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Leinster Rugby v Northampton Saints

Leinster Rugby v Northampton Saints | Issue 45 Leinster Rugby Official Matchday Programme Saturday 19th December, 2020 | Kick-off: 13:00

Leinster Rugby v Northampton Saints | Issue 45
Leinster Rugby Official Matchday Programme
Saturday 19th December, 2020 | Kick-off: 13:00

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ISSUE 05 | LEINSTER RUGBY OFFICIAL MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

CIAN

HEALY

ROBBIE

HENSHAW

FRONT PAGE

Baird

Ryan

CAELAN

DORIS

DEC

19

20

20

KICK OFF 13:00


Every great match

starts with 0.0


#LEIVNOR

Newstead Building A, UCD,

Belfield, Dublin 4

Telephone:

012693224

Fax:

012693142

E-mail:

information@leinsterrugby.ie

www.leinsterrugby.ie

EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT

President: John Walsh

Chief Executive: Michael Dawson

Honorary Secretary: Stuart Bayley

Honorary Treasurer: Michael McGrail

9 22

RUGBY MANAGEMENT

Head Coach: Leo Cullen

Senior Coach: Stuart Lancaster

Head of Rugby Operations:

Guy Easterby

Assistant Coach: Robin McBryde

Backs Coach: Felipe Contepomi

Kicking Coach: Emmet Farrell

Contact Skills Coach: Hugh Hogan

PROGRAMME CREDITS

Editorial Team: Marcus Ó Buachalla

& Ryan Corry

Advertising: Gary Nolan

Design: Julian Tredinnick,

Ignition Sports Media

Photography: Sportsfile

Chief Steward: Sword Security

Ambulance: St. John’s Ambulance

Medilink

Event Control & Safety Services:

Eamonn O’Boyle & Associates

14

64

58 90

STAY

CONNECTED

& KEEP

UP-TO-DATE

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 3 | From The Ground Up


CHAIRMAN

WELCOME

MESSAGE

Simon

Halliday

Less than eight weeks after

Exeter Chiefs became the twelfth

club to lift this prestigious trophy

in Bristol, the tournament kicks

off again with an exciting new

format to meet the challenges

that club rugby has been

presented by the containment

of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wherever you are watching the

action, the whole EPCR team

joins me in hoping that you

enjoy it.

When the global health crisis struck, we

were well on course to have the final of

this tournament in 2019/20 watched

live in the stadium by a capacity crowd

in Marseille. As we set out on the

pathway to the Stade Vélodrome again

this term, we will not be swayed from

our purpose of lobbying for fans to

return to stadiums across Europe.

We believe that it is essential for the

sport and for the mental health of a

public and of clubs who have suffered

enough in recent months. Of course,

we say that believing that this can be

achieved safely and consistently with

guidelines of various governments

across other industries.

European club rugby tournaments will

be played across eight weekends on

an exceptional basis this season and

that means 24 clubs lining up in two

pools of this Heineken Champions Cup.

With no repeats of domestic matches

in the pool stage, each club will play

two opponents home and away in the

December and January rounds. Then,

the top four classified in each pool will

head through to a new, two-legged

quarter-final with the next-best four

clubs in each section continuing their

European adventure in the knockout

rounds of the Challenge Cup.

The back-to-back weekends that kick off

the season give some mouthwatering

clashes for us to savour the 25th

season of Heineken’s association with

the tournament. Last season’s quarterfinal

and semi-final are immediately

repeated as Toulouse take on Ulster

Rugby in Belfast followed by holders

Exeter Chiefs at home. There’s a re-run

of the classic 2011 showpiece between

Leinster Rugby and Northampton

Saints and Challenge Cup holders

Bristol Bears take on European

heavyweights ASM Clermont Auvergne

as well as Connacht Rugby, which

will be a reunion for Pat Lam, among

others.

There is no doubting in the quality of

the matches as this tournament goes

from strength-to-strength. We thank our

broadcast partners – BT Sport, Channel

4, Virgin Media, beIN SPORTS and

France Télévisions domestically – for

their dedication to taking the action

to homes across the world, which has

been appreciated even more during the

pandemic.

We share this journey with you, the

fans, but also with the support of

partners Tissot, the Financial Times,

Gilbert and Kappa, and hope to be

in your company soon once more

as we make our way through what

promises to be an exciting 2020/21

season.

Yours in Rugby,

Simon Halliday, Chairman, EPCR

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 5 | From The Ground Up


THE UK IS

LEAVING.

THE FT ISN’T.

Stay connected to what matters

in Europe.

Read more at ft.com/europe


We extend a warm festive

welcome to the Northampton

team and club officials John White

(Chairperson), Mark Darbon

(CEO), Chris Boyd (Director of

Rugby) and team co-captains

Alex Walker and Lewis Ludlam.

No doubt both sides will miss

the unique atmosphere that

is generated for a Heineken

Champions Cup fixture and all

the hospitality and comradeship

associated with the European

tournament.

Northampton’s distinctive black, green

and gold jersey is deeply embroidered

into the fabric of Irish rugby history with

some fond memories for Leinster fans

and heartbreak for Munster fans. Hard to

believe that 20 seasons of European Cup

rugby has passed us since Northampton

won the Heineken Cup in Twickenham

in front of a record crowd to deprive

Munster of a win by the narrowest of

margins by a 9-8 scoreline. Untypically,

ROG missed with his four kicks including

a kick a minute from full-time that would

have earned a win.

Very much fresh in Leinster minds is the

2011 final which featured Leinster and

Northampton in the Millennium Stadium

in Cardiff in what has become known

as ‘The Great Comeback Final’. Trailing

22-6 at half-time it looked all over for

the boys in blue but an inspired second

half from Leinster saw them score 27

unanswered points to snatch victory from

the jaws of defeat.

For the past two seasons we have

been getting up close and personal

with Northampton both on and off

the pitch on our respective European

campaigns. Last season we secured

victory in our back-to-back high-scoring

and entertaining encounters (a total of

130 points scored) but this is now a new

chapter for both sides.

Northampton are a long and established

Premiership side with a title win in 2014

over our mutual good friends Saracens

while they also won the Premiership

Rugby Cup in 2019 inflicting another

defeat on Saracens. Add to this record

their two victories in the European

Challenge Cup and you are aware

that they are a club that does not lack

ambition. Northampton’s start to this

JOHN WALSH

WEL COME

season’s Premiership has not gone well

for them to date but with players returning

from international duty they are a side

that can pose a threat to any as they play

an expansive attacking game.

2021 will mark a special event in the

illustrious history of Northampton as it

will mark the centenary of the inaugural

Edgar Mobbs fixture. A visit to Franklin’s

Gardens is a must for rugby fans as

the stadium provides a unique sporting

atmosphere enriched by passionate

supporters. Like Dave Gallaher (New

Zealand) and Basil Maclear (Ireland),

Edgar Mobbs was a national sporting

hero who had the unique distinction of

captaining Northampton, Midlands,

Barbarians and England.

All three players have been inducted into

the World Rugby Hall of Fame and all

three lost their lives on the battlefields of

the Great War. The annual Mobbs fixture

was, from the beginning, supported by

the Barbarians FC and it would be a most

marvellous gesture by that prestigious

club to renew that association for the

2021 event and also to acknowledge

the contribution that Northampton has

made to the sport with over 64 England

international club players.

Not far from Northampton is the home of

rugby in Rugby and I would recommend

to any rugby fans making a visit to

Northampton to make a detour and time

to visit the World Rugby Hall of Fame in

Rugby. It’s an inspiring presentation and

exhibition of our great global game and

features 12 Irish representatives including

Leinster’s Tony O’Reilly, Fergus Slattery,

Ronnie Dawson and Brian O’Driscoll.

On behalf of Leinster Rugby we wish

to express our gratitude to the IRFU

for once again staging the Your Club

Your Country Draw and indeed to their

partners for generously presenting prizes

for the draw. With every cent of a €10

ticket benefitting the selling club this draw

has become a valuable source of income

to our Leinster clubs and in these difficult

times for so many clubs it’s important to

note ticket sales of €400,000 by Leinster

clubs.

Leinster Rugby wish to acknowledge and

thank the Government and Sport Ireland

for allocating €18m to Irish Rugby and

in particular that €4m of the allocation

is for the support of Domestic Rugby

which has been deeply impacted by the

Covid-19 Pandemic.

Following applications from Leinster

clubs almost €2m has been allocated to

our 12-county province. The maximum

allocation is €65,000 and €3,000 is

the minimum. I wish to sincerely thank all

the dedicated Leinster office team who

have done a tremendous job under very

difficult circumstance to assist clubs in

processing their applications.

An urgent reminder to all clubs that a

new round of the Sports Capital Fund has

also been launched by the Government

with approximately €40m in funding

available. The closing date is Friday, 12

February, 2021 and I would urge all club

secretaries and Executive Committees

to contact Carol Maybury at Leinster

Rugby for supporting advice in relation to

submitting applications.

In the previous round of the fund Leinster

clubs received €900,000 in grant aid

towards a variety of projects including

sports equipment so in these difficult

times we expect all our clubs to submit an

application.

Finally I would appeal to all players,

members and supporters of our clubs and

schools to strictly comply with the advice

given to us by our Government health

officials.

On behalf of Leinster Rugby I wish all

involved in our great sport a happy and

enjoyable festive season and that the

New Year brings you and those that you

hold dear to you joy and happiness into

your lives.

Until we meet again Keep The Faith

JOHN WALSH

PRESIDENT, LEINSTER RUGBY 2020/21

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 7 | From The Ground Up


WE ARE RUGBY

Photos © Pressesports


Leo Cullen

HEAD COACH WELCOME

NORMALLY,

THERE WOULD

BE A TINGLE

IN THE AIR AT

THIS TIME OF

YEAR – A LITTLE

EXTRA BUZZ AS

WE GET READY

FOR OUR

FIRST HOME

MATCH IN

THIS SEASON’S

HEINEKEN

CHAMPIONS

CUP. THE PRE-

CHRISTMAS

FIXTURE IS

ALWAYS A

MASSIVE

FESTIVE

OCCASION

AND EVEN

THOUGH

WE ARE STILL

WITHOUT

YOU, OUR

SUPPORTERS,

WE’RE EXCITED

BY THE

PROSPECT.

On that note, a warm welcome to Chris

Boyd and his Northampton team.

Chris is one of the most experienced coaches

in the game, having led the Hurricanes to a

Super Rugby title a few years ago, and we

know that Saints will make it a tough challenge

for us. With a new, condensed format, every

point is vital in the pool stage and we will need

to be at our best.

We were delighted to get off to a winning

start last weekend, especially considering we

had less than a week to get all our returning

internationals up to speed, as well as the fact

that we were away in Montpellier, a tricky

place to go and get a result. All the French

teams looked really strong in the first round of

games, and it was notable that we were the

only ones (out of eight) to get the better of

French opponents last weekend.

Last weekend’s game was especially

memorable for Jimmy O’Brien who made his

Champions Cup debut, so congratulations to

Jimmy, who also got over for a late try that

was converted by another Champions Cup

debutant in Harry Byrne. Well done to both

lads.

We would normally have a sponsors’ day to

look forward to over the Christmas period,

which is always really enjoyable, but like so

many things it has unfortunately gone by the

wayside for this year. Still, I want to take this

opportunity to pay tribute to our sponsors, in

particular our title partners Bank of Ireland,

who have given the team incredible support

during a strange and difficult year – your

backing is much appreciated.

There’s a lot of rugby coming up in the next

few weeks, with three big interprovincial

derbies along with the final two rounds of

the Champions Cup pool stage. We’ll be

fighting hard on both fronts, doing our best

to consolidate our position in the Guinness

PRO14 while also trying to advance to the

quarter-finals in Europe. What we do at this

time of year always goes a long way to

defining the overall season, so we must be at

our best.

I want to thank everyone who took part in the

survey we sent out recently, where we asked

why in particular you support Leinster and

what you like about watching the team. We got

some good answers back! And some food for

thought as well, so it was a really worthwhile

exercise from our point of view. Hopefully you

will like what you see in today’s game.

I don’t think anyone will ever get used to rugby

behind closed doors and, like everyone, we

are impatient for life to get back to normal. But

as the year draws to a close, we’re seeing a

chink of light at the end of the tunnel and there

are reasons to be optimistic for the new year.

In the meantime, let’s continue to stay safe and

look after one another.

On behalf of everyone at Leinster Rugby, I’d

like to thank you for your continued support

and wish you all a happy, healthy and restful

Christmas.

Enjoy the game!

Leo

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 9 | From The Ground Up


JOANN

HOSEY

PROVINCIAL DIRECTOR

BANK OF IRELAND DUBLIN

A VERY WARM

WELCOME

FROM BANK

OF IRELAND

TO THE FIRST

HOME GAME OF

THIS SEASON’S

HEINEKEN

CHAMPIONS

CUP AGAINST

NORTHAMPTON

SAINTS,

AND INDEED

LEINSTER’S

FINAL HOME

GAME OF 2020.

FOLLOWING A

SUCCESSFUL

OPENING GAME

IN POOL A,

LEINSTER WILL

BE LOOKING TO

MAINTAIN THE

WINNING HABIT.

It is fair to say that 2020 will mostly be

remembered for events off the field,

with nobody foreseeing the way the

year would develop and impact upon

vast swathes of society. There have

been huge challenges to overcome,

and trying times to endure, and many

people have been affected in a variety

of ways. Now as the year draws to a

close our thoughts are with all those at

Christmas who have lost loved ones to

Covid-19.

Throughout the dark days we have also seen

some of the best that society has to offer, most

notably our front line workers and those in our

communities who reached out to the needy and

more vulnerable. It has been heartening to see

the way people rallied together – more often

than not online or remotely – to stay connected

and to be supportive of one another.

However the easing of restrictions and the talk

of vaccines gives us all hope for a better and

brighter 2021. It has also been a pleasure to

see the Leinster Rugby players maintain their

high performance levels and continue to notch

up a succession of victories since sport resumed

in August. Leo Cullen and his squad have

given all the fans at home a lift, as well as an

opportunity to get excited about sport again.

Everything that has been achieved throughout

the interrupted sporting calendar is the epitome

of Bank of Ireland’s Never Stop Competing

spirit, a spirit clearly evident closer to home

where we have become reliant on Covid

Officers and volunteers who ensured our rugby

clubs stayed open and enabled our children

to continue to play rugby safely. Carrying on

wouldn’t have been possible without them, and

we owe them all a debt of gratitude.

Ahead of today’s game Bank of Ireland wishes

everyone involved with Leinster Rugby the very

best of luck. We all dearly hope to be cheering

you on in person at some stage in 2021 but

until then we will all continue to play our part

from a safe distance.

Have a very happy, peaceful and safe

Christmas.

JH

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 11 | From The Ground Up


© 2020 adidas AG

READY

FOR

ACTION

A sea of blue

rising since 1879.


#LEIVnor

head to head

record:

9 8 1 0

PLAYED Leinster won Leinster lost DRAWs

LAST 3

MEETINGS

LEI 50-21 NOR

14/12/2019

LEINSTER RUGBY VS NORTHAMPTON SAINTS

LEI 43-16 NOR

07/12/2019

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS VS LEINSTER RUGBY

LEI 60-13 NOR

17/12/2016

LEINSTER RUGBY VS NORTHAMPTON SAINTS

Leinster Rugby

Played

176 (92 home, 84 away)

Wins

120 (74 home, 46 away)

Losses

51 (17 home, 34 away)

Tournament record

Draws

5 (1 home, 4 away)

Average points

26

Biggest win

92 - 17

Heaviest defeat

10 - 51

Northampton Saints

Season so far

TOTAL TRIES

LEI 5 | 0 NOR

TACKLES MADE

LEI 127 | 110 NOR

METRES GAINED

LEI 422 | 325 NOR

PENALTIES CONCEDED

LEI 7 | 11 NOR

PASSES

LEI 189 | 164 NOR

TURNOVERS WON

LEI 7 | 11 NOR

Played

117 (57 home, 60 away)

Wins

65 (41 home, 24 away)

Losses

51 (15 home, 36 away)

Draws

1 (1 home, 0 away)

Average points

22

Biggest win

67 - 0

Heaviest defeat

14 - 62

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 13 | From The Ground Up


Baird

Ryan

WHEN YOU’RE GOOD

ENOUGH, YOU’RE

OLD ENOUGH.

DEPENDING ON

WHO YOU READ

THERE ARE ANY

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

AND COACHES

THAT SWEAR BY THE

MANTRA ABOVE

AND ALSO CLAIM

IT AS THEIR OWN.

BUT IT APPEARS THAT

SIR MATT BUSBY

THE LEGENDARY

MANCHESTER UNITED

MANAGER MAY HAVE

USED IT FIRST.

From The Ground Up | 14 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


www.leinsterrugby.ie | 15 | From The Ground Up


Today at 1pm in the RDS Arena

will not be the first time that Leo

Cullen has put it to the test but in

starting Ryan Baird (21) alongside

James Ryan (24), in the Leinster

Rugby engine room, it will surely

come under some severe scrutiny

against Northampton Saints.

To be fair, James Ryan has played on

32 occasions for his country and was

captain as recently as this month in the

Autumn Nations Cup but for Baird it

will be his first European start in what

has been a whirlwind 18 months for the

former St. Michael’s College and Ireland

U-20s player.

The 6’ 6” lock made his Leinster senior

debut at the tail end of the 2018/19

season off the bench against Ulster

Rugby before making a further nine

appearances last season, including a

spot on the bench against Saracens in the

Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final.

He has a further five games to his name

this season already and he has been

training with the Ireland senior team

under Andy Farrell, although has yet to

be capped.

And on that day against Saracens, when

the cavalry was needed by Cullen, the

youngster was sprung from the bench

after only three minutes of the second

half.

He’s been busy and people are taking

notice.

“I’m just trying to enjoy it all as much as

I can to be honest. I am very grateful for

the opportunities that I have been given

and even the chance to go out and play

and to earn a living when so many others

out there are not because of Covid.

“It’s just been really enjoyable and I don’t

want to take it for granted. It can be over

very quickly so I think it’s important that

you do that. I don’t want to be one of

those people that looks back and never

appreciated it when you were in the

middle of it. I’d love to be able to kick on

now and see where the next few years

can take me and then as I said, to enjoy it

because it won’t last forever.”

