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Open draw adds new lease of life to Leinster schools cups

Leinster Schools rugby is set for a more intriguing and exciting year of cup competition with the introduction of open draws.

Having solicited the views of the schools, a meeting of the Leinster Committee held on Monday night last rubberstamped the main proposal from this season to change the Leinster Senior and Junior Cups from the traditional 'all in' draw, whereby the potential route to the final was mapped from early December on.

Under the new system an open draw will take place after each round with pre-selected dates for each round including the finals.

It brings the Leinster competition in line with the long-established Ulster 'rolling draw' for Senior and Medallion competitions. Both Connacht and Munster will continue as before with the southern province again operating their version of the 'back door,' whereby Round 2 provides a second shot at making the semi-finals for all eight qualifiers, irrespective of the results in Round 1.

Beyond that in Leinster, proposals for evening kick-offs embracing the possible re-scheduling of the final from its traditional St Patrick's Day date (because of increased overlapping with Six Nations weekends) have been put on hold.

Certainly the mystery and intrigue surrounding an open draw will add significantly to the appeal and excitement of these two great competitions.

Irish Independent