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South African sides skip opening weekend as URC fixtures unveiled

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images)

The United Rugby Championship (URC) has unveiled its fixtures for the new 2022/23 season which begins in 50 days’ time – on September 16. Exact times and dates have yet to be confirmed for the matches but the opening weekend will see games going ahead in Scotland (one), Ireland (one), Italy (two) and Wales (two) with the planned derby fixtures involving the four South African franchises held over until next February.  

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A URC statement read: “All 18 rounds are confirmed with broadcast selections and kick-off times to be confirmed in early August. This is the first step in the journey to crown the champions of 2022/23 and now fans can identify the weekends where their team will take on rivals new and old from north and south.

“The URC will kick off on September 16 and will see the regular season come to an end in round 18 on April 23. Round one will see the two Welsh teams that battled it out for the Welsh shield last season going to battle once again when Scarlets host Ospreys in Llanelli. 

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Inaugural URC champions Stormers will make their first appearance when they welcome Connacht in round two. Round three will see the top two Irish sides in Ulster and Leinster entertain the Irish fans, Ulster having won their last two games versus their provincial rivals, while SA Shield winners Stormers welcome Scottish and Italian shield winners Edinburgh.”

URC CEO Martin Anayi said: “The diversity of our league, which we so proudly celebrate, is also a reason for the immense complexity of putting together our season two fixtures. This is a monumental task and it takes many stakeholders many long hours dedicated to making this the best club rugby championship in the world. 

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“We have to consider a variety of factors across our 16 clubs and five territories, but we believe that our season schedule will give our fans the best rugby week in and week out. My heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who has worked tirelessly to put together a blockbuster fixture list right from round one.

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“We have seen the success of our tournament format culminating in the grandest of grand finals last season and we look forward to going on this journey with our fans and with our stakeholders to another successful year of world-class rugby in action.”

URC fixtures 2022/23
R1 – Sept 16/17/18
Edinburgh Rugby v Dragons RFC
Ulster v Connacht
Benetton v Glasgow Warriors
Zebre Parma v Leinster
Scarlets v Ospreys
Cardiff Rugby v Munster
Cell C Sharks v DHL Stormers **Feb 3/4
Emirates Lions v Vodacom Bulls **Feb 3/4

R2 – Sept 23/24/25
Zebre Parma v Cell C Sharks
Glasgow Warriors v Cardiff Rugby
Leinster v Benetton
DHL Stormers v Connacht
Vodacom Bulls v Edinburgh Rugby
Scarlets v Ulster
Ospreys v Emirates Lions
Dragons RFC v Munster

R3 – Sept 30/Oct 1/2
Cardiff Rugby v Emirates Lions
Ulster v Leinster
Benetton v Scarlets
DHL Stormers v Edinburgh Rugby
Vodacom Bulls v Connacht
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors
Munster v Zebre Parma
Dragons RFC v Cell C Sharks

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R4 – Oct 7/8/9
Edinburgh Rugby v Emirates Lions
Zebre Parma v DHL Stormers
Glasgow Warriors v Vodacom Bulls
Connacht v Munster
Benetton v Dragons RFC
Scarlets v Cardiff Rugby
Leinster v Cell C Sharks
Ulster v Ospreys

R5 – Oct 14/15/16
Edinburgh Rugby v Benetton
Ospreys v DHL Stormers
Emirates Lions v Ulster
Cell C Sharks v Glasgow Warriors
Munster v Vodacom Bulls
Scarlets v Zebre Parma
Cardiff Rugby v Dragons RFC
Connacht v Leinster

R6 – Oct 21/22/23
Connacht v Scarlets
Benetton v Vodacom Bulls
Zebre Parma v Edinburgh Rugby
Emirates Lions v Glasgow Warriors
Cell C Sharks v Ulster
Dragons RFC v Ospreys
Cardiff Rugby v DHL Stormers
Leinster v Munster

