With just one point separating the four teams at the top of the table, the line-up for the GUINNESS PRO12 play-offs will not be confirmed until the final whistle is blown in round 22.
And with Leinster guaranteeing their spot in Europe’s top tier next season, three teams are left battling it out for the remaining automatic place in the tournament, or to be the PRO12’s representative in a qualifying round.
Just two teams are involved in a direct head-to-head battle for home field advantage in the PRO12 play-offs, second-placed Glasgow Warriors hosting fourth-placed Ulster.
Glasgow, having led the table for six of the last eight rounds, know any slip up could let the Ospreys and Munster take the coveted top two places. Ulster’s destiny may not lie in their own hands, as even a win at fortress Scotstoun may not be enough to claim a home tie. The Ospreys’ emphatic win over Glasgow last time out meant they reclaimed the top spot they had held for all but two of the first 13 rounds.
The Ospreys will have to overcome a Connacht team themselves battling for European qualification if they are to remain at the top of the table and hope that fellow Welsh region, the Newport Gwent Dragons, will pull off a victory over Munster in Cork.
The Scarlets and Edinburgh are the other two teams involved in a three-way fight for the last remaining automatic place in the 2015/16 European Champions Cup, the Scarlets perhaps having the edge by being four points ahead of their nearest rivals.
However, nothing can be taken for granted in this competition and as it enters the last round – 10 of the 12 teams still have a viable route to the Champions Cup awaiting them. The calculators will be out as the teams take to the pitch in an unprecedented finale to 132 enthralling games.
GUINNESS PRO12 – ROUND 22 FIXTURES:
Saturday, May 16 –
Benetton Treviso (11th) v Scarlets (6th), Stadio di Monigo, 4pm local time (live Nuvolari TV/BBC 2 Wales)
Cardiff Blues (10th) v Zebre (12th), BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, 3pm (deferred coverage Nuvolari TV)
CONNACHT (7th) v Ospreys (1st), the Sportsground, 3pm (live S4C/highlights TG4)
Edinburgh (8th) v LEINSTER (5th), BT Murrayfield, 3pm (live BBC ALBA/highlights TG4)
Glasgow Warriors (2nd) v ULSTER (4th), Scotstoun Stadium, 3pm (live Sky Sports 1 HD/highlights TG4)
MUNSTER (3rd) v Newport Gwent Dragons (9th), Irish Independent Park, 3pm (live TG4/highlights TG4)