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Peter Jackson: Six clues to Guinness PRO12 Round 8

Guinness PRO12 Rugby Editor

4 Nov 2016

TAGS

Clubs, Features
Matavesi

Friday:

Benetton Treviso v Cardiff Blues, Stadio Monigo, kick-off: 8.15pm

Zebre having shown them the way in Edinburgh last week, Treviso will attempt to follow suit and strike another blow in support of an Italian revival. The Blues make the trip reinforced by a battery of internationals released by Wales, amongst them skipper Sam Warburton.

Edinburgh v Ulster, BT Murrayfield, kick-off: 7.35pm

Edinburgh, eager to resume normal business after last week’s setback at the hands of Zebre, make five changes to their pack. Ulster, just as eager to do likewise after losing a 14-point lead against Munster, start with the Irish-qualified, ex-England under-18 international Brett Herron at fly-half. Rob Herring captains the side in the unavoidable absence of Rory Best, otherwise engaged on the other side of the Atlantic.

Munster v Ospreys, Irish Independent Park, kick-off: 7.35pm

Ospreys keep Josh Matavesi at fly-half, filling the gap left by Wales picking not one Ospreys No. 10 but two – Dan Biggar and Sam Davies. Munster are set to introduce their latest signing from the Southern Hemisphere, Rhys Marshall. The New Zealander, signed from the Chiefs on a three-year contract, starts on the bench.

Newport Gwent Dragons v Connacht, Rodney Parade, kick-off: 7.15pm

Connacht did the double over the Dragons last season, taking nine points out of a maximum ten. After losing to Ospreys and Scarlets in successive weeks during September, a third failure would be a severe blow in their attempt to retrieve lost ground and make the play-offs. Dragons, with Tom Prydie at full-back, are without their uncapped lock Cory Hill, on bench duty for Wales against Australia.

Saturday:

Zebre v Leinster, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, kick-off: 5.05pm

If Zebre’s victory in Edinburgh last week caught everyone by surprise, they now have the chance of springing another by rearranging the pecking order at the top. Leinster make the journey without their formidable international contingent but the fact that they have never lost to the Italians would make another Zebre win nothing short of astounding.

Scarlets v Glasgow Warriors, Parc y Scarlets, kick-off: 7.35pm

The Warriors make the long haul to Llanelli in pursuit of a fourth straight win over the Scarlets after beating them twice in the Champions’ Cup and once in the Guinness PRO12 – 46-10 at Parc y Scarlets. The Welsh region have won four on the trot but have to make do without hooker Ken Owens and tighthead Samson Lee, on Test duty with Wales.

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