Martin Anayi, United Rugby Championship CEO, said: “We believe these fixtures will ensure that the URC could deliver on its promise of a new era for our league where the very best from South Africa go head-to-head with our Celtic and Italian teams.
“As we carefully manoeuvre out of the pandemic, the URC will take its place as one of the leading leagues in global rugby and this fixture list should ignite our competition and take it to the next level.
“This schedule is the most complex we have ever produced and the efforts of every one of our stakeholders to help us piece it together in the current climate have been monumental. We now have a format that will heighten competition, showcase our clubs, elevate our athletes and bring great excitement to fans and TV audiences right across our territories and beyond.”
To accommodate the very latest travel conditions across the URC’s competing territories the provisional fixtures had to be readjusted. The South African teams will now complete four-week tours of Europe to begin the season giving fans in Ireland, Italy, Wales, and Scotland an early opportunity to see these new sides in action.
In the URC’s commitment to avoid clashing with international weekends, the original date of Round 6 has been moved to the final week in November which ensures every round of the tournament is played on a standalone weekend.
Across the world, rugby fans will be able catch all the action on URC TV, the league’s own player which will be launched in partnership with RTÉ soon.
Jeopardy and drama is weaved throughout the campaign as every team is eligible to qualify for EPCR tournaments and the reduction in rounds from 21 to 18 means every match matters.
In the new format all 16 teams will be ranked across a single table which will reward the top eight teams with their places in an expanded Final Series that includes a full Quarter-final stage, followed by Semi-finals before the best two teams meet in the URC Grand Final in June.
Notes related to fixtures:
Kick-off times and TV selections have been made up to Round 10 and the details for the remaining rounds will be finalised in the near future.
The South African derbies scheduled for R5, R8 and R9 will take place on the weekends of February 5, February 12 and March 19 respectively
The Quarter-finals, Semi-finals and URC Grand Final will take place on consecutive weekends on June 4, June 11 and June 18.
Please visit www.unitedrugby.com/match-centre to view all fixtures