Munster to play in new Celtic Cup competition

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Munster to play in new Celtic Cup competition

Munster are to compete in the new Celtic Cup which starts next month

MUNSTER Rugby is set to compete in a new development competition, the Celtic Cup, for the emerging professional players from the four Irish provinces and four Welsh regions.

The announcement sees the Irish Rugby Football Union and the Welsh Rugby Union join forces to create the new competition.

Joining Munster in the Celtic Cup will be development squads from Connacht, Leinster, Ulster, Cardiff Blues, the Dragons, the Ospreys and the Scarlets. The competition aims to provide a learning environment for players, coaches and referees by recreating the week-to-week challenges presented by senior professional rugby.

The Celtic Cup will run over seven consecutive weeks, commencing on Friday, September 7. Teams will have to prepare for a different opposition each week, manage their physical preparation and recovery and analyse their performances as they grow as individuals and collectively.

The eight teams will be divided into two conferences of four Welsh regions and four Irish provinces. Each Irish province will play each of the Welsh regions and will play against two Irish provinces. Similarly, the Welsh regions will play each of the Irish provinces and will play two of their Welsh counterparts. The top-ranked province from the Irish conference will play the top-ranked region from the Welsh conference in the inaugural final (venue to be confirmed).

Munster kick-off their campaign on Friday, September 7 with a game game against Connacht at Irish Independent Park, 5.30pm.

2018/19 CELTIC CUP POOLS & FIXTURES:

POOL 1 - CONNACHT, LEINSTER, MUNSTER, ULSTER

POOL 2 - Cardiff Blues, Dragons, Ospreys, Scarlets

Weekend 1 - Friday, September 7

MUNSTER v CONNACHT, Irish Independent Park, 5.30pm

ULSTER v LEINSTER, Malone RFC, 5pm

Ospreys v Scarlets, Bridgend RFC, 7pm

Dragons v Cardiff Blues, Rodney Parade, 7.15pm

 

Weekend 2 - Friday, September 14

ULSTER v Scarlets, Instonians/Cooke RFC, 7pm

Weekend 2 - Saturday, September 15

LEINSTER v Cardiff Blues, Energia Park, 2pm

Ospreys v MUNSTER, Swansea RFC, 2pm

Dragons v CONNACHT, CCSE Ystrad Mynach, 2.30pm

 

Weekend 3 - Friday, September 21

MUNSTER v Dragons, Irish Independent Park, 5.30pm

CONNACHT v Ospreys, Corinthian Park, 3pm

 

Weekend 3 - Saturday, September 22

Scarlets v LEINSTER, Parc y Scarlets, 2.30pm

Cardiff Blues v ULSTER, Cardiff Arms Park, 2.30pm

 

Weekend 4 - Friday, September 28

LEINSTER v Ospreys, Energia Park, 7.30pm

 

Weekend 4 - Saturday, September 29

Cardiff Blues v MUNSTER, Cardiff Arms Park, 2pm

ULSTER v Dragons, Ballymena RFC, 2.30pm

Scarlets v CONNACHT, Carmarthen RFC, 2.30pm

 

Weekend 5 - Friday, October 5

MUNSTER v Scarlets, Irish Independent Park, 7.30pm

Ospreys v ULSTER, Swansea RFC, 7pm

 

Weekend 5 - Saturday, October 6

Dragons v LEINSTER, CCSE Ystrad Mynach, 2.30pm

CONNACHT v Cardiff Blues, the Sportsground, kick-off tbc

 

Weekend 6 - October 12-14

LEINSTER v MUNSTER, details tbc

CONNACHT v ULSTER, details tbc

Cardiff Blues v Ospreys, details tbc

Scarlets v Dragons, details tbc