Celtic League

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The Celtic League, stairtit in 1999 an nou kent as the Magners League, is a rugby union competeetion wi teams fae the three Celtic kintras: Scotland, Ireland an Wales.

History[eedit | eedit soorce]

In 1999, the Welsh Premiership wis expandit tae include Glesca an Embro, an wis cried the Welsh-Scottish League

In 2001, a complouter wis makkit wi the Irish, Scots an Welsh Unions for tae mak a new competeetion tae include the fower Irish stewartries.

2001/02[eedit | eedit soorce]

The foremaist saison wad see fifteen teams compete:

The fower Irish stewartries (Connacht, Leinster, Munster an Ulster), twa Scots teams (Edinburgh Reivers and Glesgae) an aw nine Welsh Premier Diveesion teams (Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Ebbw Vale, Llanelli, Neath, Newport, Pontypridd an Swansea).

Playin in ilka kintra's ain competeetions, the teams wis splitten intae twa groups (o 8 an 7) an played a series o gemmes wi ilk team playin agin the ither juist the ae time. The tap fower teams fae ilka group gaed intae the gird-oot phase or a champion wis fand. Clashes aqueesh teams in the Welsh-Scottish League coontit tae the new competeetion an aw.

The 2001/2002 competeetion wis dominatit by the Irish teams wi aw fower teams gettin tae the hindermaist aicht, three makkin it tae the hintermaist fower, an the thrillin feenal played at Lansdowne Road contestit aqueesh Leinster an Munster wi the Dublin team beerin the gree 24-20.

2002/03[eedit | eedit soorce]

The demaunds o the Celtic league led tae the Scots / Welsh league bein scrappit in 2002. The Irish cross-proveencial championship wis doungradit an aw.

The seicont (2002/03) saison's format wis identical except athoot the addeetion o a third Scots team, the newlins re-estaiblisht Scottish Mairches.

2003/04[eedit | eedit soorce]

A gey muckle cheenge in Celtic League philosophy comen throu the early pairt o 2003, pairtly acause o the commercial seil o the league itsel but maistly acause o the Welsh Regional Rugby's financial constraints that left Wales wi but five bungfu professional coars. It wis decidit that the Celtic League wad become the ae professional league o the three countries, wi aw four Irish, three Scottish an the five nou Welsh (Cardiff Blues, Celtic Warriors, Llanelli Scarlets, Neath-Swansea Ospreys and Newport Gwent Dragons)coars.

Reformatted intae a traditional league competeetion (roond-robin wey, aw coars daff ilk ither twice, ance hame, ance awa), whilk ettled that a saison lang 22-roond daff program wis launchit, an wi a new virr in deepth acause o the amalgamation o Welsh coars an the continuing virrin o Irish an Scottish coars yont the re-signing an retention o muckle daffers, the league haes been in rugby terms a sonse. Introduced an aw for the 2003/04 saison wis the Celtic Quaich, a straucht gird-oot taffie competition aqueen the 12 Celtic League coars.

Naither the coorse timin o the league's launch an wickit organisation o a wirkin calendar meant that foremaist the 2003 Rugby World Cup an efter the RBS Six Nations Championship prevented mony o the league's top stars fae daffin in ower hauf the gemmes. This meant that commercially the league has struggled, especially regarding the newlins-adopted regions in Wales where the game has ayeweys traditionally been daffit on a club basis, no having the regional histories o Ireland or Scotland.

2004/05[eedit | eedit soorce]

The league format wis further refined at the droddum o the 2003/04 saison, wi the participants decidin tae better manage the dates of the gemmes so as no tae misguggle wi the national squad set-ups an tae mak the league mair commercially viable. The league wis daffit tae Apryle an then the Celtic Cup competeetion wis contested amongst the tap eicht coars o the league.

The Welsh Union then liquidated the Celtic Warriors region, lowdenin the coont o coars tae elieven.

2005/06[eedit | eedit soorce]

In 2005, there wis tatter ower an Anglo-Welsh cup competition whit some saw as undermining the Celtic League. Mauger Welsh assurances that the Anglo-Welsh tournament widnae interfere wi their commitments tae aither the Celtic League in its present format or an expanded 'Rainbow League', the SRU and IRFU cited the fact that the WRU had shappit arrangements to play games on five weekends without regard tae Celtic League fixtures. Welsh sides waur flung oot o the Celtic League in June 2005, but readmitted,

Mauger yon quirks, the league enjoyed its maist successful saison, wi the tap rangle at a Celtic League match bein brucken fower tids fae 12,436 at the Cardiff Blues Vs. Newport Gwent Dragons gemme in Dizember tae 15,327 for the Cardiff Blues Vs. Leinster match at the Millennium Stadium. The hail rangles for the saison war up naurhaund 50,000 at 571,331 abeis 521,449 for the foregane saison.

The league gaed doon tae the last roond wi Ulster and Leinster baith in contention. Efter Leinster's victory ower Embro an wi Ulster tynein agin the Ospreys, it lookit like the cup would gang tae Dublin but David Humphreys kickit a hintmaist meenit 40 metre drap dool tae limp the gemme an the league for Ulster.

Statistics[eedit | eedit soorce]

Celtic League
Saison Coars Fechters Seicont
2001/02 15 Leinster Munster
2002/03 16 Munster Neath
2003/04 12 Scarlets Ulster
2004/05 11 Ospreys Munster
2005/06 11 Ulster Leinster
Celtic Cup
Saison Coars Fechters Seicont
2003/04 12 Ulster Edinburgh
2004/05 8 Munster Scarlets

Maist points rit by a daffer in ane saison: 276 (Felipe Contepomi,Leinster, 2005-2006)
Maist tries rit by a daffer in ane saison: 12 (Jamie Robinson,Cardiff Blues,2003-2004 & Kevin Morgan,Newport Gwent Dragons,2004-2005)
Heichmaist Clamjamfrie at Celtic League match: 15,327 (Cardiff Blues Vs. Leinster, 14th May 2006)

See an aw[eedit | eedit soorce]

External links[eedit | eedit soorce]