Just two weeks after Ulster took on Leinster in the 2019/20 Final, the 2020/21 Guinness PRO14 Championship kicks off at Kingspan Stadium on Friday night with the Ulster men hosting Italian side, Benetton Rugby.
Here is everything you need to know ahead of the season opener…
- Date: Friday 2 October 2020
- Kick-Off: 8.15pm (Gates open 6.45pm)
- Venue: Kingspan Stadium
- Competition: Guinness PRO14 Round 1
- Match Officials: Referee: Adam Jones (WRU, 3rd competition game), AR1: Sean Gallagher (IRFU), AR2: Robert O’Sullivan (IRFU), TMO: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)
- TV: Live on Premier Sports and DAZN
Safe Return to Rugby
With the recent news that 600 supporters will be welcomed to Kingspan Stadium as part of a trial to safely reintroduce supporters, Ulster Rugby has launched a COVID-19 Spectator Code of Conduct to help protect our supporters, and assist our staff and stewards.
Please note that food stalls and bars will not be in operation for this event. The Kukri Shop will also be closed.
Stewart Moore will make his first senior start for Ulster, pairing with James Hume in midfield. Back-row and Academy Player of the Year, David McCann, could make his senior Ulster debut if called upon from the bench, while prop Gareth Milasinovich is also set to earn his first cap following his return from a knee injury sustained shortly after joining the club last summer.
Our opposition tomorrow night:
— Benetton Rugby (@BenettonRugby) October 1, 2020
- Guinness PRO14 head to head: Played 19, Ulster won 15, Benetton won 1 with 3 games drawn.
- The Ulstermen have not been defeated at Kingspan Stadium in any competition since Connacht were the visitors in October 2018.
- Ulster’s only defeat on the opening weekend since 2009 was at Dragons in 2013.
- Benetton Rugby have won their last two away games in the Guinness PRO14, but have not won three in succession on their travels since September 2018.
- Benetton’s most recent victory over an Irish opponent was against Leinster at the RDS Arena in April 2018.
- The Italians have won just once in round one since 2012: at Dragons in 2018.
- Ulster have lost just once to Benetton in any competition: 12-23 at Kingspan Stadium in the PRO14 in October 2011.
An interactive digital version of the official match-day programme will be available to view here from 12noon on match day.
#SUFTUMATHOME DOWNLOADABLE FAN PACK
Create your own match-day – download our fan pack to get the whole family in match-day mood, featuring Ulster Rugby bunting and posters.
Transform your living room into match-day mode no matter where you are. We know nothing can compare to being there – so let’s make the most of our Guinness Pro14 2020-21 opener at home!
- #SUFTUMAtHome Dan the Man
- #SUFTUMAtHome Posters
- #SUFTUMAtHome Lyrics
- #SUFTUMAtHome Bunting
- #SUFTUMAtHome Colour Iain
- #SUFTUMAtHome Colour Marcell
Last Time Out
Ulster haven’t hosted Benetton since January 2019, when a last-gasp score saw the Ulster men escape with a 17-17 draw against the combative Italians.
The contest was keenly contested throughout, as both sides were battling for second spot in Conference B of the Guinness PRO14 Championship.
Dan McFarland’s side started both halves well, with 2nd and 44th minute tries from Louis Ludik and Rob Herring respectively. However, it took a penalty try to salvage the draw, awarded by referee Nigel Owens with the clock in the red after a fantastic push from the Ulster pack.