Scarlets will open their 2020-21 Guinness PRO14 season by welcoming Munster to Parc y Scarlets on Saturday, October 3.
With both sides battling it out for a play-off spot from Conference B at the end of last season, it promises to be a mouthwatering start to the campaign for head coach Glenn Delaney and his squad.
The match could also see a return to Llanelli for former Scarlets favourite Tadhg Beirne, who starred for the Scarlets in their PRO12 final victory over Munster in 2017.
“It’s been a short turnaround from our Challenge Cup quarter-final in Toulon to the start of the new Guinness PRO14 and it’s a big start for us against a quality Munster side who just pipped us to the semi-final play-off last month,” said Glenn.
“It should be a great game to start the new season.
“It’s a huge shame our fans won’t be there at the Parc, but they continue to give us fantastic support and we are all looking forward to when it safe for them to return to cheer on the boys with the same passion and commitment as they always do.”
Round two will see Scarlets heading north to take on Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun on Sunday, October 11 (5.15pm ko) before flying out to Italy in round three to face Benetton on Friday, October 23.
Edinburgh and Zebre visit Llanelli in rounds four and five; two trips to Ireland follow against Connacht (round 6) and Ulster (round 7), then it’s champions Leinster who arrive at Parc y Scarlets on Sunday, November 29.
The derby dates against Ospreys (round 9), Dragons (round 10) and Cardiff Blues (round 11) have been pencilled in for the festive season with dates and kick-off to be confirmed.
The PRO14 will break new ground as it introduces prime-time Monday Night Rugby to its schedule.
With the finale of the Guinness Six Nations and the Autumn Nations Cup taking place from October through to early December, the majority of Guinness PRO14 fixtures during this time will take place on Sundays and Mondays. Where possible, Monday night fixtures have been set across two time slots of 6pm and 8.15pm.
Dominic McKay, chairman of PRO14 Rugby, said: “Thanks to the buy-in and support from our teams and broadcasters we believe we have delivered an innovative solution to the challenges posed to us by the international rugby calendar. Playing on Monday nights provides the Guinness PRO14 with a unique platform in the rugby market and enables us to make the most of playing through such a busy time for our sport.
“The task of assembling these fixtures in such a short space of time have been immense given the parameters involved and I’d like to thank tournament director David Jordan and his team for their tireless work to get us to this point.”
Martin Anayi, CEO of PRO14 Rugby, said: “In a time of such uncertainty we are incredibly grateful to our broadcast partners and sponsors for their continued support. No business has been unaffected by the pandemic, but the team spirit and willingness displayed by our broadcasters, our title sponsor Guinness and partners such as Gilbert and Macron has really been encouraging. Sport is as important as it ever has been in society, our partners recognise that and are keen to play a vital role in keeping rugby front and centre.”
Full fixtures and kick-off times can be viewed at: https://www.pro14.rugby/match-centre/2020/1
Scheduling and Format
The Guinness PRO14 Conferences will remain the same as for the 2019-20 season in keeping with the two-year rotation of the tables. Discussions are under way with the South African Rugby Union to enter a team in place of the Southern Kings in 2021.
As a result of travel restrictions to and from South Africa due to Covid-19 restrictions, the first 11 games of the upcoming Guinness PRO14 season will feature European-based teams only. Plans are in place for South African teams to resume playing in 2021, but they will not be able to play a full schedule.
With the pandemic conditions varying across each of our competing territories the full fixture list cannot be published at this point.
2020-21 Fixtures (rounds 1-11)
Round 1: Sat, Oct 3 – Scarlets v Munster (8.15pm)
Round 2: Sun, Oct 11 – Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets (5.15pm)
Round 3: Fri, Oct 23 – Benetton Rugby v Scarlets (8.15pm)
Round 4: Sun, Nov 1 – Scarlets v Edinburgh Sunday (6.45pm)
Round 5: Sun, Nov 8 – Scarlets v Zebre (5.15pm)
Round 6: Sat, Nov 14 – Connacht v Scarlets (7.35pm)
Round 7: Sun, Nov 22 – Ulster v Scarlets (7.35pm)
Round 8: Sun, Nov 29 – Scarlets v Leinster (5.15pm)
Round 9: (TBC) Ospreys v Scarlets
Round 10: (TBC) Scarlets v Dragons
Round 11 (TBC) Cardiff Blues v Scarlets