Leinster Clubs Protest AIL Restructure

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29 May 2018

Senior clubs in Leinster are demanding that the IRFU reveal their plans for restructuring the All-Ireland League reports The Irish Times.

The major concern, at a meeting of every senior Leinster club last week, was the suspected move towards a semi-professional “third tier” in 2019.

Following the disbanding of the British and Irish Cup, which provided regular competition for provincial “A” teams, Philip Browne, the IRFU chief executive, has already indicated a revamped format is imminent.

This is believed to be a two-conference, eight-team competition without promotion or relegation.

“At this point in time there exists a real opportunity to put our club game on a more sustainable footing into the future,” said Browne in a memo to the clubs, “and return the [AIL] to being the third tier of Irish rugby, supporting both the provincial and national teams.”

The IRFU are seeking to create a “strong link between the club game and pro game in a complimentary season structure.”

What this exactly means Browne would not say.

The Leinster clubs want the AIL to remain in its current format and came out strongly against moves towards a semi-professional league from 2019/20.

The majority of speakers, at the meeting facilitated by the Leinster branch, voiced concerns about the league being transformed into a stepping stone towards professionalism.

“The clubs have advised us that they have not been given any details of the new proposal and are very surprised and disappointed to learn that a proposal has been made without

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