Ulster will host the Cheeaths on the opening night of the new Guinness PRO14 season as the fixtures were announced today.
The new season opens on the evening of Friday 1st September as Ulster take on Toyota Cheetahs live on BBC Northern Ireland, the game will also be screened live in South Africa with our broadcaster who will be confirmed in due course.
The next day sees champions Scarlets welcome the Southern Kings live on Sky Sports at Parc Y Scarlets. Last season the Kings scored notable away wins in Super Rugby against the Bulls and the Waratahs and will be eager to make an early statement against a Welsh team packed full of international talent.
All existing Derby games have been protected in the new Conference format, while Italian, Scottish and South African teams have the bonus of playing a total of three Derbies each against their domestic rivals.
Rounds 6 and 7 of the 2017/18 season fall either side of the European window and will see big derbies for the Irish and Welsh teams, with Munster visiting Leinster in Round 6 at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium and Scarlets hosting the Cardiff Blues in Round 7. Scottish and Italian clubs will face off against each other in rounds 11 – 13 along with further derbies for the Welsh and Irish teams in Rounds 11 and 12.
To close the season fans from all the regions will be treated to a round of full-blooded derby action on Super Saturday in Round 21. Judgement Day returns to the Principality Stadium in Cardiff to add something truly special to the final day of regular season action.
The Guinness PRO14 Final Series will begin on May 4 with the Quarter-Final stages and the Semi-Finals are slated for May 18. The two teams who emerge from these fixtures will meet in the Gunness PRO14’s showpiece Final on Saturday, May 26.
Fixtures can be found here: http://www.pro14rugby.org/fixtures/
CEO of PRO14 Rugby Martin Anayi commented: “Our expansion into South Africa has the future of the Championship at its heart – more sustainable clubs, attracting the best players, taking on different styles of rugby and entertaining the fans from whistle to whistle – and the release of these fixtures aims to immediately deliver on that.
“With all the exciting news that has surrounded the unveiling of the Guinness PRO14 we know the fans have been eager to see the fixture list, but hopefully the wait has been worthwhile as we believe these fixtures will further enhance the excitement across each of the Championship’s five territories.
“Working closely the clubs, unions and broadcast partners, who turned this schedule around very quickly, we believe we have created a calendar which will give fans the best experience possible to enjoy all of the Positive Play that the Guinness PRO14 prides itself on. Fans will be able to enjoy the fiercest rivalries, best international players and biggest variety of playing styles on offer in the history of the Championship.”
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