Leaders Edinburgh can consolidate top spot if they claim a seventh championship win from nine starts this season by toppling the Ospreys in Wales on Saturday.
Leinster, though, are hot on Edinburgh's heels and an away-day success - also in Wales against Cardiff - could see them take over top spot.
A busy programme gets under way on Friday night with Ulster hosting a Scarlets side playing just their second URC fixture since late October while the Dragons host Benetton.
Elsewhere on Saturday, fourth-placed Glasgow Warriors face a testing encounter against Connacht in Galway, with Munster chasing an 18th successive victory over their Italian hosts Zebre Parma.
Some absorbing South African head-to-heads are in store as the Emirates Lions tackle Vodacom Bulls in Johannesburg and DHL Stormers head to Durban for an appointment with Cell C Sharks.
Dragons v Benetton Rodney Parade, Newport | KO 19:35
The Dragons will go in pursuit of just a second United Rugby Championship victory of the season when they host mid-table Benetton.
The teams met only a fortnight ago in the EPCR Challenge Cup, when Benetton triumphed 23-9 on home soil, while the Dragons have not won at Rodney Parade since last season’s Rainbow Cup.
Benetton lead 12-8 on the overall head-to-head and they will arrive in Wales seeking a third triumph from their last four URC fixtures.
The Dragons claimed a win in the teams' last URC meeting 14 months ago but that was their first victory over the Italians since January 2017.
Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU, 71st competition game); Assistant: Jason Bessant, John Darcy (both WRU); TMO: Jon Mason (WRU)
Overall URC head-to-head record:
Played 20, Dragons won 8, Benetton won 12
Did you know?
- Dragons most recent match was also against Benetton, in Treviso, in the European Challenge Cup two weeks ago losing9-23.
- The Men from Gwent’s only victory in the United Rugby Championship this season was on a visit to Connacht in Round 3.
- Dragons most recent victory at Rodney Parade was 52-32 against Scarlets in last seasons’ Rainbow Cup.
- Benetton have won two of their last three fixtures in the United Rugby Championship, beating Glasgow and Zebre but losing to Edinburgh.
- Benetton have not been victorious outside of Italy since they visited Rodney Parade in March 2020 winning 37-25.
- Dragons won their most recent match against Benetton in the United Rugby Championship, 26-19 in Treviso in November 2020, their first victory over the Italians since January 2017.
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