This weekend though and a first European

start feels significant. Twenty-one years

of age and playing and starting in the

premier European rugby competition.

“The European debut was great last year

off the bench but ultimately we didn’t

come away with the win.

“This weekend and getting my first start

it is something that I have been working

hard towards. I’ve been on the bench

twice now in Europe so great to be able

to now put my mark on a game from the

start.

“It’s great too that I get to do it with so

much experience around me and so

many Irish internationals. I’m just really

looking forward to it now. I feel very

grateful to be in a position to pull on a

Leinster jersey in the Heineken Cup. It’s

what we all grew up supporting so yeah,

can’t wait.“

While Cullen and Co. may not be afraid

of throwing younger players in at the

deep end there is also a sense of building

them up for those moments and also as

From The Ground Up | 16 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


“WHEN I GET TO A LINE-OUT I KNOW I HAVE BEEN HERE

BEFORE, I KNOW WHAT TO DO. IT REALLY SETTLES ME.”

Baird has already alluded to, putting the

structures around them that give them the

best chance of success.

“I think Leo and the coaches manage the

squad really well and as you said when

you get the chance you need to be in a

position to take it.

“Of course there are times when you

would love to be involved more or

whatever but at the end of the day

Leo knows how to get the best out of

everybody.

“It also keeps everyone on their toes. You

can be Man of the Match one week and

out of the squad next week. It really is

that competitive and everyone just wants

to perform to the best of their abilities

when they get a shot.“

It might explain why Rhys Ruddock is in

such brilliant form scooping up individual

trophies in more games than any other

this season in the PRO14 and in Europe.

Keep performing to keep hold of the

jersey.

Although only starting out in his career,

Baird has a highlights reel to be proud

of already in Leinster blue as he has an

eye for the tryline and for spectacular

tries at that.

While it’s difficult to pinpoint any one

reason for this eye for a gap and a

gallop up the centre, it is interesting to

hear him talk of his idols growing up.

“I didn’t really have anyone specific in

mind when I was growing up! There was

nobody that I looked at and said I want

to be like him.

“If anything I was looking at the All

Blacks growing up and their centres in

particular and the likes of Ma’a Nonu

and the way he used to wreck over

people and maybe then Brodie Retallick

over recent years.”

Ma’a Nonu? That explains some of his

tries.

And now?

“Yeah definitely the last year or two I

have been admiring other players in my

position more. Maro Itoje for example

and how he works his way around the

pitch and how he disrupts the game. I

like to study how he gets about the pitch

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 17 | From The Ground Up


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ecause he is one of the best locks in the

world at the moment.

“Then other players and how they go

about their line-out work for example and

looking at different nuggets of information

that I can maybe take from them. Little

things here and there.“

It is interesting that one of the men he

mentions and that he likes to study and

learn from, Maro Itoje, is still so young

at only 26 but he is open to learning

from all those around him in Leinster and

outside of Leinster as well.

“THAT WAS MY FIRST GAME

AGAINST A FRENCH TEAM AT

HOME OR AWAY SO IT WAS

DEFINITELY PHYSICALITY THE

LIKES OF WHICH I HAD NEVER

EXPERIENCED BEFORE..”

Baird is a big believer in visualisation

and the positive influence of the mind

on preparation and he is working with a

coach on those elements and he feels

they work really well for him.

“I am very interested in that side of my

preparation and have been working

with a coach on that side of things and

then Scott Fardy introduced me to it in

the context of line-outs and it really helps

me to feel relaxed on the pitch before a

game.”

How so?

“Well on any given match week whether

you are starting or on the bench, it is

important to get your mental reps in as

you only get a limited amount of live ones

in training during the week, especially

when we are playing away from home.

“So this way you can get the mental reps

in for your role and feel prepared. Come

game day I like to map out the line-outs

on the pitch. So when I get to a line-out

I know I have been here before, I know

what to do. It really settles me.

“Fards mentioned this to me very early

on in my career and that he uses this

technique before every game. Walks the

pitch and visualises the line-outs, how it

happens and what his role is.

“I find it very useful for me and for helping

me to really stay focused and my role in

that game.”

There it is again.

The young lads getting their chance to

shine but with the older heads always on

hand to help them on that journey.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 19 | From The Ground Up


© 2020 adidas AG

READY

FOR

ACTION

LEINSTER RUGBY

TRAINING 20/21


Wherever that journey is going he’s

certainly enjoying it so far and he loved

his first taste of French rugby.

“It was a great way to start the

tournament for us. I think with the new

format and the two large pools it is vital.

You could win all four of your games and

still not qualify so to get the win against

Montpellier was great but to finish out the

way we did and to kick on and get those

two tries in the second half was hugely

satisfying.

“I think the emphasis that we placed that

week on doing the basics well, getting

a good start, all of that, it built up to a

really good performance and I know our

focus will need to be just as good this

week for Northampton.“

Josh van der Flier when talking to media

mentioned how he had to wait for his fifth

or sixth visit to France for his first win, but

Baird has his on his first.

Not that it was easy of course.

“That was my first game against a French

team at home or away so it was definitely

physicality the likes of which I had never

experienced before. I think the average

weight in the pack was about 120kg or

130kg so I think you actually needed to

rely on your mental preparations as much

as anything.

“If you are not in the right place mentally

for that kind of challenge you will be

found out very quickly.

“And then they had French internationals

and former internationals and quality

players all over their squad so to go up

against players of that calibre and size

was a great experience.”

This week though will pose a different

test entirely but there has also been a lot

of noise and distraction coming from the

Northampton Saints camp around who to

bring and who to leave at home.

Baird just relies on the evidence in front

of him.

“That was a freak score at the end of the

game. Hits off the post and the bounce

of a ball in rugby can be so criminal

sometimes. Well it can go either way.

Bordeaux won’t be too upset by the

bounce but for Northampton they maybe

should have won that game but for a

bounce of a ball.

“So this weekend for them they have to

get a result given there are fewer games

in Europe and that every point is now

massive for them to stay alive in the Pool.

They’ve got quality players, internationals

all over the field.

“Taqele Naiyaravoro, Courtney Lawes

just back from injury, Tom Wood is a

talisman for them. So there are a lot of

big names in that squad and we are

very mindful of what we are facing and

the challenge that we will face at the

weekend and very respectful of it too.”

He doesn’t want to look too far beyond

the challenge this weekend but he

also knows that only for a badly timed

adductor injury he could have an Irish

cap to his name by now.

“It was unfortunate timing alright but

look, sometimes that’s how it goes and

hopefully if the chance does come along

to pull on an Ireland jersey it will be that

little bit more special because of going

through those injuries and those tougher

moments.

“I know it’s a cliché but to get to that

point you have to focus on the game

in front of you and Saints and then into

Christmas and we can see where we are

then.”

In case he would get carried away with

himself he also has his studies to keep

him grounded. Baird is a student in Trinity

College where he is in the second year

of a four-year Computer Science and

Business Degree.

A man with a bright future whatever he

puts his energies to you feel but for now,

he is just enjoying the moment, living for it

and excited by what today will bring.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 21 | From The Ground Up


HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP

12 DECEMBER 2020

GGL STADIUM

REFEREE: KARL DICKSON

14 35

Vincent Rattez; Gabriel

N’Gandebe, Yvan Reilhac,

Arthur Vincent, Vincent

Martin (Paul Vallee 71); Alex

Lozowski (Louis Foursons-

Bourdette 63), Benoit

Paillaugue; Gregory Fichten

(Enzo Forletta 65), Guilhem

Guirado (Bismarck du Plessis

47), Mohammed Haouas

(Titi Lamositele 49); Bastien

Chalureau (Louis Picamoles

57), Paul Willemse; Nicolaas

Janse van Rensburg; Yacouba

Camara (Caleb Timu 73),

Jacques du Plessis.

SCORERS: Tries: Gabriel

N’Gandebe. Pens: Benoit

Paillaugue (3).

Jimmy O’Brien; Hugo Keenan,

Robbie Henshaw, Ciarán

Frawley, Dave Kearney; Ross

Byrne (Harry Byrne 61), Luke

McGrath (Jamison Gibson-

Park 69); Peter Dooley (Cian

Healy 46), James Tracy

(Rónan Kelleher 46), Michael

Bent (Andrew Porter 46);

Devin Toner (Ryan Baird 69),

Scott Fardy (James Ryan

52); Rhys Ruddock, Josh van

der Flier, Caelan Doris (Dan

Leavy 59).

SCORERS: Tries: Josh van der

Flier, Ciarán Frawley, Dave

Kearney, Dan Leavy, Jimmy

O’Brien. Cons: Ross Byrne,

Harry Byrne. Pens: Ross

Byrne, Harry Byrne.

“IT WAS A REAL SHOW

OF FAITH FROM THE

MANAGEMENT. WE’D

BEEN PLAYING REALLY

WELL IN THE PRO14

AND THEY BACKED

US TO GO WELL IN

EUROPE.”

European debutant

Jimmy O’Brien

From The Ground Up | 22 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


‘WE’RE

DELIGHTED. WE

KNEW IT WAS

GOING TO BE A

TOUGH WEEK

THIS WEEK SO

IT’S GREAT TO

GET A WIN AND

A BONUS POINT

AS WELL.”

Leo Cullen

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 23 | From The Ground Up


From The Ground Up | 24 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Music Overload:

YOU CAN LISTEN TO LEINSTER RUGBY’S HOME WORKOUT MIX

SPOTIFY PLAYLIST HERE, WITH TRACKS SELECTED BY PLAYERS

FROM LEINSTER RUGBY’S MEN’S AND WOMEN’S TEAMS.

CROWD

PLEASER:

CAELAN

DORIS IS NEXT

UP TO TAKE ON

OUR MUSIC

Q&A, WITH

THE BACK ROW

DISPLAYING A

PARTICULARLY

ECLECTIC TASTE

IN MUSIC, WITH

SOMETHING

FOR EVERYONE.

1. What was the last song you listened to?

Gnarls Barkley – “Crazy”

2. Tell us a song you’re currently obsessed with.

Billy Joel – “We Didn’t Start The Fire”

3. You’re booking your dream festival line-up:

who are the main stage headliners for the

Friday, Saturday and Sunday?

Red Hot Chilli Peppers to get things going on

Friday, Post Malone Saturday night and then

round it all off with The Beatles on Sunday.

4. Earliest music memory?

Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and Kris Kristofferson

blaring out of the speakers in my early years.

5. Your guilty pleasure?

Songs from TikTok trends, some of them are very

catchy!

6. You can only listen to one album for the rest

of your life, what is it?

AM – Arctic Monkeys. One of the few albums that

I actually know by name.

7. What was the first concert you ever went to?

I saw Bressie on Lacken Strand about 10 years

ago, it was only a couple of hundred yards away

from my house.

8. Favourite Irish band/artist?

The Coronas

9. What two songs do you want to add to the

Leinster Rugby Workout Mix on Spotify?

M.I.A – “Paper Planes”

Ram Jam – “Black Betty”

10. And what one song do you want to remove?

Slipknot – “Duality”, it’s a head wrecker!

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 25 | From The Ground Up


IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE YOUR STORY, PLEASE CONTACT

WOMENSPRO@LEINSTERRUGBY.IE OR CHECK OUR SOCIAL

MEDIA CHANNELS...

Leinster Women’s Rugby

LeinsterWomensRugby

@LeinsterWomen

womenspro@leinsterrugby.ie

RAILWAY UNION RFC

host Christmas-themed

'Give It A Try' session

From The Ground Up | 26 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


www.leinsterrugby.ie | 27 | From The Ground Up


Leo

Kids

the Lion's

Corner

spot the

differences

ANAGRAMS

Can you un-jumble the

names of these players?

NO ILL

CROWNS

HEREIN

SWAB HOB

GUESS

WHO?

Can you name these

three players?

ANSWERS

ANAGRAMS

Will Connors

Robbie Henshaw

GUESS WHO?

Michael Bent

Ross Molony

Scott Fardy

From The Ground Up | 28 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


AJ Products provides unique

solutions for office,

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From The Ground Up | 30 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


QUEST10NS

with...

Robbie

Henshaw

1. What's the one thing that you check is

always in the gear bag on match day?

Boots

2. What is currently on your playlist?

Mumford and Sons

3. What did you want to be growing up?

PE teacher

4. Best advice you ever got?

Always enjoy what you do

5. Worst advice you ever got?

Stop playing three sports

simultaneously

6. What are your last three Google

searches?

A food recipe, YouTube and Asos

7. You can be another sportsperson for one

event...who and what is the event?

Usain Bolt in the 200m Olympic Final

8. What was the last thing you bought?

A coffee Keep Cup

9. Money is no object - who do you sign for

Leinster Rugby and why?

James Corden…for squad

entertainment

10. Favourite piece of rugby

memorabilia and why?

My first Ireland cap. My first time

playing for Ireland was very special

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 31 | From The Ground Up


Laya Healthcare are proud to be

Official Health and Wellbeing Partner

to Leinster Rugby


A game

Rugby

for all

For the past 12 years, Leinster

rugby and the IRFU have been

supporting an Inclusive Tag Rugby

program throughout the province.

There are now 20 clubs fielding disability

rugby teams, with the hope that this will

grow to 22 in the new year, as many

other clubs have expressed an interest in

forming teams within their clubs.

Tag rugby is a game that can be played

by people of all ages, sexes and abilities,

in a competitive and friendly fashion,

without any contact involved.

Our aim is to provide children and adults

with learning and physical disabilities

an opportunity to learn and play tag

rugby in a safe, enjoyable and exciting

environment and to build social skills and

boost confidence.

In order to support the development

of Inclusive rugby and to promote

opportunities for people with a disability

to access the game, the IRFU formed

a Disability Sub-Committee in January

2015 to implement the IRFU Disability

Programme.

The aim of the programme is to integrate

as many players as possible, in a safe

and practicable manner as members of

existing rugby clubs.

Based on the IRFU values of respect and

inclusion the sub-committee is establishing

a standardised, inclusive framework for

disability rugby and developing club

resources for the playing, coaching and

promotion of rugby for individuals with

disabilities.

A major first initiative for the committee

was a partnership with Cara (the

Adapted Physical Activity Centre) in

Tralee, through its ‘Xcessible Inclusive

Youth Sport Initiative’.

Using tag rugby, pupils with intellectual

disability had their first introduction to

rugby in a fun and safe environment.

Through the IRFU’s Branch Community

Rugby Officers and Local Sports

Partnership’s Disability Inclusion Officers

the project linked 12 clubs with 15

schools (chosen through the Irish Special

Schools Sports Council) across the

country.

Leinster Rugby over the past number

of seasons have run numerous camps

at Easter and summer breaks to help

promote the inclusive rugby programs

within the existing clubs, but also for the

clubs that have expressed an interest in

starting up teams.

Leinster Rugby’s Community Rugby

Officers in the South Dublin Council

area over a four-week period ran ‘taster’

sessions in Clondalkin RFC with 35

to 40 players attending weekly, this

gives a great indication that there is a

requirement for a team in the area.

For more information on our inclusive

rugby program and the clubs that are

fielding teams, please email

Leinster Rugby’s Spirit Officer

Stephen Gore.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 35 | From The Ground Up


2020/21 squad

VAKH ABDALADZE - #1263

DOB 6 FEBRUARY 1996

From KUTAISI, GEORGIA

Height 1.85M (6’ 1”)

Weight 117KG (18st 6lbs)

Position PROP

Club CLONTARF FC

Leinster Debut 2 DECEMBER 2017

Honours IRELAND U20S (2 caps)

MICHAEL BENT - #1212

DOB 25 APRIL 1986

From HAWERA, NEW ZEALAND

Height 1.85M (6’ 1”)

Weight 118KG (18st 8lbs)

Position PROP

Club DUBLIN UNIVERSITY FC

Leinster Debut 1 DECEMBER 2012

Honours IRELAND (4 caps)

ED BYRNE - #1222

DOB 9 SEPTEMBER 1993

From CARLOW

Height 1.80M (5’ 11”)

Weight 114KG (17st 13lbs)

Position PROP

Club UCD RFC

Leinster Debut 9 FEBRUARY 2014

Honours IRELAND (3 caps)

ROSS BYRNE - #1236

DOB 8 APRIL 1995

From DUBLIN

Height 1.88M (6’ 3”)

Weight 90KG (14st 2lbs)

Position OUTHALF

Club UCD RFC

Leinster Debut 4 SEPTEMBER 2015

Honours IRELAND (11 caps)

WILL CONNORS - #1264

DOB 4 APRIL 1996

From DONADEA, KILDARE

Height 1.94 (6’ 4”)

Weight 102KG (16st 1lbs)

Position BACK ROW

Club UCD RFC

Leinster Debut 9 FEBRUARY 2018

Honours IRELAND (5 caps)

RYAN BAIRD - #1278

DOB 26 JULY 1999

From DUBLIN

Height 1.98M (6’ 6”)

Weight 112KG (17st 8lbs)

Position SECOND ROW

Club DUBLIN UNIVERSITY FC

Leinster Debut 27 APRIL 2019

Honours IRELAND U20S (7 caps)

ADAM BYRNE - #1213

DOB 10 APRIL 1994

From KILDARE

Height 1.93M (6’ 4”)

Weight 101KG (15st 12lbs)

Position WING / FULL BACK

Club UCD RFC

Leinster Debut 29 DECEMBER 2012

Honours IRELAND (1 cap)

HARRY BYRNE - #1280

DOB 22 APRIL 1999

From DUBLIN

Height 1.88M (6’ 2”)

Weight 92KG (14st 6lbs)

Position OUTHALF

Club LANSDOWNE

Leinster Debut 28 SEPTEMBER 2019

Honours IRELAND U20S (13 caps)

JACK CONAN - #1223

DOB 29 JULY 1992

From BRAY, WICKLOW

Height 1.93M (6’ 4”)

Weight 111KG (17st 6lbs)

Position NO. 8

Club OLD BELVEDERE RFC

Leinster Debut 20 FEBRUARY 2014

Honours IRELAND (17 caps)

SEÁN CRONIN - #1202

DOB 6 MAY 1986

From LIMERICK

Height 1.80M (5’ 11”)

