The SPFL have confirmed that The New Saints and Connah's Quay Nomads will participate in the 2018/19 IRN-BRU Cup.
The news was announced in a press release this afternoon, which also confirmed that Vanarama National League sides have been invited into the competition for the first time, Boreham Wood and Sutton United taking the two allocated places.
A spokesperson said: "The SPFL is pleased to announce a further expansion of the IRN-BRU Cup with the introduction of two English National League representatives to the competition next season.
"The announcement comes after the successful change of format introduced in 2016/17, which saw two teams each from Northern Ireland and Wales, additional clubs from the Highland and Lowland Leagues and all Ladbrokes Premiership under-20 Colt teams taking part, followed by the addition of two teams from the League of Ireland in season 2017/18.
"Now, following UEFA approval, Sutton United and Boreham Wood – the highest-ranked Vanarama National League sides in 2017/18 still competing in the division – will join the Irish (Bohemians and Bray Wanderers), Northern Irish (Crusaders and Coleraine) and Welsh (The New Saints and Connah’s Quay Nomads) representatives at the Second Round stage of the competition.
"The First Round Draw for the 2018/19 IRN-BRU Cup will take place on Tuesday 26th June. Full competition format details will be announced in due course."
The New Saints have reached the semi-finals of the competition in both of the previous two seasons. They lost last year to Dumbarton, who also knocked out Connah's Quay en route to the Final.
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