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It’s the big finale to the Guinness PRO12 season as the final rounds are battled out this Saturday with the Cardiff Blues hosting their final home game of the season at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.

It’s all eyes on the Ospreys to see if they can secure a home semi-final from their trip to Connacht and for the Scarlets it’s another must win to ensure they qualify for Europe’s top flight.

Ospreys big win over Warriors last weekend meant they reclaimed the top spot they had held for all but two of the first 13 round. 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 their fellow Welsh region Newport Gwent Dragons will pull off a victory over Munster in Cork.

Just one point separated the four teams at the top of the PRO12 table with Leinster the only side to guarantee their spot in Europe’s top tier next season. Scarlets, Connacht and Edinburgh are involved in a three way fight for the last remaining automatic place in the 2015/16 European Champions Cup, with the Scarlets having the edge by being four points ahead of their nearest rivals.


Full back Aled Summerhill will make his Guinness PRO12 debut for Cardiff Blues after being named in the starting line-up for the final game of the season against Zebre Rugby on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

Summerhill is one of nine changes for Cardiff Blues as they look to finish the season with a victory at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.

Prop Gethin Jenkins returns to captain the team and is joined in a new-look front row by Kristian Dacey and Adam Jones, who plays his final game for the region before departing this summer.

Lock Lou Reed will play in the second row alongside Filo Paulo, who also starts his final game for Cardiff Blues before moving to Italy. There is also a call-up into the back row for Macauley Cook.

Scrum half Tavis Knoyle wins a starting spot alongside Rhys Patchell while wing Richard Smith and centre Tom Isaacs are also called into a new back line.

Forwards Coach Dale McIntosh said: “It’s been a tough season for us, but all we can do now is put in a massive performance over the final 80 minutes of the season for the fans.

“Zebre have plenty to play for as they look to claim a place in the top tier of European competition next season. However, our motivation is huge too and we have to play to the best of our ability to get the right result.

“It’s been a quick turnaround since Scarlets and so we’ve concentrated this week on making sure people are energised. We’ve focused on ourselves, what we are about and what we want to achieve.”

Cardiff Blues: 15 Aled Summerhill, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Richard  Smith, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Tavis Knoyle; 1 Gethin Jenkins (c), 2 Kristian Dacey, 3 Adam Jones, 4 Filo Paulo, 5 Lou Reed, 6 Macauley Cook, 7 Sam Warburton, 8 Josh Navidi

Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Taufa’ao Filise, 19 Josh Turnbull, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Garyn Smith, 23 Gareth Anscombe


Scarlets have made three changes to the starting XV that took on Cardiff Blues in the penultimate round of the Guinness PRO12 last weekend.

The Scarlets head to Italy this weekend to take on Benetton Treviso looking for a victory to secure sixth place in the table and all-important Champions Cup qualification.

Head Coach Wayne Pivac has made three changes to the side with Harry Robinson, Aled Davies and Phil John replaced in the starting XV by Adam Warren, Gareth Davies and Rob Evans respectively.

Robinson and Davies both miss out through injury whilst John moves to the replacements bench. Gareth Davies makes a return after a five-week suspension.

Speaking ahead of the PRO12 clash Pivac said: “We’ve just got to prepare for a game to win. Sometimes when you’re in the scenarios where you need a point or bonus point win it can disrupt things. We’re quite happy to prepare the way we prepare. We’ve got to back ourselves to win that game.

“That’s our aspiration every year to be in Europe, that’s certainly what we want to achieve. Total focus is this week and getting the job done.”

Scarlets team to take on Benetton Treviso at Stadio Monigo di Comunale on Saturday 16th May, kick-off 4pm (local time);

15 Liam Williams, 14 Adam Warren, 13 Hadleigh Parkes, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gareth Davies, 1 Rob Evans, 2 Ken Owens, 3 Peter Edwards, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Lewis Rawlins, 6 Aaron Shingler, 7 James Davies, 8 John Barclay

Replacements: Ryan Elias, Phil John, Wyn Jones, George Earle, Rory Pitman, Rhodri Williams, Steven Shingler, Daniel Jones

Supporters not travelling can watch the game in the Heart & Soul, Parc y Scarlets, doors open from 1pm.