Weight 103KG (16st 3lbs)

Position HOOKER

Club ST. MARY’S COLLEGE RFC

Leinster Debut 28 OCTOBER 2011

Honours IRELAND (72 caps)

From The Ground Up | 36 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


MAX DEEGAN - #1256

DOB 1 OCTOBER 1996

From DUBLIN

Height 1.93M (6’ 3”)

Weight 109KG (17st 1lbs)

Position NO. 8

Club LANSDOWNE FC

Leinster Debut 3 DECEMBER 2016

Honours IRELAND (1 cap)

CAELAN DORIS - #1268

DOB 2 APRIL 1998

From MAYO

Height 1.94M (6’ 4”)

Weight 106KG (16st 10lbs)

Position BACK ROW

Club ST. MARY’S COLLEGE RFC

Leinster Debut 28 APRIL 2018

Honours IRELAND (7 caps)

SCOTT FARDY - #1257

DOB 5 JULY 1984

From SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Height 1.98 M (6’ 6”)

Weight 111 KG (17st 7lbs)

Position SECOND ROW

Club UNASSIGNED

Leinster Debut 2 SEPTEMBER 2017

Honours AUSTRALIA (39 caps)

TADHG FURLONG - #1220

DOB 14 NOVEMBER 1992

From WEXFORD

Height 1.85M (6’ 1”)

Weight 123KG (19st 5lbs)

Position PROP

Club NEW ROSS RFC / CLONTARF FC

Leinster Debut 1 NOVEMBER 2013

Honours IRELAND (44 caps) AND

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS (6 caps)

CIAN HEALY - #1142

DOB 7 OCTOBER 1987

From DUBLIN

Height 1.85M (6’ 1”)

Weight 112KG (17st 8lbs)

Position PROP

Club CLONTARF FC

Leinster Debut 5 MAY 2007

Honours IRELAND (104 caps) AND

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS (2 caps)

DAVE KEARNEY - #1158

DOB 19 JUNE 1989

From LOUTH

Height 1.81M (5’ 11”)

Weight 90KG (14st 2lbs)

Position WING / FULL BACK

Club LANSDOWNE FC

Leinster Debut 16 MAY 2009

Honours IRELAND (19 caps)

CIAN KELLEHER - #1234

DOB 7 AUGUST 1994

From DUBLIN

Height 1.85M (6’ 0”)

Weight 90KG (14st 2lbs)

Position WINGER/FULL BACK

Club LANSDOWNE FC

Leinster Debut 16 MAY 2015

Honours IRELAND U20S (9 caps)

PETER DOOLEY - #1230

DOB 4 AUGUST 1994

Birthplace OFFALY

Height 1.85M (6’ 1”)

Weight 116KG (18st 4lbs)

Position PROP

Club LANSDOWNE FC

Leinster Debut 31 OCTOBER 2014

Honours IRELAND U20S (18 caps)

JACK DUNNE - #1276

DOB 21 NOVEMBER 1998

From DUBLIN

Height 2.02M (6’ 7”)

Weight 112KG (17st 9lbs)

Position SECOND ROW

School ST. MICHAEL’S COLLEGE

Club DUBLIN UNIVERSITY FC

Leinster Debut 16 FEBRUARY 2019

Honours IRELAND U20S (10 caps)

CIARÁN FRAWLEY - #1265

DOB 4 DECEMBER 1997

From DUBLIN

Height 1.92M (6’ 3”)

Weight 95.6KG (15st 1lbs)

Position OUTHALF

Club UCD RFC

Leinster Debut 17 FEBRUARY 2018

Honours IRELAND U20S (10 caps)

JAMISON GIBSON-PARK - #1247

DOB 23 FEBRUARY 1992

From GREAT BARRIER ISLAND, NEW

ZEALAND

Height 1.76M (5’ 9”)

Weight 80KG (12st 8lbs)

Position SCRUM HALF

Club UNASSIGNED

Leinster Debut 2 SEPTEMBER 2016

Honours IRELAND (5 caps)

ROBBIE HENSHAW - #1251

DOB 12 JUNE 1993

From ATHLONE

Height 1.91M (6’ 3”)

Weight 99KG (15st 8lbs)

Position CENTRE / FULL BACK

Club BUCCANEERS RFC

Leinster Debut 8 OCTOBER 2016

Honours IRELAND (47 caps) AND

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS (4 caps)

HUGO KEENAN - #1253

DOB 18 JUNE 1996

From DUBLIN

Height 1.85M (6’ 1”)

Weight 92KG (14st 4lbs)

Position FULL BACK

Club UCD RFC

Leinster Debut 5 NOVEMBER 2016

Honours IRELAND (6 caps)

RÓNAN KELLEHER - #1277

DOB 24 JANUARY 1998

From DUBLIN

Height 1.85M (6’ 0”)

Weight 106KG (16st 7lbs)

Position HOOKER

Club LANSDOWNE FC

Leinster Debut 22 FEBRUARY 2019

Honours IRELAND (6 caps)

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 37 | From The Ground Up


JORDAN LARMOUR - #1258

DOB 10 JUNE 1997

From DUBLIN

Height 1.78M (5’ 10”)

Weight 90KG (14st 1lbs)

Position WING

Club ST. MARY’S COLLEGE RFC

Leinster Debut 2 SEPTEMBER 2017

Honours IRELAND (24 caps)

JAMES LOWE - #1262

DOB 8 JULY 1992

From NELSON, NEW ZEALAND

Height 1.88M (6’ 2”)

Weight 105KG (16st 7lbs)

Position WING / FULL BACK

Club CLONDALKIN RFC

Leinster Debut 2 DECEMBER 2017

Honours IRELAND (2 caps)

ROSS MOLONY - #1233

DOB 11 MAY 1994

From DUBLIN

Height 2.00M (6’ 6”)

Weight 113KG (17st 11lbs)

Position SECOND ROW

Club UCD RFC

Leinster Debut 20 FEBRUARY 2015

Honours IRELAND U20S (10 caps)

ROWAN OSBORNE - #1281

DOB 3 NOVEMBER 1996

From EADESTOWN, KILDARE

Height 1.71M (5’ 7”)

Weight 77KG (12st 1lbs)

Position SCRUM HALF

Club DUBLIN UNIVERSITY FC

Leinster Debut 4 OCTOBER 2019

Honours IRELAND SCHOOLS

JIMMY O'BRIEN - #1272

DOB 27 NOVEMBER 1996

From KILDARE

Height 1.84M (6’ 0”)

Weight 89KG (14st 0lbs)

Position CENTRE

Club NAAS RFC

Leinster Debut 23 NOVEMBER 2018

Honours IRELAND U20S (8 caps)

RORY O'LOUGHLIN - #1248

DOB 21 JANUARY1994

From DUBLIN

Height 1.88M (6’ 2”)

Weight 94KG (14st 6lbs)

Position CENTRE

Club OLD BELVEDERE RFC

Leinster Debut 2 SEPTEMBER 2016

Honours IRELAND (1 cap)

CIARAN PARKER* - #1288

DOB: 5 OCTOBER 1995

From: STOCKPORT, ENGLAND

Height: 1.88M (6’ 2”)

Weight: 120KG (18st 10lbs)

Position: PROP

Club: UNASSIGNED

Leinster Debut: 23 OCTOBER 2020

Honours: ENGLAND U20S

*on loan from Jersey Reds September – December 2020

DAN LEAVY - #1231

DOB 23 MAY 1994

From DUBLIN

Height 1.91M (6’ 3”)

Weight 106KG (16st 9lbs)

Position FLANKER

Club UCD RFC

Leinster Debut 31 OCTOBER 2014

Honours IRELAND (11 caps)

LUKE McGRATH - #1206

DOB 3 FEBRUARY 1993

From ONTARIO, CANADA

Height 1.75M (5’ 9”)

Weight 82KG (12st 12lbs)

Position SCRUM HALF

Club UCD RFC

Leinster Debut 5 MAY 2012

Honours IRELAND (19 caps)

JOSH MURPHY - #1261

DOB 17 FEBRUARY 1995

From DUBLIN

Height 1.96M (6’ 5”)

Weight 110KG (17st 4lbs)

Position FLANKER

Club UCD RFC

Leinster Debut 3 NOVEMBER 2017

Honours IRELAND U20S (13 caps)

CONOR O'BRIEN - #1260

DOB 6 FEBRUARY 1996

From WESTMEATH

Height 1.90M (6’ 3”)

Weight 101KG (16st 0lbs)

Position CENTRE

Club CLONTARF FC

Leinster Debut 3 NOVEMBER 2017

Honours IRELAND U20S (9 caps)

TOMMY O'BRIEN - #1283

DOB 28 MAY 1998

From DUBLIN

Height 1.83M (6’ 0”)

Weight 95KG (14st 3lbs)

Position CENTRE

Club UCD RFC

Leinster Debut 20 DECEMBER 2019

Honours IRELAND U20S (15 caps)

HUGH O'SULLIVAN - #1270

DOB 24 FEBRUARY 1998

From MEATH

Height 1.79M (5’ 9”)

Weight 80KG (12st 8lbs)

Position SCRUM HALF

Club CLONTARF FC

Leinster Debut 15 SEPTEMBER 2018

Honours IRELAND U20S (10 caps)

SCOTT PENNY - #1271

DOB 22 SEPTEMBER 1999

From DUBLIN

Height 1.85M (6’ 0”)

Weight 103KG (16st 3lbs)

Position FLANKER

Club UCD RFC

Leinster Debut 23 NOVEMBER 2018

Honours IRELAND U20S (5 caps)

From The Ground Up | 38 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


ANDREW PORTER - #1246

DOB 16 JANUARY 1996

Birthplace DUBLIN

Height 1.84M (6’ 1”)

Weight 114KG (17st 13lbs)

Position PROP

Club UCD RFC

Leinster Debut 2 SEPTEMBER 2016

Honours IRELAND (32 caps)

RHYS RUDDOCK - #1167

DOB 13 NOVEMBER 1990

From DUBLIN

Height 1.91M (6’ 3”)

Weight 111KG (17st 6lbs)

Position BACK ROW

Club ST. MARY’S COLLEGE RFC

Leinster Debut 6 DECEMBER 2009

Honours IRELAND (26 caps)

JOHNNY SEXTON - #1127

DOB 11 JULY 1985

From DUBLIN

Height 1.88M (6’ 2”)

Weight 92KG (14st 6lbs)

Position OUTHALF

Club ST. MARY’S COLLEGE RFC

Leinster Debut 27 JANUARY 2006

Honours IRELAND (95 caps) AND BRITISH &

IRISH LIONS (14 caps)

DEVIN TONER - #1128

DOB 29 JUNE 1986

From MEATH

Height 2.08M (6’ 10”)

Weight 126KG (19st 11lbs)

Position SECOND ROW

Club LANSDOWNE FC

Leinster Debut 27 JANUARY 2006

Honours IRELAND (70 caps)

GARRY RINGROSE - #1237

DOB 26 JANUARY 1995

From DUBLIN

Height 1.87M (6’ 2”)

Weight 95KG (14st 11lbs)

Position CENTRE

Club UCD RFC

Leinster Debut 12 SEPTEMBER 2015

Honours IRELAND (30 caps)

JAMES RYAN - #1259

DOB 24 JULY 1996

From DUBLIN

Height 2.04M (6’ 7”)

Weight 116KG (18st 3lbs)

Position SECOND ROW

Club UCD RFC

Leinster Debut 2 SEPTEMBER 2017

Honours IRELAND (32 caps)

DAN SHEEHAN - #1286

DOB 17 SEPTEMBER 1998

From DUBLIN

Height 1.91 M (6’ 3”)

Weight 111KG (17st 5lbs)

Position HOOKER

Club LANSDOWNE FC

Leinster Debut 23 OCTOBER 2020

Honours IRELAND U20S (5 caps)

JAMES TRACY - #1211

DOB 2 APRIL 1991

From KILDARE

Height 1.85M (6’ 1”)

Weight 106KG (16st 9lbs)

Position HOOKER

Club UCD RFC

Leinster Debut 4 NOVEMBER 2012

Honours IRELAND (6 caps)

JOSH VAN DER FLIER - #1228

DOB 25 APRIL 1993

From WICKLOW

Height 1.87M (6’ 2”)

Weight 102KG (16st 1lbs)

Position FLANKER

Club UCD RFC

Leinster Debut 11 OCTOBER 2014

Honours IRELAND (28 caps)

Coaching Staff

LEO CULLEN

HEAD COACH

STUART LANCASTER

SENIOR COACH

ROBIN MCBRYDE

ASSISTANT COACH

FELIPE CONTEPOMI

BACKS COACH

EMMET FARRELL

KICKING COACH AND

LEAD PERFORMANCE ANALYST

GUY EASTERBY

HEAD OF RUGBY OPERATIONS

HUGH HOGAN

CONTACT SKILLS COACH

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 39 | From The Ground Up


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Michael Costello, Managing Partner,

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Mark Hamilton, Head of Business Development,

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BDO is authorised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland to carry on investment business. BDO, a partnership established under Irish Law, is a

member of BDO International Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, and forms part of the international BDO network of independent members firms.


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BEST TRY

The best tries, place kicks and drop goals from

25 years of the Heineken Champions Cup are

being voted for in the exciting new Tissot 10s

series – and you can have your say in the winner

on official digital channels of the tournament.

Takudzwa Ngwenya’s stunning try for Biarritz

Olympique in their 2009/10 quarter-final win

over Ospreys landed the accolade of the top try

from an outstanding shortlist as EPCR team up

with Official Partner Tissot to bring you some

top class action from a quarter of a century of

elite club rugby.

The shortlist is revealed with a series of video

vignettes on HeinekenChampionsCup.com and

official social media channels before a public

vote for the fans, which is combined with the

views of an expert to determine the winner.

European Cup winner Bryan Habana was on

hand as Ngwenya’s try was selected and the

countdown of the best place kicks has already

started.

Fans who have their say on their favourite

selection enter a draw to win a Tissot watch as

part of this exciting activation.

2010

TAKUDZWA NGWENYA

BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE V OSPREYS


Pat Carolan | Chairman of Junior Rugby

By David McFadden

At its AGM in late August 2020,

the Junior Section of Leinster

Rugby elected Pat Carolan as the

new Chairman of Junior Rugby.

Pat is the third person to hold this

important role in Leinster Rugby,

following in the footsteps of Tom

Ashe (Clane RFC) and Tom Duffy

(Clondalkin RFC).

The Chairman’s tenure is for a two-year

term though he can be re-elected to one

further term. This means that the person

holding the position of Chairman of

Junior Rugby can be in that position for a

maximum of four years.

The role of Chairman of Junior Rugby is

relatively new. It was created as one of

the recommendations of the review of

Junior Rugby carried out nearly a decade

ago.

Though it is a recent addition to the

administrative make up of Leinster Rugby,

the role of Chairman is a key one in

driving the agenda of club rugby in

Leinster. The Chairman is seen as a key

player in the club and provincial game of

rugby in Leinster.

The Chairman, along with the Honorary

Junior Secretary, sits on the Executive

Committee of the Leinster Branch. He is

also a member of the Rugby Committee.

Pat Carolan is ideally qualified to fulfil

this busy and challenging role. Pat has

many years of experience in club rugby

in Leinster. He has been a member of

Wicklow RFC since 1975.

He held many different positions within

his club including Director of Rugby

(2005–2012), Club Chairman and

then Club President (2002–2004). He

also served as the club’s PRO as well

as the club’s International Ticket and

Subscriptions Secretary. He continues to

act as one of Wicklow RFC’s Trustees.

Pat not only played rugby but also

officiated the game, having been a

respected referee for many years.

He sat on the Executive Committee of

Referees Association from 2001–2004

and again from 2010–2020. Pat was

elected President of the Association

of Referees Leinster Branch for the

2014–2015 season.

He has been a member of the Executive

Committee of the South East Area

Leinster Branch since 2016 and the Junior

Committee of the Leinster Branch since

2018. Pat also served as the referees’

representative on the Schools Committee.

He has been a referee assessor up to AIL

level for a number of years. Since 2018,

Pat has been a member of the organising

committee of the annual Sean O’Brien

Awards lunch.

Pat is an eminently qualified person to

take on the role of Chairman of Junior

Rugby in Leinster. When asked what he

saw as his goals for his time in office as

Chairman, he had this to say:

“I am deeply honoured to have been

elected to the role as Chairman of Junior

Rugby. This has been a very challenging

year for club rugby in Leinster with the

Covid-19 pandemic. Volunteers in the

club game are continuing to work hard

to keep club rugby a live presence in our

communities.

“This is something that is important not

just for our game of rugby, but for the

wider community as we provide such an

important sporting and social outlet to

our youth, both boys and girls, and to

our adults. In my two years as Chairman

of Leinster Junior Rugby, I believe that it

is vital that we embrace and attract new

people to our clubs as communities grow.

Rugby is a sport for all and new people

bring vibrancy and enthusiasm to our

clubs. We must continue to cater for all

members of our communities.

“I would like to acknowledge the great

efforts made by many clubs that have

carried significant improvements to their

facilities over the last five years. An

example of this is my own club Wicklow

RFC.

“I have seen first-hand the significant

growth in kinder, women’s and special

needs rugby over the last couple of years

which is a reflection of the work done by

the volunteers that give so generously of

their time.”

Pat pointed out the need to continue to

promote stronger relationships between

clubs and to share information and

resources.

Club rugby in Leinster can look with pride

and can gain strength from the Junior

Rugby people who have attained the

highest office in Rugby, President of the

IRFU.

Here Pat specifically name checked

Pat Fitzgerald, Longford RFC, and Des

Kavanagh of Carlow RFC.

Pat then turned to the critical threat

that currently faces rugby, namely the

Covid-19 pandemic:

“This year is by far the most challenging

we have ever had, with Covid-19. We

on the Junior committee were tasked with

setting up a Covid-19 committee which

we did with commitment and enthusiasm,

meeting frequently, establishing direction

and guidance to all clubs which each

club followed.

“We ensured that all clubs in Leinster

made applications for the Covid-19

funding which was made available by

Sport Ireland, the IRFU and coordinated

by Leinster Rugby.”

