HOLDERS Crescent College Comprehensive will be one of six Limerick schools hoping to claim the prestigious Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup when the business end of the competition kicks-off on Tuesday next.
Crescent College claimed their seventh Junior Cup success - and thier first since 2011 - when seeing off CBC, of Cork, in an exciting final replay at Thomond Park last April.
Two members of their successful 2016 squad, Oisin Evans and Jack Delaney, are included in the squad again this year which is captained by Jake Connolly.
Crescent warmed up for the Junior Cup by winning the North Munster City Junior Cup decider against St Munchin's College in October. The Dooradoyle side recorded a mixed set of results in November and December.
Crescent open the defence of their title with a first round tie against CBC in a repeat of last season's final, at Musgrave Park on Wednesday, January 18 at 1pm.
The Junior Cop kicks-off this Tuesday, January 17 with the all-Limerick clash of Glenstal Abbey School and qualifiers St Clement's College at the UL 4G rugby pitch at 1pm.
Glenstal, who are captained this yea by the exciting William Twomey, will be looking to make as big an impact as in 2016 when the impressive Murroe side reached the semi-finals.
Glenstal, who continuously box above their weight in this competition, reached the last four in 2016 with impressive wins over Castletroy College and Ardscoil Ris. This new squad will look to take inspiration from that impressive Cup run.
Their opponents on Tuesday, St Clement's College, have qualified for the first round proper of the Junior Cup for a second successive season.
St Clement's recorded an impressive 36-5 victory over Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí in their final qualifier game. The Limerick city side have up to 15 survivors from their 2016 squad available for selection this time round.
2013 Junior Cup winners Castletroy College open their campaign with a trip to West Cork to face Bandon Grammar on Thursday, January 19.
The Newtown school, who are captained by Michael O'Hanrahan, had a mixed bag of results in their friendlies, winning six and losing six. However, the Cup competition often brings out the vest best of the Castletroy side. who include 2008 Munster Schools Senior Cup winner Darragh Frawley in their backroom team.
Meanwhile, Ardscoil Ris begin their Junior Cup glory bid against PBC, of Cork, at Dooradoyle on Wednesday, January 18, 2pm.
Ardscoil Ris include four survivors from 2016 in their squad, Daniel Okeke, Jack Ward-Murphy, Killian Dineen and GearoidHanrahan.
St Munchin's College travel to Clanwilliam to face Rockwell in their opening fixture on Wednesday, January 18, 1pm. St Muchin's will take confidence from reaching the City Cup final.
St Munchin's squad also includes six players who played in their U-15 side which reached the McCarthy Cup final. The likes of captain Conor Nesbitt, forwards Conor Duggan and Liam Neilan and backs Keith McInerney and Donnchadh O'Callaghan are among the Corbally side's key players.