The weekend dates for the RaboDirect PRO12 Season 2012/13 fixtures have now been announced, and the race is on to see which venue will become the 35thdifferent ground to be used in the history of the competition.
During Round Two, the weekend of 7/8/9 September, two new grounds are set to make their bow – Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow and Stadio XXV Aprile in Parma, home to the new Italian team, Zebre.
However first up for Italian new boys is a trip to Newport Gwent Dragons in Wales, whilst reigning champions, Ospreys, face the reverse journey as they play the second Italian outfit, Benetton Treviso, at Stadio Monigo.
RaboDirect PRO12 Finalists and European champions Leinster start this season’s campaign in Wales with a game at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli, whilst the other two 2011/12 Play-Off contenders, Glasgow Warriors and Munster, face away trips to Ulster and Edinburgh respectively. Cardiff Blues visit to Galway to play Connacht makes up the opening weekend’s fixtures.
Round Two sees Cardiff Blues play their first home RaboDirect PRO12 game since completing their return to Cardiff Arms Park when Edinburgh are the visitors. One new ground will make its bow when Scarlets are the first visitor to Scotstoun Stadium, whilst Connacht will play Zebre in the opening match at Stadio XXV Aprile. Leinster, Munster and Ospreys host the remaining three games in the second round.
RaboDirect PRO12 Season 2012/13
Round 1 – 31 August/1/2 September
Benetton Treviso v Ospreys
Connacht v Cardiff Blues
Edinburgh Rugby v Munster
Newport Gwent Dragons v Zebre
Scarlets v Leinster
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors
Round 2 – 7/8/9 September
Cardiff Blues v Edinburgh Rugby
Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets
Leinster v Newport Gwent Dragons
Munster v Benetton Treviso
Ospreys v Ulster
Zebre v Connacht
Fixtures in full can be found at www.RaboDirectPRO12.com