Pat noted with thanks the great help

and commitment of Philip Lawlor and

Carol Maybury of the Leinster Branch

provided to the Covid committee during

these difficult times. He also wished

to acknowledge the commitment of

volunteers who have acted as Covid-19

compliance officers in the clubs which

helped ensure the safe return to club

rugby in Leinster.

We all wish Pat a successful two years as

Chairman of Junior Rugby.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 43 | From The Ground Up


Leinster Player Statistics

SQUAD

CAP

NO

DEBUT

2020/21 SEASON FOR LEINSTER LEINSTER CAREER

ALL GAMES PRO14 EPCR ALL GAMES PRO14 EPCR

App Try Pts App Try Pts App Try Pts App Try Pts App Try Pts App Try Pts

SINCE LAST TRY

CAPS

VAKH ABDALADZE 1263 2 DEC 17 - - - - - - - - - 0+11 1 5 0+11 1 5 - - - 10 -

RYAN BAIRD 1278 27 APR 19 2+3 1 5 2+2 1 5 0+1 - - 5+10 4 20 5+8 4 20 0+2 - - 5 -

MICHAEL BENT 1212 1 DEC 12 8 2 10 7 2 10 1 - - 87+61 6 30 82+39 6 30 5+22 - - 5 IR 4

ADAM BYRNE 1213 29 DEC 12 - - - - - - - - - 49+8 20 100 39+8 14 70 10 6 30 5 IR 1

ED BYRNE 1222 9 FEB 14 2 - - 2 - - - - - 16+43 8 40 16+34 7 35 0+9 1 5 6 IR 3

HARRY BYRNE 1280 28 SEP 19 5+2 - 51 5+1 - 46 0+1 - 5 8+9 3 109 8+8 3 104 0+1 - 5 8 -

ROSS BYRNE 1236 4 SEP 15 2+1 - 26 1+1 - 21 1 - 5 60+32 5 544 50+17 2 415 10+15 3 129 13 IR 11

TOM CLARKSON 1285 29 AUG 20 0+3 - - 0+3 - - - - - 0+4 - - 0+4 - - - - - - -

JACK CONAN 1223 20 FEB 14 2 - - 2 - - - - - 74+21 21 105 55+11 14 70 19+10 7 35 12 IR 17

WILL CONNORS 1264 9 FEB 18 1 - - 1 - - - - - 16+5 2 10 15+5 2 10 1 - - 8 IR 5

SEAN CRONIN 1202 28 OCT 11 0+2 - - 0+2 - - - - - 115+72 41 205 71+51 24 120 43+19 16 80 11 IR 72

MAX DEEGAN 1256 3 DEC 16 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - 35+30 18 90 32+22 16 80 3+8 2 10 7 IR 1

PETER DOOLEY 1230 31 OCT 14 5+1 2 10 4+1 2 10 1 - - 33+49 4 20 31+44 4 20 2+5 - - 3 -

CAELAN DORIS 1268 28 APR 18 2 - - 1 - - 1 - - 27+8 5 25 21+6 3 15 6+2 2 10 4 IR 7

JACK DUNNE 1276 16 FEB 19 0+3 - - 0+3 - - - - - 1+9 - - 1+9 - - - - - - -

SCOTT FARDY 1257 2 SEP 17 4+2 - - 3+2 - - 1 - - 54+13 10 50 39+8 6 30 15+5 4 20 10 AU 39

CIARAN FRAWLEY 1265 17 FEB 18 5 1 15 4 - 10 1 1 5 14+17 4 139 13+14 3 128 1+3 1 11 1 -

TADHG FURLONG 1220 1 NOV 13 - - - - - - - - - 69+39 7 35 40+31 3 15 29+8 4 20 4 IR 44

JAMISON GIBSON-PARK 1247 2 SEP 16 2+1 - - 2 - - 0+1 - - 46+50 16 80 42+26 14 70 4+24 2 10 24 IR 5

DAVID HAWKSHAW 1290 2 NOV 20 0+3 - - 0+3 - - - - - 0+3 - - 0+3 - - - - - - -

CIAN HEALY 1142 5 MAY 07 0+3 - - 0+2 - - 0+1 - - 148+75 25 125 85+48 12 60 61+26 12 60 7 IR 104

ROBBIE HENSHAW 1251 8 OCT 16 2 - - 1 - - 1 - - 49+1 9 45 21 3 15 28+1 6 30 4 IR 47

DAVE KEARNEY 1158 16 MAY 09 6 5 25 5 4 20 1 1 5 134+21 46 230 109+15 40 200 24+5 6 30 1 IR 19

HUGO KEENAN 1253 5 NOV 16 3 - - 2 - - 1 - - 18+3 1 5 16+3 1 5 2 - - 18 IR 6

CIAN KELLEHER 1234 16 MAY 15 4 3 15 4 3 15 - - - 10+9 8 40 10+9 8 40 - - - 2 -

RONAN KELLEHER 1277 22 FEB 19 1+1 - - 1 - - 0+1 - - 14+3 9 45 11+1 8 40 3+2 1 5 5 IR 6

JORDAN LARMOUR 1258 2 SEP 17 2 1 5 2 1 5 - - - 44+8 14 70 25+5 11 55 19+3 3 15 2 IR 24

DAN LEAVY 1231 31 OCT 14 2+4 2 10 2+3 1 5 0+1 1 5 41+28 16 80 33+19 12 60 8+9 4 20 1 IR 11

JAMES LOWE 1262 2 DEC 17 2 3 15 2 3 15 - - - 49 33 165 33 25 125 16 8 40 1 IR 2

LUKE MCGRATH 1206 5 MAY 12 6+2 3 15 5+2 3 15 1 - - 89+46 34 170 58+41 26 130 31+5 8 40 3 IR 19

MICHAEL MILNE 1279 28 SEP 19 1+4 - - 1+4 - - - - - 1+13 2 10 1+13 2 10 - - - 12 -

ROSS MOLONY 1233 20 FEB 15 4+2 - - 4+2 - - - - - 56+46 3 15 54+33 3 15 2+13 - - 64 -

JOSH MURPHY 1261 3 NOV 17 4+1 1 5 4+1 1 5 - - - 32+6 3 15 32+5 3 15 0+1 - - 5 -

ROWAN OSBORNE 1281 4 OCT 19 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - 1+5 1 5 1+5 1 5 - - - 5 -

From The Ground Up | 46 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


SQUAD

CAP

NO

DEBUT

2020/21 SEASON FOR LEINSTER LEINSTER CAREER

ALL GAMES PRO14 EPCR ALL GAMES PRO14 EPCR

App Try Pts App Try Pts App Try Pts App Try Pts App Try Pts App Try Pts

SINCE LAST TRY

CAPS

CONOR O'BRIEN 1260 3 NOV 17 - - - - - - - - - 16+7 6 30 16+6 6 30 0+1 - - 9 -

JIMMY O'BRIEN 1272 23 NOV 18 6+1 3 15 5+1 2 10 1 1 5 17+8 6 30 16+8 5 25 1 1 5 1 -

TOMMY O'BRIEN 1283 20 DEC 19 3+1 2 10 3+1 2 10 - - - 4+3 3 15 4+3 3 15 - - - 3 -

RORY O'LOUGHLIN 1248 2 SEP 16 2 - - 2 - - - - - 53+20 21 105 47+13 18 90 6+7 3 15 16 IR 1

HUGH O'SULLIVAN 1270 15 SEP 18 0+4 - - 0+4 - - - - - 2+22 1 5 2+20 1 5 0+2 - - 8 -

CIARAN PARKER 1288 23 OCT 20 0+3 1 5 0+3 1 5 - - - 0+3 1 5 0+3 1 5 - - - 3 -

SCOTT PENNY 1271 23 NOV 18 4+1 5 25 4+1 5 25 - - - 14+5 11 55 14+5 11 55 - - - 1 -

ANDREW PORTER 1246 2 SEP 16 0+2 - - 0+1 - - 0+1 - - 22+46 10 50 18+29 7 35 4+17 3 15 3 IR 32

GARRY RINGROSE 1237 12 SEP 15 2 1 7 2 1 7 - - - 76+2 26 132 46+1 15 77 30+1 11 55 2 IR 30

RHYS RUDDOCK 1167 6 DEC 09 7+1 - - 6+1 - - 1 - - 136+45 10 50 102+31 8 40 33+12 2 10 12 IR 26

JAMES RYAN 1259 2 SEP 17 2+1 1 5 2 1 5 0+1 - - 36+6 3 15 16+1 1 5 20+5 2 10 2 IR 32

JOHNNY SEXTON 1127 27 JAN 06 1 - 2 1 - 2 - - - 144+24 26 1497 84+18 13 825 58+6 12 641 8 IR 95

DAN SHEEHAN 1286 23 OCT 20 1+4 2 10 1+4 2 10 - - - 1+4 2 10 1+4 2 10 - - - 5 -

MICHAEL SILVESTER 1289 23 OCT 20 0+2 1 5 0+2 1 5 - - - 0+2 1 5 0+2 1 5 - - - 1 -

DEVIN TONER 1128 27 JAN 06 4+2 - - 3+2 - - 1 - - 199+56 4 20 135+38 4 20 61+18 - - 38 IR 70

JAMES TRACY 1211 4 NOV 12 6+1 3 15 5+1 3 15 1 - - 52+65 11 55 45+40 10 50 7+25 1 5 2 IR 6

LIAM TURNER 1287 23 OCT 20 3+1 - - 3+1 - - - - - 3+1 - - 3+1 - - - - - - -

JOSH VAN DER FLIER 1228 11 OCT 14 2 1 5 1 - - 1 1 5 66+20 10 50 39+14 6 30 27+6 4 20 1 IR 28

2020/21 SEASON FOR LEINSTER LEINSTER CAREER

ALL GAMES PRO14 EPCR ALL GAMES PRO14 EPCR OVERALL

KICKING

SUCCESS

RATE

C PG DG C PG DG C PG DG C PG DG C PG DG C PG DG ATT Career

%

- - - - - - HARRY BYRNE 80.00% 21 3 20 2 1 1 41 4 40 3 1 1 59 76.27%

ROSS BYRNE 84.62% 7 4 - 6 3 - 1 1 - 168 60 1 132 46 1 36 14 - 303 75.25%

CIARAN FRAWLEY 62.50% 5 - - 5 - - - - - 49 7 - 46 7 - 3 - - 69 81.16%

GARRY RINGROSE 100.00% 1 - - 1 - - - - - 1 - - 1 - - - - - 1 100.00%

JOHNNY SEXTON 100.00% 1 - - 1 - - - - - 232 290 11 119 167 7 106 119 4 653 79.94%

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 47 | From The Ground Up


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From The Ground Up | 50 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


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www.leinsterrugby.ie | 51 | From The Ground Up


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So, the juggernaut rolls on and, for the second week in succession,

we're in European action. This week, we're back in the familiar

surrounds of the RDS Arena as we welcome Northampton Saints for

what is sure to be another mouth-watering encounter.

These two are no strangers to epic

clashes down through the seasons

and one can only imagine that this

one will be no different

On behalf of the OLSC, we’d like to

take the opportunity to extend a warm

welcome to the players, coaches and

backroom staff of our visitors.

Northampton will no doubt have been

buoyed last week by the return of fans

to Franklin’s Gardens for their first round

encounter against Bordeaux and while

we dearly would love to be here to

welcome them to our home as they take

to the pitch, unfortunately we’re just not

there yet due to Covid restrictions.

As we wrote in our OLSC Match

Guide last week, it was just a mere 12

months ago that these two European

heavyweights were slinging their hooks

and arrows against each other in an epic

back-to-back battle.

We on the committee fondly remember

that away trip for a number of reasons,

the arrival of the teams, the reception

and banter throughout the afternoon from

the Saints fans, the game itself and the

raucous cheer the team got when they

were moving from the dressing room to

the post-match reception not long after

the final whistle had blown.

We also remember the following week

when back in our second home, the

#SeaOfBlue the Leinster faithful gave

to both teams upon their arrival into the

Aviva as well as all the comradery shown

to their supporters by you all throughout

the game.

A tough two weeks for them at the time

and a bitter pill to swallow then but they

are nothing if not resilient and will be

targeting this weekend as their chance to

extract some revenge!

For 70+ pulsating minutes last week,

Northampton held the upper hand

against Bordeaux at Franklin’s Gardens

and nothing could separate them at

half-time.

They dominated possession and

territory throughout the game and

despite Bordeaux giving away multiple

penalties including two yellow cards, one

momentary lapse in concentration off a

Bordeaux penalty led to a rebounding

ball off the post that the onrushing

Cordero pounced on to score the

decisive try which condemned Saints to

a loss.

For ourselves we had the audacious

task of an away trip to France to start

our campaign and perhaps it was the

absence of fans that allowed the team

to settle into the surrounds as a JvdF try

within the opening five minutes helped to

quash any potential nerves.

Two more tries before the break gave

us a 20-6 lead and, over the course of

the second half, the lead continued to

increase. Within the final 10 minutes we

saw ourselves 28-9 up. There was still

time however for two more tries to leave

the final score 35-14 before captain and

Heineken Star of the Match (again!) Rhys

Ruddock declared it time to pack up and

head home.

We currently sit top of Pool A and with

only four pool games in the newlyformatted

competition, a home win

as well as a possible BP are what all

coaches will be striving for, and Leo and

Stuart are no exception.

Next week sees a return to Guinness

PRO14 action with two derby games in

quick succession but the focus for this

Saturday will very much be on Europe

and keeping ourselves on track in the

Pool.

All of us on the OLSC committee are

mindful of the fact that we are all still

unable to attend games and therefore by

putting together some material for you

to peruse over, we hope it keeps you in

the rugby mind frame as thankfully the

season rolls along!

As always, we’re thankful for the support

we get from Leinster Rugby as a whole

as well as yourselves and we encourage

you to continue to show your support for

the team through social media and the

posts on our pages.

This is our final published piece before

December 25 and, with that in mind,

all of us on the OLSC Committee would

like to take this opportunity to wish you

and yours a very happy and peaceful

Christmas and hopefully you can get

the chance to say hello to loved ones

after what has been a very strange and

difficult year.

Yours in Rugby,

OLSC Committee

From The Ground Up | 54 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


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ONE FROM

The Vaults

Leinster Rugby 50 Northampton Saints 21

14 December 2019| Aviva Stadium | Ref: Daniel Jones | Attendance: 42,041

Garry Ringrose’s second hat-trick

of the European season was one of

the highlights of Leinster Rugby’s

50-21 Champions Cup win over

Northampton Saints at Aviva Stadium.

Leo Cullen’s men provided plenty of early

Christmas cheer as they became the first

team in Champions Cup history to book

their quarter-final place with two rounds still

remaining. Adding to the previous week’s 43-

16 victory at Franklin’s Gardens, they are now

10 points clear at the top of Pool 1.

A Ringrose brace inside the opening five

minutes set the hosts on their way to a 35thminute

bonus point. Tadhg Furlong and Dave

Kearney also touched down with the twin

threats of man-of-the-match Jordan Larmour

and James Lowe consistently causing problems

for Saints.

Dan Biggar converted his own try and efforts

from Ollie Sleightholme and Ahsee Tuala, but

Northampton fell short of their bonus point

aim. Further scores from Lowe, Ringrose and

Caelan Doris – with Ross Byrne and Ciaran

Frawley kicking 15 points between them –

steered Leinster to a half-century haul.

The early momentum was seized by Leinster

thanks to Ringrose’s opener from his chargedown

of an Andy Symons kick, with a

classy conversion fired over by Byrne, who

deputised for the injured Johnny Sexton. Saints

indiscipline allowed the free-scoring province

forward time and again.

A crisp midfield move off a lineout saw Lowe

expose a gap, with the help of Byrne, and the

winger got his hands free to send Ringrose

in under the posts. Byrne converted and

tagged on a 10th-minute penalty for a 17-0

advantage.

Biggar provided the spark for Northampton

with a spritely break, and then his quicklytaken

penalty and neat link with Symons saw

the Welsh ace squeezed in under the posts.

LEINSTER RUGBY: Jordan

Larmour; Dave Kearney,

Garry Ringrose, Robbie

Henshaw (Rob Kearney 61),

James Lowe; Ross Byrne

(Ciaran Frawley 47), Luke

McGrath (Jamison Gibson-

Park 60); Cian Healy (Ed

Byrne 53), James Tracy

(Bryan Byrne 53), Tadhg

Furlong (Andrew Porter 50);

Scott Fardy (Devin Toner 68),

James Ryan; Rhys Ruddock,

Josh van der Flier (Max

Deegan 60), Caelan Doris.

NORTHAMPTON

SAINTS: Ahsee Tuala;

Ollie Sleightholme, Matt

Proctor, Andy Symons

(Fraser Dingwall 47), Taqele

Naiyaravoro; Dan Biggar

(James Grayson 62), Connor

Tupai (James Mitchell 60);

Francois van Wyk (Alex

Waller 58), Michael van

Vuuren (Samuel Matavesi

47), Paul Hill (Ehren Painter

65); Api Ratuniyarawa, Alex

Coles; Tom Wood (JJ Tonks

72), Jamie Gibson, Lewis

Ludlam.

However, those seven points were cancelled

out when Furlong crashed over from a lineout

maul, on the back of Tuala’s yellow for pulling

back Lowe.

The visitors suffered a second sin-binning

with captain Tom Wood adjudged to have

infringed at a ruck near his own line. The 13

men secured a hard-earned turnover soon

after, but a few minutes later, Doris and Rhys

Ruddock ripped the ball back in a tackle to set

the wheels in motion for the bonus point score.

Byrne attacked the blindside and Ringrose’s

well-timed pass sent Kearney cutting in past

Sleightholme from the right wing, pocketing

Leinster’s third bonus of the campaign. But

Saints hit back before the interval, a well-taken

Sleightholme try originating from a Lewis

Ludlam interception in his own 22.

Lowe got on the scoresheet inside two minutes

of the restart, dotting down from an excellent

Byrne grubber and after a superb counterattacking

run by Larmour. Ringrose followed

up with his third of the night, reacting quickest

to loose possession from Taqele Naiyaravoro’s

attempted rip.

European debutant Frawley, who came on at

out-half, knocked over the conversion to make

From The Ground Up | 58 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


it 43-14. There were a couple of near misses

from Robbie Henshaw and Kearney, who had

a try ruled out for an earlier offside, before

Northampton enjoyed a purple patch.

