Owain Tudur Jones welcomes Welsh clubs in Scottish Challenge Cup

New Saints celebrate their Welsh Cup final win over Airbus UK
New Saints' won the domestic Welsh treble for a second successive season

Former Wales midfielder Owain Tudur Jones has welcomed the inclusion of Welsh clubs in next season's Scottish Challenge Cup.

Two Welsh and two Northern Irish sides will enter the last 16 of the 2016-17 competition after approval from Uefa.

Jones, 31, played in the Welsh Premier League and also had spells at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Hibernian and Falkirk during his time in Scotland.

"I think it's a great idea," Jones told BBC Wales Sport.

"In Wales and Scotland you have to look to progress and look for different ideas to bring fans through the gate

"Rangers are the club who won it last year and that shows the potential calibre of the games that could be played.

Owain Tudur Jones
Owain Tudur Jones enjoyed two successful years at Inverness before switching to Hibernian

"We can then have an idea of the levels that the Welsh clubs can perform at."

It is expected the Welsh Premier League's top two last season, The New Saints and Bala Town, as well as Crusaders and Linfield from Northern Ireland will take part.

The tournament for teams outside Scotland's top flight will also include an under-20s side from each Scottish Premiership club in the first round.

Four teams from the Highland League and four from the Lowland League will also enter at that stage in August.

The Scottish Professional Football League say the majority of fixtures will take place during international weekends, while BBC ALBA, S4C and Premier Sports will all show live matches.

Championship winners Rangers lifted the trophy in 2015-16, beating Peterhead in the final at Hampden.

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