Belfast Telegraph

Ulster set for early South African safari as Guinness PRO14 fixtures released

John Cooney tries to escape Leinster's Cian Healy in their Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final defeat at the Aviva Stadium (INPHO/Morgan Treacy)
John Cooney tries to escape Leinster's Cian Healy in their Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final defeat at the Aviva Stadium (INPHO/Morgan Treacy)
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Ulster will be reunited with former scrum-half Ruan Pienaar in week two of the Guinness PRO14 after the league fixtures were released.

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Dan McFarland's side get their South African trip out of the way early, travelling to Bloemfontein to face Pienaar's Cheetahs on Saturday, October 5, with their away game at the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth a week later on Saturday, October 12.

That comes after they kick off their new campaign on Friday, September 27 with a home game against Allen Clarke's Ospreys at Kingspan Stadium.

The festive interprovincial ties see Ulster head to the RDS Arena on Friday, December 20 to take on Leinster, before Connacht and Munster travel to Belfast on Friday, December 27 and Friday, January 3 respectively.

The return fixtures see Ulster head to Limerick on Saturday, November 9 - the week before their first Champions Cup fixtures - and Galway on Saturday, April 25, while the home tie with Leinster is the final game of the regular season on the weekend of May 28/29.

That game at Kingspan Stadium forms the final of a quartet of difficult fixtures to end the campaign, with the trip to Connacht before a home game with the Glasgow Warriors on Friday, May 8 and a visit to Zebre on Saturday, May 16.

Once the squad return from South Africa, they will contend with home games against the Cardiff Blues (October 25) and Zebre (November 1) before they get their international contingent back from the World Cup.

McFarland's men will have to navigate trips to the Ospreys (February 15) and Benetton (Feb 29), as well as a home tie with the Cheetahs, during the Six Nations.

A home game against the Scarlets falls between the first and second batch of Champions Cup games, on Friday, November 29, while a trip to Scotstoun on Friday, March 27 to take on the Warriors is another notable one.

Rodney Parade and the Dragons await Ulster on Saturday, April 11, with Edinburgh coming to Kingspan Stadium a week later on Saturday, April 18, before that testing run-in.


Ulster 2019/20 fixtures

Round 1: Ulster v Ospreys; Friday, September 27; 7.35pm; Kingspan Stadium

Round 2: Toyota Cheetahs v Ulster; Saturday, October 5; 5.15pm; Toyota Stadium

Round 3: Southern Kings v Ulster; Saturday, October 12 3.00pm; Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

Round 4: Ulster v Cardiff Blues; Friday, October 25; 7.35pm; Kingspan Stadium

Round 5: Ulster v Zebre; Friday, November 1; 7.35pm; Kingspan Stadium

Round 6: Munster v Ulster; Saturday, November 9; 5.15pm; Thomond Park

Round 7: Ulster v Scarlets; Friday, November 29; 7.35pm; Kingspan Stadium

Round 8: Leinster v Ulster; Friday, December 20; 7.35pm; RDS Arena

Round 9: Ulster v Connacht; Friday, December 27; 7.35pm; Kingspan Stadium

Round 10: Ulster v Munster; Friday, January 3; 7.35pm; Kingspan Stadium

Round 11: Ospreys v Ulster; Saturday, February 15; 5.15pm; Liberty Stadium

Round 12: Ulster v Toyota Cheetahs; Saturday, February 22; 7.35pm; Kingspan Stadium

Round 13: Benetton v Ulster; Saturday, February 29; 3.00pm; Stadio di Monigo

Round 14: Ulster v Dragons; Friday, March 20; 7.35pm; Kingspan Stadium

Round 15: Glasgow Warriors v Ulster; Friday, March 27; 7.35pm; Scotstoun Stadium

Round 16: Dragons v Ulster; Saturday, April 11; 7.35pm; Rodney Parade

Round 17: Ulster v Edinburgh; Saturday, April 18; 7.45pm; Kingspan Stadium

Round 18: Connacht v Ulster; Saturday, April 25; 7.35pm; The Sportsground

Round 19: Ulster v Glasgow Warriors; Friday, May 8; 7.35pm; Kingspan Stadium

Round 20: Zebre v Ulster; Saturday, May 16; 3.00pm; Stadio Lanfranchi

Round 21: Ulster v Leinster; 28/29 May; TBC; Kingspan Stadium

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