The Celtic League board have confirmed that next season's Celtic League will be structured to ensure that none of the League's 22 weekend season will clash with either autumn internationals or RBS 6 Nations international weekends.
Following a meeting in Dublin it was also confirmed that all three Celtic nations had agreed to sign a new 3 year Celtic Accord confirming their support for the cross border competition for a further three seasons and until at least May 2008. All three Celtic nations also agreed that they would uniformly use the finishing positions of their respective teams in the Celtic League tournament as their Heineken Cup qualification vehicle.
Celtic League Association Chairman, John Hussey, and his fellow Directors have welcomed these developments with great enthusiasm and look forward to the tournament growing from strength to strength. The over whelming support offered by all parties is just what the Celtic League needs in order to attract and maximise commitment from supporters, players, current business partners and potential sponsors alike.
The three Unions also discussed and agreed various measures to address player welfare issues by controlling the number of fixtures players play. The unconditional support for the League tournament as the means of qualification for the Heineken Cup and the Unions commitment to player welfare will mean the withdrawal of the end of season Celtic Cup play-offs after this season's final on 14 May.
The Celtic League season will kick off on the weekend of 3 September 2005 and will end on the last weekend of May 2006. Details of fixtures and dates will be released early next month.