POOL A - ULSTER v MUNSTER (at Ravenhill, Belfast, 7.35pm).
Munster, the only unbeaten side in Pool A travel to Belfast hoping to repeat last season's 15 - 9 Celtic League semi-final victory over the 1999 Heineken Cup champions.
Both sides are missing their Irish international players who are preparing for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Georgia in Dublin.
Ulster will be captained by Irish international lock Jeremy Davidson in the absence of the injured Andy Ward, and after a fine performance against Neath last weekend, Adam Larkin continues at fly half.
Mick Galway skippers Munster due to an injury to Jim Williams. Williams has a damaged knee, and coach Alan Gaffney is wary of risking the influential flanker.
"Jim's injury is not too serious, a little swelling on the knee, but at this stage of the season we're not prepared to take chances," said Gaffney.
"It is never easy to get anything out of Ravenhill and we can expect a capacity crowd to get right behind Ulster. It's a game they know they must win. So all in all, I'd say we're right up against it."
Ulster: B Cunningham; J Topping, R Constable, J Bell, T Howe; A Larklin, N Doak; J Fitzpatrick, M Sexton, R Kempson, M Blair, J Davidson (capt), W Brosnihan, T McWhirter, N McMillan. Replacements: S Best, P Shields, P Johns, N Best, K Campbell, S Stewart, S Young.
Munster: J Staunton; D Crotty, M Mullins, J Holland, M Lawlor; K Keane, M Prendergast; M Horan, F Sheahan, R Laffan, M Galwey (capt), M O'Driscoll, D O'Callaghan, E Halvey, D Leamy. Replacements: J Blaney/J Fogarty, S Kerr, T Hogan, C McMahon, D Malone, C Mahony, C Huppert.
Referee: P Adams (Wales).
Out - Ulster: A Ward (ankle), J Williams (knee), S Coulter.
Munster: D Wallace, A Horgan, P O'Connell, M Cahill.
POOL A - NEATH v EBBW VALE (at the Gnoll, 6.45pm).
Despite falling to Ulster last weekend, Neath are in a rich vein of form, and with three wins in this years Celtic League, the Welsh All Blacks will start this match as hot favourites.
But Neath coach Lyn Jones is keeping his feet firmly on the ground
"Over the last four years we have had some great high scoring matches against them, and the moment you take a win for granted you will lose."
Neath won both meetings in the Welsh/Scottish League, but Vale were victorious in the Principality Cup last season. The Steelmen have only won twice in Welsh League games at the Gnoll, 16-15 in 1996/97 and 22-20 in 1998/99.
Ebbw Vale have recorded just one victory in the Celtic League this season, against Caerphilly.
Peter Sidoli, younger brother of Pontypridd lock Robert, is impressing after sitting most of last season out with injury.
Coach Mike Ruddock had words of support for the young forward. "Peter [Sidoli] made things happen on Saturday," he said
Ruddock has included flanker Paul Williams at openside flanker with Tyron Morris suffering from a neck injury. Willaims recent memories of the Gnoll include a sending off last season, so he will be keen to make up for that this weekend.
Neath: (from) Backs - G Morris, J Story, D Tieuti, A Bateman, S Williams, L Jarvis, S Marsden, S Connor, A Moore, P Horgan. Forwards - D Jones, A Jones, A Millward, S Jones, B Williams, G Llewellyn (capt), A Newman, H Jenkins, S Martin, A Mocelutu, S Tandy, N Bonner-Evans.
Ebbw Vale: R Davies; N Wakely, M Ridley, E Binham, R Shorney; M Meenan, B Shelbourne; P Jones, J Evans, A Black (capt), P Sidoli, N Edwards, K Tuipulotu, W Thomas, P Williams, Replacements: C Gay, K Crawford, O Booyse, R Williams, A Bevan, S Mitchell, A Takarangi.
Referee: G Davis (Scotland).
Out - Neath: B Sinkinson (knee), J Leyshon (shoulder), A Matthews (knee).Ebbw Vale: C Billen (back), D Penisini (knee), T Morris (neck), P Matthews (ankle)
Previous meetings: In Welsh league matches Neath lead 9-7 on wins overall
and by 6-2 at home.Last season: Neath won 45-6 away and 50-8 home in league matches, but Ebbw Vale won 20-10 at home in the Principality Cup Round Seven.
Form guide: Ebbw Vale's only league wins at the Gnoll were by 16-15 in
1996/97 and 22-20 in 1998/99.
POOL A - EDINBURGH RUGBY v LLANELLI (at Meadowbank, 7.30pm).
Llanelli take their strongest available side to Scotland hoping to break their Meadowbank duck. The Scarlets have lost all three previous games Edinburgh's home stadium.
Scarlets coach Gareth Jenkins makes three changes from the side that beat Ebbw Vale 37-25 last weekend. Wales trio Stephen Jones, Iestyn Thomas and Robin McBryde come in for Gareth Bowen, Phil John and Marcus Thomas at fly-half, prop and hooker respectively.
