United Rugby Championship fixture schedule finally unveiled

Fans of both Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors frustrated by scarcity of Friday night matches

The 2021-22 United Rugby Championship kicks-off on 24th September. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
The 2021-22 United Rugby Championship kicks-off on 24th September. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

GLASGOW WARRIORS will kick-off their 2021-22 United Rugby Championship campaign with a trip to Belfast to take on Ulster on Friday 24th September, while Edinburgh will host the Scarlets at Murrayfield the following day.

The fixture schedule for the first ten rounds of the enlarged and rebranded competition [previously the PRO14] was finally unveiled earlier today, with fans of both clubs quickly taking to social media to express frustration that their respective teams have been given just one Friday night match each. In the case of the Warriors, that is on the opening weekend and away from home, while Edinburgh are at least in their new stadium on the back pitches at Murrayfield when Benetton come calling on 3rd December.

The scheduling is almost certainly a consequence of Scotland being the only European nation involved in the tournament without a free-to-air television deal, meaning that there will not have been the same pressure from a broadcasting perspective to schedule Scottish games in prime slots.


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“I think it is a complex situation this year with everything that is going on,” said Warriors head coach Danny Wilson, after the schedule was published. “We certainly requested Friday night fixtures – that is my understand – and I think there is ongoing negotiations for the second block of home games.

“The bigger picture is that being back playing rugby in front of crowds at Scotstoun will be brilliant whenever that is – but, yeah, in an ideal world a few more Friday fixtures would be good.

To accommodate the latest travel conditions across the URC’s competing territories, the South African teams will now complete four-week tours of Europe to begin the season with the Cell C Sharks visiting Scotstoun to take on the Warriors in round two on Saturday 2nd October.

The following weekend the Emirates Lions will provide the opposition to Danny Wilson‘s side, while Edinburgh will host the DHL Stormers on the same day [Saturday 9th October], and the week after that Edinburgh will host the Vodacom Bulls, meaning that all four of the new South African sides will visit Scotland during the first four weeks of the season.

The 1872 Cup will return to being a two-legged affair with both matches played in the traditional festive slot, on Monday 26th January at Scotstoun and on Sunday 2nd January at Murrayfield.

“First up it’s great that we’re playing a home game to start the United Rugby Championship,” said Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair. 

“We’ve got a brand-new stadium, so hopefully we’re going to get a really big, noisy crowd in there to get behind the boys. It’ll be good to start with a home game, against a good opponent like the Scarlets, and try and kick-off the campaign well.

“The prospect of facing the Stormers and Bulls at the ERS on back-to-back weekends is also really exciting for both the club and our supporters.

“It’s two new teams and they’ll bring a different brand of rugby. There’ll be players we don’t know so well, and we’ll have to do our homework on them.

“But to get them back-to-back is brilliant and it’ll be an opportunity for the crowd to see some new players, but also for us to hopefully entertain.

“We’re now really starting to build momentum for the that first home clash. Preparations having been going really well for the new season and we can’t wait to kick-off the URC in our new home with the backing of our supporters.”

As part of the URC’s commitment to avoid clashing with international weekends, the original date of round six has been moved to the final week in November which ensures every round of the tournament is played on a standalone weekend.

In the new format for this new competition, 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.

UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP 2021/22 SEASON

Edinburgh fixtures –

  • Saturday, September 25th – Edinburgh v Scarlets @ 17:15pm
  • Saturday, October 2nd – Benetton v Edinburgh @ 13:00pm
  • Saturday, October 9th – Edinburgh v DHL Stormers @ 17:15pm
  • Saturday, October 16th – Edinburgh v Vodacom Bulls @ 17.15pm
  • Saturday, October 23rd – Zebre v Edinburgh @ 13.00pm
  • Saturday, November 27th – Dragons v Edinburgh @ 17:15pm
  • Friday, December 3rd – Edinburgh v Benetton @ 19:35pm
  • Saturday, November 27th – Dragons v Edinburgh @ 17:15pm
  • Monday, December 27th – Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh @ 19:00pm
  • Saturday, January 8th – Edinburgh v Cardiff @ 15:00pm
  • Weekend of Jan 28th/29th/30th – Ospreys v Edinburgh
  • Weekend of Feb 18th/19th/20th – Munster v Edinburgh
  • Weekend of Mar 4th/5th/6th – Edinburgh v Connacht
  • Weekend of March 25th/26th/27th Cell C Sharks v Edinburgh
  • Weekend of April 1st/2nd/3rd – Emirates Lions v Edinburgh
  • Weekend of April 22nd/23rd/24th – Edinburgh v Zebre
  • Weekend of April 29th/30th and May 1stEdinburgh v Ulster
  • Weekend of May 20th/21st/22nd – Leinster v Edinburgh

Glasgow Warriors fixtures –

  • Friday, September 24th – Ulster v Glasgow Warriors @ 19:35pm
  • Saturday, October 2nd – Glasgow Warriors v Cell C Sharks @ 15:00pm
  • Saturday, October 9th – Glasgow Warriors v Emirates Lions @ 15.00pm
  • Saturday, October 16th – Zebre v Glasgow Warriors @ 13:00pm
  • Saturday, October 23rd – Glasgow Warriors v Leinster @ 15.00pm
  • Saturday, November 27th – Benetton v Glasgow Warriors @ 13:00pm
  • Saturday, December 4th – Glasgow Warriors v Dragons @ 17:15pm
  • Monday, December 27th – Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh @ 19:00pm
  • Sunday, January 2ndEdinburgh v Glasgow Warriors @ 14:00pm
  • Saturday, January 8th – Glasgow Warriors v Ospreys @ 17:15pm
  • Weekend of Jan 28th/29th/30th – Connacht v Glasgow Warriors
  • Weekend of Feb 18th/19th/20th Glasgow Warriors v Benetton
  • Weekend of Mar 4th/5th/6th – Scarlets v Glasgow Warriors
  • Weekend of March 25th/26th/27th Cardiff v Glasgow Warriors
  • Weekend of April 1st/2nd/3rd – Glasgow Warriors v Zebre
  • Weekend of April 22nd/23rd/24th – DHL Stormers v Glasgow Warriors
  • Weekend of April 29th/30th and May 1stVodacom Bulls v Glasgow Warriors
  • Weekend of May 20th/21st/22nd – Glasgow Warriors v Munster

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About David Barnes 3821 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

3 Comments

  1. Struggle with Kellock’s comment in his email to Warriors supporters about being given the fixtures on Wednesday. I thought Glasgow, Edinburgh and the SRU had board seats with URC and would/should have been involved with all the other teams in the seasons structure?

  2. These Saturday fixtures are very disappointing for supporters of both amateur and professional club rugby teams. Yet again the SRU has shown how little it is interested in grass roots rugby. I was looking forward to watching Edinburgh perform under Mike Blair and his new recruits at their new stadium. Certainly that won’t happen on a Saturday.
    Hopefully I can return my season ticket.

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  3. Looks better than expected and really looking forward to getting back out to see some rugby.
    Assuming International squads only restrict selection on the week before the AIs and 6 Nations and demand only one rest week after these series, Edinburgh might only be under strength against Dragons and Zebre pre-Christmas. A bit more difficult in the new year as Munster and Ospreys away and Connaught(h) and Sharks(a) sound like they will stretch the squad strength more. Though a trip to SA might just speed some recoveries.
    Hopefully we can get a better release of squad players for the rounds in-between the 6 nations.
    Of course the shadow of Covid could smash it all up long before then. We can but hope.

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