Connacht Schools Rugby has a new partner with Elvery Sports taking over as sponsor of the popular cup competition.
Involved with Connacht Rugby for more than seven years, Elvery Sports is also the official retail partner for the province.
It is a big boost for the competition which is seen as the primary route to develop young rugby players in the province, and this year 29 schools, a record number, will compete in the four cup competitions.
Following the successful pools system of last year, the Senior Cup has been split into two pools of four with the top two teams proceeding through to the semi-finals.
This format has been replicated across all four cups, the Senior Cup, Senior Development Cup, Junior Cup and Junior Development Cup to ensure more competitive games, with each school playing a minimum of three games before the knock-out stages.
Eight schools will contest the Senior Cup with Summerhill, Rice College, Colaiste Iognaid and St Joseph’s Garbally drawn in pool one. St Joseph’s, Galway (the Bish ) will face Sligo Grammar, Clifden and Marist in pool 2.
The first round of games are scheduled to take place on January 16.
Jimmy Staunton, director at Elverys Sports, said his company already had a strong association with rugby.
"Elverys Sports has sponsored Connacht Rugby for more than seven years and we are delighted to be in a position to extend our involvement with the province to title sponsor of the Schools Cup.
"Rugby is now the fastest growing sport in the region so we look forward to continued growth and exciting fixtures and results in the coming months on both the domestic and professional sides."
Connacht Rugby's domestic rugby manager Lyndon Jones added:
"Schools rugby is being played in more schools around the province every year and as its popularity grows, we're delighted to have Elverys on board as the title sponsor. We now have the highest ever number of schools participating in the competition,”