19 May, 11:13
There are six uncapped players in the Ireland squad for the summer tour to North America that was named this morning. An Emerging Ireland squad has also been selected for the Tblisi Cup in Georgia.
"And it is not just through the turnstiles that we are seeing increased interest - our broadcast partners BBC Wales & S4C have also recorded a rise of 16.3% in their overall viewing figures compared to last season, whilst our other TV partner, Setanta Sports, have increased their subscriber base significantly, further widening the reach of the Magners League to viewers throughout the UK and Ireland.
"The continued growth of the competition has been helped no doubt by the higher profile brought about by Magners' commitment to invest substantially in all countries involved in Celtic Rugby," he added.
The Magners League is one of the leading competitions in world rugby, and we feel that, like our title sponsor, we have an attractive product which people enjoy."
Orlaith Fortune, the Marketing Manager of Wm Magner, commented: "We are delighted to be launching the second season of the Magners League. Following the successful inaugural season, the 2007/08 fixtures have lined up what promises to be another season of sell-out, exciting and competitive matches which will continue to showcase the fantastic brand of rugby played in the Magners League - something we very much look forward to.
"We will continue to support the growth and increased profile of the competition, and have exciting plans, including continuing our broadcast sponsorships with S4C and Setanta and launching a new advertising campaign in line with the start of the season. Key to our plans are the ten teams and their fans, who are integral to the continued success of the Magners League."
Celtic Rugby's League competition was formed for the 2001/02 season and consists of teams from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The League was played on a home and away basis in the 2003/04 campaign for the first time.
During the 2006/07 season, over 660,000 fans came through the turnstiles at the 110 Magners League games, whilst thousands more tuned in to one of the 73 live televised matches, or followed the progress of their favorite teams through local radio broadcasts or over the internet.
Current Champions - 2006/07 - Ospreys
Previous Champions - 2001/02 - Leinster, 2002/03 - Munster, 2003/04 - Llanelli Scarlets, 2004/05 - Neath Swansea Ospreys, 2005/06 - Ulster