Ulster and Connacht meet at URC opening weekend

Ulster and Connacht meet at URC opening weekend

Ulster and Connacht meet in the first all-Irish derby of the season on the opening day of the second season of the United Rugby Championship in September.

After last year’s successful debut, in which the Stormers defeated the Bulls in the Grand Final in Cape Town just over a month ago, the fixtures for the second URC season have been released in the new format.

The all-South African final believed in a campaign in which the Irish provinces largely dominated – except when it mattered most, at trophy time.

And so, after a contract extension, Ulster boss Dan McFarland will see his troops start their season by hosting Andy Friend’s visitors at Kingspan Stadium.

That same weekend, Leinster travels to Zebre while Munster take on Cardiff in Wales.

Week two throws another tricky away trip to Connacht – this time they head to Cape Town to take on defending champions Stormers. Ulster travels to Scralets and Munster is back in Wales to face the Dragons. Leinster, meanwhile, has home advantage against Bennetton.

Week three brings another Irish derby between Ulster and Leinster at Ravenhill, while Connacht makes the trip to South Africa to take on the Bulls.

Other derby dates for your calendar include week four when Connacht and Munster meet before the former once again host a neighboring province the following week, this time welcoming Leinster to the pitch.

We’ll have to wait until the third week of October for our first taste of the Leinster-Munster rivalry we all know and love – that’s coming in game week six with Leinster as hosts.

From there until the New Year there are indeed Irish derbies galore. Weeks seven (Munster-Ulster), eight (Munter-Connacht) and nine (Leinster-Ulster) see regular exchanges between the provinces on either side of the November internationals break.

Munster will most likely host Leinster on St Stephen’s Day

Luckily for the four Irish teams and their fans, it will be a low-mileage Christmas, as luck would have it. No passports required. Connacht host Ulster over Christmas weekend while Munster have home advantage over Leinster.

In the following round, on New Year’s weekend, Leinster meet Connacht and Ulster, hosts Munster, in the last round of regular season games of the year.

Leinster and Munster will both be keen to secure a place in the quarter-finals early as their final games of the ‘regular’ season are tricky away trips to South Africa.

Leo Cullen’s side meet last year’s defeated finalists the Bulls, while Munster will need their biggest boat to take on the Sharks.

The URC begins on September 16th, with the regular season ending in Round 18 on April 23rd.

The format sees all 16 teams in a single table, which rewards the top eight teams with their spots in the Final Eight, followed by a Final Four to set the stage for the Grand Final.

round 1
Friday 16th September to Sunday 18th September

Edinburgh Rugby vs Dragons RFC
Ulster versus Connacht
Benetton vs Glasgow Warriors
Parma zebra v Leinster
Scarlet vs Osprey
Cardiff vs Rugby Muenster
Cell C Sharks vs DHL Stormers ** 3rd/4th February
Emirates Lions vs Vodacom Bulls ** 3rd/4th February

round 2
Friday 23 September to Sunday 25 September

Zebre Parma vs. Cell C Sharks
Glasgow Warriors v Cardiff Rugby
Leinster v Benetton
DHL Stormers v connacht
Vodacom Bulls vs Edinburgh Rugby
scarlet fever Ulster
Ospreys vs Emirates Lions
Dragon’s RFC v Muenster

round 3
Friday 30 September to Sunday 2 October

Cardiff Rugby vs Emirates Lions
Ulster vs Leinster
Benetton vs. Scarlets
DHL Stormers vs Edinburgh Rugby
Vodacom Bulls v connacht
Ospreys vs Glasgow Warriors
Muenster v Parma zebra
RFC Dragons vs. Cell C Sharks

round 4
Friday 7th October to Sunday 9th October

Edinburgh Rugby vs Emirates Lions
Zebre Parma vs. DHL Stormers
Glasgow Warriors vs Vodacom Bulls
Connacht versus Munster
Benetton vs. Dragon’s RFC
Scarlets v Cardiff Rugby
Leinster v Cell-C-Sharks
Ulster v Osprey

round 5
Friday 14th October to Sunday 16th October

Edinburgh rugby vs Benetton
Ospreys vs. DHL Stormers
Emirates Lions v Ulster
Cell C Sharks vs Glasgow Warriors
Muenster v Vodacom bulls
Scarlets vs Zebre Parma
Cardiff Rugby vs Dragons RFC
Connacht vs Leinster

round 6
Friday 21 October – Sunday 23 October

connacht v Scarlet
Benetton vs Vodacom Bulls
Zebre Parma vs Edinburgh Rugby
Emirates Lions vs Glasgow Warriors
Cell C Haie v Ulster
RFC Dragons vs Ospreys
Cardiff Rugby vs DHL Stormers
Leinster versus Munster

