Munster leagues hit by withdrawals
Munster GAA officials will meet at the end of the month to decide on a format for provincial hurling and football leagues after Christmas, as more counties withdraw from the competitions.
All-Ireland finalists Waterford will not be entering the hurling competition, while Kerry became the latest county after Tipperary to withdraw from the McGrath Cup.
Derek McGrath's Waterford will travelling to New York and Cancun in Mexico on a team holiday just after Christmas, with the National Hurling League starting earlier on the final weekend in January.
Third-level colleges have not been involved in the winter leagues for the past two years, with the McGrath Cup being run off on a round-robin format with three counties in each pool.
Tipperary have not participated in the Munster hurling league for the past two years but Michael Ryan's men will return for 2018. As a result, it seems likely that the competition will continue as a five-team round-robin tournament with the top two teams contesting the final. Cork are the holders, having defeated Limerick by 1-21 to 1-20 in the final in January.
The McGrath Cup will need to be restructured as only Cork, Clare, Limerick and Waterford will be participating following the decision by holders Kerry and Liam Kearns' Tipperary not to participate.
A Munster GAA spokesperson said the format and fixtures for both competitions would be finalised later this month.
"There is a Munster CCC meeting scheduled for November 29 at which the fixtures and competition format is expected to be finalised for the McGrath Cup. It's expected the Munster Hurling League format and fixtures will also be finalised at that meeting. Waterford are not entering the hurling, all five other Munster counties are at present," he said.