Leinster have a great opportunity to reignite their Guinness Pro 14 title defence when they host Dragons in Dublin on Saturday.

Leinster have a great opportunity to reignite their Guinness Pro 14 title defence when they host Dragons in Dublin on Saturday.

Leinster have a great opportunity to reignite their Guinness Pro 14 title defence when they host Dragons in Dublin on Saturday. Leo Cullen’s men slipped up against Scarlets last time out, but they are the overwhelming favourites to bounce back with victory at the weekend. It will be their first home game of the season and they are set to welcome back a formidable array of heavyweight talent for the clash. Johnny Sexton, Garry Ringrose, Josh van der Flier, James Ryan and Rob Kearney are all back in the fold after international duty, and they should be able to lead Leinster to a comfortable victory.

Leinster remain the clear favourites to win the Guinness Pro 14 title once again, but before wagering make sure to check Bookmaker and read their review. They completed a historic double by adding the Pro14 title to their Champions Cup crown in May, vanquishing Scarlets in a thrilling 40-32 victory. They are 7/5 to win the title once more in 2018/19, with Glasgow priced out at 5/1 and Scarlets at 6/1. Yet Scarlets turned the tables on Cullen’s team in their last game, battling to a 23-21 victory in another exciting contest.

Leinster went down to 14 men in the opening five minutes after conceding successive penalties close to their try line, with flanker Josh Murphy seeing yellow. Scarlets capitalised on the extra man as Ken Owens touched down, and they held on for the win. “I’m a bit frustrated,” said Cullen after the defeat. “We didn’t manage the game or execute well enough when we had Scarlets on the ropes and they are a good team, so we let them back into it. We managed to get over a slow start where I thought the Scarlets had a lot of pressure on us and there were a few early questionable decisions on the try line. The Scarlets had a man in the bin at the start of the second half, but we didn’t manage that period particularly well.”

They had to come from behind to win their opener in Cardiff, so it has been a somewhat shaky start to the new season for the champions. But the game at home to Dragons represents a perfect opportunity to secure a morale-boosting win and they are just 1/40 to do so. Dragons picked up their first win of the season last time out when they faced Isuzu Southern Kings, but this represents a far tougher challenge for Josh Lewis and co. The South African outfit are the rank outsiders to win the Pro 14 after losing their first two games of the season, whereas Leinster remain the best team in the league.

Scarlets lost their opener, but they will seek to build on the momentum gained with victory over Leinster when they host Benetton Treviso on Saturday. They are not quite as overwhelming favourites as Leinster to pick up a win this weekend, but they are just 1/12 to beat Benetton Treviso. “We have had a bit of time to reflect on last season and we knew we needed to improve against Leinster so to have them in round two allowed us to see how much work we have done,” said head coach Wayne Pivac. They should be surging with confidence after that victory over Leinster and Benetton – who have won two out of two to sit on top of Conference B – are likely to come up against a juggernaut. Elsewhere Glasgow take on Cheetahs and Munster could welcome back Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander, Keith Earls and Andrew Conway for their fixture against Ospreys, so we could see some of the big teams flexing their muscles this weekend.