Ashbourne and Navan go in search of Towns' Cup glory

Meath club Ashbourne have been given a bye to the second round while Navan J1's have been drawn away to Portlaoise in the first round of the 2023 Bank of Ireland Leinster Provincial Towns Cup.

Ashbourne last year reached the final of the famous competition but lost out to Mullingar at Kilcock RFC. The Meath club has won the venerable old trophy once.

The draw for this year's competition was made in Lansdowne Road on Saturday, ahead of the Leinster v Racing 92 European fixture in the Aviva Stadium.

The Provincial Towns' Cup is set to kick off on Sunday, 12th February, with the first team drawn receiving home advantage. The final will take place on Sunday 23rd April, with the venue still to be confirmed.

Twenty-five teams will take part in this year’s Provincial Towns Cup competition, while seven teams have been awarded byes through to the second round.

These seven teams are playing in Division 1A of the Leinster League: Gorey RFC, Kilkenny RFC, Boyne RFC, Ashbourne RFC, the top team from Division 1B: Wicklow RFC and two provincial teams in the metro league Division 2: Naas RFC and Enniscorthy RFC.

2023 Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup First Round Draw:

* Longford RFC v Tullamore RFC

* Newbridge Rugby Club v North Kildare RFC

* Dundalk RFC v County Carlow Football Club

* Cill Dara Rugby Club v Clondalkin Rugby Club

* Wexford Wanderers RFC v Mullingar RFC

* Tullow RFC v Athy Rugby Club

* Roscrea Rugby Club v Skerries RFC

* New Ross RFC v Edenderry RFC

* Portlaoise Rugby Club v Navan RFC (J1's)

Byes into the Second Round:

* Gorey RFC

* Kilkenny RFC

* Boyne RFC

* Ashbourne RFC

* Wicklow RFC

* Naas RFC

* Enniscorthy RFC