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Ulster to host Cheetahs in historic clash


Ulster Rugby will be a part of history next month as South Africa's Cheetahs open their first ever season in the Guinness Pro14 with a visit to Kingspan Stadium.

Earlier this week, league organisers confirmed the Cheetahs, alongside compatriots Southern Kings, would be welcomed into the old Pro12, and it was confirmed yesterday that the Bloemfontein side will kick things off in Belfast on Friday, September 1, the same night Northern Ireland are in World Cup qualifying action out in San Marino.

Ulster Director of Rugby Les Kiss believes the game will prove to be quite the occasion.

"This is a really exciting departure for the competition and we're delighted to be hosting the Cheetahs in what will be a fantastic occasion under the lights of Kingspan Stadium," said the Australian.

"South Africa is one of world rugby's great powerhouses with sides renowned for playing fast, open and uncompromising rugby so there is no doubt that both teams will add greatly to the championship.

"The Cheetahs are famous for their attacking rugby, and we also like to get the ball moving so I think it will make for a highly entertaining spectacle."

A full fixture list for next season will be revealed on Monday but the Belfast Telegraph understands that the only visit Ulster make to South Africa this season comes with a trip to face the Kings during spring.

Belfast Telegraph