Cheetahs v Glasgow Warriors – Cheetahs by 5
Cheetahs will be one of the least impacted by the Rugby World Cup and so I’m expecting them to make a good start to the season. As Scotland only have two professional teams they are heavily impacted by the loss of players.
Ulster v Ospreys – Ulster by 5
This early in the season this is one to go with the home team. Ulster got 13 wins last season and Ospreys 12 so they are evenly matched. Well they were last season but Ospreys have had issues around if they were going to exist or not this season so how much impact will that have had on their ability to recruit and retain players last season?
Munster v Dragons – Munster by 5
Munster will obviously be missing a lot of players but they are used to fighting on more than one front with European Competitions. So they will still have a very strong side and Dragons have been poor for many years.
Kings v Cardiff Blues – Cardiff Blues by 5
Even though Kings won’t be missing players they are one of the weakest sides in the competition. Yup I’m still going with the visiting team even if they are missing more players.
Scarlets v Connacht Rugby – Connacht Rugby by 5
If you remember back to 2015, both these sides had a great start to the season as other teams were missing players to the Rugby World Cup. Connacht went on to win the whole thing. This time around Scarlets will be missing more players and that’s why I’m backing the visitors.
Benetton Treviso v Leinster – Leinster by 3
Italy like Scotland only have two professional teams and will be heavily impacted by missing players. Leinster will also be missing players but many of them don’t play that much Pro14 as they are saved for Europe. So Leinster should be able to get the away win here.
Edinburgh v Zebre Rugby Club – Edinburgh by 7
Two sides that will be heavily impacted by events in Japan. Edinburgh though are always strong at home and should continue that trend this weekend.
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