Munster lead the way in the Magners League after the opening two rounds, with Ulster (second), Connacht (third) and Leinster (fifth) close behind them. Another action-packed round of fixtures awaits this weekend.
Round 3 of the Magners League opens in Glasgow on Friday night with the visit of Connacht. The Warriors have a proud home record at Firhill Stadium, having lost just once in their last nine encounters at the venue in all competitions.
Connacht, on the other hand, have not won in the city since September 2003, however they currently sit five places above their hosts in the league table, and can boast one of the competition’s top try scorers, Fionn Carr, in their ranks.
Connacht’s last opponents, the Scarlets, also play on Friday night, welcoming Aironi Rugby to Parc y Scarlets for the first time.
The Italian newcomers, having secured their first league point, will now be looking for a first league win, but victory on the road is always a hard task and the Scarlets will be particularly wary of Italian opposition having lost to Benetton Treviso in the opening round this season.
Lastly on Friday night, Edinburgh travel to Belfast to face second-placed Ulster at Ravenhill where the hosts are bidding to start a season with three straight victories for the first time since they went on to become champions in the 2005/06 campaign. Edinburgh will have to end their unwelcome run of losses to stop them.
The remaining three games are on Saturday, the first of which sees last season’s beaten grand finalists, Leinster, travel to Italy to face Benetton Treviso.
After claiming their first league victory in the opening round, Treviso will be looking to build on that success, but the former Heineken Cup and Magners League champions will likely prove to be too strong, despite the fact they have lost their last three away matches.
Also on Saturday, the first Welsh derby of the season takes place when the Cardiff Blues entertain the Newport Gwent Dragons at Cardiff City Stadium.
Both teams have recorded a won one, lost one start to the season, although the Blues are above the Dragons in the table courtesy of a try-scoring bonus point in their opening round win.
The round concludes with the 2008/09 champions, table-topping Munster, facing the reigning champions, the Ospreys, at Thomond Park.
The Ospreys completed the double over Munster last season for the first time since the 2003/04 campaign, however, having won their first two games of this campaign, the hosts may be looking for an omen – the last time they won their opening three games was the season they clinched the title.
MAGNERS LEAGUE – ROUND 3 FIXTURES:
Friday, September 17 –
Glasgow Warriors v CONNACHT, Firhill Stadium, 7.30pm
Scarlets v Aironi Rugby, Parc y Scarlets, 8.05pm (live BBC 2 Wales/Dahlia TV)
ULSTER v Edinburgh, Ravenhill, 8.05pm (BBC 2 Northern Ireland/RTE 2/BBC ALBA)
Saturday, September 18 –
Cardiff Blues v Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff City Stadium, 6.30pm (live S4C)
Benetton Treviso v LEINSTER, Stadio Monigo, 7.05pm local time/6.05pm Irish time (live TG4/Dahlia TV)
MUNSTER v Ospreys, Thomond Park Stadium, 8pm (live RTE 2)