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The new Guinness PRO12 season announced today (Weds 13th July 2016) sees a feast of great Friday and Saturday fixtures for Welsh rugby supporters – with the number of Sunday fixtures cut back to just three.

Big wins for Wales include more fixed Friday evenings and the return of Saturday evening slots with S4C as host broadcaster.

The new season Guinness PRO12 fixtures list will see a shift from 18 Sunday games last season to just three Sunday games in Wales – with two on New Year’s Day as a highlight in the calendar as the regions come together for the highly popular traditional festive derbies. One Sunday fixture will be Newport Gwent Dragons V Edinburgh on 27th November which has been scheduled to avoid a clash with Wales’ international fixture the day before.

Chief Executive of Pro Rugby Wales Mark Davies said:  “Guinness PRO12 has been working hard with Pro Rugby in Wales and our broadcast partners to listen to the views of our supporters and deliver on their wishes – focusing on Friday and Saturday games and minimising Sunday fixtures.

“Credit should be given to Guinness PRO12 as they put supporter experience high up the priority list going forward, working with our clubs to help attract bigger crowds as well as a focus on building ‘big weekends’ of rugby to deliver a great experience for fans.

“This is really exciting news for Wales – opening weekend is only eight weeks away and it promises to be another thrilling Guinness PRO12 season.”

The new season kicks off with three home games Wales’ pro teams:

  • Friday 2nd September Ospreys v Zebre, Liberty Stadium 7.35pm
  • Saturday 3rd September Cardiff Blues v Edinburgh, BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park 7.35pm
  • Saturday 3rd September Scarlets v Munster, Parc y Scarlets 3pm

Rounds 2 will see Newport Gwent Dragons open their home campaign at Rodney Parade on Friday 9th September at 7.15pm against Zebre with three more home games in Wales in Round 3 as the Cardiff Blues take on Glasgow on Friday 16th September KO 7pm

Live Guinness PRO12 rugby matches will return to Saturday evenings on S4C from the start of the 2016-2017 season. The channel’s big live match kick off will be on Saturdays at 7.35pm. Programme coverage will begin at 7.15pm. The coverage begins on Saturday, 2 September when Clwb Rygbi broadcasts Cardiff Blues v Edinburgh Rugby from the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park. Kick off 7.35pm. Other matches during the first seven rounds include champions Connacht v Ospreys, Blues v Leinster, Scarlets v Dragons and Ospreys v Dragons.

Sue Butler, S4C’s Content Commissioner, Sport said, “We are delighted to be broadcasting our live Guinness PRO12 matches on Saturday evenings once again. For many years, it was the established slot for top club rugby matches and is preferred by viewers.” S4C’s Clwb Rygbi coverage is produced by BBC Cymru Wales. BBC Wales and S4C announced a four-year deal to provide live coverage of games in the Guinness PRO12 in July 2014, an agreement which will last until the end of the 2017-18 season.