The PRO12, rugby's premier professional club competition in Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales, today announced the fixtures for the 2014/2015 season and welcomed Guinness as the new title sponsors - the league will now be called the GUINNESS PRO12.
The GUINNESS PRO12 season will burst into action with lots of outstanding games to look forward to, starting on the first weekend of September (5/6/7), with Glasgow Warriors hosting back-to-back champions Leinster in a repeat of last seasons' final.
Munster and Ulster, who both reached the 2013/14 play-offs, face Edinburgh at home and the Scarlets away respectively.
The Ospreys will face Benetton Treviso in Swansea and Cardiff Blues travel to Parma to take on Zebre. Connacht host the Newport Gwent Dragons in Galway.
John Feehan, PRO12 Chief Executive, said: "We are delighted that Guinness, an international brand with a strong pedigree in rugby, will be our title sponsors and we are looking forward to working with Guinness in actively developing the profile and stature of our competition which boasts some of the biggest names in world rugby."
Sales & Marketing Director Charlie McEwen commented: "Today's announcement and that of the Sky Sports partnership earlier in the year provides the backdrop for an exciting new dawn for the GUINNESS PRO12, we look forward to a compelling season of rugby and working with our new partners to promote the competition."
The GUINNESS PRO12 season will be launched in late August. Click here for the full fixtures for the 2014/15 campaign.
The Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 squads had a busy Easter period with seven matches played in Ashbourne, Cardiff, Llanelli, Caerphilly and Bordeaux. Check out some of the tries scored. Full match reports are available on www.irishrugby.ie.
Speaking to RTE Radio rugby correspondent Michael Corcoran, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt was asked about prioritising players playing in Ireland when it comes to national selection over those who are based overseas.
In an interview broadcast on RTE Radio 1's 'Sunday Sport' programme, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by the summer tour to the USA and Japan, and also looked ahead to next month's Rugby World Cup Pool Draw.
Speaking about working with the provinces and monitoring players' progress, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt told RTE Radio 1: "For us, having the best quality of performance within the provinces, getting some really good coaching from the provincial coaches, which we know is happening at the moment, that's the foundation that we need because in the end we get the players in a match week pretty much."
In an interview with RTE Radio rugby correspondent Michael Corcoran, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt confirmed that Girvan Dempsey, Felix Jones and Ronan O'Gara will be incorporated into the coaching group for the upcoming summer tour to the USA and Japan.
IRFU National Talent Development Manager Hendrik Kruger says the Easter age-grade internationals give the Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 players 'the chance to represent their country and experience international rugby' and are 'the highlight of their season'.
The Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools team (sponsored by PwC) played the England U-18 Counties side in the first of two matches at Ashbourne RFC this week. Check out the highlights from Wednesday's entertaining clash.
Four of our stadiums through the eyes of four Irish sporting legends. O'Driscoll on Aviva Stadium, Brogan on Croke Park, Matthews on Kingspan Stadium and O'Connell on Thomond Park. The world is invited #Ireland2023.
Irish Rugby TV caught up with flanker Sean O'Brien to get his reaction following Ireland's hard-earned 13-9 victory over RBS 6 Nations champions England. He singled out man-of-the-match Peter O'Mahony for special praise.
Peter O'Mahony reflects on what went wrong for Ireland in Cardiff and tells Irish Rugby TV that he is focusing on the squad and their work this week ahead of the final Six Nations game against England.
The Ireland squad paid a visit to Monaghan last week and held an open training session in Monaghan RFC. We spoke to Andrew Trimble after the session which was attended by over 2,000 cheering supporters.