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Ulster set for South African experience in September

By Adam McKendry

Ulster are set to travel to South Africa to face the Southern Kings and the Cheetahs in September in rounds three and four of the new Guinness PRO14 season.

The province are due to return to Port Elizabeth for the first game of their double-header against the Kings on the 14/15/16 September before travelling on to Bloemfontein a week later to take on the Cheetahs in the second game.

Ulster are also set to open their season at Kingspan Stadium against the Scarlets on the weekend of the 31 August/1/2 September, who will be a familiar opponent for stand-in coach Simon Easterby having played there for seven years and having coached in Llanelli for a further two years.

They are then due to follow that up with a home match against Richard Cockerill's Edinburgh, who beat them into a playoff spot in Conference B of the PRO14 last season.

Following the squad's return from South Africa, they are then due to face two interprovincial matches in rounds five and six before they begin their European campaign.

They will first travel to Thomond Park to take on Munster in round five, which is scheduled for September 28/29, before hosting Connacht a week later as a prelude to their Heineken Champions Cup kick-off.

Ulster's opening six fixtures

R1: vs Scarlets, Kingspan Stadium, 31 August/1/2 September

R2: vs Edinburgh, Kingspan Stadium, 7/8/9 September

R3: vs Southern Kings, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, 14/15/16 September

R4: vs Toyota Cheetahs, Toyota Stadium, 21/22/23 September

R5: vs Munster, Thomond Park, 28/29/30 September

R6: vs Connacht, Kingspan Stadium, 5/6/7 October

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