Regions kick off PRO12 season

Wales' four regions all begin their PRO12 campaigns this weekend. The Dragons beat Ulster on Friday night, but the Scarlets and Cardiff Blues lose. The Ospreys play Treviso on Saturday night.

Ospreys triumph over Treviso in season opener

Dan Biggar scored 14 points for the Ospreys Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Ospreys began their Rabo Direct Pro 12 season with a hard-fought victory over Benetton Treviso, whose run of five successive home wins against Welsh sides came to an end at Stadio Monigo.

Tries from Scott Baldwin and Ben John plus 14 points from the boot of Dan Biggar sealed an important victory for the Ospreys, who were made to work hard for their victory by a determined Treviso outfit.

The hosts led 12-10 at the start of the second half following four penalties from Alberto di Bernardo, while they then reduced the deficit to two points heading into the final quarter of an hour through Simone Favaro's try but Biggar's penalty effectively settled matters.

Final score Treviso 19-24 Ospreys.

Ospreys travel to Treviso for PRO12 opener

Italy scrum-half Tito Tebaldi (centre) makes his competitive debut for the Ospreys against Italian opposition. Credit: PA

The Ospreys begin their PRO12 campaign in Italy against Benetton Treviso tonight.

Head coach Steve Tandy has said is "crucial" the Welsh side start their season better than they did last year, when early defeats left the out of touch with the play-off spots.

"It’s a tough start. Treviso beat every Welsh team at home last season, and we lost twice out there, so we know that we have to be at our best from the very first whistle," Tandy said.

Tito Tebaldi makes his competitive debut at scrum half, after Samoan star Kahn Fotuali'i left for Northampton.

Lions tourists Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones and Ian Evans are on the bench - while Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric are rested altogether.


Dragons 15-8 Ulster

The Dragons started their PRO12 season with a morale-boosting win over Ulster at Rodney Parade.

Returning fly-half Jason Tovey kicked four penalties and a drop goal for the hosts.

Their Irish opponents topped the league last year, only missing out on the PRO12 title in the final against Leinster.

Scarlets 19-42 Leinster

The Scarlets were thrashed 42-19 by reigning PRO12 champions Leinster at the Parc y Scarlets tonight.

The home side went 13-0 ahead, with captain Rob McCusker crossing for a try.

Leinster hit back with five tries, through Martin Moore, Jordi Murphy, Darren Hudson, Gopperth and Dave Kearney.

Lyn Jones sets high standards for Dragons

Former Ospreys boss Lyn Jones left London Welsh over the summer to take charge of the Dragons. Credit: PA

New Dragons coach Lyn Jones says his side "want to compete and be at the top" of the PRO12 table, ahead of their season-opening game against Ulster.

While their Irish opponents topped the league last year, only missing out on the PRO12 title in the final against Leinster, the Dragons finished down in 11th, ahead of only Italian minnows Zebre.

Dragons newcomers Richie Rees, T. Rhys Thomas and Matthew Screech start tonight, while Francisco Chaparro, Netani Talei and Kris Burton will be on the bench at Rodney Parade.


Scarlets host reigning champions Leinster in opener

The Scarlets face a tough start against last season's top team Leinster. Credit: PA

The Scarlets begin their PRO12 campaign by hosting reigning champions Leinster at the Parc y Scarlets tonight.

Fly-half Rhys Priestland starts the season in the Number 10 jersey, after missing the majority of last season with injury.

New co-captain Jonathan Davies is rested after his exertions for the Lions in Australia this summer.

Matthew Rees captains Cardiff Blues at Glasgow

Matthew Rees said he was looking for a new challenge in joining the Blues. Credit: PA

Former Wales skipper Matthew Rees captains his new side Cardiff Blues for the first time tonight, as they begin their PRO12 season away at Glasgow Warriors.

Hooker Rees was a summer signing from the Scarlets.

Returning Lions stars Leigh Halfpenny and Alex Cuthbert are rested, with Sam Warburton sidelined through injury.