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South Africa's Cheetahs will travel to Ulster for Pro14 opener

The Cheetahs get their first taste of their new competition on 1 September.

Image: Presseye/Darren Kidd/INPHO

ULSTER RUGBY HAVE again kept ahead of official Pro14 announcements by today revealing that tournament new boys, the Cheetahs, will be their first opponents of the new season.

After the long-awaited confirmation that two South African teams would join the competition once known as the Celtic League, the newly branded Pro14 said they would trickle out the fixture list in two parts, starting on 7 August.

Ulster CEO Shane Logan issued a reaction welcoming the expansion while also reassuring Ulster supporters they would play 11 home matches and 10 away in the new-look tournament. Today, the northern province have announced that South Africa’s Cheetahs will be in Belfast when the new season kicks off on 1 September (and that you can buy tickets now).

“This is a really exciting departure for the competition and we’re delighted to be hosting the Cheetahs on the opening day,” says director of rugby Les Kiss.

“South Africa is one of world rugby’s great powerhouses with sides renowned for playing fast, open and uncompromising rugby so there is no doubt that both teams will add greatly to the Championship. The Cheetahs in particular are famous for their all-out attacking brand of rugby, and we also like to get the

As Ulster and the Cheetahs were drawn in different conferences for the coming campaign, this fixture will be their only regular season meeting and the northern province will not have to travel to Bloemfontein.

Of course, they will still play Port Elizabeth’s Southern Kings home and away as they reside in Conference B along with Leinster, Scarlets, Dragons, Edinburgh and Treviso.

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