The Guinness PRO12 was launched at the Diageo Headquarters in Park Royal, London today with all 12 team captains and coaches in attendance.
The season will kick off on Friday week (September 5) with Munster v Edinburgh and Ospreys v Benetton Treviso, while Glasgow Warriors will host last year’s champions Leinster at Scotstoun Stadium in a reeat of the 2014 final on Saturday week.
The other fixtures on the first weekend are Scarlets v Ulster, Connacht v Newport Gwent Dragons and Zebre v Cardiff Blues.
This year’s GUINNESS PRO12 promises to have added spice with the new European competition qualification system. 227 international players from 14 countries will also be looking to secure a place in their national squads ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup.
The arrival of new partners GUINNESS as title sponsors and Sky Sports as broadcasters will also enrich the PRO12. Their longstanding involvement and experience in the world of rugby will no doubt enhance what is already a thriving and exciting competition.
The PRO12 experienced year on year growth for the fifth consecutive year for both match attendance and TV audiences in 2013/14.
This season, the first 13 rounds will see at least 91% of matches broadcast live in the UK and Ireland. 50% of these matches will also be broadcast in more than one territory.
The GUINNESS PRO12 social media platforms and website have grown exponentially over the last number of years and will continue to keep supporters and media fully up to date throughout the season. Some of the key features include live text commentary for 135 matches, news, imagery and videos.
In addition, a new GUINNESS PRO12 app will be available on all platforms and downloadable in the coming days.