The draw for the 2020 Munster and Leinster Hurling Championships have been confirmed, with the first round throwing up some cracking games.
Due to the the condensed nature of the 2020 calendar because of the postponement of the season, the round robin format used in both competitions in recent years will bot be used. While the group games were a thrilling spectacle over the past few years, there is something magical about knockout hurling.
With the round robin likely to return for 2021, the stakes for each game this year will be massive.
In Munster, Defending champions Limerick have been drawn against Clare in the quarter final, while All-Ireland winners Tipperary will take on the winners
The other semi final will see the meeting of Cork and Waterford.
In Leinster, 2019 winners Wexford face a mouth-watering semi final against Galway, while the winners of the quarter final between Laois and Dublin will face Kilkenny.
Here's the draw in full:
Munster Hurling Championship Draw
Limerick v Clare
Cork v Waterford
Tipperary v Limerick/Clare
Leinster Hurling Championship Draw
Laois v Dublin
Galway v Wexford
Laois/Dublin v Kilkenny
For those eliminated at the provincial stage, a two-round backdoor route will be in place in order to secure a route to the All-Ireland quarter finals.
Limerick are the slight favourites to retain their provincial crown, although this could be the most difficult championship to predict in quite some time. Not only does the knockout format make it less predictable, but it remains to be seen which teams will cope best with the extended break in the middle of the season.
We can't wait to find out...