The Cheetahs and Kings will start the 2019-20 Pro14 season at their home grounds when they host the Glasgow Warriors and Cardiff Blues, respectively.
South Africa will raise the curtain on the new campaign when the Cheetahs face 2015 champions Glasgow Warriors in Bloemfontein on Friday, 27 September.
Both the Cheetahs and Kings will play their opening three matches at home, with the two teams rotating against Munster and Ulster.
This is a change from previous Pro14 seasons, when South African teams faced a tough two-match tour in their opening couple of fixtures.
‘We are in a very tough pool and, naturally, we have a tough start that awaits us. In this Pro14 competition there are no easy games. But, I’m quite confident that the squad and the coaching staff will relish the challenge,’ Kings high-performance director Robbie Kempson said.
‘Starting with matches at home is always important in building momentum, and it is always great to have such matches early on in the season. This will also give us an opportunity to gauge all the work we will have done in our pre-season and to see how far we are in comparison to the rest of the top sides in the competition.’
Incoming Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie says he hopes the side’s favourable draw in their final fixtures helps them finish the season strongly.
‘Finishing the Pro14 with six out of eight home games in that last stretch will help us in trying to qualify for the quarter-finals,’ Fourie said. ‘It is still a long way to go and we need to start well. In those three games up front at the end of September and beginning of October, it will be vital for us to get ourselves in the competition.’
Photo: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images