Connacht, Munster and Leinster's opening United Rugby Championship games will be broadcast live on free-to-air television next weekend.

Munster’s home game against South African newcomers Cell C Sharks will be live on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player on Saturday, 25 September with a 7.35pm kick-off.

RTÉ's URC Live will be presented by Jacqui Hurley and Daire O’Brien with a top-class line-up of panellists, as Donal Lenihan joins Hugh Cahill on commentary for the clash at Thomond Park.

Reigning champions Leinster begin their campaign earlier that day with a home match against the Vodacom Bulls at the Aviva, with TG4 showing the 5.15pm clash.

Connacht’s opening tie against Cardiff at the Sportsground is also live on TG4 on Friday, 24 September at 7.35pm, the same time as Ulster host Glasgow.

United Rugby Championship: How it works

RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ 2fm will have full live commentary of key games involving the Irish provinces throughout the season, as well as reports, analysis, and interviews throughout the season.

There will be extensive coverage on RTÉ.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app, including previews, reports, video highlights, features, analysis and the RTÉ Rugby Podcast.

This season the URC, formerly the Pro14 championship, takes in four new South African franchises with the Sharks, Bulls, DHL Stormers and Emirates Lions, who all featured in the Rainbow Cup, entering the fray.

Glasgow and Edinburgh are the Scottish representatives, while Ospreys, Scarlets, Dragons and Cardiff provide the Welsh interest.

Benetton, last season’s Rainbow Cup winners, and Zebre are the two Italian sides.


The season will consist of 18 regular rounds with the top eight of 16 teams in the league claiming play-off places.

RTÉ will broadcast live television, radio and online coverage of 26 games featuring the Irish provinces in the league, plus additional knockout matches.

There will also be extensive highlights and analysis each week on Against the Head on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.

TG4’s Rugbaí Beo will broadcast 26 games involving the Irish provinces and an additional 16 games featuring international club sides.

The URC final will also be delivered free-to-air with RTÉ and TG4 broadcasting it live on alternate years.

Together the broadcasters will deliver over 150 hours of world class club rugby to Irish audiences free-to-air this season.

Declan McBennett, Group Head of Sport, RTÉ said: "Throughout the year RTÉ Sport has seen the very best of Irish athletes compete domestically and internationally against first class opposition at an elite level.

"Being in a position to provide free-to-air coverage of the provinces to our audience in the newly reconstituted URC adds a further dimension to that and allows us to ensure our best rugby players are seen, and seen to inspire future generations who want to one day wear their provincial and national jersey."

RTÉ / TG4 live televised fixtures

Friday 24 September

Cardiff v Connacht, TG4

Saturday 25 September

Leinster v Bulls, TG4
Munster v Sharks, RTÉ2 & RTÉ Player

Friday 1 October

Connacht v Bulls, TG4

Saturday 2 October

Dragons v Leinster, RTÉ2 & RTÉ Player
Munster v Stormers, RTÉ2 & RTÉ Player

Friday 8 October

Ulster v Benetton, TG4

Saturday 9 October

Leinster v Zebre, RTÉ2 & RTÉ Player
Connacht v Dragons, TG4

Sunday 10 October

Scarlets v Munster, RTÉ2 & RTÉ Player

Friday 15 October

Ulster v Lions, RTÉ2 & RTÉ Player

Saturday 16 October

Benetton v Ospreys, TG4
Leinster v Scarlets, TG4
Munster v Connacht, RTÉ2 & RTÉ Player

Friday 22 October

Scarlets v Benetton, TG4
Glasgow v Leinster, TG4

Saturday 23 October

Ospreys v Munster, RTÉ2 & RTÉ Player
Connacht v Ulster, TG4

Friday 26 November

Connacht v Ospreys, RTÉ2 & RTÉ Player

Saturday 27 November

Sharks v Scarlets, TG4
Bulls v Munster, TG4
Leinster v Ulster RTÉ2 & RTÉ Player

Friday 3 December

Leinster v Connacht, TG4

Saturday 4 December

Lions v Munster, RTÉ2 & RTÉ Player
Stormers v Cardiff, TG4

Sunday 26 December

Ulster v Connacht, TG4
Munster v Leinster, RTÉ2 & RTÉ Player

Saturday 1 January

Connacht v Munster, TG4
Ulster v Leinster, TG4

Friday 7 January

Leinster v Lions, TG4

Saturday 8 January

Connacht v Stormers, RTÉ2 & RTÉ Player
Munster v Ulster, RTÉ2 & RTÉ Player