Holders Connacht face former champions Glasgow Warriors in opening round of Pro12 games

Holders Connacht face former champions Glasgow Warriors in opening round of Pro12 games

The Guinness Pro12 fixtures for next season have been unveiled today.

It will all kick off on Friday, September 2, as the opening games of the first weekend will be played at the new regular 'appointment-to-view' time of 7.35pm, this being the time the the majority of Friday evening matches will take place this season.

Connacht open the defence of their title at home to Glasgow on Saturday, September 3, while Munster go to Scarlets

The night before runners-up Leinster welcome Treviso and Ulster go to Newport Gwent Dragons.

Elsewhere in Round 1, Cardiff Blues entertain Edinburgh and Zebre will head to the Ospreys' homeground.

Organisers have also announced six new 'Big Weekends' across the season for the big derby matches such as the annual Leinster versus Munster game at the Aviva Stadium.

Also included in the 'Big Weekends' will be the match-ups for the 1872 Cup Scottish derby, the Italian derby and the double header Judgement Day spectacular between the Welsh Regions.

The first 'Big Weekend' will take place on October 7 and 8 with the clash between Leinster and Munster at the Aviva Stadium headlining a weekend that also includes Connacht v Ulster, Scarlets v Dragons, Ospreys v Cardiff Blues, Edinburgh v Treviso and Zebre v Glasgow.

Holders Connacht face former champions Glasgow Warriors in opening round of Pro12 games

There are also two back-to-back Big Weekends during the festive season in Round 11 and Round 12, and the regular season will end with 'Super Saturday' and six big intra-union matches in Round 22 and include the second and final leg of the 1872 Cup between Edinburgh and the Warriors at BT Murrayfield.

All Round 22 games will kick-off simultaneously to see who makes it through to the semi-finals.

"We are delighted to announce the fixture list, as well as the designated broadcasters for the first 13 rounds, ahead of what promises to be a truly special Guinness PRO12 season,” said Martin Anayi, managing director of PRO12 Rugby.

"After listening to feedback from both the clubs and fans, we have been able to take initial steps to restructure our season that puts the emphasis on creating the best experience possible for supporters.

"With 70 of the first 78 matches scheduled for live television, we have more free-to-air matches than ever before, while the majority of Friday night fixtures will be at the regular timeslot of 19:35, which our fans tell us is their preferred slot.

"Our aim is to develop a schedule that puts the fan experience first and gives our clubs the best chance of bumper crowds coming to watch our star players in the biggest games of the season. Now our fans will get to experience big weekend atmospheres with mouth-watering fixtures spread across the whole season."

The Championship will climax on Saturday, 27 May 2017 with the Guinness Pro12 Final – the venue, city and ticket information for this flagship event will be announced in due course.

You can see the full fixture list here.


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