The Southern Kings never get it easy, be it when playing in Super Rugby or in the newly expanded Guinness Pro14.
The Eastern Cape franchise, who will take a new-look squad into the Pro14 after losing several players post Super Rugby, start the tournament away from home against defending champions the Scarlets on Saturday.
The following weekend the Kings will play Ireland’s Connacht.
The Cheetahs also start their campaign with away matches against Ulster (on Friday) and Munster the following weekend.
The two teams return to South Africa for a series of home matches before heading north again.
Kings coach Deon Davids said his squad had travelled well in Super Rugby and won matches in Australia, Argentina and Singapore and he felt confident they could replicate the away success in the northern hemisphere.
The Kings and Cheetahs are drawn into separate pools and would have to qualify for the play-offs to meet each other in the competition. The final is played in Dublin.
The Kings first home game is against Irish traditional giants Leinster on September 16.