Cheetahs to take on Ulster on opening day of 2017-18 PRO14

The Scarlets lifted last season's PRO12 trophy, beating Munster in the final. Peter Fitzpatrick/Action Plus via Getty Images

South African franchise the Cheetahs will get their first taste of PRO14 action on Friday, Sept. 1 as they take on Ulster at Kingspan Stadium.

Confirmation that the Cheetahs and Southern Kings would play in the expanded competition arrived at the beginning of August, but an announcement of the 2017-18 fixture list was delayed as logistics were ironed out.

The Kings will kick off their first campaign in the PRO14 with a trip to west Wales to face champions Scarlets on Sept. 2.

Neither South African side is scheduled to have a home game until the third week of competition, when the Cheetahs host Zebre and Kings play Leinster.

Zebre and Leinster are then scheduled to stay in South Africa with the Italians playing the Kings and the Irish province taking on Cheetahs the following weekend.

Leinster will kick off their 2017-18 campaign with a trip to Rodney Parade to take on Bernard Jackman's Dragons. Last season's other beaten semifinalists, Ospreys, will be in action at home on the opening Friday against Zebre.

PRO14 opening fixtures:

Friday, Sept. 1

Ospreys vs. Zebre
Munster vs. Treviso
Blues vs. Edinburgh
Ulster vs. Cheetahs

Saturday, Sept. 2

Dragons vs. Leinster
Scarlets vs. Southern Kings
Connacht vs. Glasgow