Kilkenny’s first championship game of 2016 will be on away territory after tonight’s Leinster council meeting in Portlaoise which was to determine dates and venues for next year’s hurling and football championships.
Defending senior football champions Dublin will begin their defence of the Delaney Cup with a meeting in Nowlan Park in Kilkenny against the winners of the Laois v Wicklow first round tie on Saturday, June 4.
It will be the first time since playing Longford at Pearse Park in 2006 that the Dublin senior footballers have played a Leinster senior championship match outside of Croke Park.
A motion to play the SFC quarter final involving Dublin and either Laois or Wicklow at Nowlan Park was passed when 22 of the 28 delegates present voted in its favour.
Leinster senior hurling champions Kilkenny will play Dublin or Wexford in a semi-final on Saturday, June 11. If Dublin qualify for the semi-final the match will be in Portlaoise. If it is Wexford, the game will be in Wexford Park.
There will be 21 match days across the Leinster senior hurling and football championships in 2016, with Croke Park staging four days of action in the Leinster Championship next year.
The Laois v Wicklow SFC game will form a double header at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise with Louth v Carlow the curtain raiser on Saturday, May 14.
Another notable feature is the decision to play the Wexford footballers and hurlers as a double bill at Croke Park on May 29 – with the footballers meeting Kildare at 2pm and the hurlers meeting Dublin in a quarter final at 4pm.
It will be the first time the Model County have played senior championship hurling at Croke Park since 2007 when they were defeated by Kilkenny by 0-23 to 1-10 in an All-Ireland semi-final.
Contesting the Leinster Intermediate Hurling Championship, Kilkenny will play in either Nowlan Park or O’Connor Park for the final – depending on whether it’s Galway or Wexford they’ll be facing. That final date is fixed for 13 July.