Munster coach Tony McGahan commenting on the new format said, "Thats the way it is in all the other major club competitions ie English Premiership, Super 14 and we knew it was perhaps only a matter of time before it was adopted here. Obviously the play offs lend themselves to a very hectic end of season but that would of be something we would welcome and of course will be striving to be involved."
The Magners League has undoubtedly grown in stature and David Jordan, Director of Celtic Rugby commented, "When you look through the Magners League shop window you will see some of the game's greatest assets. The challenge to us this season is to ensure we make the most of them. Rugby in the Celtic Nations has never been on such a high." said Jordan and McGahan developing this theme added, "Each year the competition gets more and more competitive and I think the quality of the competition is reflected in the fact that a Magners League country (Ireland) won the Grand Slam and Churchill Cup last season, three of the four HC semi-finlaists were Magners League sides and the Lions squad was backboned by Magners League players.
"So I think that shows just how far this competition has progressed over the past number of seasons.
The play offs add a new dimension with Jordan saying that what Celtic Rugby are looking for, "is a sell-out occasion at a venue that will deliver a great match-day experience to the players, fans, sponsors and broadcasters. Within 3-5 years I expect this event to have grown sufficiently for us to lead a loyal band of supporters to bigger venues with little or no risk of falling short of expectations.
"The introduction of play-offs will not be the only major change this season and slowly but surely, the Magners League is realising its true potential and it is certainly delivering better players to our international coaches - and hardening the teams for the big cross-border contests in Europe.
"We have a magnificent sponsor in Magners, a host of committed broadcast partners in BBC Wales, S4C and Setanta Ireland, some of the biggest brand names in world club rugby and a growing army of fans.
"The Magners League is a competition that has grown in stature and standard, is growing in credibility and which is ready to move to the next level this season. It is going to be great to watch - with a fantastic finale to come at the end of May."