Dundee United’s defence of the Irn-Bru Cup next season will now be against teams from four nations after the SPFL announced an expansion of the tournament.
From last season, two sides each from Wales and Northern Ireland were invited to take part in the Challenge Cup for the first time ever.
Now, following Uefa approval, two League of Ireland teams will join at the second-round stage.
Bray Wanderers and Sligo Rovers, the league’s top two non-European participants, will join Crusaders and Linfield from north of the border, while The New Saints and Gap Connah’s Quay are in from Wales.
Also taking part once again will be Highland and Lowland League teams and all Premiership U/20 Colt sides.
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “We are thrilled to be working with our friends at the League of Ireland and offer both Bray Wanderers and Sligo Rovers a warm welcome to the Irn-Bru Cup following a very successful first year under the new format.
“Scottish football is leading the way with innovation around cross-border football which is likely to be a key part of the footballing landscape in the coming years.
“We developed strong and positive relationships with our counterparts in Northern Ireland and Wales last season, alongside our iconic and innovative sponsor, Irn-Bru, and look forward to doing the same with the League of Ireland, Bray Wanderers and Sligo Rovers in 2017/18.”
The first-round draw will take place on Tuesday, June 27.
United, meanwhile, start their defence in the third round.