U-21 Interprovincials to be scrapped

According to this morning’s Examiner – and subsequently on Southern Fried – the U-21 interprovincial tournament is set to be scrapped for the coming season.

IHA chief executive Angus Kirkland this week informed branch representatives that one men’s and one women’s interpro competition will be held on March 26 and 27.

All players over the age of 18 will be eligible for selection, effectively meaning the senior and U-21 events have been amalgamated.

The decision follows a consultation process between the interpro working group, which was comprised of national and provincial branch representatives, and national coaches Paul Revington and Gene Muller.

The IHA’s high performance working group has also been tasked with finding a fourth team to compete in the men’s event. The identity of a fourth side has yet to be confirmed, but candidates could include the Irish U-18 side or a foreign club/representative/invitational outfit.

Initial discussions had pointed towards the formation of a new U-23 tournament to replace the senior and U-21 formats but, in a letter circulated to the interpro working group, Kirkland outlined the decision taken following an IHA board meeting on Sunday.

“I am sure you will appreciate that this has been debated long and hard by the interpro working group, national coaches and the board, and with the varying views around the groups arriving at a solution that suits everyone just has not been possible – however having taken into accounts all viewpoints the board believe this to be the best way forward for this season,” Kirkland wrote.

Revington and Muller will determine the availability of international players for selection.

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