Wednesday 21 February 2018

Calls grow for hurling revamp amid fears of eclipse by Super 8s

Leinster CEO Michael Reynolds. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Leinster CEO Michael Reynolds. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Leinster GAA CEO Michael Reynolds is predicting adjustments to the format of the All-Ireland senior hurling championships, arising from the planned introduction of the Super 8s in football.

Reynolds senses "a definite mood for change among the hurling fraternity", who are concerned that the game will be swamped by football in the latter stages of the season.

The introduction of the Super 8s to replace the quarter-finals will add eight games to the football programme from next year. It will take 15 games to complete the Championship once it's down to the last eight counties, while there will be only five hurling games after the field is cut to six.

"Hurling people are worried that football will dominate later on in the championship. On top of that, there's the issue with Galway, which needs to be sorted out," said Reynolds.

Galway withdrew a motion from this year's Congress agenda calling for all their teams to compete in the Leinster Championship, rather than having it confined to the seniors.

A debate would have proved very divisive, leaving counties in Connacht, Munster and Ulster to decide on a matter which impacts on Leinster only.

Galway agreed to withdraw the motion after being promised that their unique position would be part of a wider review.

Reynolds said that the broader picture suggested change was on the way with the hurling championship, although how it would eventually work out remains to be seen.

"There aren't as many counties in hurling with a chance of reaching the last eight as there are in football," he said.

"That will have to be taken into account. If there is to be change, a decision will also have to be made on whether it will be within the Leinster and Munster championships or outside in the All-Ireland championship.

"It's an area that will have to be looked at carefully but there's no doubt that from talking to hurling people, they are keen on having something different after seeing what's happening in football."

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport