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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Dubs on the road again

Wexford Park or Portlaoise opener for All-Ireland champs

Laois's John O’Loughlin remonstrates with referee Cormac Branagan before being sent off for hitting Dublin’s Michael Darragh Macauley in their Leinster
SFC quarterfinal in Nowlan Park, Kilkenny last June. Photo: Dáire Brennan/Sportsfile
Laois's John O’Loughlin remonstrates with referee Cormac Branagan before being sent off for hitting Dublin’s Michael Darragh Macauley in their Leinster SFC quarterfinal in Nowlan Park, Kilkenny last June. Photo: Dáire Brennan/Sportsfile

Dublin will again begin their summer campaign on the road next year, with either Wexford or Portlaoise hosting their 2017 Leinster SFC opener.

The Leinster Council last night confirmed dates and venues for next year's inter-county competitions and have decided once more to take Jim Gavin's men out of their Croke Park safety net, having done so for the first time in 10 years for a Championship match back in June.

Wexford and Carlow, who play off in the 1st round for a crack at the All-Ireland champions in the quarter-final, nominated their preferred venues for the fixture, which will take place on either Saturday or Sunday, June 3/4.

With its 18,000 capacity, Wexford Park was deemed a suitable ground after Dublin's trip to Nowlan Park to play Laois this year drew 16,764.

Carlow's home ground, Netwatch Cullen Park, holds just 12,000 of which only 2,000 are seated, leaving them the option of O'Moore Park, Nowlan Park or a first match in Croke Park since 2011.

The Dublin hurlers, meanwhile, will begin their Leinster SHC campaign in O'Connor Park, when they face Galway in the provincial quarter-final on May 28.

LEINSTER SFC 1st Rd - May 21: Laois v Longford, O'Moore Park, Louth v Wicklow, Parnell Park, Carlow v Wexford, Netwatch Cullen Park.

LEINSTER SFC Q-Finals - June 3/4: Dublin v Wexford or Carlow, Wexford Park/O'Moore Park, Kildare v Laois or Longford, O'Connor Park, Meath v Louth or Wicklow, Parnell Park/Aughrim. June 10th/11th: Offaly v Westmeath, O'Connor Park.

LEINSTER SHC Q-Finals - May 27/28: Dublin v Galway, O'Connor Park, Round robin team v Offaly, round robin team v Wexford. June 10/11: Kilkenny v round robin team or Wexford, round robin venue or Wexford Park

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