round 7
Friday 28th October – Sunday 30th October

scarlet fever Leinster
Glasgow Warriors vs Benetton
Cardiff Rugby vs Edinburgh Rugby
RFC Dragons vs. Zebre Parma
Munster versus Ulster
osprey v connacht
Vodacom Bulls v Cell C Sharks ** 10./11. February
Emirates Lions vs. DHL Stormers **10./11. February

round 8
Friday 25th November – Sunday 27th November

Benetton vs Edinburgh Rugby
Emirates Lions vs Dragons RFC
Vodacom Bulls vs Ospreys
Cell C Sharks v Cardiff Rugby
Munster versus Connacht
DHL Stormers vs. Scarlets
Leinster against Glasgow Warriors
Ulster v Parma zebra

round 9
Friday 2nd December to Sunday 4th December

Edinburgh Rugby v Muenster
Zebre Parma vs Glasgow Warriors
Cell C Sharks vs Ospreys
DHL Stormers vs Dragons RFC
Emirates Lions vs Scarlets
Vodacom Bulls v Cardiff Rugby
connacht v Benetton
Leinster vs Ulster

round 10
Friday 23 December to Monday 26 December

Glasgow Warriors vs Edinburgh Rugby
Cell C Sharks vs Emirates Lions
DHL Stormers vs. Vodacom Bulls
Benetton vs Zebre Parma
Dragons RFC vs Cardiff Rugby
Connacht vs Ulster
Munster versus Leinster
Osprey vs Scarlets

round 11
Friday December 30th – Sunday January 1st

Edinburgh Rugby vs Glasgow Warriors
Cell C Sharks vs. Vodacom Bulls
DHL Stormers vs Emirates Lions
Zebre Parma vs. Benetton
Scarlets vs. Dragons RFC
Leinster vs. Connacht
Ulster vs Munster
Cardiff Rugby vs Ospreys

round 12
Friday 6th January to Sunday 8th January

RFC Dragons vs. Vodacom Bulls
Glasgow Warriors vs DHL Stormers
Benetton Ulster
connacht v Cell-C-Sharks
Cardiff Rugby v Scarlets
Muenster v Emirates Lions
osprey v Leinster
Edinburgh Rugby vs Zebre Parma

round 13
Friday 27th January to Sunday 29th January

Ulster v DHL Stormers
Zebra Parma vs Osprey
Benetton Muenster
RFC Dragons vs Glasgow Warriors
connacht v Emirates Lions
Scarlet vs Vodacom Bulls
Edinburgh Rugby vs Cell C Sharks
Leinster against Cardiff rugby

round 14
Friday 17th February to Sunday 19th February

Glasgow Warriors v Ulster
Muenster v Osprey
Parma zebra v connacht
Scarlets v Edinburgh Rugby
Leinster v RFC kites
Cardiff Rugby vs Benetton
Vodacom Bulls vs. DHL Stormers
Emirates Lions vs Cell C Sharks

round 15
Friday March 3rd to Sunday March 5th

Muenster v Scarlet
Glasgow Warriors vs Zebre Parma
Cardiff vs Rugby Ulster
Dragon’s RFC v connacht
Edinburgh Rugby v Leinster
Osprey versus Benetton
Vodacom Bulls vs Emirates Lions
DHL Stormers vs. Cell C Sharks

round 16
Friday March 24th to Sunday March 26th

Benetton vs Emirates Lions
Ulster v Vodacom bulls
Scarlets vs. Cell C Sharks
Zebre Parma vs Cardiff Rugby
Leinster v DHL Stormers
Osprey vs Dragons RFC
connacht against Edinburgh rugby
Muenster against Glasgow Warriors

round 17
Friday 14 April – Sunday 16 April

Cell C Sharks vs. Benetton
connacht against Cardiff rugby
Glasgow Warriors vs Scarlets
Vodacom Bulls vs. Zebre Parma
Emirates Lions v Leinster
Edinburgh Rugby vs Ospreys
DHL Stormers v Muenster
Ulster v RFC kites

round 18
Friday 21 April – Sunday 23 April

DHL Stormers vs. Benetton
Glasgow Warriors v connacht
Emirates Lions vs Zebre Parma
Vodacom Bulls v Leinster
Ospreys v Cardiff Rugby
RFC Dragons vs. Scarlets
Cell C Haie v Muenster
Ulster against Edinburgh rugby


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