They aim to shine in the Vodacom Cup and the Cheetahs and Lions will offer the sort of top-class opposition needed ahead of the official season.
Eastern Province’s opening Vodacom Cup match is against Kenya at home at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
In their scheduled preparation games the Kings will be playing the Cheetahs on March 6 and the Golden Lions on March 14 in Port Elizabeth.
“We are still waiting on final confirmation of times from SA Rugby.
“But we now know which teams we will be playing on which weekend,” EP Rugby chief executive Charl Crous said.
Crous said the EP Kings would play four of their seven Vodacom Cup matches at home this year.
They play Kenya’s Tusker Simba XV (March 21), Western Province (April 11), SWD (April 25) and the Sharks (May 8) at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium.
Away games include Border (March 28), Free State (April 18) and Boland (May 2).
Supporters can also expect an action-packed Currie Cup Premier Division lineup.
Crous said EP had lined up two mid-season friendlies ahead of the tournament, playing Western Province on July 25 and the Blue Bulls on August 7.
EP kick off their Absa Currie Cup campaign with a home game against arch-rivals the Emirates Golden Lions, on August 15.
They will play five home games and, apart from the Lions game, they face Steval Pumas (August 29), the Sharks (September 5) the Cheetahs (September 26) and the still to be determined qualifier on October 17.
Away games will be against the Sharks (August 22), the Golden Lions (September 12), the Pumas (September 19), Western Province (October 3) and the Blue Bulls (October 10).
– George Byron