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Ulster start at home to Connacht and conclude with three Ravenhill matches as United Rugby Championship fixtures announced

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Ulster will play Connacht in their opening league match of the season at Ravenhill

Ulster will play Connacht in their opening league match of the season at Ravenhill

©INPHO/Tom Maher

Ulster will play Connacht in their opening league match of the season at Ravenhill

Ulster will open their United Rugby Championship campaign with an Irish inter-pro derby against Connacht on the weekend of September 16-18 when Dan McFarland’s side host the westerners at Ravenhill.

The URC confirmed the schedule of fixtures today though exact times and broadcast schedule for the 18 rounds of league matches are to be firmed up early next month.

Ulster also host Leinster in the third round and take on Munster away at the end of October which means that, with the festive derbies still intact, McFarland’s squad will have played all their scheduled league inter-pros before the New Year.

Unlike last season, Ulster head to South Africa early in the campaign and take on the Lions and Sharks in rounds five and six respectively.

The province, who agonisingly lost out in the competition's semi-finals in June, also have three consecutive home games – against the Bulls, Dragons and Edinburgh with the latter round held over the penultimate weekend in April – as part of their run-in to complete the league format ahead of the knockout rounds kicking off.

In addition to the space left for European weekends, the URC will break for a month between rounds seven and eight during the Autumn Test series and there will be no games over February 17-19 and March 3-5 for the Six Nations.

Ulster’s United Rugby Championship fixtures

Round one

September 16/17/18

Ulster v Connacht

Round Two

September 23/24/25

Scarlets v Ulster

Round Three

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September 30/ October 1/2

Ulster v Leinster

Round Four

October 7/8/9

Ulster v Ospreys

Round Five

October 14,15,16

Lions v Ulster

Round Six

October 21/22/23

Sharks v Ulster

Round Seven

October 28/29/30

Munster v Ulster

Round Eight

November 25/26/27

Ulster v Zebre

Round Nine

December 2/3/4

Leinster v Ulster

Round 10

December 23/24/26 

Connacht v Ulster

Round 11

December 31/January 1

Ulster v Munster

Round 12

January 6/7/8

Benetton v Ulster

Round 13

January 27/28/29

Ulster v Stormers

Round 14

February 17/18/19

Glasgow v Ulster

Round 15

March 3/4/5

Cardiff v Ulster

Round 16

March 24/25/26

Ulster v Bulls

Round 17

April 14/15/16

Ulster v Dragons

Round 18

April 21/22/23

Ulster v Edinburgh


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