Second season schedule of Vodacom United Rugby Championship confirmed

The second Vodacom United Rugby Championship season kicks off in 50 days’ time with the league ready to build upon an enormously successful first campaign that saw the DHL Stormers claim the inaugural title.

All 18 rounds are confirmed with broadcast selections and kick-off times to be confirmed in early August. This is the first step in the journey to crown the champions of 2022/23 and now fans can identify the weekends where their team will take on rivals new and old from north and south.

The Vodacom URC will kick off on 16 September 2022, although the South African teams will not be in action that weekend, and the regular season will come to an end in Round 18 on 23 April 2023.

Each week, teams from five rugby powerhouse nations, cross the hemispheres to compete and fight for the right to be our champion. Every match features a clash of rugby styles, cultures, languages and identity. It’s the diversity of our competition that makes us different.

Looking ahead to the first seven rounds of the Vodacom URC, before we head into the Autumn Nations Series, there is plenty to get excited about.

Round 1 will see the two Welsh teams that battled it out for the Welsh Shield last season, going to battle once again when Scarlets host Ospreys in Llanelli.

Inaugural Vodacom URC Champions, the DHL Stormers, will make their first appearance since lifting the Trophy in Cape Town as they welcome Connacht in Round 2 where the smoke from the fireworks at the Grand Final has hardly settled.

Round 3 will see the top two Irish sides in Ulster and Leinster entertain the Irish fans, Ulster having won their last two games versus their provincial rivals, while SA Shield winners, the DHL Stormers, welcome Scottish X Italian Shield winners Edinburgh Rugby.

Edinburgh Rugby, Glasgow Warriors, Leinster and Zebre Parma will host all four teams from the South in Round 4, in what is sure to be a spectacular display of North v South rugby.

Round 5 will see the Vodacom Bulls travelling to Thomond Park for the first time, to take on Munster, two iconic teams playing at an iconic stadium.

The Vodacom Bulls will be heading back to Treviso for the first time since they lost to Benetton in the Rainbow Cup Final, and a thrilling Irish Derby is expected when Leinster take on Munster in Round 6.

In Round 7, we bring you a clash of the Capitals as Cardiff Rugby take on Edinburgh Rugby, and an Irish derby not to be missed when Munster take on Ulster.

The Vodacom URC format will see all 16 teams ranked across a single table which will reward the top eight teams with their places in the Final Eight (quarter-finals), followed by a Final Four (semi-finals) to set the stage for the Grand Final. Every game counts. Any team can win on any given weekend.

Martin Anayi, Vodacom URC CEO, said: “The diversity of our league we so proudly celebrate, is also a reason for the immense complexity of putting together our Season 2 fixtures. This is a monumental task, and it takes many stakeholders many long hours dedicated to making this the best club rugby championship 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 week in and week out. My heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who has worked tirelessly to put together a blockbuster fixture list right from Round 1.

“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.”

Vodacom United Rugby Championship schedule 2022/23

R1 – 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
Cell C Sharks v DHL Stormers **Feb 3/4
Emirates Lions v Vodacom Bulls **Feb 3/4

R2 – Friday, September 23 / Saturday, September 24 / Sunday, September 25
Zebre Parma v Cell C Sharks
Glasgow Warriors v Cardiff Rugby
Leinster v Benetton
DHL Stormers v Connacht
Vodacom Bulls v Edinburgh Rugby
Scarlets v Ulster
Ospreys v Emirates Lions
Dragons RFC v Munster

R3 – Friday, September 30 / Saturday, October 1 / Sunday, October 2
Cardiff Rugby v Emirates Lions
Ulster v Leinster
Benetton v Scarlets
DHL Stormers v Edinburgh Rugby
Vodacom Bulls v Connacht
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors
Munster v Zebre Parma
Dragons RFC v Cell C Sharks

R4 – Friday, October 7 / Saturday, October 8 / Sunday, October 9
Edinburgh Rugby v Emirates Lions
Zebre Parma v DHL Stormers
Glasgow Warriors v Vodacom Bulls
Connacht v Munster
Benetton v Dragons RFC
Scarlets v Cardiff Rugby
Leinster v Cell C Sharks
Ulster v Ospreys

R5 – Friday, October 14 / Saturday, October 15 / Sunday, October 16
Edinburgh Rugby v Benetton
Ospreys v DHL Stormers
Emirates Lions v Ulster
Cell C Sharks v Glasgow Warriors
Munster v Vodacom Bulls
Scarlets v Zebre Parma
Cardiff Rugby v Dragons RFC
Connacht v Leinster

