The new season came a whole lot closer today with the release of the Championship fixtures for the 2018-19 season.
Hartpury RFC will kick-off their second season of Greene King IPA Championship rugby with an interesting home fixture against Yorkshire Carnegie on Saturday 1st September.
There was little between the two sides in the last campaign, with the match in Gloucestershire producing a 28-28 draw whilst Carnegie snatched a late win on home turf, after Hartpury had led for much of the game.
Hartpury’s following home match will be against last season’s ‘bogey’ team, Cornish Pirates, while newly-promoted Coventry will bring a good crowd to the Gillman’s Ground later in September.
London Irish, who dropped out of the Aviva Premiership last term, will visit Gloucestershire twice in the coming season. This is due to the advent of the Championship Cup competition, which replaces the now-defunct British & Irish Cup. The Exiles and Hartpury will face each other home and away in a four-team group, which also includes the Pirates and the Bedford Blues.
Hartpury have also announced pre-season fixtures at Premiership-club Worcester Warriors (Saturday, August 18th) and at local rivals Cinderford on the evening of Thursday, August 23rd.
Exact kick-off dates and times for Championship and Cup fixtures are determined by the home team and need to be declared by the beginning of July. Hartpury’s full list of fixtures is:
Championship: Round 1, Yorkshire Carnegie (h); R2, Doncaster Knights (a); R3, Cornish Pirates (h); R4, Coventry (h); R5, Richmond (a); R6, Ealing Trailfinders (h); R7, Nottingham (a); R8, Jersey Reds (h); R9, Bedford Blues (a); R10; London Irish (h); R11, London Scottish (a); R12, Doncaster Knights (h); R13, Cornish Pirates (a); R14, Coventry (a); R15, Richmond (h); R16, Ealing Trailfinders (a); R17, Nottingham (h); R18, Jersey Reds (a); R19, Bedford Blues (h); R20, London Irish (a); R21, London Scottish (h); R22, Yorkshire Carnegie (a).
Cup: R1, London Irish (h); R2, Bedford Blues (a); R3 Cornish Pirates (a); R4, Cornish Pirates (h); R5, London Irish (a); R6, Bedford Blues (h).
You can access the outline fixture list for all clubs (pictured above) via this link.
Please note that we will have the new fixtures posted on the website shortly. We have made a large number of assumptions regarding actual kick-off times, so bear in mind that until all matches are firmly scheduled our games (particularly away from home) could be at any time between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.
We expect the majority of our home fixtures to be Saturday afternoons, as normal, but there may be some exceptions to this later in the season. We will confirm when all kick off times are 100% accurate.