Odd name considering...
From Sport 24:
"Sharks, Bulls face Irish powerhouses on opening United Rugby Championship weekend
Sharks, Bulls face Irish powerhouses on opening United Rugby Championship weekend
The Sharks and the Bulls face a tough open round in the upcoming United Rugby Championship as they were drawn to face Munster and Leinster respectively in fixtures announced on Friday.
The tournament gets underway on Friday, 24 September with Italian outfit Zebre at home to the Lions (18:35 SA time).
The Stormers, the fourth South African team in the tournament will face another Italian team in Benetton on Saturday, 25 September with kick-off at 14:00.
It's the Sharks and the Bulls, however that will be the most watched games on the opening weekend from a South African point of view.
The Sharks are away to Munster with kick-off at 20:35 on Saturday, 25 September while the Leinster/Bulls clash is earlier at 18:15.
The United Rugby Championship will include 144 regular season fixtures and take place over 18 rounds.
Every game of the tournament will be live on SuperSport.
In other fixtures on the opening weekend, Edinburgh will host Scarlets in their new stadium in the Scottish capital, the first Welsh derby of the season takes place between Dragons and Ospreys, Cardiff Rugby entertain Connacht while a battle of former champions will take place between Ulster and Glasgow Warriors.
Martin Anayi, United Rugby Championship CEO, said: “We believe these fixtures will ensure that the URC could deliver on its promise of a new era for our league where the very best from South Africa go head-to-head with our Celtic and Italian teams.
“As we carefully manoeuvre out of the pandemic, the URC will take its place as one of the leading leagues in global rugby and this fixture list should ignite our competition and take it to the next level.
“This schedule is the most complex we have ever produced and the efforts of every one of our stakeholders to help us piece it together in the current climate have been monumental. We now have a format that will heighten competition, showcase our clubs, elevate our athletes and bring great excitement to fans and TV audiences right across our territories and beyond.”
To accommodate the very latest travel conditions across the URC’s competing territories the provisional fixtures had to be readjusted. The South African teams will now complete four-week tours of Europe to begin the season giving fans in Ireland, Italy, Wales and Scotland an early opportunity to see these new sides in person.
In the URC’s commitment to avoid clashing with international weekends, the original date of Round 6 has been moved to the final week in November which ensures every round of the tournament is played on a standalone weekend. Across the world, rugby fans will be able catch all the action on URC TV, the league’s own OTT player which will be launched in partnership with RTÉ very shortly.
Jeopardy and drama will be littered across the campaign with every team eligible to qualify for EPCR tournaments and the reduction in rounds from 21 to 18 means every match matters.
In the new format all 16 teams will be ranked across a single table which will reward the top eight teams with their places in an expanded Final Series that includes a full Quarter-final stage, followed by Semi-finals before the best two teams meet in the URC Grand Final in June.
Friday, 25 September
Zebre v Emirates Lions - 18:35
Saturday, 25 September
Benetton v Stormers - 14:00
Leinster v Vodacom Bulls - 18:15
Munster v Sharks - 20:35 "