This weekend marks the final Tests of the year for several leading international sides, as the Premiership and the PRO12 continue.
Wales and South Africa desperately need a morale-boosting performance while the All Blacks will look to end the year with an impressive 13 wins from 14 Tests in Paris.
Cards on the table, here is what to expect.
Wales v South Africa
Prediction: Both teams are are out of form and low on confidence. Wales have the stronger, more experienced team and are playing at home. South Africa will try their best but Wales should clinch this one by 7-10 points.
Ireland v Australia
Prediction: These are two evenly matched teams and this match is destined to go down to the wire. The forward battle will be vital and that’s where the home side has a slight edge. Ireland to win by three points!
France v New Zealand
Prediction: You never know which French side is going to pitch up but history and form suggests the All Blacks will be too strong for France. It should be an entertaining game. New Zealand by 10-15.
England v Argentina
Prediction: Although Argentina will deliver a competitive performance, they will not be able to end England’s unbeaten run. England to win by 15-18 points.
Scotland v Georgia
Prediction: It will be a battle in the trenches for these two burgeoning side’s but Scotland should be able to take it. Scotland by 10.
Other international predictions:
Samoa v Canada: Samoa by 8
Fiji v Japan: Japan by 9
Italy v Tonga: Italy by 15
Romania v Uruguay: Romania by 10
Harlequins v Bath
Mid-table Quins host second-placed Bath on Sunday at The Stoop as John Kingston’s side continue to try and get through the international period with as many points as possible until the return of their key England stars and Jamie Roberts. Toppling Bath would be some scalp, even though Todd Blackadder’s were way off their best in last Friday’s forgettable scrap of a win over local rivals Bristol at The Rec. Injury troubles at fly-half could mean another big test for young Adam Hastings, son of Scotland legend Gavin, with George Ford away with England and Rhys Priestland sidelined. This should be tight, and a narrow Bath win by five points.
Other Premiership predictions:
Bristol v Leicester Tigers: Leicester by 8
Northampton Saints v Newcastle Falcons: Saints by 6
Exeter Chiefs v Worcester Warriors: Chiefs by 12
Saracens v Gloucester: Saracens by 10
Wasps v Sale Sharks: Wasps by 11
Glasgow Warriors v Ospreys
The validity of these fixtures has to be questioned when so many players are unavailable. As PR contributor Jamie Lyall pointed out earlier in the week, Glasgow and the Ospreys will be without a combined 26 players at Scotstoun this Friday, which when you consider the capabilities of both of these squads at full strength is a real shame. Both sides can’t be separated this season, both with 26 points, five wins, and even the exact same number of bonus points (six). Former Crusaders back Kieron Fonotia makes his Ospreys debut, but even with him in the mix Glasgow’s pack and home advantage should make the difference. Glasgow by 6.
Other PRO12 predictions:
Connacht v Cardiff Blues: Connacht by 3
Scarlets v Leinster: Leinster by 5
Ulster v Zebre: Ulster by 18
Munster v Treviso: Munster by 20
Newport Gwent Dragons v Edinburgh: Edinburgh by 5