Leinster face testing trip to Ospreys for opener
Leinster will kick-start their RaboDirect PRO12 season with a testing assignment away to the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on Friday, September 2.
The dates, times and venues for the first 12 rounds of the competition were announced yesterday.
Ulster will also take their initial step on the first Friday of next month, at home to the Glasgow Warriors at Ravenhill.
The Irish provinces will be well aware that Munster's superior start to last season was the bedrock of their drive to the Grand Final win.
The champions will begin the defence of their title against visitors Newport-Gwent Dragons on the Saturday. At the same time, Connacht will be in Italy to confront Benetton Treviso.
Leinster and Munster will meet for the first time at the Aviva Stadium on Friday, November 4 (live TG4). The first interprovincial derby of the season will see Connacht take on Leinster at the RDS on the evening of Saturday, October 8 (live TG4).
Former New Zealand Schools coach Joe Schmidt has had time to study and appraise the potential of the layer of players below that of the Ireland international brigade that will fly to his homeland for the World Cup.
Leinster will travel to Longford RFC tomorrow for their second Open Day of pre-season, having attracted 2,000 supporters to Tallaght Stadium last month.
LEINSTER'S PRO12 LEAGUE FIXTURES TO 1/1/2012
The Ospreys (AWAY, Liberty Stadium, 7.05pm)
Newport-Gwent Dragons (HOME, RDS, 7.35pm)
Glasgow Warriors (HOME, RDS, 6pm)
Llanelli Scarlets (AWAY, Parc Y Scarlets, 6:30pm)
Aironi Rugby (HOME, RDS, 6pm)
Connacht (HOME, RDS, 5pm)
Edinburgh (AWAY, Murrayfield, 7.35pm)
Munster (HOME, AVIVA Stadium, 8.0pm)
Benetton Treviso (AWAY, Stadio Comunale di Monigo, 3.0pm)
Cardiff Blues (HOME, RDS, 8.05pm)
Ulster (HOME, RDS, 5.30pm)
Connacht (AWAY, Sportsgrounds, 5pm)