Cardiff Blues have discovered their fixtures for the 2018/19 Guinness Pro14 season, with a tough opening month starting with the visit of reigning champions Leinster to the Arms Park.
That will be John Mulvihill’s first competitive game as head coach, with the match doubling as a European Cup Winner’s Cup tie between the Heineken and Challenge Cup champions from last season.
Cardiff will then go on the road to Italy in rounds two and three, taking on Benetton and Zebre respectively, before Munster and Cheetahs, two sides who finished above us in Conference A last season, arrive at the Arms Park in the last two weeks of September.
The end of that first block of fixtures sees the first Welsh derby of the season as we travel to Rodney Parade to take on the Dragons ahead of the Heineken Cup pool stages starting in mid-October.
Our only South African trip of the season comes after those European games, before Zebre at home and Glasgow away are played either side of the Autumn Internationals, leading into the second stage of Heineken Cup pool games.
Christmas sees a change with no games taking place on the traditional Boxing Day or New Year’s Day slots. Instead the Dragons derby will take place on Saturday 22nd December, with Scarlets away being the following Saturday. Once again three derbies will take place during this period, with the date for Ospreys away to be confirmed for either 4/5/6 January.
With the Anglo-Welsh Cup no longer being contested there are just six games between the last week of January and the start of April, with Cardiff Blues facing Connacht, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kings during the Six Nations, before a newly placed Welsh derby sees Scarlets visit the Arms Park the week after the international period ends.
A tough end to the regular season sees an Irish double header away to Munster and Connacht, before Ospreys at home wraps up the campaign in what is likely to be another edition of Judgement Day.
A full fixture list can be found on the graphic below, with games shown on either Premier Sports, Free Sports or S4C in Wales.