Premier Sports talent set for exciting new season of live Guinness PRO14 rugby

It’s going to be another packed season of Guinness PRO14 rugby action live on Premier Sports, with the Championship’s host broadcaster showing all 152 games live on its channels throughout the season.

After a successful first year in partnership with Guinness PRO14, Premier Sports customers can once again enjoy all PRO14 games live, with every game across 21 pool rounds covered - plus the excitement of Championship play-offs, semi-finals and Final in June 2020.

The trusted star-studded team from Premier Sports will return to our screens when the season kicks off in just over two months on Friday 27th September 2019 – with the very best rugby talent and knowledge leading game presentation and commentary.

Back by popular demand will be all the familiar Premier Sports faces providing rugby expertise, insight and inside knowledge from across the five nations with legends Martyn Williams, Stephen Ferris, Shane Williams, Sean Holley, Jim Hamilton, Sam Warburton, Chris Paterson, Rory Lawson and Andrew Trimble all secured.

They are joined by experienced presenters & reporters Ross Harries, Dougie Vipond, Eddie Butler, Emma Dodds, Mark Robson and Lauren Jenkins plus a host of special guests from across the rugby world for an entertaining package of coverage throughout the season.

Fixtures have been released today (Weds 17th July) by Guinness PRO14 with just over two months to go until the start of a thrilling new season. The announcement has unveiled a full calendar of fixtures up to Round 20 in mid-May 2020, including kick-off times and dates for fans to plan their season of support.

The season kicks off on Friday 27th September 2019 with a great opening night in store as 2015 Championship winners Glasgow Warriors face Toyota Cheetahs in South Africa and Ulster host Ospreys followed by a Super Saturday of rugby across all five unions with opening home games for Scarlets, Edinburgh, Munster, Benetton and Southern Kings.

Rivals in Conference A (Glasgow Warriors, Leinster, Ulster, Ospreys, Dragons, Zebre, Toyota Cheetahs) and Conference B (Edinburgh, Munster, Connacht, Cardiff Blues, Scarlets, Benetton Rugby, Isuzu Southern Kings) are already preparing for a tough new season ahead after current PRO14 Champions Leinster lifted the coveted trophy in May.

From Round 14 to 21 there will be only two weekend breaks in play as teams compete for precious placings in the Guinness PRO14 Final Series with seedings and Champions Cup qualification all be up for grabs in a nine-week stretch.

The big derby weekends - a firm favourite and highlight for supporters during the season - will once again bring eight intense rugby weekends throughout the season with Welsh supporters seeing a return to the traditional Boxing Day slot again this year with Cardiff Blues against Dragons in the East and Scarlets hosting Ospreys in the West.

With 14 teams from five countries competing in the Guinness PRO14 across two hemispheres the process to formulate the fixture list comes with an extensive list of criteria to fulfil in terms of player welfare, working with the requests and needs of clubs in addition to the requirements of broadcasters.

Richard Webb, Operations Director for Premier Sports said: “It’s great that the fixtures have been confirmed up to Round 20 already after a lot of hard work behind the scenes between PRO14, clubs and broadcasters to give rugby supporters such a full a picture of the season ahead.  In time for the coming season Premier Sports 2 joins Premier Sports 1 in becoming HD, meaning all 152 PRO14 game can be enjoyed in high definition along with a wealth of other sports. We are also delighted to confirm our annual pricing will remain unchanged at only £99 or 65p per match.”

PRO14 Tournament Director, David Jordan entering his 16th season with the Championship, said: “Once again we have managed to take a big step forward in our scheduling thanks to the support of all our broadcast partners. Last season we reached Round 17, but this year we have gone all the way up to Round 20 which is terrific news for our teams and our supporters.

“We’re also pleased to have increased the number of 3pm kick-off times on Saturdays in the UK and Ireland by 75% which works well for fans with families and for our broadcast audience. It’s also going to be one of the toughest schedules we’ve put together and thanks to the new world calendar we have a run-in that barely pauses for breath over the final nine weeks of the regular season.”

“With the season just 72 days away work has already begin to ramp up as we prepare for another exciting and unpredictable Guinness PRO14 season and I would like to wish all our teams, players and coaches good fortune in the months ahead, particularly those involved in the upcoming World Cup in Japan.”

The kick-off times for Round 21 will be confirmed in early 2020 with a full round of derby matches bringing added intrigue to the final day of the regular season. The first five rounds of the season will take place during the Rugby World Cup to help avoid a clash with the Guinness Six Nations which has led to only one weekend in a direct clash with Test matches throughout the season (R12). Due to the time difference in Japan there will be no direct clashes with kick-off times in the Guinness PRO14 so fans will able to take in all of the rugby on offer during this period. The location, date and kick-off time of the 2020 Final will be announced by Guinness PRO14 in due course.

Premier Sports customers can now enjoy a host of great live sports coverage this coming season with all 152 Guinness PRO14 games live on Premier Sports 1, Premier Sports 2 and FreeSports plus: All four of Scottish Rugby’s Summer Tests ahead of Rugby World Cup, Every Arsenal pre-season game, Serie A football, Football European Qualifiers including Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen, Scottish Cup football 2020, Scottish League Cup 2020, NHL, NASCAR & GAA.