Clare star Tony Kelly believes the Munster championship would be worth sacrificing to have a group-based competition in hurling along the lines of football's 'Super 8'.

The more competitive nature of the Munster title has often been cited as a reason to preserve traditional provincial structures, but Kelly thinks players would happily move with the times if the chance to play more games at the height of summer presented itself.

“Personally, I would,” the forward told the Irish Independent.

“I can understand why it isn’t (happening). I can understand why winning a Munster championship would be a massive thing for us because of the competition that’s there.

"But if you were comparing it to Dublin winning the Leinster championship in football... from my looking in from the outside, I don’t think it’s their goal.

“In Munster, of all the hurling teams, I don’t think it’s their overall goal either. It’s a massive achievement to win it but their overall goal is to get to Croke Park and to win the All-Ireland. 

"So I wouldn’t have an objection if they did get rid of the Munster championship and had an all-out proper All-Ireland series ran off, with everyone in it.”

"If you had that sort of format in July and August, it would bring on hurling in leaps and bounds"

One of the most-heard criticisms of the Super 8 stage that is to replace the football championship quarter-finals is that it could overshadow hurling.

There will be 19 football championship games in July and August, compared to just five in the small-ball code.

“It’s definitely an imbalance," said Kelly, whose Ballyea club line out in the All-Ireland club senior hurling final against Dublin's Cuala on St Patrick's Day.

"I hear of lot of lads giving out about the ‘Super 8’ in the football but if something like that was to come into the hurling, I’d be a fan of it.

“I think something like that in hurling would give better games as well. Even last year - I heard Henry Shefflin and ‘Dalo’ saying it on TV - that there were two good semi-finals and a final really.

“And I think the final wasn’t even as good as the semi-finals. But if you had that sort of format in July and August and big hurling games like that, it would bring on hurling in leaps and bounds. 

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"We don’t have as many hurling teams as they do in football but I think something like that would really benefit hurling.

“I am a fan of bringing the All-Ireland finals forward to August but I also wouldn’t see a problem with moving them back to September if there was something like a ‘Super 8’ or a ‘Super 10’, or whatever brought into the hurling.

“If you look at Division 1A in hurling right now and how tight it is, if you had something like that in the middle of the championship, I think it would be a really good championship.”