With just three rounds left in the RaboDirect PRO12, and therefore only a maximum of 15 match points left to play for, the competition for a top four finish will intensify over the final weeks.
Leaders Glasgow Warriors face a tough trip to Llanelli on Friday to play the Scarlets as their hosts are themselves vying for a top four finish, so both teams will be determined to come away with the points.
Following their impressive victory at the RDS, second-placed Ulster now face a home game against the Newport Gwent Dragons to keep up their PRO12 challenge. Ulster will be looking to catch up with Glasgow who they trail by just one point.
Ninth-placed Connacht, who host Ulster next week, are facing into a busy period of matches starting with Friday’s clash with England at Murrayfield – the team one place below them in the table.
Connacht’s game away to Benetton Treviso, which was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch on March 30, will now be played on Friday, April 26, kicking off at 8.30pm local time (7.30pm Irish time).
Leinster are the third team challenging for one of just two home play-off spots, and they have the formidable task of taking on interprovincial rivals Munster at Thomond Park on Saturday.
However, Joe Schmidt’s men will be buoyed by the fact they came away with the points on their last visit to Limerick.
Also on Saturday the remaining team in the play-off zone, the Ospreys welcome Benetton Treviso to the Liberty Stadium.
The Italians may not have won at the venue, but are on a three-match winning streak, so the Ospreys will have their work cut out to make sure they keep ahead of the Scarlets in the table.
RABODIRECT PRO12 – ROUND 20 FIXTURES:
Friday, April 12 –
Scarlets (5th) v Glasgow Warriors (1st), Parc y Scarlets, 7.05pm (live BBC 2 Wales/BBC ALBA)
ULSTER (2nd) v Newport Gwent Dragons (11th), Ravenhill, 7.05pm (live BBC 2 Northern Ireland/TG4)
Edinburgh (10th) v CONNACHT (9th), Murrayfield, 7.30pm
Saturday, April 13 –
Cardiff Blues (8th) v Zebre (12th), Cardiff Arms Park, 2.30pm
MUNSTER (6th) v LEINSTER (3rd), Thomond Park, 6.30pm (live RTÉ Two)
Ospreys (4th) v Benetton Treviso (7th), Liberty Stadium, 6.30pm (live S4C)