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GUINNESS PRO12: Round 11 Preview

GUINNESS PRO12: Round 11 Preview

Six home wins in round 10 saw a change at the top of the GUINNESS PRO12 table, with the Ospreys retaking the lead – a position they have held after eight of the 10 rounds played so far this season.

Leinster have broken into the top four for the first time this campaign, while conversely Ulster dropped out of the play-off zone. Glasgow Warriors and Munster also swapped places to complete a wholesale change of the top four from the previous round.
Post-Christmas GUINNESS PRO12 rugby kicks off with some tantalising local derbies to whet the appetite following the festive feast.

The action starts on Friday in Wales when Cardiff Blues and the Newport Gwent Dragons lock horns in the capital city to see which one will claim local bragging rights.
Also on December 26, the third and fourth-placed teams, Munster and Leinster, face each other in a St. Stephen’s Day derby at Thomond Park. Munster took the spoils when the two teams met at the Aviva Stadium in October.

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Later on Friday night and north of the border, Ulster face provincial rivals Connacht at Kingspan Stadium and with both sides having ambitions to finish in the top four at the end of the season, a win is vital.
On Saturday, the table-topping Ospreys are in action when they welcome west Wales rivals, the Scarlets, to the Liberty Stadium in Swansea. Even though it is only a short hop, the visitors do not appear to travel well as they have not won at the venue in the PRO12 since September 2007.
Saturday also sees the first leg of 1872 Cup clash between second-placed Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh at Scotstoun Stadium. The Warriors have held onto the trophy for five successive seasons since they won it in 2009/10, and if their form in the PRO12 is any guide, it will take two impressive performances to wrestle it from their grip.  
The round wraps up in Italy on Sunday with national bragging rights and future European qualification the main objective for Zebre and Benetton Treviso in these back-to-back fixtures.


Friday, December 26 –

Cardiff Blues (9th) v Newport Gwent Dragons (10th), BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, 2.05pm (live BBC 2 Wales)

MUNSTER (3rd) v LEINSTER (4th), Thomond Park, 5pm (live TG4/BBC ALBA)

ULSTER (5th) v CONNACHT (6th), Kingspan Stadium, 6.45pm (live BBC 2 Northern Ireland)

Saturday, December 27 –

Glasgow Warriors (2nd) v Edinburgh (8th), Scotstoun Stadium, 2.40pm (live Sky Sports 1 HD)

Ospreys (1st) v Scarlets (7th), Liberty Stadium, 5.15pm (live Sky Sports 1 HD/S4C)

Sunday, December 28 –

Zebre (11th) v Benetton Treviso (12th), Stadio XXV Aprile, 3pm local time (live Nuvolari TV)