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Celtic League Action Returns
2 February 2005, 2:46 pm
Connacht at home to The Scarlets on Friday, Ulster in Rodney Parade the same night (Fri), Leinster are in Edinburgh on Saturday and Munster play Glasgow in Limerick on Sunday (ko 5pm).
Connacht at home to The Scarlets on Friday, Ulster in Rodney Parade the same night (Fri), Leinster are in Edinburgh on Saturday and Munster play Glasgow in Limerick on Sunday (ko 5pm).

And Munster coach Alan Gaffney will have players such as Donncha O'Callaghan, Frankie Sheahan and Marcus Horan, the internationals who were on the bench against Scotland, available to him when he sits down to select the side to face Glasgow,

Munster v Glasgow Rugby. Sunday 20th Feb. Thomond Park (Setanta Sports). 5pm Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa). Munster s 17-32 loss to the Scarlets at Stradey Park on January 29th was their first loss in the Celtic League since September. The Munstermen have not lost at Thomond Park since the Newport Gwent Dragons were the visitors in March 2004. Glasgow become the first Scottish side to play in Limerick, as they attempt to end a run of five matches without a win in all competitions. Glasgow have lost their last eight away matches since they beat the Borders at Melrose in September. The Scotsmen have not won in Ireland since they beat Connacht in Galway in the Celtic League quarter-final in December 2001. Munster have won the last three matches they have played against Glasgow including the 28-26 thriller at Hughenden in October a match that Glasgow were leading until denied by a Ronan O Gara drop goal in the 86th minute.

Connacht v Llanelli Scarlets Friday 18th Feb. Dubarry Park, 7.30pm. Referee: Graeme Hannah (SRU). Connacht have won three of their last four games in all competitions and return to Athlone for the first time in 12 months a ground where they have yet to win but have picked up a losing bonus point in all three matches at the venue so far. The Scarlets beat Munster 32-17 last time out in the Celtic League, but have not won away from home in the competition since the opening weekend of the season at The Borders. Llanelli Scarlets have not won in Ireland since their last visit to Athlone in October 2003. In the Celtic League the two sides have met on three occasions with the home side yet to win: each team has won one away game and the other match was drawn.

Newport Gwent Dragons v Ulster Friday 18th Feb Rodney Parade, 7.05pm (live on BBC Wales). Referee: Andy Ireland (SRU). The Dragons suffered the heaviest defeat in their brief history at the hands of Leinster last time out making it three losses in a row to Irish opponents, but at home have been beaten just once in 17 previous Celtic League matches at Rodney Parade. Ulster lost by the narrowest of margins 21-22 at the Ospreys on January 21st . The Northern Irishmen have won only once away from Ravenhill since September 20-19 at the Borders on November 12th. Ulster have recorded just onc win in their last ten trips to Wales 28-0 over the Celtic Warriors at Brewery Field in March 2004. The first four matches between the Dragons and Ulster went with home ground advantage but that trend was bucked in September when when the Newport Gwent outfit won 28-21 at Ravenhill.

Edinburgh Rugby v Leinster Saturday 19th Feb. Murrrayfield, 7.45pm (live on Setanta). Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia). Edinburgh are going for a fourth successive win in all competitions; something they haven t achieved since last January, and a 4th win in a row at Murrayfield for the first time. Leinster achieved their best ever Celtic League win last time out with a 55-3 victory over the Dragons at Lansdowne Road, although they did lose the last time they visited Scotland 16-29 to the Borders at Netherdale on January 22nd. Leinster s only victory over Edinburgh in five previous meetings in all competitions was 35-13 at Donnybrook in the Celtic League in October. Brisbane s Stuart Dickinson will become the first southern hemisphere referee to officiate at a Celtic League match.

Neath-Swansea Ospreys v The Borders. Saturday 19th Feb. The Gnoll, 5.30pm (S4C & Setanta Sco.) Referee: Colin Stanley (IRFU). The Ospreys have gained three wins and a draw from their last four Celtic League games, with their last loss in the competition being 9-13 at Munster on December 18th. The Neath-Swansea side have won all four previous home matches they have played against Scottish opponents in the competition. The Borders two match winning run in the Celtic League came to a halt at home to Connacht on January 28th, as the Borders still search for that elusive first away victory in Celtic League rugby. The Ospreyshave won two of the three previous meetings with The Borders. Only one Scottish side has ever won a competitive match at the Gnoll Edinburgh beating Neath there 31-20 in the European Cup in November 1999.

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