Galway set to use interprovincial loophole to return to training

Galway hurling may be in crisis but there is the small consolation that the players won’t have to wait as long as had been anticipated to start their 2016 preparations.

As per rule, the All-Ireland runners-up are not permitted to return to squad training sessions until December 29. However, not only will they face Dublin in a Super 11s game in Boston next month but they are also likely to comprise all, if not the vast majority, of Connacht’s interprovincial team when they face Ulster in a semi-final on December 5.

Win that game, and they meet Leinster or Munster in the following day’s decider. Several of their players will also be involved in the Opel GAA-GPA All Stars trip to Austin, Texas on December 10.

Both Cork’s senior teams can return to full collective training activity on December 1 although as they will have new managers, they will be afforded the opportunity to stage trial games involving players not in this year’s squads prior to the date. No teams are permitted to train between December 21 and 28. U21 football panels can commence on December 1 but only for trial or challenges games with the official start date for training being January 1. U21 hurling teams can begin on March 1.

Collective training has also been defined as “where one or more players are asked to be at a specific place at a specific time on a specific date”. The penalty for a team found to have contravened the rule is the forfeiture of their next home game in the National League.

INTER-COUNTY COLLECTIVE TRAINING RETURN DATES:

FOOTBALL:

November 15: Carlow, Down, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, London, Waterford, Wicklow; December 1: Antrim, Armagh, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Derry, Donegal, Fermanagh, Galway, Kildare, Longford, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Westmeath, Wexfordd; December 8: Mayo, Tyrone; December 29: Dublin, Kerry.

HURLING:

November 15: Antrim, Carlow; December 1: Clare, Cork, Dublin, Laois, Limerick, Offaly, Westmeath, Wexford; December 8: Tipperary, Waterford; December 29: Galway, Kilkenny.


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