2023 Emirates Lions vs DHL Stormers

Emirates Lions Preview: URC Schedule 2023-2024, Odds And How To Watch

Emirates Lions Preview: URC Schedule 2023-2024, Odds And How To Watch

The Emirates Lions rugby club enter the season with slim odds of winning the URC Grand Final despite improvement over the last two season. What to know.

Oct 20, 2023 by Joe Harrington
Highlights: Emirates Lions Vs. Zebre Parma

The 2023-2024 United Rugby Championship season begins on Oct. 21 and the Emirates Lions look to continue their upward trajectory in the URC after finishing 12th in 2022 but moving to 9th in 2023. 

The Lions, one of the four South African shield clubs in the URC, is the only team from the region that has yet to advance to the knockout stage of the URC following the regular season. But improvement is happening for the Lions, who open the season hosting the rival DHL Stormers of Cape Town.

The Lions, who will compete in the EPCR Challenge Cup and Currie Cup, finished fourth in their region in 2023 and went 9-0-9 overall. 

Here’s what to know about the Emirates Lions. 

Emirates Lions Rugby Schedule 2023-2024

For more schedule information, times and date changes, visit the Emirates Lions FloRugby page.

  • Week 1: Emirates Lions vs DHL Stormers
  • Week 2: Edinburgh Rugby vs Emirates Lions
  • Week 3: Benetton Rugby vs Emirates Lions
  • Week 4: Scarlets vs Emirates Lions
  • Week 5: Ulster Rugby vs Emirates Lions
  • Week 6: Emirates Lions vs Zebre Parma
  • Week 7: Emirates Lions vs Dragons
  • Week 8: Hollywoodbets Sharks vs. Emirates Lions
  • Week 9: Vodacom  Bulls vs Emirates Lions
  • Week 10: Emirates Lions vs Vodacom Bulls
  • Week 11: Emirates Lions vs Sharks
  • Week 12: Connacht Rugby vs Emirates Lions
  • Week 13: Ospreys Rugby vs Emirates Lions
  • Week 14: Emirates Lions vs Leinster Rugby
  • Week 15: Emirates Lions vs Munster Rugby
  • Week 16: Emirates Lions vs Cardiff
  • Week 17: Emirates Lions vs Glasgow Warriors
  • Week 18: DHL Stormers vs Emirates Lions

When Are the 2024 United Rugby Championship Quarterfinals?

The URC quarterfinals are June 7-8. Currently there are three games scheduled for June 8 and one on June 7. 

Times are to be announced. 

When Are the 2024 United Rugby Championship Semifinals?

The URC Semifinals are June 15.

Times are to be announced. 

When is the United Rugby Championship Grand Final?

The URC Final is scheduled for June 22. 

Emirates Lions Rugby Odds Of Winning URC Grand Final

The Lions have the fourth-worst odds of winning the URC Grand Final at 150-1

Who Is The Best Player For Emirates Lions Rugby? It’s Francke Horn

The URC listed the top 100 players entering the 2023-2024 season. Francke Horn, a back row player, is the No. 20-ranked player on the list. Overall, there are four Lions on the list, including: 

  • No. 21 Jordan Hendrikse, fly half
  • No. 37 Edwill van der Merwe, wing
  • No. 98 Ruben Schoeman, second row

New Players On The Emirates Lions Rugby Roster

New signings: Erich Cronje (Zebre Parma), Zander du Plessis (Griquas), Richard Kriel (Zebre Parma), Conraad van Vuuren (Cheetahs), Kade Wolhuter (DHL Stormers, loan).

Where Are The Emirates Lions Rugby Based?

The Emirates Lions home grounds are in Johannesburg, South Africa, at Emirates Airline Park

Who Coaches Emirates Lions Rugby? It’s Ivan van Rooyen

Ivan van Rooyen became the head coach of the Lions in 2019. He has been with the club since 2009 and served as the coach of the Golden Lions in 2018 in Super Rugby play. He was made the permanent coach of the club in 2019. He is 43-6-57 overall as head coach.  

Emirates Lions Will Compete For The EPCR Challenge Cup

The Lions didn’t qualify for the Investec Champions Cup this season, though they would have been close if the new qualifications were in place. They finished ninth in URC play and last in their shield, meaning they will compete in the EPCR Challenge Cup. 

The Lions' first game is against USA Perpignan of Top 14 on Dec. 10, 2023. 

How Emirates Lions Rugby Got Its Name 

Like the three other South African clubs, their name is part of a sponsor, this one being Emirates Airlines, which also sponsors their home grounds. 

The club hails from South Africa’s largest city, and they have gone through some name changes over the years. Founded in 1996, they first were known as Transvaal, then became the Gauteng Lions in 1996. From 1998 to 2005, they were simply known as the Cats. 

In 2006, the Golden Lions Rugby Union, which operated the Golden Lions and the Cats, settled on Lions. 

How To Watch Emirates Lions Rugby 

All of the Emirates Lions matches in URC and EPCR Challenge Cup play will stream live on FloRugby and the FloSports app in the United States. 

Replays, highlights and archival matches are also available on both platforms. 

How To Watch Rugby Matches In the United States On FloRugby

The URC will stream all its matches on FloRugby and the FloSports app in the United States. FloRugby and FloSports are also the U.S. home to: 

FloRugby is also home to match archives and match replays. 

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