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.
|28/09/2019||Stadio Monigo||Pro 14||Benetton Treviso||Leinster|
|26/10/2019||Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi||Pro 14||Zebre||Leinster|
|30/11/2019||Scotstoun Stadium||Pro 14||Glasgow||Leinster|
|28/12/2019||Thomond Park||Pro 14||Munster||Leinster|
|21/03/2020||Toyota Stadium||Pro 14||Cheetahs||Leinster|
|27/03/2020||Nelson Mandela Bay||Pro 14||Southern Kings||Leinster|
|18/04/2020||Aviva Stadium||Pro 14||Leinster||Munster|
|24/04/2020||Rodney Parade||Pro 14||Dragons||Leinster|
|09/05/2020||Parc y Scarlets||Pro 14||Scarlets||Leinster|
|29/05/2020||Kingspan Stadium||Pro 14||Ulster||Leinster|