GLASGOW WARRIORS will open their 2020-21 Guinness PRO14 campaign with a trip to Galway to take on Connacht at 5pm on Saturday 3rd October, while Edinburgh will host Ospreys at Murrayfield later that night with a 7.40pm kick-off.
The fixture schedule for the first eight rounds of matches have been unveiled, with ‘Monday Night Rugby’ introduced for the first time when Munster host Cardiff Blues at Thomond Park in Round 3 on 26th October.
In total, 14 Monday night fixtures and 15 Sunday fixtures will take place between Rounds 3 and 8 with scheduling aimed at preventing direct clashes with the extended international calendar. It is also hoped that the Monday night matches will target ‘the week day prime-time market’.
The first Monday night match involving a Scottish team will be on 2nd November, when Glasgow Warriors host Leinster at 8.15pm.
“Rounds 9, 10 and 11 of the Guinness PRO14 will feature the fierce derby matches across the UK, Ireland and Italy and the scheduling for those games will occur in due course,” said a statement issued by PRO14 this [Wednesday] afternoon.
The Conferences will remain the same as for the 2019-20 season in keeping with the two-year rotation of the tables.
As a result of current travel restrictions to and from South Africa, the first 11 games of the upcoming Guinness PRO14 season will feature European-based teams only. Plans are in place for South African teams to resume playing in 2021, but they will not be able to play a full schedule.
Discussions are under way with the South African Rugby Union to not only enter a team in place of the recently liquidated Southern Kings, but also looking into expanding the tournament to include more South African franchises from 2021.
With the pandemic conditions varying across each of our competing territories the full fixture list cannot be published at this point.
“Thanks to the buy-in and support from our teams and broadcasters we believe we have delivered an innovative solution to the challenges posed to us by the international rugby calendar,” said Dominic McKay, Chairman of PRO14 Rugby. “Playing on Monday nights provides the Guinness PRO14 with a unique platform in the rugby market and enables us to make the most of playing through such a busy time for our sport.
“The task of assembling these fixtures in such a short space of time have been immense given the parameters involved and I’d like to thank Tournament Director David Jordan and his team for their tireless work to get us to this point.”
Martin Anayi, CEO of PRO14 Rugby, added: “In a time of such uncertainty we are incredibly grateful to our broadcast partners and sponsors for their continued support. No business has been unaffected by the pandemic, but the team spirit and willingness displayed by our broadcasters, our title sponsor Guinness and partners such as Gilbert and Macron has really encouraging. Sport is as important as it ever has been in society, our partners recognise that and are keen to play a vital role in keeping rugby front and centre.”
Fixtures involving Scottish teams up to end of November:
Saturday 3rd October
- 5.00pm – Connacht v Glasgow Warriors
- 7.40pm – Edinburgh v Ospreys
Saturday 10th October
- 7.35pm – Munster v Edinburgh
Sunday 11th October
- 5.15pm – Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets
Saturday 24th October
- 5.30pm – Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors
Sunday 25th October
- 7.35pm – Edinburgh v Connacht
Sunday 1st November
- 6.45pm – Scarlets v Edinburgh
Monday 2nd November
- 8.15pm – Glasgow Warriors v Leinster
Monday 9th November
- 8.15pm – Ulster v Glasgow Warriors
- 8.15pm – Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues
Sunday 15th November
- 6.30pm – Glasgow Warriors v Dragons
Monday 16th November
- 8.15pm – Leinster v Edinburgh
Monday 23rd November
- 6.00pm – Dragons v Edinburgh
- 8.15pm – Glasgow Warriors v Munster
Sunday 29th November
- 7.35pm – Cardiff Blues v Glasgow Warriors
Monday 30th November
- 8.15pm – Edinburgh v Ulster
- Click HERE to view the fixture list for the first eight rounds of the 2020-21 PRO14 campaign.