Wondrous Warriors Win 6 from 6
The new season has seen a rejuvenated Glasgow side play attacking rugby, scoring freely and winning all of their PRO14 matches this season. Since the competition re-branded to the PRO12, the Warriors hold the record for the most number of consecutive seasons (5, from the 2011/12 season) that a team has made the play-offs - a run that was ended with their 6th place finish in 2016/17.
The 2014/15 champions form couldn’t be matched in the European Champions Cup competition, however, losing the opening two matches to PRO14 compatriots, Leinster and the Aviva Premiership Champions, Exeter Chiefs.
Outrageous Ospreys Lose 5 from 5
The most successful welsh region have certainly lost their way in 2017 - in all competitions, they have lost 7 games in a row. After winning their opening PRO14 match against Italian minnows Zebre, the Ospreys have lost every game they’ve played this season, including 3 losses in preseason.
With Wales and Lions stars like Dan Biggar, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric and Rhys Webb, the Welsh region has always been a tough opponent and is often a favourite to win the title. Last season they reached the semi-finals and have won the competition a record 4-times (a record they share with Irish side Leinster).
Christian Leali’ifano Ulster’s New Hero
In the summer of 2016, Brumbies and Australia fly-half Christian Leali’ifano was diagnosed with Leukemia, a form of cancer. The Auckland-born was 28 at the time, with over 100 appearances for Super Rugby outfit Brumbies and 19 caps for Australia. Incredibly, Leali’ifano has made a surprisingly quick recovery, with less than 12 months between the start of his treatment and his return to professional rugby - at points throughout his treatment, it was feared he may never play rugby again!
Leali’ifano’s move to Ulster is (unfortunately for Ulster!) temporary, allowing the play-maker to get some valuable game time and experience outside of Australia, before his likely return to Brumbies for the Super Rugby season in 2018.