin Hickey, Leo Cullen, Aidan McCullen, Brian O’Riordan, Shane Horgan, John McWeeney.
Full details at: www.leinsterrugby.ie
Munster: Christian Cullen; Martin McPhail, Mike Mullins, Rob Henderson, Shaun Payne; Jason Holland Capt, Eoin Reddan; Frank Roche, Jerry Flannery, Gordon McIlwham; Donncha O’Callaghan, David Pusey; Stephen Keogh, Alan Quinlan, Peter Malone.
Replacements: Ross Callaghan, Martin Cahill, Trevor Hogan, Eddie Halvey, Mike Prendergast, Barry Murphy, Jeremy Staunton
Full details at: www.munsterrugby.ie
Connacht: M. Mostyn; T. Robinson, D. Yapp, S. Moore, C. McPhillips; E. Elwood, C. O’Loughlin; A. Clarke, J. Fogarty, P. Bracken; D. Browne, A. Farley; P. Neville, T. Carter, M. Carroll.
B. Jackman, D. McFarland, M. McCarthy, J. O’Sullivan, M. Walls, D. Hewitt, M. McHugh.