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Guinness PRO12 season kicks-off against Edinburgh

13th July 2016

Cardiff Blues will kick-off the Guinness PRO12 season against Edinburgh at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday, September 3.

Wales Capital Region faced the Scottish outfit on the final weekend of the 2015-16 campaign and completed a double with a 21-17 win at Murrayfield.

New for the forthcoming 2016/17 season, Championship organisers have designated six ‘Big Weekends’ across the season that will comprise of special intra-union derby matches as well as capitalising on the rivalry between the Italian and Scottish clubs. 

‘Big Weekends’ will include signature match-ups such as the 1872 Cup Scottish derby, the annual Leinster versus Munster game at the Aviva Stadium, the Italian derby and the double header Judgement Day spectacular between the Welsh Regions. 

The season gets underway on Friday, September 2 as the opening games of the first weekend will be played at the new regular ‘appointment-to-view’ time of 19:35. 

To ensure fans know where to catch the action, the majority of Friday evening matches will take place at this time during the season. 

Fixtures times and dates have been confirmed up until round 13 of the PRO 12 with the remainder to be confirmed at a later date.

Following the season opener against Edinburgh, Danny Wilson’s men will travel to face Munster, while the Ospreys provide the first Welsh opposition, away on October 7.

The Scarlets are the first Welsh opponents to visit BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Friday, October 28.

“We are delighted to announce the fixture list, as well as the designated broadcasters for the first 13 rounds, ahead of what promises to be a truly special Guinness PRO12 season,” said Martin Anayi, managing director of PRO12 Rugby. 

“After listening to feedback from both the clubs and fans, we have been able to take initial steps to restructure our season that puts the emphasis on creating the best experience possible for supporters. 

“With 70 of the first 78 matches scheduled for live television, we have more free-to-air matches than ever before, while the majority of Friday night fixtures will be at the regular timeslot of 19:35, which our fans tell us is their preferred slot. 

“What is even more exciting is that, in Wales, we have managed to open a weekly Saturday evening slot on S4C – with the amount of Sunday games reduced to just three across the whole season – including two on New Year’s Day.

"Again this is something the fans in Wales had been asking us for and we are happy we could get it in place for this season. I would like to thank Sky Sports for their help in facilitating this change, as well as the continued support of all our broadcast partners including BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Alba, BBC Northern Ireland, TG4 and RAI. 

“Our aim is to develop a schedule that puts the fan experience first and gives our clubs the best chance of bumper crowds coming to watch our star players in the biggest games of the season. Now our fans will get to experience big weekend atmospheres with mouth-watering fixtures spread across the whole season. 

“For example, we have ensured that all teams have a home match in either Round 1 or 2, and in one of the last two rounds. Also, no club has three consecutive home or away matches – lending the competition a far better balance.” 

The Championship will climax on Saturday, 27 May 2017 with the Guinness PRO12 Final – the venue, city and ticket information for this flagship event will be announced in due course. 

Cardiff Blues fixtures:

Round 1 – Cardiff Blues v Edinburgh (Sat 3 Sep)
Round 2 – Munster v Cardiff Blues (Fri 9 Sep)
Round 3 – Cardiff Blues v Glasgow Warriors (Fri 16 Sep)
Round 4 – Zebre v Cardiff Blues (Sat  24 Sep)
Round 5 – Cardiff Blues v Leinster (Sat 1 Oct)
Round 6 – Ospreys v Cardiff Blues (Fri 7 Oct)
Round 7 – Cardiff Blues v Scarlets (Fri 28 Oct)
Round 8 – Benetton Treviso v Cardiff Blues (Fri 4 Nov)
Round 9 – Connacht v Cardiff Blues (Fri 25 Nov)
Round 10 – Cardiff Blues v Ulster (Sat 3 Dec)
Round 11 – Cardiff Blues v Newport Gwent Dragons (Mon 26 Dec)

Round 12 – Scarlets v Cardiff Blues (Sun 1 Jan)
Round 13 – Glasgow Warriors v Cardiff Blues (Sat 7 Jan)
Round 14 – Cardiff Blues v Connacht (10/11/12 Feb)
Round 15 – Cardiff Blues v Benetton Treviso (17/17/19 Feb)

Round 16 – Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues (24/25/26 Feb)
Round 17 – Cardiff Blues v Munster (3/4/5 Mar)
Round 18 – Leinster v Cardiff Blues (24/25/26 Mar)
Round 19 – Ulster v Cardiff Blues (7,8,9 Apr)
Round 20 – Cardiff Blues v Ospreys  (Sat 15 Apr)
Round 21 – Cardiff Blues v Zebre (28, 29, 30 Apr)

Round 22 – Newport Gwent Dragons v Cardiff Blues (6,7,8 May)