With 17,000 regularly turning up for Heineken Cup matches in the RDS where barely 700 turned out 15 years ago for the Leinster rugby team, it is tempting to envisage what life would be like for an equivalent hockey “Team Leinster” for European competition.
The amount of comments about Noel Keogh’s recent squad selection for what was expected to be a low-key Interpro tournament given the absence of the internationals has shown people really care about the provinces’ team.
Indeed, there are a couple of people involved at high levels in the game who believe this is a definite way forward if we are to improve the national team and give ourselves a better chance on the world stage.
Also, how would you feel about Leinster, Ulster or Munster taking up the country’s spot in the Euro Hockey league?
But would it really be so great for hockey in Ireland? Below I’ve laid out a few quick ideas of pros and cons.
*Top players playing more regular competitive fixtures against each other
*More likely the club side would do well in Europe
*Greater sponsorship potential
*Reduction in the importance of club hockey
*Clubs gain little benefit from the time and money that goes into producing top players
*National selection focus only on Interpro teams
*Less sponsorship potential for clubs