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 with the Stormers claiming the inaugural title.
All 18 rounds have been confirmed with broadcast selections and kick-off times to be confirmed in early August.
The Vodacom URC will kick off on 16 September 2022 and the regular season will end in round eight on 23 April 2023.
Looking ahead to the first seven rounds of the 2022-23 league, before the break for the November tours, there is plenty to get excited about.
The South African teams sit out the opening round in September and will ‘catch up’ their round-one derbies in February when the European teams are on Six Nations duty.
Teams from the Republic launch into round two with the Stormers, inaugural URC champs set to make their first appearance since lifting the trophy when they host Connacht, and the Vodacom Bulls welcome Edinburgh to Loftus Versfeld. The Sharks and Lions begin their campaigns abroad with the Durbanites in Parma while the Lions are in Swansea.
In round three, the top two Irish sides in Ulster and Leinster will entertain the Irish fans, Ulster having won their last two games versus their provincial rivals, while SA Shield winners the Stormers welcome Edinburgh Rugby.
Edinburgh Rugby, Glasgow Warriors, Leinster and Zebre Parma will host all four teams from the South in round four, in what is sure to be a spectacular display of North vs South rugby.
For round five, the Bulls will travel to Thomond Park for the first time, to take on Munster, two iconic teams playing at an iconic stadium.
The 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 six.
In round seven, 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 URC format will feature all 16 teams ranked across a single table which will reward the top -ight 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.
Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix
The post New Vodacom URC schedule: Stormers, Bulls start at home appeared first on SA Rugby magazine.