Munster will host Monday rugby at Thomond, no Musgrave Park fixtures yet

Tanya Simon
September 26, 2020

Ulster and Leinster are the first two Irish provinces in action that weekend with Ulster hosting Benetton Rugby and holders Leinster entertaining the Dragons on Friday, October 2, both at 8.15pm.

Pro14 organisers have worked to prevent direct clashes with worldwide games, while television broadcasters are understood to have firmly backed the idea of playing Monday night games.

Between rounds 3 and 8, there will be 14 Monday night ties, including Ulster away to the Blues and Leinster in Glasgow on 2 November.

Munster are on the road first up as they play the Scarlets away on Saturday week before welcoming Edinburgh to Thomond Park on October 10.

That is due to travel restrictions in the case of the Cheetahs, while the Kings have withdrawn due to their crippling financial situation.

PRO14 chairman Dominic McKay said, "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".

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'SA Rugby's long-standing commitments are to field two teams in the PRO14 and in light of the withdrawal of the Southern Kings, discussions are ongoing about fulfilling this agreement from 2021 using a replacement team from its current professional franchises, ' a statement read on Wednesday.

New Zealand's Super Rugby teams are unlikely to play against South African sides in the future.

Recent reports indicated that SA Rugby wanted the four Super Rugby teams - the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers - in an expanded PRO16.

On August 25, PRO14 Rugby acknowledged that under current worldwide travel restrictions it is not possible for South African teams to fulfil Guinness PRO14 fixtures until 2021.

Indeed, the tournament organisers also made it clear that all is far from lost when it comes to southern hemisphere involvement as once more, in another already well-flagged idea, it would appear that talks are being held to expand the PRO14 by including other South African franchises.

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