Match Day Guide | Ulster v Connacht

Match Day Guide | Ulster v Connacht

11 days ago

Fixture News

Connacht travel over to Belfast on Saturday evening for the opening round of the new BKT United Rugby Championship season.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of the game…

Match Details

🤝 Ulster Rugby v Connacht Rugby
🗓 Saturday 17 September, 7.35pm
🏟 Kingspan Stadium
🏆 BKT United Rugby Championship Round 1
📺 Live on BBC NI, Premier Sports & TG4


Match tickets are still available via the link below. Note that all tickets must be pre-purchased online as none will be available at the turnstiles.


Referee: Eoghan Cross (IRFU, 2nd league game)
AR: Chris Busby (IRFU), Andrew Cole (IRFU)
TMO: Leo Colgan (IRFU)

Team News

Digital Match Programme

Did you know?

  • Ulster’s only home defeat in the URC last season was at the hands of Munster on 22 April.
  • Connacht have won three of their last four matches in the BKT United Rugby Championship.
  • Connacht have won three of their last five away games in the Championship.
  • Connacht’s record against fellow Irish provinces in theURC last season was won two, lost four,
  • The last eight fixtures between the two rivals have been evenly split with four wins apiece.
  • Connacht have won just twice in Belfast since 1960 but both of those have been in the last four years, 22-15 in October 2018 and 26-24 in the Rainbow Cup in April 2021.

Download the official Ulster Rugby app

Whether you are at Kingspan Stadium or following along from home, the official Ulster Rugby mobile app delivers the most immersive live match stats straight to your hand.

You can also enable push notifications so you never miss a score!

» Download from the Apple App Store

» Download from the Google Play Store

Public Transport

A free Park & Ride bus will operate continually from 5.35pm from Pirrie Park (alight at Onslow Parade) and Montgomery Road (alight at Mount Merrion Avenue). These will return from the same locations after final whistle.

Translink will be operating Rugby Special buses, traveling to and from the Europa Buscentre. For more information, visit

A new secure match day parking facility at Belfast Metropolitan College Castlereagh campus has also been introduced, which is just a 10 minute walk from the Mount Merrion Avenue entrance to the stadium. The cost is £5 per car which can be paid by contactless payment on arrival.

Entering & Exiting the Stadium

Turnstiles will be open from 5.35pm. To ensure the free flow of supporters, please note the following entry and exit points:

• Mount Merrion Ave Turnstiles: Supporters with tickets in Premium, East Terrace, Memorial Stand and Memorial Terrace.

• Onslow Parade Turnstiles: Supporters with tickets in Grandstand, The Promenade (note that this Terrace is now split into two sections), AbbeyAutoline Family Stand and Family Terrace.

What's on at Kingspan Stadium

Fan Zone

  • The Kingspan Stadium Fan Zone will be up and running from gates open at 5.35pm.
  • Pick up your match day clapper at the turnstiles and make some noise for the Ulster men!
  • The Cool FM Crew will provide the pre-match soundtrack as supporters warm up for the game.
  • The Kukri Store will be open from gates open until 30 minutes post-match.
  • The Food Village, Kukri Store and public bars all accept contactless or cashless payments.

Stadium Bars

  • All public bars will be in operation from gates open.
  • The 1924 Bar in the Grandstand will be open for pass holders only. Light food provided by The Yellow Door will be available. The Spirit of '99 Bar is currently closed for renovations.
  • There will be live entertainment from Aidan Hughes in the Clubhouse Bar both pre and post-match.
  • Drinks can be consumed inside the public bars, within the Fan Zone or in your seats / terrace.

Also on the Pitch

  • Just before kick-off, there will be a moment's silence to acknowledge the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and reflect on her life and legacy.
  • At half-time, we will have a mini rugby exhibition game with the young players from Academy, Bangor, Carrickfergus and Ballynahinch.


  • Members of the playing squad will meet supporters, sign autographs and pose for photos outside the players entrance at the back of the Grandstand, from approximately 15 minutes after full-time.

Remembering Nevin

  • As part of the events marking 10 years since the passing of former Ulster player Nevin Spence, children from his local club, Ballynahinch RFC, will form a Guard of Honour as the teams run out.
  • The Ulster team will be wearing black armbands embroidered with ‘Nevin, Graham and Noel’, with Luke Marshall sharing his memories of Nevin as a friend and teammate in the official match programme. The front cover of the programme also features a painting of Nevin by his sister, Emma.
  • Connacht Rugby will also present a jersey to the club at the Captain’s coin toss ahead of the game to recognise the impact that Nevin had across Irish Rugby.
  • Earlier this week, Ulster Rugby announced plans to dedicate the Memorial Stand at Kingspan Stadium in his honour. The Nevin Spence Memorial Stand will be officially unveiled on 26 April 2023 – what would have been Nevin’s 33rd birthday.

Official Mascots

Tonight's official match mascots will be 12 year old Charlie Benson from Newtownabbey and 11 year old Conall Courtney from Richhill.

Club partners