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Junior rugby will have a new look post Covid19

By Aidan Corr
WE are facing a time of change: Restricted attendances at matches, distancing, limited catering and everything else that goes with protecting ourselves and others from the Covid19 pandemic.
Some changes have already been mooted at grassroots level with the Munster Junior Leagues due to take on a new look when action returns in the autumn. Kilfeacle and District were crowned MJL1 champions a few weeks back after the Branch decided that their final game, away to Richmond, would not be played. They are indeed worthy champions and will surely have celebration plans to mark a super season that includes their All-Ireland Junior Cup success earlier in the campaign.
There will be changes in the three divisions next season with clubs divided between north and south Munster. In division two St Mary’s will be matched with Ennis and Scariff from division three; Thurles and Fethard and District from Tipperary; Dungarvan and Waterford City and Mitchelstown from Cork. Sixteen teams will compete in this division, eight in each section, with play-offs at the end of the season to decide the silverware. Division one will have something similar while in division three both Ardscoil Ris and Presentation will be given the option of participating.
All clubs have suffered financially from the long lockdown. Some of the local clubhouses would have been busy with bookings for Holy Communion and Confirmations functions at this time of the year as well as the usual events that help to keep junior rugby clubs’ heads above water.
St Mary’s have lost their senior coach Geoff Kenny due to family reasons. His contribution to the club has been significant since he came to Limerick. Keith McManus will continue to coach the side until a replacement is found according to a club spokesman.

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