Samoan full-back Tuala burst clean through

from a midfield ruck for a 57th-minute try,

raising their hopes of nabbing a bonus point.

A similar effort, this time from the left wing,

earned young No 8 Doris his first European

score, sprinting over untouched for Frawley to

convert.

Saints were thwarted twice in try-scoring

range, with Leinster’s bench showing plenty of

energy in defence late on. Larmour shone with

another outstanding sidestepping run which

might have led to another try but for a knockon

by a team-mate further downfield.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 59 | From The Ground Up


For the fifth consecutive season, the Champions

Try of the Round competition will bring fans and

leading broadcasters together to decide the best

score of each weekend of matches in the Heineken

Champions Cup, giving supporters the chance to

also win some top-class rugby prizes.

Racing 92 dotted down for some outstanding tries

in 2019/20, with Teddy Thomas twice lauded for

different scores against Munster Rugby in the pool

stage before Juan Imhoff’s sensational, matchwinning

try in the Paris semi-final against Saracens

plucked the Try of the Season award having earned

praise from Channel 4’s Nolli Waterman, Virgin

Media’s Alan Quinlan and the fans.

Imhoff’s success followed Nick Abendanon

(2016/17), Tadhg Beirne (2017/18) and Maxime

Médard (2018/19) to the annual accolade after

impressive growth of engagement with the public

vote through HeinekenChampionsCup.com. On the

Monday after each round of matches in European

club rugby’s blue riband tournament, a shortlist of

five tries is compiled by EPCR’s editorial team and

opened to the public in the vote.

Enjoy some high-calibre rugby and HAVE YOUR SAY

in the winner!

CHAMPIONS TRY OF THE ROUND WINNERS 2019/20

Round 1: James Lang

ASM Clermont Auvergne v Harlequins

Round 2: Teddy Thomas

Munster Rugby v Racing 92

Round 3: James Lowe

Northampton Saints v Leinster Rugby

Round 4: Lewis Ludlow

Connacht Rugby v Gloucester Rugby

Round 5: Teddy Thomas

Racing 92 v Munster Rugby

Round 6: Luke Northmore

Harlequins v ASM Clermont Auvergne

Quarter-Final: Alex Goode

Leinster Rugby v Saracens

Semi-Final / Champions Try of the Season:

Juan Imhoff

Racing 92 v Saracens

EPCRUGBY.COM/TOTR


Midlands Area

Leinster Branch IRFU

The Midlands Area of the Leinster

Branch makes up one of the

five areas in Leinster. The other

Areas are the North East, North

Midlands, South East, and the

Metropolitan area.

The Midlands Area covers the counties of

Longford, Westmeath and Offaly.

The two oldest clubs in the Midlands are

Birr and Longford. Both of these clubs can

trace their formation back to 1887.

The Midlands Area is made up of eight

clubs: Birr, Edenderry, Longford, Midland

Warriors, Mullingar, Roscrea, Tullamore,

and West Offaly Lions.

Tullamore RFC

Tullamore have been the top club as

far as silverware goes, they have been

winning since they were formed in 1937.

They are the first Midlands club to be

promoted to Senior status having won the

All-Ireland Junior Cup on three occasions

along with the Provincial Towns Cup

and Leinster Leagues at all levels on a

continuous basis.

The club’s outstanding volunteer Oliver

Mc Glinchey from the 1950s and past

President of the ARLB laid the foundation

for this successful club.

This work has been carried on by Paddy

Galvin and the late Chris Glennon who

also represented the club with distinction

on the Midlands Area Committee, the

Leinster Junior and Senior Executive

Committees for many years.

Mullingar RFC

Mullingar RFC was formed in 1924 and

have been one of the leading clubs in

the Midlands over the years having won

the Towns Cup on two occasions and

Leinster League titles at all levels.

The solid foundations of the club were put

in place by the late Trevor Wickworth,

Roche T, and Paddy Cooney. Mullingar

was also the first club in the Midlands to

install a 3G pitch which has proved to be

a great success.

Mullingar famously recruited a young Joe

Schmidt as a player-coach in the 1990s.

If it were not for Mullingar’s foresight,

would Leinster and Irish rugby have

enjoyed their great success over the past

decade?

The club is in good hands going

forward with Michael Lambe and a very

committed team of volunteers.

Birr RFC

Birr formed in 1887, has developed over

the years to the high standards that are

a trademark of clubs in the Midlands.

Birr are fielding teams at all levels with

the exception of a Senior women’s team

which they hope to have soon.

The Youth section in Birr has met with

great success over the years and they are

now fielding teams for girls at different

levels.

Birr at present have two players starting

for Leinster on a regular basis in Peter

Dooley and Michael Milne testament to

the Birr youth system.

Also, the club have a former Leinster

captain in Willie Burns who progressed

from the youth section to play with

Lansdowne and Leinster.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 61 | From The Ground Up


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Another long servant of this great club is

Des Corcoran who has served the club

as Secretary as well as serving on the

Midlands committee for longer than we

can remember.

Edenderry RFC

Edenderry, formed in 1951, is a club

that has been built on success on the

playing field and has been very much

to the forefront as a venue for hosting

finals of various Leinster competitions.

The club has developed the grounds

and club over the years to an extremely

high standard. They have many Leinster

League titles and Towns Cup successes

over the years at both senior level and

at youths.

They are one of four clubs in the

Midlands that field at women’s level with

great success over the years.

Edenderry had the honour in 2015-16

of being the first club in the Midlands

to have a President of Leinster Rugby in

Robert Mc Dermot.

This was a great honour for the

Midlands and Robert, who has been

one of the driving forces in the Midlands

and in Leinster Rugby over a long

number of years.

Roscrea RFC

Roscrea were formed in 1940 and have

had plenty of success over the years at

adult and youth level.

They have won at all levels in Leinster

including the Towns Cup on three

occasions.

They were the first winners of the Leinster

U-17 Culliton Cup in 1975. On the

border of Offaly and Tipperary, their

local players played with Birr before

setting up the club in Roscrea.

They have produced many famous

players over the years who went on

to play for Leinster and Munster. The

most famous is Seamus Dennison of

Munster and Ireland fame who was on

the famous Munster team that beat the

All Blacks.

Roscrea also had the honour of having

Norman Carter as President of Leinster

Referees Association for 2019-20.

The club have been well served over the

years by the likes of Denis Meagher.

Midland Warriors RFC

Midland Warriors joined Leinster

Rugby in 2009 having played in

Connacht for a few years. The club is

based in Moate in Co. Westmeath.

It has progressed over the years at a

steady pace and is now playing in the

Towns Cup.

They have developed their youth

section at both girls and boys over the

last number of years and this will be

a positive for this ambitious club going

forward.

The club is lucky to have Kate Ross

as one of the main volunteers who is

pushing the club forward at all levels.

Kate is also the treasurer of the Midlands

and has served on the Leinster Branch.

This is a club that we can expect to

see making a big impact in the coming

years.

Longford RFC

Longford, formed in 1887, have a long

history of leading the way in Leinster

and Irish Rugby.

The club folded in 1951 and re-formed

in 1967. Today, Longford is one of the

finest clubs In Leinster.

It is one of the few clubs in Ireland with a

restaurant, ‘The Sin Bin’, where members

can enjoy lunch or an evening meal.

The club at present are installing a 3G

pitch with LED floodlights.

Ten years on from the addition of a

conference centre and the restaurant.

Longford installed Prunty pitches in 1980

and ‘82. In 1992, the club installed

match standard floodlights, one of the

first rugby clubs to do so in Ireland.

The club hosted the first ever

international played under floodlights in

Ireland in 1994 – Ireland Universities v

France Universities.

The club and the Midlands were very

honoured to have one of the club’s

trustees Pat Fitzgerald elected President

of the IRFU, the first from a Junior club in

the 2013-14 season.

The club are also a force on the playing

fields having won at most levels in

Leinster over the years and are playing

in Division 1B in the Leinster league.

This year, club stalwart Derick Turner

was chosen by the clubs of Leinster to

be the recipient of the IRFU ‘Mr. Boots’

award, in recognition of a lifetime of

service to Longford and Leinster Junior

rugby.

West Offaly Lions RFC

West Offaly Lions field at Youth level

and have met with success over recent

years winning Leinster titles.

The club borders Connacht and played

for several years in the province.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 63 | From The Ground Up


“LATER THAT SEASON,

WE PLAYED AGAINST

THE SCOTTISH BORDERS

AND DODDIE WEIR WAS

PLAYING IN THE SECOND

ROW. YOU ARE PLAYING

AGAINST FACES ON THE

TELEVISION. IT FELT

SURREAL.”

From The Ground Up | 64 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Where are

they now?

By Des Berry

SIMON

CRAWFORD

THEN: SIMON MADE HIS LEINSTER DEBUT AGAINST

DRAGONS IN FEBRUARY 2004, GOING ON TO EARN

NINE CAPS UP TO HIS LAST APPEARANCE AGAINST

EDINBURGH IN NOVEMBER 2005.

NOW: HE LIVES IN CLONTARF WITH HIS WIFE EIMEAR

AND DAUGHTER SORCHA AND WORKS AS THE HEAD OF

BROADBAND AND TV SALES IN VODAFONE IRELAND

Simon Crawford was spoiled for

choice in the summer of 2001.

The rising sports star was a precious

commodity arriving out of school

at Castleknock and onto the sports

scholarship market. He was not short of

suitors with UCD vying for the talent of

the Meath minor footballer and Leinster

Schools number eight.

There was also a possibility of going

to Australian Rules Football when

scouts from Sydney Swans crossed the

hemispheres to trial eight gaelic players

with Crawford, fellow Meath minor Niall

Ronan and Alan Brogan among them.

Nothing ever came of it. No one was

chosen to follow the same path as Tadhg

Kennelly.

“Yeah, nothing materialised out of that.

But, I would probably have gone to

Australia if I had been invited,” he said.

“That left me to make a decision between

the UCD scholarships that summer. I just

thought the camaraderie in rugby was a

lot better. The friendships I had gathered

were stronger, the bond, the common

goal, unity of the team.

“Don’t get me wrong, I loved playing

football. I loved the game. Rugby just

came with these additional benefits that

made me want to see where I could go in

the game. There was also the bond I had

developed with players, like Ciaran Potts.

That is what it was.”

He spent that first year out of school

in the Leinster Academy and the next

two in the national Academy, readily

recognisable as that forward who took

the kicks for Castleknock.

“I had been taking the frees in gaelic.

I didn’t realise number eights weren’t

supposed to kick the ball. I was used to

catching the ball in the lineouts and off

kick-offs. It came naturally to me.”

He went on an upward trajectory from

Leinster Schools summer tour to Argentina

in 2001 to the Leinster age-grade teams,

the Academy and the Ireland U-21s,

playing in the Six Nations and going to

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 65 | From The Ground Up


a World Cup at Newbury in England

with Niall Ronan, Rory Best, Ciaran Potts,

Declan Fitzpatrick, John Lyne and Tommy

Bowe.

There was no grand plan to become a

Leinster professional. There was only the

game and his embrace for it.

The steps taken were mostly upward and

it led to his debut in Blue against Dragons

in February 2004.

“To be honest, I remember being in the

hotel on the day of the game, thinking ‘I

am going to play for Leinster. Do I belong

here? What if I let people down? I think

there are probably a lot of people who

think that way at the start.

“The Springbok Percy Montgomery was

playing full-back for Dragons at the time. I

remember thinking, ‘that’s mad.’ Later that

season, we played against the Scottish

Borders and Doddie Weir was playing in

the second row. You are playing against

faces on the television. It felt surreal.

“Now, it was when Leinster were down

numbers when the internationals were

away. But, it was still a huge honour,”

he said.

“When I played those games, I never felt

I let them down in any way. I just didn’t

get that many opportunities. I was a

decent player. It was just a case of where

you fit in. I probably didn’t have the

explosion for the back row or the height

for the second row. I fell somewhere

between those two.

“I needed to have a lot of patience to

realise my potential as a professional. I

didn’t have it.

“When Leinster happened, it happened.

It was great. When my contract wasn’t

extended, I never saw it as a reason to

travel around Europe trying to find a club.

That wasn’t my dream or my goal.

“Even when I became a professional, I

always thought it was a transient thing

that would give way to work,” issued the

38-year-old.

There was no deep emotional wrench

when Crawford ended his professional

status, no real desire to pursue interest

from the Cornish Pirates or Newbury or,

years later, Rotherham in England

“I knew there was nothing in Leinster for

me. I took three weeks to consider my

options,” he said.

The reality of going full-time worked

against Crawford’s mindset, so much

so that the improvements in size and

fitness did not aggregate to a jump in

performance.

“In the one year I was fully professional,

when I had no distractions, my

performances weren’t as strong, even

though I gave it my full focus.

“I just think the pressure of the Monday

morning weigh-ins, the pressure of tacklecount,

the pressure of making mistakes,

the pressure every week.

The Irish professional system is built to

give players options when they leave the

game through provinces encouraging

them to pursue other interests as a

security blanket.

“I had done a degree in economics

and a masters in project management

at the Smurfit Business School. I had the

From The Ground Up | 66 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


qualifications and it was always in my

mind that sport would be there after my

work, but not actually be my work.

Rugby helped with my education, my

studies. It fitted in with what my life was.

That was getting my degree and enjoying

my sport. Rugby wasn’t everything to

me.”

It proved to be a sound decision to move

into a suit. Currently, Crawford is the

Head of Broadband and TV sales in

Vodafone Ireland.

He moved from UCD to play for Clontarf

where he now lives with his wife Eimear

and daughter Sorcha.

“That was when I played my best rugby

when I left Leinster. Maybe, that has

something to do with my mental make-up.

The reason I started playing gaelic and

rugby is that I enjoyed them and I lost

that somewhere.

“I was able to get back to what I loved at

Clontarf, training twice a week, playing

at the weekend and being able to enjoy

the social aspect of it all. It was a new

lease of life. It was and is a community

club. It isn’t called ‘the parish’ for

nothing.”

In 2014, Crawford walked away from

rugby when Clontarf finally reached the

summit to win their first All-Ireland League

title.

“In the beginning, I got into a lot of fights

trying to prove myself and, by the end, I

was just fighting to win the competition.

That was a real goal,” he added.

“When I stopped playing, I really

struggled to come to terms with it. I

struggled for months without having

the release, the craic, the banter, to go

alongside my work.”

There was also the pain of an arthritic

ankle that has not gone away. There have

been two operations since his retirement.

“I have accepted that as the price I am

paying for all the good times.”

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 67 | From The Ground Up


BY DAN WALLACE

We start this week’s Referees Corner on another

sad note. Our refereeing colleague and good friend

Declan Mahon passed away on November 22 after

a short illness. If you look up ‘great club man’ in the

dictionary, Declan’s photo was beside the definition.

Not only was he a great club man for his home club Ashbourne

but he was also a great club man for the Leinster Rugby

Referees. Whenever he was asked to do something Declan did

it without question. He gave the referees a lot and we thank him

for that.

He also always made sure that any visiting referee was well

looked after in Ashbourne, both before and after the game, no

matter what the result.

He welcomed referees through the club’s door like it was his

home. Declan was one of the main reasons they have won club

of the year so many times. Our condolences go to his family, his

grandchildren and all the extended Mahon family.

We also pass our condolences to the many friends and

colleagues he has within our refereeing community, and

Ashbourne Rugby Club. He will be greatly missed.

TODAY'S REFEREE

Pierre

Brousset

Today’s match referee is Pierre

Brousset from France who was

the man in the middle when we

took on Benetton in Round 1 last

season.

The TOP 14 referee was promoted to

the World Rugby panel for the Sevens

season in 2017 and was chosen by the

World Rugby match officials selection

panel to represent France during the

2016-17 season of the seven-a-side world

circuit.

In 2019 he was promoted to the French

National Panel. After Romain Poite,

Jérôme Garcès, Pascal Gaüzère, Mathieu

Raynal and Alexandre Ruiz, the FFR now

has six referees at the highest level with

Brousset.

From The Ground Up | 68 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Until then this young man of 30 combined

two professional activities. Sports

educator for young people with mental

disabilities for the AJH (Association of

Young Handicapped Persons), he was

also involved for five years in a family

hotel-restaurant, Les Palmiers, run by his

brother, chef, his parents, as well as his

wife.

Pierre Brousset’s career as a referee

began, as for many, by chance. A player

in Rieumes, like his father before him, he

chose to devote himself to refereeing very

early on.

“I was a player until the age of 20. I

had the opportunity to take the referee

exam a bit by chance while talking to

someone about refereeing; I told myself

that it could be interesting to know the

Area Meetings

Continuing from the previous

two months, the November Area

Meetings took place online.

The North East and North Midlands

combined for the Monday workshop

while the Midlands and South East

combined for the Thursday workshop.

The Metro had a standalone workshop

on the Tuesday. All meetings taking place

on Zoom once again and were facilitated

by Leinster Referee Development Officer,

Sam Holt.

rules well. It started like that, at 17,” he

says.

“I did two or three years at the territorial

level, then a season in Federal 3, two in

Federal 2, one in Federal 1 and two in

Pro D2. This is currently my third in TOP

14. I had luck at the right time.”

In the summer of 2016, after having

passed, in just six years, from the

Federal 3 to the TOP 14, he had his first

international experience during the final

of the World University Championship

7, in Swansea, Wales. We wish him well

today.

Skills in Rugby Refereeing” with

Dr. Tadhg MacIntyre.

The education of referees and

assessors has continued during

the recent Level 5 restrictions.

It is an important aspect of

refereeing life. All our referees

are looking forward to getting

back on the pitch as soon

possible as I am sure are the

players.

The subject for November was ‘The

Breakdown’, a hot topic at the moment

and featured a variety of clips from the

domestic game that were discussed at

some length on the night.

It was also great to see over 200+

referees from Leinster Rugby Referees,

Munster Association of Referees,

Association Of Referees Connacht

Branch & the Ulster Society for Rugby

Football Referees all online a couple

of weeks ago to watch the Irish Rugby

Referee Department Seminar “Mental

Want to get involved?

Feel free to make contact with the Leinster Rugby

Referees at hayley.whyte@leinsterrugby.ie.

