Round 8 of the RaboDirect PRO12 kicks off on Friday night with both Scottish teams in action – early season leaders Glasgow Warriors welcome the Newport Gwent Dragons to Scotstoun Stadium, while Edinburgh travel to Belfast to face Ulster.
Glasgow Warriors are building a formidable home reputation since their move to their new base at Scotstoun, so the Dragons will have their work cut out if they hope to come away with the points.
Ulster have a similar reputation at Ravenhill. Coincidently their most recent RaboDirect PRO12 loss came at the hands of a Scottish team – Glasgow.
In the early game on Saturday, Zebre are the visitors to Liberty Stadium to face the third-placed Ospreys. The Italian outfit lost by just one point when they played at the Swansea ground in January, so will hope to go one better this time.
Table-topping Munster are also in action on Saturday, facing Welsh opposition for the second round in a row. This time they travel to the Principality to play the Cardiff Blues. A similar result to their last outing could see them retain their lead at the league’s summit.
Meanwhile, the Scarlets make the reverse trip over the Irish Sea to play Connacht in Galway. The Scarlets are just outside the top four, but know every point counts at this time of the season if they are to make the final cut off for the play-offs.
The round wraps up in Treviso on Sunday with Leinster the visitors to Stadio di Monigo. Having lifted themselves into the fourth play-off spot with victory over the Dragons in the last round, Matt O’Connor’s men will be looking for a win to consolidate their position.
RABODIRECT PRO12 – ROUND 8 PREVIEW:
Friday, November 22 –
ULSTER (5th) v Edinburgh (9th), Ravenhill, 7.05pm (live BBC 2 Northern Ireland/BBC ALBA)
Glasgow Warriors (2nd) v Newport Gwent Dragons (7th), Scotstoun Stadium, 7.35pm
Saturday, November 23 –
Ospreys (3rd) v Zebre (11th), Liberty Stadium, 2.30pm
CONNACHT (12th) v Scarlets (6th), the Sportsground, 5pm
Cardiff Blues (8th) v MUNSTER (1st), Cardiff Arms Park, 6.30pm (live RTÉ Two/S4C)
Sunday, November 24 –
Benetton Treviso (10th) v LEINSTER (4th), Stadio di Monigo, 3pm local time/2pm Irish time (live Sport Mediaset/deferred coverage TG4 (5pm))