Ulster Rugby vs Llanelli Scarlets

Managing Director, PRO12 Rugby Welcome

After waiting all summer to get back into the fast- paced action of the Guinness PRO12, the first two Championship rounds have delivered with the type of excitement that the fans, players and coaches were hoping for. Already we have seen some thrilling rugby – including some upset away wins – which has set the bar high as all of our clubs have their sights fixed on reaching our third ‘Destination Final’ in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on May 27. Since tickets were made available last month, sales have been very strong as fans have availed of our Early Bird rates on Ticketmaster.ie where you can save up to 20 per cent if you buy before January 2, 2017 – which is all part of our ‘Fans First’ philosophy. Ensuring that fans of all our clubs get the opportunity to see the great rugby that the Guinness PRO12 has to o‰er, I was thrilled to see the successful debut of the new 4G surface at Scotstoun Stadium last weekend as Glasgow Warriors and Leinster Rugby produced a thriller. In the past, severe weather has forced games in Glasgow to be called o‰, but now with their new pitch, not only will fans feel confident that fixtures will go ahead, the crisp playing surface will produce plenty of positive play. In last weekend’s game between two of our former champions, our fans in the stadium and watching live on Sky Sports saw 58 points scored in a game where o‰-loads flowed and searing line breaks caught the eye. Every try-scorer on the day was a current international player and in a season which will end with a British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand, Tommy Seymour’s four tries will certainly make head coach Warren Gatland take notice. Of course it’s not just coaches like Warren Gatland or Gregor Townsend at Glasgow Warriors who will be beaming at Tommy Seymour’s performance, any of you who have selected the Scotland winger in your Guinness PRO12 Fantasy Rugby teams will be very pleased with the six tries he has scored in the first two rounds! If you haven’t signed up to our new Guinness PRO12 Fantasy Rugby team then be so be sure to do so and play against your friends as there are some great prizes to be won. Finally, it’s great that we have had such an exciting start to the Championship season to celebrate Guinness continuing their title sponsorship for another four years. This is fantastic for the Championship and it’s a relationship that enables us to constantly improve the Guinness PRO12 alongside our other existing partners Specsavers and Rhino Rugby. Enjoy the game, Martin Anayi

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