Leinster launch RaboDirect PRO12 title defence at Scarlets
Last Updated: July 19, 2013 12:41pm
Leinster celebrate last season's title
Leinster will begin the defence of their RaboDirect PRO12 title with a trip to Wales to play Scarlets.
Ulster, the beaten finalists will join them in south Wales for the opening round of the season - they face Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade.
Glasgow Warriors, who made it to the play-offs last season, host Cardiff Blues.
Munster play host to Edinburgh, and Connacht are also at home first against Italians Zebre. The Ospreys have a tough away day to Italy to take on Treviso.
The final round of the regular season, Round 22, is scheduled for 9/10/11 May followed by the play-offs a week later, with the final on the last weekend of May.
Tournament director David Jordan said: "It is ten years since the competition changed to a home and away format and four years since the introduction of the end of season play-offs.
"During that time a regular season pattern has emerged and we have seen increases in both attendances and viewing figures so fans are obviously enjoying the rugby that is on offer in the RaboDirect PRO12.
"In the coming season fans in the home Unions have the added excitement of the victorious British and Irish Lions players returning to their clubs to look forward to as well.
"Since the inception of the competition five different teams have taken the title, although interestingly no champions have ever defended their crown, Leinster will have a challenge on their hands in the coming season."
Round 1 - 6/7/8 September
Treviso v Ospreys, Connacht v Zebre, Glasgow Warriors v Cardiff Blues, Munster v Edinburgh, Newport Gwent Dragons v Ulster, Scarlets v Leinster
Round 2 - 13/14/15 September
Cardiff Blues v Connacht, Edinburgh v Newport Gwent Dragons, Leinster v Ospreys, Scarlets v Treviso, Ulster v Glasgow Warriors, Zebre v Munster