Magners League
Battle lines drawn for Magners League campaign
ESPNscrum Staff
March 31, 2011
Ospreys celebrate with the Magners League silverware, Leinster v Ospreys, Magners League Grand Final, RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland, May 29, 2010
The Ospreys celebrate winning last year's Magners League title © PA Photos
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The race for next season's Magners League crown will kick-off on the first weekend of September this year and will be played over six of the eight weeks set aside for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

After the opening six rounds of matches there will be a two-week break for the semi-finals and final of the World Cup before fixtures resume on October 29. There will be two more weekends of Magners League action before the European Pool matches begin on the weekend of November 12.

There will be four rounds of matches during the seven week Six Nations window with the final league weekend coming on May 5. The play-off semi-finals will follow on the weekend of May 12 with the third Grand Final being scheduled for the weekend of May 26.

"It is obviously going to be a very busy season for rugby around the globe because of the World Cup in New Zealand and the 12 teams in the Magners League will have to launch their campaigns without their international stars," said tournament director David Jordan.

"But this is nothing new to them, or the clubs who play in the Aviva Premiership or Top 14. Those opening six weeks of the season will give the many up and coming stars who have shown off their skills during the 2011 Six Nations period further chances to shine.

"This season we played during the two international windows and, once again, we will be playing during four of the seven weeks taken up by the 6 Nations in 2012. There could be as many as 100 players returning to the Magners League from the World Cup in October and they will reinvigorate the tournament when they resume domestic duties."

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