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Ospreys

RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011Round 22 of the Pro12 promises to be a fitting finale to the regular season, with Play-Off spots and European qualification still to be settled.

As with previous seasons all 6 games will kick off simultaneously to add to the excitement and give no advantage to any team.

At the top of the table 3 teams are still in contention for the 2 home Play-Off spots and European qualification still to be settled.

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ospreysHanno DirksenWing Hanno Dirksen has signed a new three-year Ospreys contract keeping him at the Liberty Stadium until the end of the 2016-17 season.

He has been signed up ahead of the region’s final RaboDirect Pro12 clash of the season with Connacht on Saturday.  Dirksen, 23, is the 13th player to re-commit to the region along with the likes of Alun Wyn Jones and Dan Baker.

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011The May Day weekend should provide the most intense scrutiny of the RaboDirect PRO12 table to date.

The opening fixture between Zebre and Ospreys could go a long way to answering some of the questions – a loss for the hosts would put Treviso in the driving seat for the Italian spot in next season’s European competition, whilst a loss for the visitors Ospreys, without picking up any league points, would take away their mathematical chances of making the Play-Offs .

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011With the Six Nations over the club  tournament of Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Italy takes centre stage once again as round 17 kicks off this Friday.

Having led Leinster to the Pro12 title last season, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt took the 6 Nations crown at the first time of asking in a tense finish to the Championship last weekend.  Following on Ireland’s success it is perhaps appropriate that as the Pro12 returns to centre stage three of the top four teams are Irish Provinces.

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011After a round of games played in dreadful conditions during which yet another fixture fell foul of the weather, players and spectators alike must be hoping that Round 14 of the Pro12 fares better.

The round kicks off with two games in the Irish capitals on Friday night, one in Belfast and one in Dublin, both featuring Welsh opposition.

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011The festive fixtures continue as return local derbies were scheduled to take place in Scotland, Wales and Italy during the Pro12′s Round 12.

Wales and Scotland were set to start the New Year with a game on New Year’s Day, as Cardiff Blues hosted Newport Gwent Dragons and after the Hogmanay celebrations in Scotland, Glasgow Warriors welcomed Edinburgh to Scotstoun. However, the game in Glasgow was called off less than an hour before kick off due to the field being waterlogged.

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011The traditional festive season local derbies are set to take centre stage as the Pro12 Round 11 provides an exciting escape from turkey and TV. The games in Scotland and Wales take place on Boxing Day, whilst Ireland foregoes St Stephens’ Day games and sticks to the traditional Friday and Saturday slots.

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011Round Eight of the Pro12 kicks off on Friday night with both Scottish teams in action – early season leaders Glasgow Warriors welcoming Newport Gwent Dragons to Scotstoun, whilst Edinburgh travel to Belfast to face Ulster.

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011The top-of-the-table clash at Thomond Park between Munster and Ospreys on Saturday headlines Round Seven of the Pro12.  Munster currently lead the pack thanks to winning one more game than Ospreys, but Ospreys have garnered more bonus points in the six rounds than their hosts, so the scene is set for an epic battle.

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011RaboDirect PRO12 log leaders Glasgow Warriors face second-placed Munster in a tantalising top-of-the-table clash at Scotstoun on Friday.
As the competition gets back into full swing with Round Six this weekend after a successful European double header, it’s clear that the Pro12 is going from strength to strength.

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011Leinster and Munster will look to solidify themselves as early pace-setters in Round Two of the Pro12 this weekend.  These two teams were the only sides who collected maximum points from their first-round Pro12 games, between them running in ten of the 22 tries that were scored last weekend.

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Scotland1jonathan humprheysA man who has steered his club to the most league titles in Celtic rugby has today been appointed to the position of Scotland forwards coach.

Jonathan Humphreys, the former Welsh hooker and captain, will join the Scotland management ahead of the quadrangular tournament with Samoa, South Africa and Italy in June. He will be on a two year contract.

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011It was all change yet again at the top of the Pro12 table following Round 20, with Ulster retaking the top position, whilst Glasgow Warriors slipped to third.

And with just two rounds left, and a maximum of 10 points on offer, five teams are still vying for the four play-off places.

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011Round 17 of the Pro12 kicks off with five games on Friday, with both contenders for the top spot in action.
Leaders Ulster, who have been at the top since round five, welcome Benetton Treviso to Ravenhill whilst Glasgow Warriors host Cardiff Blues at Scotstoun.

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011With a pause in the international matches, the Pro12 takes centre stage again this weekend with games in Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

First up on Friday night table toppers Ulster welcome Zebre to Ravenhill. The leaders will be keen to get back to their winning ways having suffered only their second defeat in this season’s campaign at the hands of Ospreys last week.

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RaboDirect PRO12 balls 5/8/2011Despite their loss to Munster at Thomond Park last Saturday, Ulster remain clear at the top of the Pro12 table as we start the New Year.

Ulster have a nine-point lead over second placed Scarlets, who they welcome to Ravenhill on Friday.

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The focus turns once again to the Pro12 this weekend, with Ulster leading the table courtesy of their unbeaten run so far this season.  They travel to Rodney Parade on Friday night to face a Newport Gwent Dragons team who are uncomfortably sat at the wrong end of the table, although at this stage in the season there are only 5 points, or a try bonus point win, between the Men from Gwent and 5th placed Munster.

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In what will be the final round of Pro12 games before the start of the European competitions, Ulster sit one point clear at the top of the table with a game in hand over their rivals. They welcome Connacht to Ravenhill on Friday night, a place where the visitors have never won in this tournament.

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There were no surprises in Saturday’s final round of the RaboDirect Pro12. All the results were as expected with the only real issue being the margins in some of the games being a little different than perhaps expected.

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