The first Pro 14 game will not be played until the end of September, after the beginning of the World Cup, which interrupts this season.

Those playing in the opening rounds, our foreign elite players and those not selected for international duty, will be left to mind the shop as most of the first team compete in Japan. The first game is away to Benetton Treviso.

With only three games in October, we will at least have the first two home games on back to back weekends. Friday night games against the Ospreys and Edinburgh. October finishes off with a trip to play Zebre in Italy.

Usually October sees the first two rounds of the pool stages in Europe, but these have been delayed until November, after the close of the competition in the East. The longer Ireland remain in the competition, the less likely the players will be ready to return for the opening games of the club game’s top competition.

That might leave a few difficult choices to Leo Cullen, but ones I am sure that he would relish. There is plenty of time to regroup and get maximum points from the games in December and January. The pool is not something to be feared, with Benetton, the Saints and Lyon in the group. We should top it at a canter.

This season extends right up to the end of May and we have ten Pro 14 games and three European Champions Cup to look forward to before considering the knock out stages of the competition. Here is the fixture list as published by Pro 14.

28/09/2019Stadio MonigoPro 14Benetton TrevisoLeinster
04/10/2019RDSPro 14LeinsterOspreys
11/10/2019RDSPro 14LeinsterEdinburgh
26/10/2019Stadio Sergio LanfranchiPro 14ZebreLeinster
01/11/2019RDSPro 14LeinsterDragons
08/11/2019SporstgroundPro 14ConnachtLeinster
30/11/2019Scotstoun StadiumPro 14GlasgowLeinster
20/12/2019RDSPro 14LeinsterUlster
28/12/2019Thomond ParkPro 14MunsterLeinster
04/01/2020RDSPro 14LeinsterConnacht
15/02/2020RDSPro 14LeinsterCheetahs
21/02/2020TBCPro 14OspreysLeinster
28/02/2020RDSPro 14LeinsterGlasgow
21/03/2020Toyota StadiumPro 14CheetahsLeinster
27/03/2020Nelson Mandela BayPro 14Southern KingsLeinster
11/04/2020RDSPro 14LeinsterZebre
18/04/2020Aviva StadiumPro 14LeinsterMunster
24/04/2020Rodney ParadePro 14DragonsLeinster
09/05/2020Parc y ScarletsPro 14ScarletsLeinster
15/05/2020RDSPro 14LeinsterBlues
29/05/2020Kingspan StadiumPro 14UlsterLeinster