Five key games for Ulster as Pro14 fixtures announced
Ulster's Pro14 season kicks off on September 1. Here's a quick look at five of the biggest dates for your diary across the season.
Ulster v Cheetahs, September 1
There will be plenty of curiosity surrounding the South African side's transition into northern hemisphere rugby, with Ulster getting the glamour home opener against the Cheetahs. A host of eyes beyond Kingspan Stadium are sure to be glued to this one.
Ulster v Connacht, October 6
Last season, Ulster played Connacht the week before Europe - although that time in Galway - with the loss at the Sportsground robbing them of all momentum heading into the Champions Cup. Avoiding that pitfall in the campaign's first InterPro will be key.
Ulster v Munster, January 1
The three consecutive InterPros either side of New Year's Day should prove a fascinating test of the Irish depth with some internationals certain to be rested over the festive period. Ulster tend to go locked and loaded for their home game during this window but have really struggled against Munster in recent campaigns. With trips to Galway and Dublin either side of this meeting, failure to win in Belfast could make for a really tough period for the remainder of the campaign.
Ulster v Glasgow, March 2/3
With two of their ten away games against usually weak Italian opposition, playing only once in the testing conditions of South Africa, and avoiding trips to both Glasgow and Ospreys, the fixtures have seemingly fallen favourably for Ulster this season. Indeed their hosting of Glasgow comes in the Six Nations window, when the 2015 champions tend to be much more beatable. Ulster must take advantage.
Munster v Ulster, April 27
It seems every year brings with it a daunting finish for Ulster with next season no different. They won't want to be heading into this one needing a win.