R6 – Friday, October 21 / Saturday, October 22 / Sunday, October 23
Connacht v Scarlets
Benetton v Vodacom Bulls
Zebre Parma v Edinburgh Rugby
Emirates Lions v Glasgow Warriors
Cell C Sharks v Ulster
Dragons RFC v Ospreys
Cardiff Rugby v DHL Stormers
Leinster v Munster

R7 – Friday, October 28 / Saturday, October 29 / Sunday, October 30
Scarlets v Leinster
Glasgow Warriors v Benetton
Cardiff Rugby v Edinburgh Rugby
Dragons RFC v Zebre Parma
Munster v Ulster
Ospreys v Connacht
Vodacom Bulls v Cell C Sharks **Feb 10/11
Emirates Lions v DHL Stormers **Feb 10/11

R8 – Friday, November 25 / Saturday, November 26 / Sunday, November 27
Benetton v Edinburgh Rugby
Emirates Lions v Dragons RFC
Vodacom Bulls v Ospreys
Cell C Sharks v Cardiff Rugby
Munster v Connacht
DHL Stormers v Scarlets
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors
Ulster v Zebre Parma

R9 – Friday, December 2 / Saturday, December 3 / Sunday, December 4
Edinburgh Rugby v Munster
Zebre Parma v Glasgow Warriors
Cell C Sharks v Ospreys
DHL Stormers v Dragons RFC
Emirates Lions v Scarlets
Vodacom Bulls v Cardiff Rugby
Connacht v Benetton
Leinster v Ulster

R10 – Friday, December 23 / Saturday, December 24 / Monday, December 26
Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh Rugby
Cell C Sharks v Emirates Lions
DHL Stormers v Vodacom Bulls
Benetton v Zebre Parma
Dragons RFC v Cardiff Rugby
Connacht v Ulster
Munster v Leinster
Ospreys v Scarlets

R11 – Friday, December 30 / Saturday, December 31 / Sunday, January 1
Edinburgh Rugby v Glasgow Warriors
Cell C Sharks v Vodacom Bulls
DHL Stormers v Emirates Lions
Zebre Parma v Benetton
Scarlets v Dragons RFC
Leinster v Connacht
Ulster v Munster
Cardiff Rugby v Ospreys

R12 – Friday, January 6 / Saturday, January 7 / Sunday, January 8
Dragons RFC v Vodacom Bulls
Glasgow Warriors v DHL Stormers
Benetton v Ulster
Connacht v Cell C Sharks
Cardiff Rugby v Scarlets
Munster v Emirates Lions
Ospreys v Leinster
Edinburgh Rugby v Zebre Parma

R13 – Friday, January 27 / Saturday, January 28 / Sunday, January 29
Ulster v DHL Stormers
Zebre Parma v Ospreys
Benetton v Munster
Dragons RFC v Glasgow Warriors
Connacht v Emirates Lions
Scarlets v Vodacom Bulls
Edinburgh Rugby v Cell C Sharks
Leinster v Cardiff Rugby

R14 – Friday, February 17 / Saturday, February 18 / Sunday, February 19
Glasgow Warriors v Ulster
Munster v Ospreys
Zebre Parma v Connacht
Scarlets v Edinburgh Rugby
Leinster v Dragons RFC
Cardiff Rugby v Benetton
Vodacom Bulls v DHL Stormers
Emirates Lions v Cell C Sharks

R15 – Friday, March 3 / Saturday, March 4 / Sunday, March 5
Munster v Scarlets
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre Parma
Cardiff Rugby v Ulster
Dragons RFC v Connacht
Edinburgh Rugby v Leinster
Ospreys v Benetton
Vodacom Bulls v Emirates Lions
DHL Stormers v Cell C Sharks

R16 – Friday, March 24 / Saturday, March 25 / Sunday, March 26
Benetton v Emirates Lions
Ulster v Vodacom Bulls
Scarlets v Cell C Sharks
Zebre Parma v Cardiff Rugby
Leinster v DHL Stormers
Ospreys v Dragons RFC
Connacht v Edinburgh Rugby
Munster v Glasgow Warriors

R17 – Friday, April 14 / Saturday, April 15 / Sunday, April 16
Cell C Sharks v Benetton
Connacht v Cardiff Rugby
Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets
Vodacom Bulls v Zebre Parma
Emirates Lions v Leinster
Edinburgh Rugby v Ospreys
DHL Stormers v Munster
Ulster v Dragons RFC

R18 – Friday, April 21 / Saturday, April 22 / Sunday, April 23
DHL Stormers v Benetton
Glasgow Warriors v Connacht
Emirates Lions v Zebre Parma
Vodacom Bulls v Leinster
Ospreys v Cardiff Rugby
Dragons RFC v Scarlets
Cell C Sharks v Munster
Ulster v Edinburgh Rugby

Issued by SA Rugby Communications