Scarlets open URC campaign in Edinburgh
Scarlets will open their United Rugby Championship campaign at the new Edinburgh Rugby Stadium in Murrayfield on Saturday, September 25.
Fixtures were today finalised for the 16-team competition which, for the first time, will contain four top South Africa sides – the Vodacom Bulls, DHL Stormers, Cell C Sharks and Emirates Lions.
It is the Johannesburg-based Lions who will provide the opposition for the first URC match at Parc y Scarlets on Friday, October 1, with last season’s beaten finalists Munster arriving in West Wales the following week.
Scarlets take on champions Leinster at the RDS in Dublin on Saturday, October 16, then finish the opening block of matches by taking on Rainbow Cup winners Benetton in Llanelli on Friday, October 22.
There will be a break in order for URC games not to clash with the autumn international series, then Scarlets travel for a mouthwatering double header against South African sides the Sharks (Nov 26) and Bulls (Dec 3) in rounds six and seven.
Following the opening two rounds of the Heineken Champions Cup, Scarlets head to the Welsh capital to take on Cardiff Rugby in the Boxing Day clash before hosting neighbours the Ospreys at Parc y Scarlets on New Year’s Day.
Dates and kick-off times have been confirmed for rounds one to 10 with all but one of the games being broadcast on free-to-view channels BBC Wales and S4C.
URC organisers will meet again in six weeks time to confirm rounds 11 to 18, which includes three more Welsh derby fixtures and finishes with the Scarlets hosting Stormers in Llanelli on the weekend of May 21.
Martin Anayi, United Rugby Championship CEO, said: “We believe these fixtures will ensure that the URC could deliver on its promise of a new era for our league where the very best from South Africa go head-to-head with our Celtic and Italian teams.
“As we carefully manoeuvre out of the pandemic, the URC will take its place as one of the leading leagues in global rugby and this fixture list should ignite our competition and take it to the next level.
“This schedule is the most complex we have ever produced and the efforts of every one of our stakeholders to help us piece it together in the current climate have been monumental. We now have a format that will heighten competition, showcase our clubs, elevate our athletes and bring great excitement to fans and TV audiences right across our territories and beyond.”
Scarlets United Rugby Championship fixtures
Sat Sept 25: Edinburgh (away), 5.15pm (Premier Sports/S4C)
Fri Oct 1: Emirates Lions (home), 7.35pm (BBC Wales/Premier)
Sun Oct 10: Munster (home), 2pm (S4C/Premier)
Sat Oct 16: Leinster (away), 5.15pm (S4C/Premier)
Fri Oct 22: Benetton (home), 7.35pm (BBC Wales/Premier)
Sat Nov 26: Cell C Sharks (away), 3.30pm (S4C/Premier)
Fri Dec 3: Vodacom Bulls (away), 5.35pm (BBC Wales/Premier)
Sun Dec 26: Cardiff (away) 3pm (BBC W/Premier)
Sat Jan 1: Ospreys (home) 5.15pm (S4C/Premier)
Sat Jan 8: Dragons (home) 7.35pm (Premier)
Wkd of Jan 29: Ulster (away) TBC (Premier)
Wkd of Feb 19: Connacht (home) TBC (BBCW/S4C/Premier)
Wkd of March 5: Glasgow (home) TBC (BBCW/S4C/Premier)
Wkd of March 26: Zebre (away) TBC (BBCW/S4C/Premier)
Wkd of Apr 2: Cardiff (home) TBC (BBCW/S4C/Premier)
Wkd of Apr 23: Dragons (away) TBC (BBCW/S4C/Premier)
Wkd of Apr 30: Ospreys (away) TBC (BBCW/S4C/Premier)
Wkd of May 21: DHL Stormers (home) TBC (BBCW/S4C/Premier)