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Allianz League: New managers to cut teeth in Division 3

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Last year the finalists in Division 3 were guaranteed a shot at the Sam Maguire Cup, but this year it's different.2023 marks the first year that we have a defending Tailteann Cup champion and what it means in practice is that Division 3 Westmeath will be competing for Sam Maguire this summer, come what may in the league or the Leinster championship.They will be added to the eight provincial finalists, alongside the seven highest ranked teams - based on league performance - who haven't made it to their provincial final.

We know that, after the draw for the Connacht SFC, one of London, Sligo, New York or Leitrim will be guaranteed a spot in the western provincial decider.Allianz League: Headline acts bring sparkle to Division 2The finalists in the third tier of the league are considered to be ranked higher than the sides who finished seventh and eighth in Division 2 at the end of the competition.

But, with only 16 counties allowed into the Sam Maguire race, it means that qualification for the elite competition this summer cannot be secured by any of the other seven Division 3 counties this spring.Any of those seven could still reach their respective provincial final, thus demoting a Division 2 side into the Tailteann Cup.

But it marks a big change from last year when the two Division 3 finalists - Louth and Limerick - knew that their reward for finishing in the top two in Division 3 was a Sam Maguire spot.We've seen Division 1 in the Allianz Hurling League become less important for counties since the format of the Championship changed.

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