The next United Rugby Championship (URC) season is 50 days away but SA teams will have to wait a week longer to get the ball rolling.
All 18 rounds of the tournament that kicks off on September 16 have been confirmed, but broadcast selections and kickoff times are set to be confirmed early next month.
SA teams will not be in action on the opening weekend, which means the Stormers will only start the defence of their title a week later at home against Connacht.
The Bulls, finalists in the inaugural competition, are also at home at the start when they host last season's quarterfinalists Edinburgh. The Sharks are away to Parma, while the Lions will visit the Ospreys as their first engagements in this edition of the tournament.
The competition will feature seven rounds before the start of the Autumn Nations Series.
The URC format will again see all 16 teams ranked across a single table which will reward the top eight teams with their places in the quarterfinals, followed by the semifinals and Grand Final.
“The diversity of our league we so proudly celebrate, is also a reason for the immense complexity of putting together our season two fixtures,” said Martin Anayi, URC CEO.
“We have seen the success of our tournament format culminating in the grandest of grand finals last season and we look forward to going on this journey with our fans and with our stakeholders to another successful year of world-class rugby in action.”
United Rugby Championship schedule 2022/23
Round 1 —
Friday, September 16 / Saturday, September 17 / Sunday, September 18
Edinburgh Rugby v Dragons RFC
Ulster v Connacht
Benetton v Glasgow Warriors
Zebre Parma v Leinster
Scarlets v Ospreys
Cardiff Rugby v Munster
Sharks v Stormers
Emirates Lions v Bulls
Round 2 —
Friday, September 23 / Saturday, September 24 / Sunday, September 25
Zebre Parma v Sharks
Glasgow Warriors v Cardiff Rugby
Leinster v Benetton
Stormers v Connacht
Bulls v Edinburgh Rugby
Scarlets v Ulster
Ospreys v Lions
Dragons RFC v Munster
Round 3 —
Friday, September 30 / Saturday, October 1 / Sunday, October 2
Cardiff Rugby v Lions
Ulster v Leinster
Benetton v Scarlets
Stormers v Edinburgh Rugby
Vodacom Bulls v Connacht
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors
Munster v Zebre Parma
Dragons RFC v Sharks