United Rugby Championship: South African teams miss opening round

Stormers celebrate with the URC trophy
Stormers had never won the Super Rugby title but now boast trophies from their first league campaign in Europe.

South African teams will miss the opening week of the United Rugby Championship (URC) when the season starts in September.

The four teams, including the champions Stormers, will play their first matches in the second week of the tournament.

South Africa will host two derbies during the first week of the Six Nations in February, when the other 12 teams will sit out the games.

Broadcast selections and start times are expected to be confirmed within the next week.

In Wales, the Scarlets will host the Ospreys in an opening weekend derby, while the two sides will also face off in the Christmas derby, with the league returning to traditional west and east derbies.

All four Welsh professional teams are due to travel to South Africa for two game weekends in late November and early December.

The first of these weekends will be played with Wales’ final autumn match against Australia, which will be played outside the World Rugby international window.

The final round of regular action will be in April 2023, with the domestic season ending early because of the 2023 World Cup in France.

“The diversity of our league that we so proudly celebrate is also a reason for the immense complexity of putting together our Season Two games,” said URC Chief Executive Martin Anayi.

“This is a monumental task, and many stakeholders spend many hours dedicated to making this the best club rugby league in the world.

“We have to consider a variety of factors across our 16 clubs and five territories, but we believe that our season schedule will give our fans the best rugby game week after week.

“My sincere thanks to everyone who has worked tirelessly to put together a list of blockbuster games from the first round.

“We’ve seen the success of our tournament format culminating in the biggest Grand Finals of the last season and we look forward to continuing this journey with our fans and our stakeholders for another successful year of world-class rugby in action.”

United Rugby Championship matches

first round

September 16/17/18

Benetton vs Glasgow

Cardiff vs Munster

Zebre x Leinster

Scarlet vs Osprey

Edinburgh vs Dragons

Ulster vs Connacht

3/4 february

Stormers x Sharks

Lions x Bulls

Second round

September 23/24/25

Zebre x Sharks

Glasgow x Cardiff

Leinster vs Benetton

Scarlets x Ulster

Bulls vs Edinburgh

Stormers x Connacht

Ospreys vs Lions

Dragons vs Munster

third round

September 30/October 1/2

Cardiff x Lions

Ulster vs Leinster

Stormers vs Edinburgh

Bulls vs Connacht

Ospreys vs Glasgow

Munster x Zebre

Benetton x Scarlets

Dragons x Sharks

fourth round

October 08/07/09

Connacht vs Munster

edinburgh vs lions

Zebre x Stormers

Leinster x Sharks

Scarlets x Cardiff

Glasgow x Bulls

Ulster x Ospreys

Benetton vs Dragons

fifth round

October 14/15/16

Ospreys x Stormers

Munster x Bulls

Lions x Ulster

Sharks vs Glasgow

Edinburgh v Benetton

Cardiff vs Dragons

Scarlets x Zebre,

Connacht vs Leinster

sixth round

October 21/22/23

Benetton x Bulls

Connacht x Scarlet

Zebre x Edinburgh

Lions vs Glasgow

Sharks vs Ulster

Cardiff x Stormers

Leinster vs Munster

Dragons vs Ospreys

seventh round

October 28/29/30

Scarlets x Leinster

Glasgow x Benetton

Munster vs Ulster

Dragons x Zebre

Ospreys vs Connacht

Cardiff vs Edinburgh

February 10/11

Bulls x Sharks

Lions x Stormers

eighth round

November 25/26/27

Stormers x Scarlet

Ulster vs Zebre

Bulls x Ospreys

Benetton vs Edinburgh

Leinster vs Glasgow

Munster vs Connacht

Lions vs Dragons

Sharks x Cardiff

ninth round

December 2/3/4

Sharks x Ospreys

Edinburgh vs Munster

Stormers vs Dragons

Zebre x Glasgow

Connacht vs Benetton

Bulls x Cardiff

Leinster vs Ulster

lions x scarlet

round 10

December 23/24/26

Sharks x Lions

Stormers x Bulls

Glasgow vs Edinburgh

Benetton x Zebre

Connacht vs Ulster

Ospreys x Scarlet

Munster vs Leinster

Dragons x Cardiff

Round 11

December 31/January 1

Edinburgh vs Glasgow

Zebre x Benetton

Sharks x Bulls

Stormers x Lions

Cardiff x Ospreys

Scarlet vs Dragons

Ulster vs Munster

Leinster vs Connacht

round 12

January 07/06/08

Munster x Lions

Dragons x Bulls

Benetton vs Ulster

Glasgow x Stormers

Cardiff x Scarlets

Connacht x Sharks

Ospreys vs Leinster

Edinburgh vs Zebre

round 13

January 27/28/29

Ulster x Stormers

Scarlets x Bulls

Benetton vs Munster

Dragons vs Glasgow

Leinster vs Cardiff

edinburgh vs sharks

Connacht x Lions

Zebre x Ospreys

round 14

February 17/18/19

Glasgow vs Ulster

Munster x Ospreys

Lions x Sharks

Bulls x Stormers

Zebre x Connacht

Scarlets vs Edinburgh

Cardiff x Benetton

Leinster vs Dragons

round 15

March 3/4/5

Glasgow x Zebre

Munster x Scarlet

bulls x lions

Stormers x Sharks

Edinburgh vs Leinster

Ospreys x Benetton

Cardiff vs Ulster

Dragons vs Connacht

round 16

March 24/25/26

Zebre x Cardiff

Leinster x Stormers

Benetton x Lions

Ospreys vs Dragons

Connacht vs Edinburgh

Munster vs Glasgow

Scarlet x Sharks

Ulster x Bulls

round 17

April 14/15/16

Sharks x Benetton

Glasgow x Scarlets

Ulster vs Dragons

Lions vs Leinster

Bulls x Zebre

Stormers x Munster

Connacht vs Cardiff

Edinburgh vs Ospreys

round 18

April 21/22/23

Stormers x Benetton

Ulster vs Edinburgh

Lions x Zebre

Dragons vs Scarlet

Bulls vs Leinster

Ospreys x Cardiff

Sharks vs Munster

Glasgow vs Connacht

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