Cardiff Blues v Glasgow Warriors, BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, kick-off: 7pm
Something’s got to give in what promises to be the game of the weekend. One winning streak will end unless it ends in a draw and neither side has had one of those since January. The Blues will remember how Gregor Townsend’s Glaswegians came to the Welsh capital last November and went to town with four tries and six Finn Russell goals.
Ulster v Scarlets, Kingspan Stadium, kick-off: 7.05pm
Ulster may be nine points clear of the Scarlets but they have good reason to be wary of the west Walians. A New Zealander with a famous Irish name, Michael Collins, accounted for both Scarlet tries on a night when Aled Thomas’ three penalties edged the visitors home, 21-20. Home fans will take some comfort from the fact that Collins won’t be there to threaten a repeat performance.
Edinburgh v Leinster, Murrayfield, kick-off: 7.35pm
Having seen a 10-point lead evaporate in Glasgow last week, Leinster’s Scottish return takes them back to the scene of last season’s final a little more than three months ago when Connacht scored three times as many tries. Four successive Leinster defeats in Scotland at least ought to ensure they have the law of averages on their side.
Newport Gwent Dragons v Munster, Rodney Parade, kick-off: 5.15 pm
Munster’s third consecutive match against Welsh opposition finds them in urgent need of avenging one of last season’s more surprising results. The Dragons beat them handsomely on the first week of December, 22-6 with Rynard Landman scoring the only try. Rest assured, Munster will come as fully loaded as possible this time and leave nothing to chance.
Zebre v Connacht, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, kick-off: 6.05pm
The champions may be wobbling but they have filled their boots in Parma of late, rattling up 51 points last season on the back of a Matt Healy hat-trick and 40 the season before that. After successive setbacks at home against Warriors and Ospreys, both contenders for their title, a third defeat would be cause for real alarm.
Ospreys v Benetton Treviso, Liberty Stadium, kick-off: 7.35 pm
Treviso haven’t won in Wales since May 2013 when they walloped the Scarlets 41-17, a record away win built on tries from Robert Barbieri, Manoa Vosawai, Luca Morisi and Christian Loamanu. Ospreys, hit harder than most by World Cup demands last season, are being swept along on a tide of tries – 12 from two matches, more than anyone else.