Galway will begin the defence of their provincial and All-Ireland hurling titles with a trip to Bord na Móna O’Connor Park to face Offaly in the first round of the revamped Leinster SHC next summer.
On the same weekend, Pat Gilroy will manage the Dublin hurlers in a championship tie for the first time against Brian Cody’s Kilkenny while Wexford have a bye.
The reigning champions will play their first home match in the Leinster Championship in Round 3 against Kilkenny, and Dublin will also travel across the Shannon in Round 5. The full fixtures are:
Games are expected to be played on five successive weekends, starting on 12th/ 13th May. Exact dates and venues will be announced soon, with the first named team having home advantage in each round.
The Leinster Senior Hurling Championships will be played on a round-robin basis for the first time ever in 2018, with each of the five teams having two home and two away games. The counties finishing in the top two places will contest the provincial final.
This is a result of the success of a proposed three-year trial motion put forward by the GAA’s CCCC/Ard Comhairle which was recently passed at a Special Congress.
The Leinster champions will advance to the All-Ireland semi-finals. An amendment put forward by Laois, Offaly and Meath at Congress means that there will be a change to the All-Ireland quarter final stage.
The third-place team in the provincial group shall play a preliminary quarter-final against one of the Tier 2 Championship finalists with Tier 2 teams having home advantage. (The Tier 2 winner and runner-up fixtures versus the third placed teams in Leinster and Munster will alternate on an annual basis.) The beaten provincial finalists from Leinster and Munster shall play one of the preliminary quarter-final winners in the All-Ireland quarter-finals.