GAA

Expansion Of Leinster Hurling Championship To Be Discussed Next Week

Expansion Of Leinster Hurling Championship To Be Discussed Next Week

The expansion of the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship will be discussed at a meeting next week according to Leinster GAA chairman Jim Bolger.

Both a six-team championship and an eight-team championship are possibilities. The latter would be split into two groups of four.

It would be a departure from the five-team championship which has been in place since the introduction of the round robin format last year.

"We have a Leinster council meeting next week and we will discuss it at that," said Bolger at the PwC Player of the Month awards on Wednesday.

I even mentioned at looking at having two groups of four at one stage because we were looking at Carlow, Laois, Offaly and Westmeath, we felt they had closed the gap to a level that allowed us to look at that option.

We will discuss next week the possibility of having two fours.

It is timely to review it now and we will look at what options are available to us. We will know next week what the feeling is when the counties go together.

Calls for the expansion of the Leinster championship have become louder following Laois' victory over Dublin in the weekend's preliminary All-Ireland quarter-final.

"I am certainly conscious of the impact of yo-yoing for one team and with all due respect, maybe Laois could stay up there next year," said Bolger.

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"But look at what happened at Offaly already, after coming down last year and Carlow are this year’s Offaly, at present. What Carlow would have learnt this year may be lost by going back to the McDonagh.

"So, to ensure teams are able to sustain what they have learnt by going up to the top level, the pace of the game and the skills they would have honed, it may not be beneficial for them to go straight back down.

"It is easier to sustain that level against stiffer opposition, with all due respect to the McDonagh group."

Bolger said that any changes would not come into effect until 2021.

"We have to bring this to Congress so it won’t kick in til the following year. We are bound by rules in that sense."

Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

See Also: 'I’m Getting More Mature On The Field But More Childish In The Dressing Room'

PJ Browne
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