The 2018/19 Principality Premiership fixtures have been released ahead of what is a crucial season for the 16 teams currently at the top of the Welsh domestic system.
At the end of the campaign up to five teams could find themselves relegated as the Welsh Rugby Union decreases the size of the league, as the bottom four teams will go down automatically, and the fifth-from-bottom side will play the WRU Championship winners in a play-off for the final spot.
Cardiff RFC have prepared for the new season with plenty of quality new signings, including Wales international Martin Roberts and former Scarlets and Ospreys number eight Morgan Allen, and head coach Steve Law can now start to plan the season as the league reverts to a standard home and away round robin format.
His Blue and Blacks begin the season with the toughest of challenges as last season’s Premiership winners Merthyr arrive at the Arms Park on the opening Saturday, setting up a weekend of champions after Cardiff Blues play Pro14 trophy holders Leinster the night before.
A trip to Llandovery follows before the first derby of the season sees Newport come to the Arms Park on the 15th September. The opening month is rounded off by another trip down West to Carmarthen before Bargoed at home.
There’s a tough section from November into December as four away games in five weeks see Cardiff travel to Bridgend, Neath, Ebbw Vale and Merthyr, with a home game against old rivals Swansea dissecting them.
Like the Pro14, the Premiership also opts not to play on Boxing Day or New Year’s Day as the Blue and Blacks enjoy a Christmas at home against Llandovery on Saturday 22nd and then the traditional Pontypridd game on the 29th.
The long trip up to RGC 1404 comes on Saturday 23rd March, before the season run-in has Cardiff play Neath at home, Swansea and Pontypridd on the road, and finally Ebbw Vale at the Arms Park to bring the season to a close.
Full Cardiff RFC fixtures 2018/19
Sat 1st September – 14:30 – Merthyr (H)
Sat 8th September – 14:30 – Llandovery (A)
Sat 15th September – 14:30 – Newport (H)
Sat 22nd September – 14:30 – Carmarthen (A)
Sat 29th September – 14:30 – Bargoed (H)
Sat 6th October – 14:30 – Cross Keys (H)
Sat 13th October – 14:30 – Bedwas (A)
Sat 20th October – 14:30 – Llanelli (H)
Sat 27th October – 14:30 – Aberavon (A)
Fri 9th November – 19:15 – RGC1404 (H)
Fri 16th November – 19:15 – Bridgend (A)
Fri 23rd November – 19:15 – Neath (A)
Sat 1st December – 14:30 – Swansea (H)
Sat 8th December – 14:30 – Ebbw Vale (A)
Sat 15th December – 14:30 – Merthyr (A)
Sat 22nd December – 14:30 – Llandovery (H)
Sat 29th December – 14:30 – Pontypridd (H)
Sat 5th January – WRU National Cup Rd 1
Sat 12th January – 14:30 – Newport (A)
Sat 19th January – 14:30 – Carmarthen (H)
Sat 26th January – WRU National Cup Rd 2
Sat 2nd February – 14:30 – Bargoed (A)
Fri 8th February – 19:15 – Cross Keys (A)
Sat 16th February – 14:30 – Bedwas (H)
Sat 2nd March – 14:30 – Llanelli (A)
Fri 8th March – 19:15 – Aberavon (H)
Sat 23rd March – 14:30 – RGC1404 (A)
Sat 30th March – 14:30 – Bridgend (H)
Sat 6th April – 14:30 – Neath (H)
Sat 13th April – 14:30 – Swansea (A)
Sat 20th April – 14:30 – Pontypridd (A)
Sat 4th May – 14:30 – Ebbw Vale (H)