Ulster set for early South African safari as Guinness PRO14 fixtures released
Ulster will be reunited with former scrum-half Ruan Pienaar in week two of the Guinness PRO14 after the league fixtures were released.
Rugby round up Newsletter
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
Belfast Telegraph Digital