Sky Sports unveil an unprecedented autumn for Irish rugby
Autumn Internationals will feature alongside European and domestic club competitions
Sky Sports have announced a bumper package for Irish rugby fans this autumn, with the national team in action alongside the cream of Irish provincial talent across four separate competitions.
The digital TV provider has lined up a truly mouth-watering set of clashes to start the season off with a bang.
Joe Schmidt will lead the national side into battle against the combined might of South Africa, Georgia and Australia in an exciting set of autumn international fixtures.
It will be the first major tests that the national side will face without Brian O’Driscoll, but the momentum generated from a 6 Nations title earlier this year will hopefully be enough to make up for the loss of one of the greats of the Irish game.
All three intentional games will take place across the first three weekends of November.
On the domestic front, Leinster, Munster, Ulster and Connacht will all feature in a host of exciting Guinness PRO12 fixtures.
All four provinces have spent the summer strengthening their ranks and will approach the new season with real optimism, despite a number of key changes in terms of both playing staff and management.
The October 4th fixture of Leinster and Munster stands out as key date in the PRO12 calendar. The old rivals always throw up a fascinating contest and new Munster coach Anthony Foley will be keen to throw down an early marker for the season ahead.
European Rugby Champions Cup
Ulster will join both Munster and Leinster in the inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup. Ulster will host a star-studded Toulon outfit on Saturday October 25th in one of the most intriguing early group games.
Sky Sports fans will also be able to enjoy key group games involving both Munster and Leinster as the Irish provinces battle it out with the best teams from France, England, Scotland, Wales and Italy.
The battle to become the first ever side to lift the trophy is likely to be one of the most fascinating plots of the whole rugby season.