R7 – Oct 28/29/30
Scarlets v Leinster
Glasgow Warriors v Benetton
Cardiff Rugby v Edinburgh Rugby
Dragons RFC v Zebre Parma
Munster v Ulster
Ospreys v Connacht
Vodacom Bulls v Cell C Sharks **Feb 10/11
Emirates Lions v DHL Stormers **Feb 10/11

R8 – Nov 25/26/27
Benetton v Edinburgh Rugby
Emirates Lions v Dragons RFC
Vodacom Bulls v Ospreys
Cell C Sharks v Cardiff Rugby
Munster v Connacht
DHL Stormers v Scarlets
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors
Ulster v Zebre Parma

R9 – Dec 2/3/4
Edinburgh Rugby v Munster
Zebre Parma v Glasgow Warriors
Cell C Sharks v Ospreys
DHL Stormers v Dragons RFC
Emirates Lions v Scarlets
Vodacom Bulls v Cardiff Rugby
Connacht v Benetton
Leinster v Ulster

R10 – Dec 23/24/26
Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh Rugby
Cell C Sharks v Emirates Lions
DHL Stormers v Vodacom Bulls
Benetton v Zebre Parma
Dragons RFC v Cardiff Rugby
Connacht v Ulster
Munster v Leinster
Ospreys v Scarlets

R11 – Dec 30/31/Jan 1
Edinburgh Rugby v Glasgow Warriors
Cell C Sharks v Vodacom Bulls
DHL Stormers v Emirates Lions
Zebre Parma v Benetton
Scarlets v Dragons RFC
Leinster v Connacht
Ulster v Munster
Cardiff Rugby v Ospreys

R12 – Jan 6/7/8
Dragons RFC v Vodacom Bulls
Glasgow Warriors v DHL Stormers
Benetton v Ulster
Connacht v Cell C Sharks
Cardiff Rugby v Scarlets
Munster v Emirates Lions
Ospreys v Leinster
Edinburgh Rugby v Zebre Parma

R13 – Jan 27/28/29
Ulster v DHL Stormers
Zebre Parma v Ospreys
Benetton v Munster
Dragons RFC v Glasgow Warriors
Connacht v Emirates Lions
Scarlets v Vodacom Bulls
Edinburgh Rugby v Cell C Sharks
Leinster v Cardiff Rugby

R14 – Feb 17/18/19
Glasgow Warriors v Ulster
Munster v Ospreys
Zebre Parma v Connacht
Scarlets v Edinburgh Rugby
Leinster v Dragons RFC
Cardiff Rugby v Benetton
Vodacom Bulls v DHL Stormers
Emirates Lions v Cell C Sharks

R15 – Mar 3/4/5
Munster v Scarlets
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre Parma
Cardiff Rugby v Ulster
Dragons RFC v Connacht
Edinburgh Rugby v Leinster
Ospreys v Benetton
Vodacom Bulls v Emirates Lions
DHL Stormers v Cell C Sharks

R16 – Mar 24/25/26
Benetton v Emirates Lions
Ulster v Vodacom Bulls
Scarlets v Cell C Sharks
Zebre Parma v Cardiff Rugby
Leinster v DHL Stormers
Ospreys v Dragons RFC
Connacht v Edinburgh Rugby
Munster v Glasgow Warriors

R17 – Apr 14/15/16
Cell C Sharks v Benetton
Connacht v Cardiff Rugby
Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets
Vodacom Bulls v Zebre Parma
Emirates Lions v Leinster
Edinburgh Rugby v Ospreys
DHL Stormers v Munster
Ulster v Dragons RFC

R18 – Apr 21/22/23
DHL Stormers v Benetton
Glasgow Warriors v Connacht
Emirates Lions v Zebre Parma
Vodacom Bulls v Leinster
Ospreys v Cardiff Rugby
Dragons RFC v Scarlets
Cell C Sharks v Munster
Ulster v Edinburgh Rugby

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