If you are interested in becoming a referee get in

contact with us through our Facebook and Google +

pages, our website www.arlb.ie or through twitter

@leinsterreferee.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 69 | From The Ground Up


OFFICIAL TIMEKEEPER

TISSOT supersport

chrono.

TISSOTWATCHES.COM


CHRIS REYNOLDS

I n conversation with K evin Greene

CLANE'S CHRIS REYNOLDS, MEMBER OF

THE ASSOCIATION OF REFEREES LEINSTER

BRANCH (ARLB); DIRECTOR OF IRISH COAST

GUARD; CURRENTLY HEAD OF MISSION OF

THE EUROPEAN UNION CAPACITY BUILDING

MISSION (EUCAP) IN SOMALIA.

My secondary school days were

spent at Templeogue College

where, apart from committing

to my studies, I played with the

school at scrum half.

From there, I joined the Irish Navy

where I spent many enjoyable hours

both at sea and on shore. Due to the

flexible working hours, my enjoyment of

rugby was limited as I spent much of my

time at sea. I did, however, enjoy many

games with the services - mostly social

rugby.

My lack of practice showed up in my

level of competence. During those days,

I enjoyed my outings at scrum half or

occasionally full back.

When I left the Navy to join the Coast

Guard, I moved my family to Clane in

Kildare, a GAA town, but with a proud

rugby tradition.

Naturally, my three sons joined Clane

RFC and I volunteered to coach. After

a while the President of the club came

to me and said: “Reynolds, you’re

ex-military. You're used to telling guys

bigger than you what to do and never

ever admitting you’re wrong. You’d

make a great referee.”

So I did my course in 1999 and have

loved every minute of refereeing ever

since. It’s the best seat in the house. You

have to be fit enough to be third man

at the breakdown in an U-20s game.

The concentration needed, the need

for clear and concise communication

when gasping for air and the adrenalin

released in a high tempo game makes it

irresistible.

I would do Schools matches every

Wednesday, Youths on Saturday

morning, All-Ireland League Assistant

Referee on Saturday afternoon and

Leinster League on Sunday.

It becomes an addiction.

However, currently I am out of the rugby

game as I’m serving as Head of Mission

of the European Union Capacity

Building Mission (EUCAP) in Somalia. I

have a team of almost 150 experts from

various fields, supporting this war-torn

country to get up on its feet again.

The European Union has 18 civilian and

military operations in Europe, Africa

and the Middle East. Eleven of those

are civilian missions where more than

2000 men and women work to increase

security, rule of law and human rights.

EUCAP Somalia, one of those civilian

missions, has one leg in the sea and one

leg on land so to speak.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 71 | From The Ground Up


When you consider Somalia's recent

past you must realise you are building

the foundation for the State block-byblock,

together with other international

organisations, mainly the UN.

At sea, we are helping develop

Maritime Police Units to create security

bubbles around the major ports. We

are doing this, not only operationally,

but also in defining maritime security

policies and legislation.

In the deeper waters, we are helping

create a coast guarding capacity to

help Somalis counter piracy, human

trafficking, smuggling of weapons,

terrorists and drugs and illegal fishing,

as well as many other maritime security

issues.

The work of the international community,

the EU, the UN and other organisations

has been successful as one of Somalia’s

best-known problems, piracy, has

been suppressed for now. The biggest

obstacles for development at the

moment are terrorism and corruption.

Therefore, EUCAP has shifted its focus

to cover the broader development of the

police force. My team’s police officers

from various European countries assist

Somali law enforcement agencies and

authorities to increase their ability to

provide safety and security to Somali

people and communities.

This includes increasing interaction and

engagement between law enforcement

agencies and the criminal justice system

and with INTERPOL. We also help

develop a form of robust policing called

Darwish.

As the army continues its war against

the terrorist organisation al Shahab the

soldiers move on to the next fight and

Darwish stabilise the liberated areas. To

do this they are trained to fight against

the guerrilla counter offences in formed

Units.

Whilst there’s still much work to do

Somalia has taken steps in the right

direction. Violence has decreased

and the economic life shows signs of

recovery.

I live in a fortified compound in

Mogadishu, said to be one of the most

dangerous cities in the world.

As Head of Mission, I have my own team

of bodyguards and my own armoured

vehicles. There are undoubtedly dangers

in living here and travelling the country

but I do feel safe and well-protected by

the measures we take.

Covid landed here in March. It was

pretty much ignored as it was just

another pandemic amongst many,

and there is now likely a strong herd

immunity amongst its young population.

It is hardly talked about now.

As we have DSTV in our rooms I get

to watch Leinster's games live on TV or

else my sons record them. I even get to

occasionally referee tag rugby played

by the British military and South Africans

here in the green zone, in my Leinster

Referees kit.

From The Ground Up | 72 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


And so my life is not too bad, although

limited due to the security measures.

While I can’t run on the rugby pitch,

I do exercise on the beach by the

Indian Ocean. My room is only metres

away from the sea and I look out on its

brilliant blue every morning.

That’s a treat for an Irishman who is

used to being surrounded by water as I

have served my entire career caring for

the sea, firstly in the Irish Naval Service

and currently as a Director of the Irish

Coast Guard.

After my family, it’s refereeing I miss

most; getting heckled by the crowd, a

scrum half trying to get one over on you,

but also the respect you get from the

players.

They may grumble but they all know

that if the referee loses control, players

can get injured. All referees work hard

in maintaining their standards and

facilitating players who want to play.

A referee can't fix a bad game but he

can ruin a good game, so consistency

is everything. The disciplines you learn

from rugby stand you well in life and

certainly have helped me in my current

role, with all its challenges.

Finally, like everyone I am looking

forward to a return to a better form

of normality, to be able to referee like

before and to go and support my team

in Donnybrook. It will come insh’Allah.

Looking to the future, my current tour

of duty will be completed at the end of

the year.

With transition to the new team, I hope

to be back on the park in the North

Midlands for the new season 2021-22

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 73 | From The Ground Up


TO MAXIMISE YOUR SPORTS AND EXERCISE

PERFORMANCE THROUGH NUTRITION

Optimum Nutrition and Leinster Rugby have partnered to help share good nutrition tips throughout

the season to help you achieve your performance goals. Here are some simple tips and things to

remember to help maximise your performance and help you recover quickly to come back stronger.

Protein Rich.

Protein provides your muscles with

the building blocks to repair & grow.

Carb-Up.

Carbohydrate foods are king as they

power high intensity play.

Fuel-Up.

Consume the majority of your

carbohydrates around training to

support fuelling and recovery.

Recover.

Quality rest & nutrition between

training sessions is the key to

recovery. Remember to:

Repair with protein,

Refuel with carbohydrate,

Rehydrate with fluid.

Hydrate.

Dehydration can lead to a drop in

exercise intensity & can impact your

decision making. Drink 2-3 litres of

fluid each day to ensure hydration.

Game Day.

To fuel performance on the field,

consume a large carbohydrate rich

meal 2-3 hours before kick-off, i.e.

chicken & pasta, turkey bolognaise

wraps.

Get 20% off all Optimum Nutrition products

using code Leinster20 on optimumnutrition.ie


Knowing what advice to take

is essential in this game.

beauchamps.ie

OFFICIAL LEGAL ADVISOR

Contact: John White, Managing Partner +353 (0)1 4186000 | j.white@beauchamps.ie


For people whose skin doesn’t work, we do.

DEBRA Ireland is the only national Irish charity,

established to provide support services to

patients and families living with the debilitating

skin condition epidermolysis bullosa (EB).

Children and adults living with EB, have skin

that is as delicate and fragile as the wings of a

butterfly, and just as easily damaged. DEBRA

Ireland also drives research into treatments

and cures for those living with the condition.

This Christmas we remember

Liam, who sadly passed away

in October 2016 just a few

weeks before he was due to

lead Leinster Rugby out as

match day mascot.

To find out how you can help

honour Liam’s legacy please

go to debraireland.org

DEBRA Ireland, Butterfly Cottage, 8 Clanwilliam Terrace,

Grand Canal Quay, Dublin 2. T 01 412 6924 E info@debraireland.org

Registered charity number: 8703 Charity regulator number: 20021726

@DEBRA.Ireland @debraireland @debraireland

debraireland.org


LEINSTER RUGBY CHARITY AFFILIATE

DEBRA Ireland

Just like everyone else, Debra

Ireland has had a challenging

2020, but exciting scientific

advances have given us great

hope for the years to come.

The charity was set up in 1988 by

families living with EB (epidermolysis

bullosa), a painful genetic skin condition

that causes the skin, both inside and out,

to blister at the slightest touch.

Of course the Covid pandemic and

ensuing lockdown has had an enormous

impact on all of our lives, and no less

so for people who live with EB and their

families.

Ironically the lockdown has imposed on

the rest of the nation the type of isolation

that people with EB and those who have

suppressed immune systems live with

regularly.

But it also increased the isolation felt by

people with EB, because it curtailed the

movement of carers and other visitors to

their homes – and in one case a parent

and primary carer of a teenager with EB

caught the virus, forcing them to isolate

from each other within their own home.

It was also a challenging time for Debra

Ireland which had to cancel a number

of fundraising events which could reduce

the charity’s income by 40 per cent – a

situation that placed much needed critical

services at risk.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 77 | From The Ground Up


REMEMBERING LIAM

As we head towards Christmas,

we remember a brave young boy

who passed away only a few

weeks before he was due to lead

the Leinster Rugby team out as a

match day mascot.

Little Liam Hagan, a lifelong Leinster fan,

was born with EB.

The eight-year-old from Threemilehouse

in Monaghan, had a severe form of

EB which left 80 per cent of his body

covered in open wounds. He needed

21 different types of medication and

painkillers daily.

EB is often described as Butterfly

Skin because the skin is as fragile as

a butterfly’s wing, and just as easily

damaged.

Despite the pain of touching a ball, Liam

loved his rugby and was thrilled to be

named as mascot for the game – but

sadly, his ravaged skin became so

infected that it gave way to septicaemia

of the blood and his fragile body couldn’t

fight any more.

Liam died in October 2016 just weeks

before he was due to lead out Leinster

ahead of their clash with Connacht

Rugby.

For such a little boy, Liam had such a

big personality, and since he passed

four years ago, we have all missed him

terribly.

No matter how tough the game today,

no matter how battered and bruised the

players become, they will recover from

their injuries.

Sadly, when a child has EB, many of their

wounds will never heal, and there is no

relief from the pain of the most painful

disease that you have probably never

heard of.

Leinster Rugby has partnered with Debra

Ireland as a charity affiliate for December

as part of the club’s newly established

charity partner programme.

“Liam was a huge fan of the team and

he holds a special place in the hearts of

us all as we were working towards him

leading the team out in the RDS Arena

before he passed away,” says Marcus

Ó Buachalla, who manages charity

partnerships for Leinster Rugby.

“I am delighted to see us working with

Debra Ireland again, having worked

very closely with them a few years ago

and I look forward to helping them drive

awareness of the incredible work that

they do through the Leinster Rugby social

channels.

“We know from working closely

with them before what a wonderful

organisation they are and what brilliant,

inspirational people those living with EB

and indeed their families are.

“We look forward to celebrating one of

those special people, Liam Hagan, over

the month of December.”

Debra Ireland was previously a full

charity partner of Leinster Rugby for two

seasons from 2016-2018.

“There are currently 300 people in

Ireland living with EB,” says Michelle

Reynolds, Head of Fundraising and

Marketing with Debra Ireland.

“DEBRA Ireland provides support to them

and to their families who regularly act as

carers, not only through their lives, but

through bereavement and beyond.

“We also drive research into treatments

and cures for those living with the

condition. We are especially grateful to

be partnering with Leinster this Christmas,

to honour Liam Hagan and his incredible

family.”

From The Ground Up | 78 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


A BRIGHTER

FUTURE

Notwithstanding the difficulties of 2020,

the year will end on a very positive note

for people with EB in Ireland and indeed

worldwide. It has been a very exciting

year for scientific research into treatment

for EB.

Only a short few weeks ago in early

November, Filsuvez gel, developed

by Dublin-based Amryt Pharma,

successfully completed Phase 3 clinical

trials and showed that it can speed up

wound closure and reduce the pain of

bandaging.

This is the first medication specifically

developed to treat EB and ushers in an

era of hope for people living with the

condition.

This new treatment could pave the way

for “game-changing therapies” in the

coming years explains Debra’s CEO,

Jimmy Fearon.

“With a slew of exciting medical

breakthroughs in the pipeline, for the

first time ever the future is looking much

brighter for people with EB.

“We believe that Filsuvez, the first of its

kind to specifically treat EB, will open

the door to a series of exciting and

game-changing therapies that we expect

to see in the next decade, with each one

improving wound closure.

“That improvement will reduce the pain

and trauma associated with bandaging,

as well as the constant threat of infection

that is always present with open wounds.

“The significance of the phase three trials

is that they are required for approval from

regulatory bodies around the world like

the FDA in the US or the EMA in Europe.

“It means that the day when we can

access medication to significantly improve

the lives of people with EB is finally within

reach.

“We are proud to say that the generosity

of people in Ireland, and in particular

Leinster Rugby, in supporting our

fundraising efforts has played a vital role

in the exciting new medical developments

coming down the line in the years to

come.”

The effect of that support cannot be

underestimated as Laois woman Emma

Fogarty, 36, who lives with the disease

outlines.

“To have effective treatment for EB would

be the most amazing thing. I could live,

I could gain back some independence, I

could get out and meet friends and go for

a drink without worrying about being in

pain,” she says.

“Something as small as finding a new

bandage or a new painkiller that will

work would make a difference. It doesn’t

have to be the cure. It just needs to help

us in some way, and that would be lifechanging.”

As 2021 approaches, with its promise of

a vaccine for COVID 19 and scientific

advances for treatment of EB, we wish all

of you and your families a very happy

and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

To learn more about Debra Ireland, or to

donate, please go to debraireland.org

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 79 | From The Ground Up


IN OPPOSITION

Northampton Saints

COUNTRY

ENGLAND

HOME GROUND

FRANKLIN’S

GARDENS

FOUNDED

1880

Last Time Out

Northampton Saints 12 Bordeaux Begles 16

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS KICKED OFF THEIR CHAMPIONS CUP CAMPAIGN

WITH AN AGONIZING LATE LOSS TO UNION BORDEAUX-BÈGLES AT

FRANKLIN’S GARDENS, AS 2,000 SUPPORTERS WERE WELCOMED

THROUGH THE GATES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NINE MONTHS.

Four penalties from the boot of the

returning Dan Biggar saw Saints play

with the lead for much of the contest.

But despite dominating possession and territory

– not to mention Bordeaux having two men sent

to the bin in the second half – Northampton

were undone inside the final few minutes, as a

freak Santiago Cordero try handed Bordeaux a

narrow victory.

In a cagey opening period, try-scoring

opportunities were hard to come by with both

teams willing to put boot to ball more often

than not.

Saints definitely offered more with ball in hand,

and it was Biggar who made his presence felt

early on his return. Running a wrap-around play

with Rory Hutchinson just outside the 22, his

flat pass to George Furbank gave Saints good

go-forward ball.

Taqele Naiyaravoro went close once the

play was spread to his flank, but the visitors

managed to get him down and wrestle the ball

free. Back they went for a penalty under the

posts, allowing Biggar to open the scoring.

The lead was doubled not long after. Chasing

his own up-and-under well, Hutchinson forced

Maxime Lucu under pressure after gathering

the kick, getting over the ball to win the penalty.

Biggar slotted it to make the score 6-0.

Midway through the first period, Bordeaux had

the opportunity to narrow the gap, only for

Ben Botica to push a long-range effort wide.

Shortly after, the visitors were on the board

with a much easier shot just outside the 22;

NORTHAMPTON

SAINTS: George

Furbank; Ahsee Tuala,

Matt Proctor, Rory

Hutchinson, Taqele

Naiyaravoro (Ryan

Olowofela 67); Dan

Biggar, Alex Mitchell

(Henry Taylor 67);

Nick Auterac (Francois

van Wyk 49), Samuel

Matavesi (James Fish

49), Owen Franks

(Paul Hill 49); David

Ribbans, Nick Isiekwe

(Api Ratuniyarawa 70);

Courtney Lawes, Tom

Wood, Shaun Adendorff

(JJ Tonks 74).

BORDEAUX BEGLES:

Romain Buros; Santiago

Cordero, Yoram

Moefana, Remi Lamerat

(Pablo Uberti 59),

Ben Lam; Ben Botica

(Matthieu Jalibert 54),

Maxime Lucu (Jules

Gimbert 74); Thierry

Paiva, Maxime Lamothe

(Clement Maynadier

54), Vadim Cobilas

(Ben Tameifuna 48);

Guido Petti Pagadizaval

(Jandre Marais 34)

Cyril Cazeaux; Cameron

Woki, Mahamadou

Diaby, Scott

Higginbotham (Marco

Tauleigne 59).

Words: northamptonsaints.co.uk

Images: www.paimages.co.uk

Botica halving the gap once Owen Franks was

penalised for sealing off his feet.

A high shot from Guido Petti on Sam Matavesi

saw Biggar stretch the lead to 9-3 with another

kick in front of the posts. With the penalty

count rising, referee Ben Whitehouse warned

the visitors.

The closest Saints came to crossing the try

line before the break came was when a

deft midfield move on first phase allowed

Adendorff to break into the 22. Once the ball

was spread out wide to Naiyaravoro in space,

he looked to feed Furbank on the inside with

the scoring pass, only for the ball to go to deck

thanks to good scramble defence.

Moments later, it was Bordeaux failing to

gather a killer pass, as Diaby spilled an

offload from Cordero after the Argentinian had

brilliantly danced his way into the 22. Penalty

advantage saw Botica narrow the gap to 9-6.

A scrum penalty with the clock in the red

allowed Botica to level things at 9-9 heading

into the break.

Saints were back in the lead early in the

second half; a high tackle on Hutchinson gifted

Biggar another close-range kick, making it

12-9 to Saints.

Life got tougher for Bordeaux when

Whitehouse finally lost patience with their

lack of discipline. Cameron Woki gave away

two consecutive penalties at mauls inside the

22, ultimately paying for it with 10 minutes in

the bin. Saints failed to immediately cash in

after deciding to go to the corner as Maxime

From The Ground Up | 80 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Lamothe got in over the ball to win a

huge relieving penalty for Bordeaux.