The Ospreys team for the PRO12 game against Connacht at the Sportsground, on Saturday 16th May 2015, KO 3.00pm, is as follows:

15 Dan Evans; 14 Hanno Dirksen; 13 Ben John; 12 Josh Matavesi; 11 Eli Walker; 10 Dan Biggar; 9 Rhys Webb; 1 Nicky Smith; 2 Scott Baldwin; 3 Dmitri Arhip; 4 Tyler Ardron

5 Alun Wyn Jones (Capt); 6 James King; 7 Justin Tipuric; 8 Dan Baker

Replacements; 16 Sam Parry; 17 Marc Thomas; 18 Aaron Jarvis; 19 Rory Thornton; 20 Dan Lydiate; 21 Tom Habberfield; 22 Sam Davies; 23 Jonathan Spratt

Tom Habberfield will make his 50th Ospreys appearance if he comes off the bench

Head Coach, Steve Tandy, said: It was a good win at the Liberty last weekend to ensure that we go into the final day in first place, knowing that we have control of our own destiny. We arent reliant on others to do a job for us and thats all you can ask for at this time of the season. That said, we know that we have a very tough 80 minutes ahead of us on Saturday against a very good team who have their own prize to play for.”

Preparation this week has been no different to any other. The boys have been focused on the job in hand and know that if they are accurate, clinical in what they do and know their role properly, then that will allow us to build a performance to the level we need. Its a good mental test for a young squad of players, ensuring the right habits and routines, allowing them to focus on performance.”


Last weekend the Men of Gwent took on a hard-hitting Edinburgh side as they looked to have revenge on the Scottish team after losing out to them in the European Challenge Cup Semi Final. The Dragons took away a fantastic win of 19-5 and will look to replicate this against the Munster men on Saturday 16th May, KO 15:00 (Live on TG4).

Newport born Jason Tovey moves position from fly-half to fullback as Tom Prydie moves across the back three to take on the role of wing joining Welsh International Hallam Amos. The young centre pairing of Tyler Morgan and Jack Dixon remains unchanged from last week. Dorian Jones moves from the bench to fly-half and Jonathan Evans makes his last appearance as scrum-half for the Welsh Region before joining up with Bath Rugby next season.

Boris Stankovich, who returned to play against Edinburgh last weekend, starts at loose-head prop and is joined in the front row by fellow prop Brok Harris and hooker Hugh Gustafson. The second row remains unchanged with Cory Hill and Rynard Landman being given the nod. Landman also takes on the role of skipper as T. Rhys Thomas continues his rehab after dislocating his finger during the Edinburgh match last weekend. Flankers Nick Crosswell and Nic Cudd remain alongside number 8 Taulupe Faletau in the back-row.

Four changes have been made to the replacements as Rhys Buckley, Matthew Screech, James Benjamin and Ashton Hewitt join Phil Price, Lloyd Fairbrother, Richie Rees and Geraint Rhys Jones.

Head Coach, Kingsley Jones believes that there has been progress made this season and this step in the right direction means that the squad will go into pre-season with a positive attitude. He commented: “I think there has been progress this season. To get to a semi-final in Europe was a high point – It was a step in the right direction and the number of young players we’ve blooded this season has been a real positive. They’re only going to get better so that’s massive for us.”

Newport Gwent Dragons Team to face Munster; Jason Tovey, Tom Prydie, Tyler Morgan, Jack Dixon, Hallam Amos, Dorian Jones, Jonathan Evans; Boris Stankovich, Hugh Gustafson, Brok Harris, Cory Hill, Rynard Landman (c), Nick Crosswell, Nic Cudd, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Rhys Buckley, Phil Price, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, James Benjamin, Richie Rees, Ashton Hewitt, Geraint Rhys Jones.