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Rugby Preview – Welsh Premiership and Top 14

Cardiff go into the weekend leading at the top of the Indigo Premiership, but are coming increasingly under pressure as the likes of Aberavon and Llandovery chase them down.

The Rags will be looking to make amends for their 18-17 loss against Newport two weeks ago when they face RGC, who moved into the top six last week with a win against Llanelli.

Second-placed Aberavon take on a struggling Pontypridd side.

The Valley Commandos’ last win came against the Wizards in the WRU Premiership Cup in early December, but they have struggled in league action, falling to 11th spot.

Meanwhile, Aberavon will look to continue their excellent league form as they attempt to put the pressure on Cardiff.

It is a huge game down at Church Bank this weekend, as third-place Llandovery host fourth-place Ebbw Vale.

Both sides will be looking to cement their spot in the top four but are coming off the back of disappointing defeats to Merthyr and RGC respectively.

Newport will look to continue their excellent run of form as they take on a Bridgend side who look to have finally found their rhythm this year, winning their last two games.

The Black and Ambers won six games in a row before Christmas and since an agonising 22-18 loss to local rivals Ebbw Vale on Boxing Day, Tyron Morris’s side have beaten leaders Cardiff in the capital.

Meanwhile, Llanelli take on Carmarthen in a crucial tussle at the bottom of the table and Merthyr will look to take advantage of Swansea’s poor form as they aim to capitalise on either Llandovery or Ebbw Vale dropping points this weekend. 


Over in France the Top 14 clubs return from European competition to renew domestic rivalries.

Leaders Toulouse face Montpellier who currently sit sixth in the table.

The hosts are coming off the back of a loss in league action, succumbing  30-7 against La Rochelle, but they have re-found their form thanks to Euopre.

They comfortably reached the Heineken Champions Cup last 16 after winning four from four in the pool stages.

La Rochelle face an interesting trip to Paris to face Racing 92 who have slipped down into fifth, as Ronan O’Gara’s visitors look to continue their push for the top of the table.

The other Parisian club will be on their travels this week as Stade Francais look to pick up their fifth league win in a row against bottom side Perpignan.

Pau will be hoping to shake off their European disappointment with a win against ninth-place Toulon, as they look to move away from the bottom of the table.

Two places beneath Toulon, Castres face a tough home game against fourth-place Bordeaux Begles.

Meanwhile, Lyon host Clermont in a hard to predict mid-table clash.

Seventh-place Bayonne and 13th-place Brive came away with mixed fortunes from their European clashes with Welsh sides last weekend but will be looking to press their cases in league action this week.

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