Guinness Pro14 champions Leinster will begin the new campaign with a Saturday evening clash at Benetton.
The new fixtures have been released and it's a trip to Italy first time out for Leo Cullen's men (5.15pm kick-off on 28 September). Leinster claimed back-to-back titles last May when they edged out Glasgow Warriors 18-14 at Celtic Park.
Last season's quarter-finalists Connacht begin their season at the same time, travelling to take on Scarlets.
Meanwhile Munster host Dragons at Thomond Park a little earlier in the day (3pm).
Ulster will have a game under the belts by that stage - they get going under the Friday night lights against Ospreys 24 hours previously.
The Pro14 starts four weeks earlier this year due to the Rugby World Cup in Japan. There'll be three rounds of fixtures before a break on the weekend of 19/20 October, when the World Cup quarter-finals are on.
The first two weeks of December are boxed off for European pool matches, before the festive derbies kick in on 20/21 December, when Leinster host Ulster at the RDS and Connacht clash with Munster in the Sportsground.
Ulster will collide with Connacht at Kingspan Stadium on 27 December, while Munster welcome Leinster to Thomond the next evening for a post-Christmas cracker.
Isuzu Southern Kings