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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 July 2006, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK
Celtic League toasts Magners deal
Magners League logo
The new Magners League logo
The Celtic League's five-year search for a sponsor has been ended by brewing giants Magners.

The Irish cider company has signed up until 2008, in an expected six-figure deal that will see the competition renamed the Magners League.

Celtic Rugby director David Jordan said: "Our partnership with Magners is an exciting one."

Matches start on the week beginning 1 September, with champions Ulster at home to Llanelli Scarlets.

The other fixtures see Border Reivers start at home to Connacht, Cardiff Blues host Munster, Glasgow Warriors entertain Newport Gwent Dragons, while Edinburgh Gunners travel to Ospreys.

Numerous firms have been linked with the Celtic League since its inception in 2001, but the previous low priority given to it by the Irish sides has dissuaded them.

But with Ireland's successes last year, those fears have been dispelled.

The three Irish sides took the top three places in last season's Celtic League, with Ulster as champions, whilst Munster's Heineken Cup triumph generated huge interest.

Magners already sponsor Celtic League side Edinburgh Gunners and Guinness Premiership outfit Wasps.

Ulster's Celtic League fixtures for 2006-07 season
1/2/3 September - Ulster v Llanelli Scarlets
8/9/10 September - Newport Gwent Dragons v Ulster
15/16/17 September - Edinburgh Gunners v Ulster
22/23/24 September - Ulster v Ospreys
29/30 September and 1 October - Munster v Ulster
6/7/8 October - Connacht v Ulster
13/14/15 October - Ulster v Cardiff Blues
3/4/5 November - Ulster v Border Reivers
10/11/12 November - Free week
1/2/3 December - Ulster v Leinster
22/23/24 December - Ulster v Connacht
29/30/31 December - Leinster v Ulster
5/6/7 Jan - Glasgow v Ulster
26/27/28 January - Ospreys v Ulster
16/17/18 February - Ulster v Newport Gwent Dragons
2/3/4 March - Llanelli Scarlets v Ulster
23/24/25 March - Ulster v Munster
6/7/8 April - Free week
13/14/15 April - Border Reivers v Ulster
27/28/29 April - Ulster v Glasgow Warriors
4/5/6 May - Cardiff Blues v Ulster
11/12/13 May - Ulster v Edinburgh Gunners


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