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Premiership Rugby can today confirm the fixtures for the new-look 2023-24 Premiership Rugby Cup, which kicks-off in September.
For the first time ever, the competition features Premiership Rugby teams against their Championship rivals.
Following the partnership with the RFU clubs, players will have the chance to stake a claim for the start of the Gallagher Premiership Rugby and Championship seasons.
The pool stage fixtures begin on the weekend of September 8-10.
Northampton Saints head to West London to take on Ealing Trailfinders for the first TV game of the 2023-24 season, broadcast live on TNT Sports (kick-off 1pm, Sunday, September 10).
Another intriguing matchup sees Leicester Tigers open their campaign against last season’s Championship giant-killers Caldy at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.
Gallagher Premiership Rugby champions Saracens travel to Coventry and Bath Rugby face Cornish Pirates in two more standout opening-weekend fixtures.
The following four rounds will take place over consecutive weekends from September 15-17 to October 6-8.
The winners from each pool will progress to the semi-finals with the two highest ranked sides earning home semi-finals.
In a change, the semi-finals will now be held on the weekend of February 16-18 and the final on the weekend of March 15-17.
The Premiership Rugby Cup Final will be held at the venue of the highest ranked club in the final.
Fixtures live on TNT Sports
Round 1 – Sunday, September 10, 1pm – Ealing Trailfinders v Northampton Saints
Round 2 – Saturday, September 16, 1pm – Bath Rugby v Jersey Reds
Round 3 – Friday, September 22, 7.45pm – Gloucester v Harlequins
Round 4 – Sunday, October 1, 2.30pm – Harlequins v Saracens
Round 5 – Sunday, October 8, 2pm – To be picked after the first two rounds
Premiership Rugby Cup info
The 22 teams are split into four seeded pools – two of six teams (Pool A & Pool B), two of five teams (Pool C & Pool D) – with the seedings based on league standings at the end of the 2022-23 season*.
The teams in Pools C and D will play one cross-pool fixture alongside their own pool games.
For the competition format, pools and the full list of fixtures, please visit here.
*The Championship club seeded 11, London Scottish, and seed 12 Cambridge who were promoted from National One were swapped with Nottingham and Caldy, seeded 9 and 10. The higher seeds therefore host a home fixture against a Premiership club.
Leicester Tigers and Exeter Chiefs also swap pools for operational reasons.