Simon and Guy Easterby are unavailable for selection as they are included in Ireland's squad for the World Cup qualifier against Georgia in Dublin.
Jenkins says his Scarlets have to win all their remaining matches, and with Edinburgh pushing for top spot in Pool A, this will be no easy task.
Jenkins knows the Scarlets must raise their game in order to win.
"We are going up a class when we play these teams (Irish and Scottish) but that brings the best out of Llanelli."
Edinburgh: (not yet available)
Llanelli: G Evans; M Jones, M Watkins, L Davies, S Finau; S Jones, D Peel; I Thomas, M.Thomas, M Madden, V Cooper, L Gross, D Jones, D Hodges, I Boobyer. Replacements: J Davies, M Thomas, C Wyatt, L Cudmore, M Phillips, G Bowen, M Cardey.
Referee: S McDowell (Ireland).
Out - Edinburgh: M di Rollo (knee).
Llanelli: N Boobyer (foot fracture); S Easterby & G Easterby (on Ireland duty), S Quinnell (nose), D Williams (knee).
Welsh/Scottish League wins: Three each with neither side winning an away
Last season: Llanelli 42 Edinburgh 17; Edinburgh 40 Llanelli 8.
POOL B - BORDERS v LEINSTER LIONS (at Netherdale, 7.30pm).
Celtic League champions Leinster are desperate for a victory to turn their campaign around.
A defeat to Borders would surely end all hope of quarter-final qualification. The Lions beat the Scottish Borders in the 1996/97 Heineken Cup 34-25, and a repeat performance will take the pressure off coach Matt Williams, who has come under increasing criticism from a Leinster public used to success.
The Borders will be without wings Shaun Longstaff (groin) and Cammie Murray (shoulder), and are desperate for a change of luck.
They have lost three matches by a combined total of five points, including last weekend's heartbreaking one point loss to Pontypridd.
Borders: T Vili; N Walker, K Utterson, J Stuart, C Moir; G Townsend, G Armstrong (capt); P Thomson, S Scott, B Douglas, D Weir, R Metcalfe, C Feather, S Sititi, M Taylor. Replacements: S Paterson, C Laidlaw, I Fairley, A Rennick, C Stewart, C Dunlea, S Gunn.
Leinster: C Warner; J McWeeney, K Lewis, S Horgan, G D'Arcy; A Dunne, B O'Meara; E Byrne, P Smyth (capt), N Treston, B Gissing, B Kearney, D Dillon, V Costello, L Toland. Replacements: P Coyle, G Hickie, A McCullen, S Jennings, S Keogh, M Leek/G Browne, D Quinlan.
Referee: H Watkins (Wales).
Out - Borders: S Longstaff (Groin), C Murray (shoulder), G Morton (shoulder),
G Graham (calf), S Cranston (ankle).
Leinster: N Spooner, P McKenna, A Magno, E Miller, B Willis, B O'Riordan.
Previous meetings: In the 1996/97 European Cup, Leinster won away 34-25.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.
A joint venture between the WRU and Admiral saw hundreds of children enjoy the Admiral Festival of Rugby held at the National Centre of Excellence at the weekend where Welsh internationals Sam Warburton, Scott Williams and Rob Evans were in attendance.
Wll Jones leads Wales U18s into battle this afternoon against Italy where the Welsh side will be seeking to bounce back from their narrow defeat to SA Schools in their opening clash of the U19 International Series
All four regions attended a successful training camp staged last weekend at the WRU National Centre of Excellence. It was a chance for new Wales Women's head coach Rowland Phillips to deliver his key messages to players and coaches as he prepares for the new season.
Wales U18 Team Manager Gethin Watts believes the next couple of weeks will be 'extremely beneficial' to the future of Welsh rugby as his side prepare to take part in the Under 19 International Series being staged in South Africa.
The WRU is searching for 12 new rugby development apprentices following a successful first year of its WRU Coach Core programme. Craig Duncan and Jess Hancock have flourished in the first year of the programme which has given them a real direction in their lives.
The WRU signed TV comedian Rhod Gilbert up to a 'Coaching Children Level 1' course before letting him loose on an U8s side at Whitland Junior Borderers - we went behind the scenes to film the making of 'Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience' see the results here.
Llandovery are aiming to make it three titles in a row in this year's Foster's National 7s being held at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 28 August. Drovers assistant coach Simon Davies and Lee Rees assess their sides chances
A pioneering strength and conditioning programme has been delivered to more than 8000 boys and girls at hub schools throughout Wales this season, helping to develop stronger, more flexible athletes for rugby and other sports.
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series returns to the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on July 22nd when all four Welsh regions go head to head. Scarlets skills coach Dai Flanagan and Blues Elite Performance Pathway Manager Richard Hodges along with current Welsh squad members were at the launch of this season's event