Just as time was expiring on the yellow

card, Saints hammered away around

the fringes inside the Bordeaux 22. Alex

Mitchell drew a hole for James Fish with

a snipe and a good inside ball, but the

replacement hooker could not hold on

with space in front of him.

In the 65th minute, Saints had another

chance to attack an undermanned

Bordeaux line. Trying to recover the

ball from the bottom of a collapsed

maul, Lucu stamped twice on the arm of

Courtney Lawes. Whitehouse responded

by brandishing the second yellow of the

evening.

Against the run of play, Bordeaux went

ahead thanks to a huge stroke of luck.

After Matthieu Jalibert hit the post with

an attempted penalty, Cordero reacted

first to the bounce of the ball inside the

22, gathering well to dive over from

close range. Jalibert was successful with

the kick this time to hand the visitors a

four-point lead heading into the final five

minutes.

Saints threw together one last attack

from deep in a bid to rescue the result,

but a choke tackle inside the 22 allowed

Bordeaux to kill the game off.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 81 | From The Ground Up


YOUR ACCESS TO THE HEART

OF EUROPEAN RUGBY HAS

NEVER BEEN BETTER

HEINEKENCHAMPIONSCUP.COM

#HEINEKENCHAMPIONSCUP


Squad | Positions 2020/21

SHAUN ADENDORFF

FLANKER

MIKEY HAYWOOD

HOOKER

ALEX MOON

LOCK

Director of Rugby | Chris Boyd

Kiwi Chris Boyd arrived from

Hurricanes in August 2018 where

he had won the club’s first ever

Super Rugby title in 2016.

Boyd’s coaching career has taken him

across a lot of the southern hemisphere

with stints as assistant and head coach

in his native New Zealand and working

with South African side Sharks.

NICK AUTERAC

LOOSE HEAD PROP

DAN BIGGAR

OUTSIDE HALF

REUBEN BIRD-

TULLOCH

CENTRE

ALEX COLES

LOCK

PAUL HILL

TIGHT HEAD PROP

DANNY HOBBS-

AWOYEMI

LOOSE HEAD PROP

RORY HUTCHINSON

CENTRE

NICK ISIEKWE

LOCK

TAQELE

NAIYARAVORO

WING

OLLIE NEWMAN

FLANKER

RYAN OLOWOFELA

WING

EHREN PAINTER

TIGHT HEAD PROP

He also was assistant coach during

Tonga’s 2011 Rugby World Cup

campaign when they beat France,

eventual beaten finalists, for the first time

ever.

TOM COLLINS

WING

FRASER DINGWALL

CENTRE

EMMANUEL IYOGUN

LOOSE HEAD PROP

TOM JAMES

WING

MATT PROCTOR

CENTRE/WING

API RATUNIYARAWA

LOCK

From 2011-2014, he also coached the

New Zealand Under-20 side.

JAMES FISH

HOOKER

COURTNEY LAWES

LOCK

DAVID RIBBANS

LOCK

PIERS FRANCIS

OUTSIDE HALF

TOM LITCHFIELD

CENTRE

OLLIE SLEIGHTHOLME

WING

Co-Captains | Alex Waller

and Lewis Ludlam

This is Alex Waller’s third

campaign as co-captain having

already shared leadership duties

with Dylan Hartley and Teimana

Harrison.

Prop Waller has amassed almost 300

caps for the club during 12 years of

service.

Twenty-four-year-old flanker Ludlam joins

him this year after an impressive two

seasons since Chris Boyd’s arrival at

Franklin’s Gardens.

After coming on the scene in the

2018/19 season, Ludlam has since gone

on to gain international recognition with

England.

OWEN FRANKS

TIGHT HEAD PROP

TOMMY FREEMAN

FULL BACK/WING

GEORGE FURBANK

FULL BACK

KARL GARSIDE

TIGHT HEAD PROP

JOSH GILLESPIE

WING

ETHAN GRAYSON

CENTRE

JAMES GRAYSON

OUTSIDE HALF

TEIMANA HARRISON

BACK ROW

DANIEL LONG-

MARTINEZ

WING

LEWIS LUDLAM

BACK ROW

SAMSON MA’ASI

HOOKER

HARRY MALLINDER

CENTRE

REECE MARSHALL

HOOKER

SAM MATAVESI

HOOKER

THOMAS MATHEWS

OUTSIDE HALF

ALEX MITCHELL

SCRUM HALF

HENRY TAYLOR

SCRUM HALF

JJ TONKS

BACK ROW

AHSEE TUALA

FULL BACK

CONNOR TUPAI

SCRUM HALF

TUIDRIVA URU

BACK ROW

FRANCOIS VAN WYK

LOOSE HEAD PROP

ALEX WALLER

LOOSE HEAD PROP

TOM WOOD

BACK ROW

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 83 | From The Ground Up


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Malahide

ONE CLUB FOR EVERYONE

Malahide RFC

‘One club for everyone’ could

be the motto for Malahide rugby

club as it strives to become

more deeply embedded in the

community from which it derives

its name.

In September 2006, the club relocated

to Estuary Road, leaving behind their old

home on the Castle grounds. The move

away from the picturesque village to the

exposed coastline setting meant the club

became a magnet as a home to players

from the North Fingal area.

“The demographic of the club is really

interesting. We only have between

45-50 per cent of our members from

Malahide,” said Paul Donegan, the

Chairman of the Club’s Business

Committee.

“The rest are drawn from areas of

North Dublin and South Fingal such as

Swords, Donabate, Portrane, Kinsealy,

Portmarnock. If we weren’t coming up

to the centenary of the club in 2022,

we would be probably seen more as

a Fingal rugby club. The history of the

club, that connection to Malahide and

our initial patron Lord Talbot, is very

important and it is up to us to not only

keep it, but to build on it into the future.

“Where we are, we compete with

gaelic clubs, like St Sylvester’s,

Naomh Mearnog, Fingallians, and the

soccer clubs in the area as well as the

rugby clubs Skerries, Balbriggan and

Suttonians.

“Before we moved down into the

Estuary, we spent so many years beside

Malahide Castle where it was seen as a

closed club,” issued Donegan.

“We have great numbers at the mini

and youths level. There would be 600

kids playing on a Sunday morning,

benchmarked against 1,000 at St

Sylvester’s and Naomh Mearnog. As

our kids grow into their teenage years,

they tend to specialise in fewer sports

and we lose others to rugby schools, like

Belvedere and CUS.

“The whole area around Swords,

Donabate, Malahide is growing so much

and we want to make the rugby club

a stronger draw for all those places.

We needed to be seen as more open,

a more active part of the surrounding

communities.”

Competition has bred creativity.

Malahide has not been slow to welcome

initiatives devised by the IRFU and even

come up with some of their own ideas.

Last year, the club embraced the

IRFU-driven ‘Give It A Try’ programme,

designed to attract girls from ages 8-14

to learn how to play rugby in a safe

and fun environment over the summer.

Of course, this was compromised by the

onset of Covid-19.

There was also a commitment to work on

a pilot programme with Fingal County

Council, focussed on the introduction of

rugby into non-traditional, high-density

areas where parents were unable to take

their children to a rugby club.

From The Ground Up | 86 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Club President John Kiernan building bridge

Tarmac Track for walkers

“We ran a number of pop-up rugby

camps. It went really well and we

are still working on how to develop it

further,” said Donegan.

“We would have on average 12,

maybe, 14 kids, show up in an area,

kids that never played before, boys and

girls, and some even came to the club to

continue playing the game.”

The encouragement to come up

with new ways to reach out into the

surrounding areas has been met with

enthusiasm.

“We had a lot of different ideas around

making it one club for everyone,” he

added.

“We were due to have a club meeting

in March where all the members were

invited to voice their opinion on what

they thought the next three-to-five years

should look like when Covid struck.”

Overnight, everything was shut down.

There was nothing that could be

done about that. There was so much

uncertainty. That is when they came up

with the ‘Safe Place Scheme’.

“We had a call among the executive

of the club to see if there was any way

we could offer club services to help

out within the local community. The

local GAA club was offering a delivery

service for the elderly and vulnerable

in our society, who could not get out as

they felt unsafe in public.

“As we were not located close to

Malahide village, on the estuary

between Malahide and Swords, we

wanted to see what we could do to help.

“Following conversations with the then

Lord Mayor of Fingal Eoghan O’Brien

and also members of An Garda

Síochána in Malahide, we came up with

the idea of a ‘Safe Place Scheme’.

“We offered our grounds as a safe

location for the elderly and those who

feel vulnerable in the community to come

out and walk. The parking available

made it the perfect location that they

could drive to and feel safe while they

made use of the space.

“Initially, we thought this was a great

idea and wanted to publicise it on social

media. However, due to Covid, we

decided that the best way to help was

to offer the club grounds to a closed list

of local elderly and vulnerable as well

as the members of the club that fell into

that bracket.

“The lower pitch area of the club was

made available and would be reserved

for those who were cocooning and/or

would like a safe outdoor space.

“This area was initially made available

to them between 8am and 1pm on a

daily basis during the first lockdown and

we extended it to 9am to 5pm during

the summer months and into the current

lockdown.

“When the scheme began, the club

built paths, upgraded entrances from

the Seabury estate, redoing a bridge,

laying down tarmacadam where there

previously could have been mud paths

to ensure people could come in and

walk safely around the grounds.”

It not only had a positive impact on

allowing vulnerable people to park and

walk around the grounds. It also gave

some members a purpose to get out of

the house and, within the guidelines,

come down to prepare the ground for

our walkers.

“We want to keep that as a place

to walk, long after Covid has been

contained,” stated Donegan.

“We have to think on our feet. We are

getting more volunteers in, more people

stepping up to help out. The energy from

that is helping us to drive the club on.

“It is not a huge club. We have 350-400

members. But, we have aspirations to

double, even triple that over the next five

years.”

It is the commitment to growing those

numbers and community-service action

like the ‘Safe Place Scheme’ that may

well make that achievable.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 87 | From The Ground Up


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O'Brien

Seán

WORDS: RYAN CORRY

From The Ground Up | 90 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


THE NAME

SEÁN O’BRIEN

HAS BEEN

SYNONYMOUS

WITH THE

LEINSTER RUGBY

AND IRELAND

BACK ROWS

THROUGHOUT

THE COURSE

OF THE LAST

DECADE OR

MORE.

The Carlow one enjoyed a glittering

career with both club and country

leading to selection for British and Irish

Lions tours and is now plying his trade

in the English Premiership with London

Irish.

A lot to live up to for other young flankers. And

even more so when you have the same name.

No pressure, right?

Delgany’s Seán O’Brien, the fourth on the Irish

rugby scene after the aforementioned and

Connacht’s duo of the same name, is in his first

year in the Leinster Academy.

The former Blackrock College student has been

enjoying his stint with the province but he can

be forgiven for admitting that the novelty of his

name and the comparisons have long worn off.

“There’s a few of us knocking around. I’m well

used to the jokes about it,” he explains.

“The one that came before me in Leinster is an

amazing player. All I’m hoping is that I can be

as good as I can as another Seán O’Brien.

“We can almost fill a Sevens team with Seán

O’Briens now, we’ve got four out of seven.

We’ll have to get three more into the Academy

system and get that arranged.”

There is a determination in O’Brien’s voice as

he talks about his own game, he knows what

he needs to improve, and he knows how he is

going to do that.

Whether that is through observation of Senior

players when the opportunity to train with them

materialises or by absorbing every ounce of

guidance given to him by Leinster’s Elite Player

Development Officer, Denis Leamy, a shrewd

operator himself in his playing career.

“He’s been great. I first came in contact with

him last year when I was in the sub-Academy

and I couldn’t speak any higher of him,”

O’Brien says of the former Munster and Ireland

man.

“To have someone who has been around the

block and played in the same position as me

for so many years, captained Munster, played

so many times for Ireland and won Grand

Slams with Ireland.

“It’s amazing being coached by him and I’m

really learning off him and trying to find out all

the little things that helped him in his career.”

After some flak from team-mates for what they

deemed to be an over-elaborate offload in

last weekend’s Leinster ‘A’ win over Connacht,

O’Brien had the backing of Leamy.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 91 | From The Ground Up


“The lads are giving me a bit of stick that I

could have put it into two hands and given it

but Leams was quick to back me up on the ‘out

the back’.”

That piece of skill would put Max O’Reilly

through for Leinster’s fourth try on the day as

they headed for a 44-14 win.

For O’Brien and others in the line-up on the

day, the win was merely a bonus, the real

reward was just getting back out on the pitch,

being able to play a game.

“It was only my second game of the season. I

played a half in the ‘A’ game against Ulster. It

was really nice to get a start and 80 minutes

against Connacht. You always want to be

playing games as much as you can.

“You can train as much as you want but it’s

always when you go into a game you just

need a different level of fitness I suppose. I

was definitely feeling it, I’ll be all the better for

having that experience and 80 minutes under

my belt.”

“THE STEP

UP FROM AIL

AND IRELAND

20S RUGBY

TO A PRO

GAME BRINGS

A DIFFERENT

LEVEL OF

PHYSICALITY

THAT I’M GOING

TO NEED TO GET

USED TO…”

Every bit of experience that he can add to his

repertoire brings him closer to the ultimate goal

– breaking into a Leinster Rugby back row

currently stacked with international talent.

Six of Leinster’s back row have been capped

by Ireland while others like Scott Penny and

Josh Murphy have shone during this campaign

so far.

From The Ground Up | 92 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Is it disheartening for O’Brien in the Academy

to see such an array of talent ahead in the

pecking order?

No, is the short answer. He views it as the

perfect breeding ground for new talent. Who

better to watch at close quarters daily?

“You have to try and learn off them, you just

have to back yourself to play as well as you

can and be as good as them,” O’Brien says.

“It’s a good thing to aspire to and it’s a really

good thing that there is so many good back

rows in Leinster because it means there’s a

great opportunity for me to learn off them.

“There’s definitely a few things around the

breakdown. I’ve been playing more seven than

I ever have before.

“I can play seven or eight but I’ve been playing

a lot of seven so we’re trying to work on

getting over the ball and that poach, the way

the rules have changed now. There’s a lot more

reward out of that so that’s something I’ve been

working on with Leams.

“Obviously when you’re going up to a higher

level, physicality and size is something I need

to work on as well. The step up from AIL and

Ireland 20s rugby to a pro game brings a

different level of physicality that I’m going to

need to get used to, getting bigger in the gym

and training with the seniors is something you

need to be able to survive.”

Surviving is one thing, excelling is another.

As a back in his younger days with Greystones

RFC and Blackrock College, O’Brien has the

handling to go with his 6’ 4” frame.

Time spent talking to him will also show a

willingness and openness to do whatever job is

required for the team – be that in the scrum or

in the back line.

“Wherever I get picked is where I like

playing. My game wouldn’t massively change

depending on what number I have on my back.

“There are differences, if you’re playing six,

you’re going to jump in the lineout more, and

if you’re playing eight, you’re going to carry

more.

“To be honest, playing seven for me has been

new and I’ve been enjoying it. I don’t have any

preference, wherever a coach feels they want

to pick me, I’m happy enough to play.

“When I was younger I played a lot in the

back line. I played centre up until I was third

year and then I was told to go and play in the

forwards, that I’d be better suited to there.

“Since then, I’ve always been a forward. I

played a bit of second row in fifth year just

because I couldn’t really make the team in the

back row. Since sixth year then, it’s been all

back row really.

“In Leinster, you’re being coached to be

a rugby player before you’re even being

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 93 | From The Ground Up


2016 2017 2018

2019

2020

Rugby’s family values have never been more literally

emphasised than at Bristol’s Ashton Gate Stadium back in

October. Joe Simmonds was already the Heineken Star of the

Match before the penalty that took Exeter Chiefs to their first

European crown against Racing 92 in the final and, soon after,

brother Sam was presented with the Anthony Foley Memorial

Trophy as EPCR European Player of the Year.

The number eight was the tournament’s top try scorer

during the season, crossing eight times to become the fourth

Englishman in five seasons to win the prestigious accolade.

Simmonds was selected by a combination of an expert panel

deliberating right until the end of the Heineken Champions

Cup final and more than 20,000 votes cast through

HeinekenChampionsCup.com.

This season, stars of the global game will have more intense

periods to prove they are Europe’s standout player with the

pool stage of the Heineken Champions Cup played over four

rounds in December and January on an exceptional basis,

with an expanded knockout stage leading a path to Marseille

for Finals Weekend on 21-22 May 2021, before which a list of

nominees will have been streamlined to five candidates.

By taking part in the public vote through official channels of

the tournaments, fans can be in with a chance of winning

outstanding rugby prizes.

EPCR European

Player of the Year

Past Winners

1995-2010 Ronan O’Gara

2011 Sean O’Brien

2012 Rob Kearney

2013 Jonny Wilkinson

2014 Steffon Armitage

2015 Nick Abendanon

2016 Maro Itoje

2017 Owen Farrell

2018 Leone Nakarawa

2019 Alex Goode

2020 Sam Simmonds


coached to be a back row player. If you watch

how players can swap between six, seven and

eight like Rhys Ruddock. Their game doesn’t

massively change, it just comes down to being

a good rugby player and playing well.

“But yeah, having the bit of experience in the

back line as a younger player is really helpful

because it’s just good for your catch-pass. It’s

good to have those skills going forward.”

It’s a long way from the reluctant six-year-old

who had to be dragged down to Greystones

training for the first time.

Something O’Brien can look back on and

laugh at now.

“My parents encouraged me to try

everything. When I was younger,

on weekends I’d be doing soccer

Saturday morning and then rugby

on Sunday.

“IT’S PRETTY

COOL WHEN

I’M IN UCD TO

BE RUBBING

SHOULDERS

WITH THE GUYS

THAT I WAS

WATCHING

BACK THEN.”

“Greystones is where I started playing my

rugby. My dad brought me down to U-6s or

something like that, I don’t think I particularly

wanted to go.

“I preferred football back then but I went and

gave it a crack anyway. I really enjoyed my

time playing for Greystones.

