Bank of Ireland Club competitions are 'exceeding our expectations'
The Bank of Ireland Munster U-16 and U-18 Clubs competitions began last September and are currently at the qualifying stage, with quarter-finals scheduled for February.
The exciting new competitions came into place following lengthy discussions with the regional committees and set out to build in the success of the Pan-Munster Competition at U-16 and U-18 level that had run for some years.
The key aims of the competition were to provide up to 16 matches for each underage team taking part in line with the IRFU Player Development Pathway.
It also focused on creating a challenging environment for players and their coaches to develop and to provide a playing environment that can attract players and maintain their involvement and contact with their clubs.
The season was divided into two main sections: a seeding structure in the first half of the season and a full competitive section in the new year leading into finals in March.
A total of 42 clubs and club amalgamations signed up for both Bank of Ireland U-16 and U-18 Munster Clubs competitions and they come from all corners and regions of the province.
To date there have been a total of 231 games played at U-16 level and 220 at U-18 level. This equates to approximately nine games per player at this stage of the season, which represents a significant improvement in the number of games played from previous seasons.
Speaking of the new competition, chairman of the Munster Youth Committee Tom McCoy commented: "The new Bank of Ireland U-16 and U-18 Munster Clubs competitions have exceeded our expectations.
"The quality of game has improved during the season to date and the feedback we are receiving from clubs, players, coaches and importantly parents has been very positive.
"The support received from the four regional committees has in no small manner helped to ensure the successful and smooth running of the new competitions."
Commenting on the new format, chairman of Domestic Rugby Ger Malone said: "All new initiatives and competition models that give our club underage and schools' players more opportunities to compete are always welcome.
"The new template ensures more games and I would like to congratulate the youths committee on all the hard work they are doing in giving young players an opportunity to develop themselves.
"On behalf of the Munster Rugby Committee I wish to thank all the volunteers in underage rugby for the hard work they are putting in throughout the province."
Bank of Ireland Munster Club U-18 Cup
Charleville v Garryowen, Charleville,
Bank of Ireland Munster Club U-16 Cup
Ballincollig v Killorglin, Tanner Park, 12.30
Munster Club U-18 Cup
Cashel v Presentation-Richmond, Cashel, 11.30
Midleton v Skibbereen, Towns Park, 1pm;
Dungarvan v Shannon, Dungarvan, 1.0;
Highfield v Waterpark, Woodleigh Park, 1.0;
Mallow v Bruff, Mallow, 12pm;
Munster Club U-16 Cup
Midleton v Garryowen/Presentation/UL Bohs/Newport Towns Park, 12.0