The fourth Big Weekend of the season takes place this weekend after Round 11 saw six hugely combative derby games played out across Italy, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The race to reach the Guinness PRO12 Final at Aviva Stadium is now at the halfway mark and Munster Rugby are leading the charge after their bonus-point win against age-old rivals Leinster Rugby.
What’s at Stake
Guinness PRO12 leaders Munster travel to Galway to take on Connacht Rugby at the Sportsground where the hosts are looking to overcome an incredible injury list to claw their way back into the fight for a top-six finish.
Connacht won this fixture last season on their way to the PRO12 Final, but Munster have not lost a Championship game since early October and their momentum will be difficult to stop.
Both Italian sides will welcome Scottish opposition on the eve of Hogmanay as Benetton Rugby Treviso take on Glasgow Warriors and Zebre Rugby get another bite at Edinburgh Rugby, who they defeated in Round 7 for their first away win of the season.
In Wales, Scarlets will aim to regain their winning run against Cardiff Blues after their seven-game unbeaten streak in the Guinness PRO12 ended at Ospreys in Round 11. Wayne Pivac’s team have been formidable at home this season and have not lost at Parc y Scarlets since Munster left as winners in Round 1.
Newport-Gwent Dragons will also have to stop the momentum from Ospreys, who are now in second place in the table, and Steve Tandy’s men must get a result to capitalise on any slip-up by Munster.
Saturday, December 31:
Zebre Rugby v Edinburgh Rugby (11am CET); Benetton Rugby Treviso v Glasgow Warriors (1.05pm CET); Leinster Rugby v Ulster Rugby (3pm); Connacht Rugby v Munster Rugby (5.30pm).
Sunday, January 1:
Scarlets v Cardiff Blues (3pm); Newport-Gwent Dragons v Ospreys Rugby (5.05pm)
NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS V OSPREYS RUGBY
Referee: Ian Davies (WRU, 56th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Simon Rees, Gwyn Morris (both WRU)
Citing Commissioner: Gwyn Bowden (WRU)
TMO: Neil Hennessy (WRU)
Overall Guinness PRO12 head to head record:
Played 27, Dragons won 9, Ospreys won 18.
Did you know?
- Newport Gwent Dragons last six matches in the Guinness PRO12 have all gone in favour of the home side, whilst Dragons have won their last five matches at Rodney Parade in all competitions since Glasgow were the visitors in round 5 of the PRO12.
- Dragons have won just one of their last 18 clashes against fellow Welsh regions in the PRO12: 23-17 away at Cardiff Blues on Boxing Day 2014.
- Ospreys have suffered just one reversal in the last six rounds of the Guinness PRO12 – to Munster in Cork in November.
- Ospreys have lost just one of their last dozen inter-region matches: to Scarlets at Liberty Stadium in March.
- The Swansea based side have won their last ten matches against Dragons since their opponents from the east won by a single point at Rodney Parade in January 2012.
For more Opta statistics visit http://www.pro12rugby.com/powered-by-opta/