Leinster will start the defence of their Guinness Pro14 crown against the Dragons in Dublin on Friday, 2 October.

Leo Cullen's side, who were knocked out of the Heineken Champions Cup on Saturday by Saracens, won the title last season with an astonishing 18-game winning run over a campaign that was curtailed due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The game at the RDS has a 8.15pm kick-off.

Beaten finalists Ulster begin their campaign at home to Benetton at the same time.

Munster, who lost to Leinster in the semi-final three weeks ago, are away to Scarlets at 3pm on Saturday, 3 October, with Connacht hosting Glasgow at 5.15pm.

The Pro14 also announced that, for the first time, the competition will include Monday night games with 2011 champions Munster kicking off the week-day action with a Thomond Park clash against Cardiff Blues on 26 October at 8.15pm.

Between rounds 3 and 8, there will be 14 Monday night ties, including Ulster away to the Blues and Leinster in Glasgow on 2 November.

"With the finale of the Guinness Six Nations and the Autumn Nations Cup taking place from October through to early December, the majority of Guinness Pro14 fixtures during this time will take place on Sundays and Mondays," organisers said.

The inter-provincial derbies will take place over rounds 9, 10 and 11 around Christmas with the exact schedule for those games to be confirmed in due course.

The conferences are to remain the same as last season and discussions are under way with the South Africa Rugby Union to replace the Southern Kings who entered administration, however, the first 11 rounds will feature European sides only due to travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

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