The 2021/2022 men's Energia All-Ireland Leagues kicks off in September
START dates for the Energia All-Ireland League have been announced for the 2021/22 season while the competition structures for both the men’s and women’s competitions have also been confirmed.
The format was agreed by the IRFU Rugby Committee following ongoing dialogue with participating clubs.
The Energia Men’s All-Ireland League will kick off on the weekend of October 2 and will revert to an 18-game regular season for all 50 competing teams with previous promotion and relegation regulations reinstated.
Where any match is impacted by COVID-19, promotion/relegation will switch to a “one up, one down” format. The IRFU Rugby Committee have agreed a series of parameters to manage the impact of COVID-19 throughout the season, which has been shared with clubs.
As per the Rugby Participation Roadmap announced in April, contingencies for localised games remain in place where COVID-19 has a significant impact on the integrity of the competition.
The format of the competition was agreed by the IRFU Rugby Committee based on ongoing dialogue with club representatives via the AIL Forum, where the majority of clubs stated a clear preference to return to the 18-game format last used in the 2019/20 season across the five divisions.
The Energia Women’s All-Ireland League will lead the return of national club competitions when it kicks off on the weekend of September 25.
It will be a newly expanded 10-team league as announced in December 2019, meaning Ballincollig and Wicklow will finally get to take their place in an All-Ireland competition.
The format will be modified for the 2021/22 season to assist the development of participating teams and help manage the return to rugby. The regular season will be reduced from 18 games to 9 games with the Energia Women’s All-Ireland League to be decided by a Top 4 round-robin leading into semi-finals and a final.
Teams who place 5-10 in the regular season will switch to a six-team round-robin followed by play-offs for a new trophy. The ring-fencing of all 10 participating teams will be retained as planned for the next two seasons as the IRFU continue to support the development and long-term sustainability of participating teams.
The Senior Women’s Interprovincial Championship and U18 Women’s Interprovincial Championship announced this week will conclude two weeks prior to the start of the Women’s AIL.
Energia Men’s All-Ireland League:
* Kicks off weekend of October 2nd 2021
* Five All-Ireland League divisions retained
* 18-game regular season for all 50 teams based on majority of clubs’ preference
* Promotion/relegation reinstated
* COVID-19 impact contingencies in place
Energia Women’s All-Ireland League:
* Kicks off weekend of September 25th 2021
* Expanded to 10 teams
* 9-game regular season for all 10 teams*
* Top 4 will then play six matches in a home and away round robin followed by playoffs for Energia * Women’s All-Ireland League title
* Teams placed 5-10 will play afive-match round-robin, followed by playoffs for separate trophy*
* No promotion/relegation for 2021/22 or 2022/23 season
* Continued IRFU support for clubs with long term development
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