Scarlets kick-off URC campaign in South Africa

Rob LloydNews

Scarlets will launch their 2023-24 BKT United Rugby Championship campaign on South African soil when they take on Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria.

The round one match will take place at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday, October 22 – the weekend of the Rugby World Cup semi-finals – with Dwayne Peel’s side heading to Cape Town to take on DHL Stormers in round two.

It will be a Welsh derby for the first game of the campaign at Parc y Scarlets with Cardiff the visitors to Llanelli in round three (Saturday, November 4) and to keep the South African flavour to the opening rounds, the Scarlets host the Emirates Lions in round four, again on a Saturday evening.

A trip to Dublin to take on Leinster follows in round five before two derby matches against the Ospreys in Swansea and Cardiff at the Arms Park to round off the opening block of fixtures.

Following two rounds of European action, the URC returns with the big West Wales derby against the Ospreys on Boxing Day (17:15) followed by a New Year’s Day clash with the Dragons in Newport.

Round 10 takes place in the fallow week of the RBS 6 Nations with Scarlets hosting defending champions Munster, while round 11 serves up a trip to Galway to take on Connacht.

Benetton and Glasgow are the visitors to Parc y Scarlets In March; Scarlets head to Edinburgh in round 14 and then it’s the Sharks in Llanelli as Peel’s men look to replicate their outstanding win against the Boks-laden outfit last season.

Scarlets host Ulster in round 16, head to Parma to take on Zebre in the penultimate round before completing the regular season with a Welsh derby against the Dragons.

Tickets for all matches will go on sale in September.

Just like last season fans can download fixtures directly into their devices by clicking HERE

Martin Anayi, United Rugby Championship CEO, said: “The fixture list is the central pillar to the operation of our league and teams and providing certainty to fans, clubs and broadcasters earlier than ever will have a positive impact. Providing a set of fixtures that aims to balance kick-off times which encourage attendance and deliver big broadcast while factoring in the travel necessary to compete in the BKT URC is a monumental task that cannot be underestimated.

“Each year we feel we are learning more and more about how to refine and improve our process and the final fixture list itself and I must express great gratitude to our broadcast partners who have supported so many requests from the league and our clubs. To deliver this fixture list 102 days ahead of kick-off is unprecedented for our league and gives us another target to beat again next year.”

2023-24 BKT URC fixtures (UK times)

Rd 1: Sun, Oct 22 – Vodacom Bulls (A) 14:00

Rd 2: Sat, Oct 28 – DHL Stormers (A) 15:00

Rd 3: Sat, Nov 4 – Cardiff (H) 17:15

Rd 4: Sat, Nov 11 – Emirates Lions (H) 17:15

Rd 5: Sat, Nov 18 – Leinster (A) 19:35

Rd 6: Sun, Nov 26 – Ospreys (A) 15:00

Rd 7: Sat, Dec 2 – Cardiff (A) 15:00

Rd 8: Tues, Dec 26 – Ospreys (H) 17:15

Rd 9: Mon, Jan 1 – Dragons (A) 17:15

Rd 10: Fri, Feb 16 – Munster (H) 17:35

Rd 11: Sat, March 2 – Connacht (A) 17:05

Rd 12: Sat, March 23 – Benetton (H) 15:00

Rd 13: Sat, March 30 – Glasgow (H) 19:35

Rd 14: Sat, April 20 – Edinburgh (A) 19:35

Rd 15: Fri, April 26 – Cell C Sharks (H) 19:35

Rd 16: Sat, May 11 – Ulster (H) 15:05

Rd 17: Fri, May 17 – Zebre Palma (A) 19:35

Rd 18: Sat, June 1 – Dragons (H) 15:00