It sees the current Champions Cup holders face off against the Challenge Cup holders at the Cardiff Arms Park and will be John Mulvihill’s first senior game in charge of the Welsh outfit.
Bernard Jackman’s Dragons, who will be without the suspended Ross Moriarty for their opening game, take on Bennetton Rugby at Rodney Parade, while Zebre Rugby Club will play Southern Kings at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.
— PRO14 RUGBY (@PRO14Official) July 24, 2018
There will be a repeat of the last year’s PRO14 final in round two as the Scarlets play host to Leinster on September 8th.
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) July 24, 2018
Leinster’s first home game won’t be until round three when the Dragons come to the RDS on September 15th. The eagerly anticipated Leinster v Munster game has been confirmed for the Aviva Stadium on October 6th, while there is a double dose of Welsh derbies on the same day with the Scarlets v Ospreys Rugby and Dragons v Blues.
Tournament Director, David Jordan, said: “For the first-time ever we have produced fixtures with Kick-Off times and dates right up to Round 17 which we have never been able to do before. When you consider the planning required around incoming and outbound South African tours, it’s fantastic to have so much of the season mapped out ahead of us at this point.
The Christmas schedule, which includes the first 1872 Cup match of the season between the two Scottish clubs, is as follows:
Friday, December 21 (all kick-off times are local)
19:35 Ulster Rugby v Munster Rugby, Kingspan Stadium
Saturday, December 22 (all kick-off times are local)
15:00 Ospreys Rugby v Scarlets, Liberty Stadium
17:15 Cardiff Blues v Dragons, Cardiff Arms Park
17:15 Edinburgh Rugby v Glasgow Warriors, BT Murrayfield Stadium
19:45 Leinster Rugby v Connacht Rugby, RDS Arena
TBC Zebre v Benetton Rugby, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Friday, December 28 (all kick-off times are local)
19:35 Connacht Rugby v Ulster Rugby, Sportsground
Saturday, December 29 (all kick-off times are local)
TBC Benetton Rugby v Zebre, Stadio Monigo
15:00 Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh Rugby, Scotstoun
17:15 Munster Rugby v Leinster Rugby, Thomond Park
17:15 Scarlets v Cardiff Blues, Parc y Scarlets
Sunday, December 30 (all kick-off times are local)
15:00 Dragons v Ospreys Rugby, Rodney Parade
Saturday, January 5 (all kick-off times are local)
15:00 Benetton Rugby v Glasgow Warriors, Stadio Monigo
17:15 Leinster Rugby v Ulster Rugby, RDS Arena
17:15 Scarlets v Dragons, Parc y Scarlets
19:35 Edinburgh Rugby v Southern Kings, BT Murrayfield
19:35 Connacht Rugby v Munster Rugby, Sportsground
Sunday, January 6 (all kick-off times are local)
14:00 Zebre v Toyota Cheetahs, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
TBC Ospreys Rugby v Cardiff Blues
The first South African derby will see Southern Kings v Toyota Cheetahs at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on January 19th.
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The team line-ups for the Guinness PRO14 Conferences will remain unchanged for the upcoming season to ensure a balance of fixtures for all teams across the initial two seasons following expansion.
This decision comes after consultation with clubs across the Guinness PRO14 to determine the best course of action for the Championship and all of the teams who compete in it.
The overriding factor was the ability to ensure equal home and away fixtures for each team across a two-year window. It also means that each team will have played away to all of the other sides in that same period.
Jordan explained the decision “Initially, we envisioned the Conference line-ups changing from year to year but having reviewed the previous season it was felt that our clubs would be better served working in a two-year cycle to ensure the balance of fixtures.
Andrew Milliard, Managing Director of Ospreys Rugby, thinks it’s the right call.
“All teams get a fair return on their fixtures from last season to balance out the difference in home and away games. Now, top teams such as Edinburgh and Ulster will return to Liberty Stadium this year and we’ll also get to keep building our rivalries with teams in our Conference such as Munster, the Toyota Cheetahs and Glasgow Warriors.” he said.
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