“We had a really good team, a really good

age group. I played for Greystones right up

until U-14. I played Ireland U-19 with Mick

O’Gara and Harry Noonan. They were both

on that same Greystones U-12 team so it was

pretty cool to come all the way up with them.”

From that first morning at rugby training, it’s

fair to say that O’Brien has more of a grá for

rugby now than he did that day as he headed

to the pitch.

A Senior Cup medal with Blackrock College,

underage international honours and now his

place in the Leinster Academy.

He was also a Leinster season ticket holder,

admitting that Christmas will be different this

year without the trip to the Aviva or RDS for the

traditional Christmas Champions Cup fixture or

the interprovincials.

“I remember going to games in the RDS and

the Aviva, I remember meeting up with my

mates and being out the back of the RDS

playing tip before the game as much

as I do the games themselves but I’ve

really fond memories it.

“It’s pretty cool when I’m in UCD to be

rubbing shoulders with the guys that I

was watching back then.”

This year, rather than the actionpacked

calendar on the field that

usually meets the Christmas period,

O’Brien, a second year student

in UCD studying Economics and

Finance, says a lot of the work is

being put in off the field with his head

in the books for exam time.

“I did one last week, I did one yesterday and

then I’ve got another two next week.

“It’s a pretty hectic two weeks now with the two

games and the exams but it’ll be good once

I have them done and I can just focus on the

rugby then.”

And maybe even have a well-deserved day or

two off.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 95 | From The Ground Up


Academy squad

2020|21

DOB: 15 December 1999

From: Hampshire, England

Height: 1.88m (6’ 2”)

Weight: 92kg (14st 5lbs)

Position: Back Three

School: Henley College

Honours: Ireland U20 (1 cap)

AARON O’SULLIVAN

Did You Know: Aaron was signed from Wasps where

he made two appearances for the Senior team in the

2017/18 Anglo Welsh Cup. Aaron’s dad, Barry, had trials at

Newcastle and his grandad, at the age of 80, completed

five stages of the Tour de France in 2011.

Instagram: aaron_sullivan11

DOB: 02 March 2000

From: Wexford

Height: 1.99m (6’ 6”)

Weight: 107kg (16st 8lbs)

Position: Second Row

School: St Peter’s College

Club: Clontarf FC

Honours: Ireland U20 (8 caps)

BRIAN DEENY

Did You Know: Brian played youth rugby with Wexford

Wanderers RFC. He got his first Irish cap playing for

Ireland Under-18 Sevens. Brian played midfield for his

school St Peter’s College in Gaelic football and reached the

All-Ireland Colleges Final in 2017. He is currently studying

Science in Trinity and lives in Abbey House B&B, Wexford...

if you are looking for a room?! Instagram: brian_deeny

DOB: 03 July 1999

From: Dublin

Height: 1.77m (5’ 10”)

Weight: 86kg (13st 4lbs)

Position: Centre/Outhalf

School: Belvedere College

Club: Clontarf RFC

Honours: Ireland U20 (3 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (3 caps)

DAVID HAWKSHAW #1290

Did You Know: David started playing rugby at Coolmine RFC before

joining Belvedere College and won two Schools Senior Cup titles. He has

represented Ireland U18 Schools and was selected as Ireland U20s captain

for the 2019 Grand Slam winning campaign only to have his season cut

short after three games. He played hurling and Gaelic football for St Brigid’s

GAA club and also represented Dublin minors, winning a Leinster hurling

title. Currently studying humanities in DCU. Instagram: davidhawkshaw99

DOB: 30 November 1998

From: Dublin

Height: 1.72m (5’ 8”)

Weight: 76kg (11st 9lbs)

Position: Scrum Half

School: Blackrock College

Club: UCD RFC

Honours: Ireland U20 (1 cap)

& Leinster Rugby (3 caps)

PATRICK PATTERSON #1274

Did You Know: Paddy made his debut for Leinster during

the 2018/19 season when only in the first year of the

Leinster Academy. He also scored his first Senior try for

Leinster off the bench against Southern Kings during that

maiden campaign.

Instagram: paddypatterson

Academy squad

2020|21

DOB: 24 October 1999

From: Newtownmountkennedy, Wicklow

Height: 1.81m (5’ 9”)

Weight: 87kg (13st 10lbs)

Position: Scrum Half

School: St. Gerard’s School

Club: Lansdowne FC

Honours: Ireland U20 (9 caps)

CORMAC FOLEY

Did You Know: Started playing rugby with Greystones

RFC when he was nine. Growing up, Cormac did a lot of

show jumping and he is now studying Economics and

Finance in UCD.

Instagram: cormacfoley6

DOB: 05 February 1999

From: Birr, Offaly

Height: 1.82m (6’ 0”)

Weight: 112kg (17st 8lbs)

Position: Prop

School: Cistercian College, Roscrea

Club: Birr RFC/UCD RFC

Honours: Ireland U20 (8 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (14 caps)

MICHAEL MILNE #1279

Did You Know: Michael has won two All-Ireland hurling

titles, one with his school in Roscrea and another with

Offaly Under-17s.

Instagram: michael_milne

DOB: 04 June 1998

From: Dublin

Height: 1.83m (6’ 0”)

Weight: 88kg (13st 12lbs)

Position: Back Three

School: Clongowes Wood College

Club: Dublin University FC

Honours: Ireland U20 (12 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (2 caps)

MICHAEL SILVESTER #1289

Did You Know: Started playing rugby with Wanderers

RFC before playing in school with St. Michaels and then

Clongowes. Played competitive tennis from the age of nine,

winning a national championship at age 12, before focusing

on rugby after moving to Clongowes. Graduated from

Trinity with a BESS degree.

Instagram: msilvester98

DOB: 22 February 2000

From: Dublin

Height: 1.85m (6’ 1”)

Weight: 111kg (17st 7lbs)

Position: Prop

School: Blackrock College

Club: Dublin University FC

Honours: Ireland U20 (13 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (4 caps)

TOM CLARKSON #1285

Did You Know: Tom studies Human Health and Disease

in Trinity College. He played underage rugby for Wicklow

RFC before moving to Dublin to attend Willow Park

primary school.

Instagram: tclarkson37

DOB: 19 October 1999

From: Athy, Kildare

Height: 1.88m (6’ 2”)

Weight: 99kg (15st 8lbs)

Position: Back Row

School: Clontarf FC

Club: Old Belvedere RFC

Honours: Ireland U20 (5 caps)

MARTIN MOLONEY

Did You Know: Martin played hurling for Kildare and played

GAA and basketball for his secondary school, Knockbeg

College, and local GAA club, St Laurence’s. He played his

youth rugby with Athy RFC. He is now studying Business

and Law in UCD, He also enjoys working on the family farm.

Instagram: martin_moloney

From The Ground Up | 96 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


DOB: 03 February 1999

From: Dublin

Height: 2.01m (6’ 7”)

Weight: 108kg (17st)

Position: Second Row

School: Blackrock College

Club: UCD RFC

Honours: Ireland U20 (15 caps)

CHARLIE RYAN

Did You Know: Charlie played youth rugby at Blackrock

College RFC while also attending the school since Senior

Infants. He captained Ireland to the U20 Grand Slam in

2019 and again for the U20s World Cup. His friends call

him Chuck! He is currently studying Business and Legal

Studies in UCD.

Instagram: chuck_ryan5

Academy squad

2020|21

DOB: 15 February 2000

From: Belfast

Height: 1.82m (6’ 0”)

Weight: 103kg (16st 2lbs)

Position: Hooker

School: Campbell College

Club: Old Belvedere RFC

Honours: Ireland U20 (12 caps)

JOHN McKEE

Did You Know: John grew up in Belfast going to school

at Campbell College where he won a Senior Cup. He was

involved with Ulster at age grade level until moving to

Dublin after school. He also has multiple medals from

Northern Irish Schools Judo competitions.

Instagram: johnmckee_

DOB: 21 July 2000

From: Dublin

Height: 1.83m (6’ 0”)

Weight: 91kg (14st 3lbs)

Position: Back Three

School: St Michael’s College

Club: Clontarf FC

Honours: Ireland U20 (3 caps)

ANDREW SMITH

Did You Know: Andrew is currently studying Quantity

Surveying and Construction Economics in TUD. In 2019,

he won the Leinster Schools Senior Cup with St Michael’s

College. Andrew also played Gaelic football with his local

club - Clanna Gael Fontenoy GAA Club.

Instagram: andrew.sm1th

DOB: 14 July 1999

From: Dublin

Height: 173cm (5’ 9”)

Weight: 91kg (14st 5lbs)

Position: Centre

School: Blackrock College

Club: Dublin University FC

Honours: Ireland U20 (10 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (4 caps)

LIAM TURNER #1287

Did You Know: Liam started to play rugby at the age

of six at Blackrock College RFC. He later joined Blackrock

College and was part of the 2018 Senior Cup winning team.

He was also part of the Ireland U20 team that went on to

win the 2019 Grand Slam. Liam currently studys BESS in

Trinity College.

Instagram: liamtn123

DOB: 06 April 2000

From: Dublin

Height: 1.83m (6’ 0”)

Weight: 86kg (13st 8lbs)

Position: Wing

School: Blackrock College

Club: UCD RFC

Honours: Ireland U20

NIALL COMERFORD

Did You Know: Niall played both hurling and Gaelic

football with Kilmacud Crokes for 14 years. He also

represented Dublin in Gaelic football in the U17 Leinster

Championship. He is currently studying Commerce in UCD.

Instagram: niall_c123

DOB: 31 July 2000

From: Pittsburgh, USA

Height: 1.90m (6’ 3”)

Weight: 102kg (16st 1lb)

Position: Back Row

School: Blackrock College

Club: UCD RFC

Honours: Ireland U20 (3 caps)

SEÁN O’BRIEN

Did You Know: Seán started playing rugby at age six

with Greystones RFC where he played up until Under-13.

He then played on the Junior and Senior Cup teams in

Blackrock College. He is currently studying Economics and

Finance in UCD

Instagram: seanobrien456

DOB: 19 February 2001

From: Pearse St, Dublin

Height: 1.95m (6’ 5”)

Weight: 104.5kg (16st 6lbs)

Position: Back Row

School: Belvedere College

Club: Clontarf FC

Honours: Ireland U20 (2 caps)

ALEX SOROKA

Did You Know: Alex’s family moved to Ireland from

Ukraine shortly before his birth. He was born in Cork

before moving to Dublin.

Instagram: alex._.soroka

DOB: 26 March 2001

From: Manhattan, NY

Height: 1.95m (6’ 5”)

Weight: 113kg (17st 11lbs)

Position: Second Row

School: Blackrock College

Club: Dublin University FC

Honours: Ireland U20 (3 caps)

JOE McCARTHY

Did You Know: Joe started playing rugby with Blackrock

College RFC at the age of six before moving to Willow Park

and then Blackrock College. He was also on the Blackrock

swim team for five years. He’s currently studying Global

Business in Trinity College Dublin.

Instagram: joetmmcc

DOB: 26 February 2000

From: Enniskerry, Wicklow

Height: 1.85m (6’ 1”)

Weight: 86kg (13st 8lbs)

Position: Full Back

School: St Gerard’s School

Club: Dublin University FC

Honours: Ireland U20 (3 caps)

& Ireland Mens 7s (1 cap)

MAX O’REILLY

Did You Know: Max is currently in his third year of Business

and Management in DIT. His preferred sport was soccer

until about the age of 15, which he had played at centre

midfield with Enniskerry FC for over 10 years and also

for Wicklow.

Instagram: max_oreilly

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 97 | From The Ground Up


Fixtures &

results

2020/21

virtual match mascot

Jack McDonnell

Age: 7

School: St Mochta’s National School

Hobbies: Rugby, GAA and playing

Nintendo Switch

Favourite Player: Johnny Sexton

Fri 2 Oct 20:15

Guinness PRO14

W 35-5

Sat 10 Oct 18:15

Guinness PRO14

W 37-25

FRI 23 Oct 19:35

Guinness PRO14

W 63-8

MON 2 Nov 20:15

Guinness PRO14

W 32-19

KEENAN

LARMOUR 1T

RINGROSE 1T 2C

FRAWLEY (T O'BRIEN 9)

LOWE 2T

SEXTON 1C (R BYRNE 23 3C)

GIBSON-PARK (MCGRATH 67)

E BYRNE (HEALY 49)

R KELLEHER (CRONIN 49)

BENT (PORTER 49)

FARDY

RYAN

RUDDOCK

VAN DER FLIER

CONAN (DEEGAN 49 (BAIRD 62 1T))

KEENAN

LARMOUR (J O'BRIEN 48)

RINGROSE

HENSHAW

LOWE 1T

R BYRNE 3C 3P (H BYRNE 79)

GIBSON-PARK (MCGRATH 56)

E BYRNE (HEALY 52)

TRACY 1T (CRONIN 53)

BENT (CLARKSON 63)

BAIRD (MOLONY 64)

RYAN 1T

DORIS

CONNORS

CONAN

J O'BRIEN

T O'BRIEN 2T

TURNER

FRAWLEY (SILVESTER 64)

KEARNEY 1T

H BYRNE 9C

MCGRATH (H O'SULLIVAN 56)

DOOLEY (MILNE 52)

SHEEHAN 2T (TRACY 51)

BENT 1T (PARKER 51 1T)

MOLONY

TONER (DUNNE 56)

MURPHY 1T (FARDY 69)

PENNY 1T

RUDDOCK (LEAVY 51)

J O'BRIEN 1T (HAWKSHAW 71)

C KELLEHER

O'LOUGHLIN

T O'BRIEN

D KEARNEY

H BYRNE 3C 2P

MCGRATH 1T (H O'SULLIVAN 76)

DOOLEY (MILNE 54)

TRACY (SHEEHAN 54)

BENT 1T (CLARKSON 60)

MOLONY (FARDY 60)

TONER

MURPHY (DUNNE 71)

PENNY 1T

RUDDOCK (LEAVY 60)

SUN 8 Nov 15:00

Guinness PRO14

W 26-7

J O'BRIEN

C KELLEHER

O'LOUGHLIN (TURNER 59)

T O'BRIEN (H O'SULLIVAN 65)

KEARNEY 1T

H BYRNE 3C (HAWKSHAW 61)

MCGRATH

MILNE (DOOLEY 51 1T)

TRACY 1T (SHEEHAN 51)

BENT (PARKER 51)

MOLONY

FARDY (TONER 72)

MURPHY (LEAVY 54)

PENNY 1T

RUDDOCK

MON 16 NOV 20:15

Guinness PRO14

W 50-10

J O'BRIEN

C KELLEHER 3T

TURNER

FRAWLEY 5C

KEARNEY 1T

H BYRNE (HAWKSHAW 54)

MCGRATH 2T (H O'SULLIVAN 57)

RUDDOCK (MURPHY 50)

PENNY

LEAVY 1T (BAIRD 58)

FARDY

TONER (MOLONY 68)

BENT (PARKER 50)

TRACY (SHEEHAN 50)

DOOLEY 1T (MILNE 50)

Sun 22 Nov 17:15

Guinness PRO14

W 40-5

J O'BRIEN 1T (SILVESTER 41 1T)

C KELLEHER

TURNER

FRAWLEY

KEARNEY 1T

H BYRNE 5C

MCGRATH (OSBORNE 67)

DOOLEY (MILNE 58)

TRACY 1T (SHEEHAN 58)

BENT (CLARKSON 52)

MOLONY (TONER 62)

BAIRD

MURPHY (PENNY 52 2T)

LEAVY (DUNNE 70)

RUDDOCK

ROUND

08

Scarlets v

Leinster Rugby

Postponed

From The Ground Up | 98 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Ryan Walshe

Age: 6

School: Sandford Parish National

School, Ranelagh

Hobbies: Rugby, soccer and

avoiding his twin brother and

sister, Kate and Killian (3).

Favourite Player: Johnny Sexton

virtual match mascot

Sat 12 Dec 17:30

Champions Cup

W 35-14

J O'BRIEN 1T

KEENAN

HENSHAW

FRAWLEY 1T

KEARNEY 1T

R BYRNE 1C 1P (H BYRNE 61 1C 1P)

MCGRATH (GIBSON-PARK 69)

DOOLEY (HEALY 46)

TRACY (KELLEHER 46)

BENT (PORTER 46)

TONER (BAIRD 69)

FARDY (RYAN 52)

RUDDOCK

VAN DER FLIER 1T

DORIS (LEAVY 59 1T)

Leinster Rugby

v Northampton

Saints

Saturday

december 19

RDS Arena

KO 1pm

ROUND

09

munster rugby v

Leinster Rugby

saturday

december 26

thomond park

KO 7.35pm

ROUND

10

Leinster Rugby

v connacht rugby

saturday

january 2

RDS Arena

KO 7.35pm

ROUND

11

Leinster Rugby

v ulster rugby

friday

january 8

RDS Arena

KO 7.35pm

Northampton

Saints v

Leinster Rugby

Friday

January 15

Franklin's Gardens

KO 5.30pm

Leinster Rugby

v Montpellier

Friday

January22

RDS Arena

KO 5.30pm

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 99 | From The Ground Up


At Sword we know how important the Game is.

We know how important your memories are ....so relax

and enjoy yourself, you're in safe hands.

LEINSTER RUGBY FANS .... Secured by the team at Sword

Dublin: 01-6688220

info@swordsecurity.com

www.swordsecurity.com

Securing Sports Fans around the World.


Coronavirus

COVID-19

Coronavirus

COVID-19

Public Health

Advice

Stay safe.

Protect each other.

Continue to:

Wash

your hands well

and often to avoid

contamination.

Cover

your mouth and nose

with a tissue or sleeve

when coughing or

sneezing and discard

used tissue safely

Distance

yourself at least

2 metres (6 feet) away

from other people,

especially those who

might be unwell

Avoid

crowds and

crowded places

Know

the symptoms. If you

have them self isolate

and contact your GP

immediately

COVID-19 symptoms include

> high temperature

> cough

> breathing difficulty

> sudden loss of sense of smell or taste

> flu-like symptoms

If you have any symptoms, self-isolate to

protect others and call your GP for a

COVID-19 test.

#holdfirm

For more information

www.gov.ie/health-covid-19

www.hse.ie

Ireland’s public health advice is guided by WHO and ECDC advice


Jimmy O’Brien

Hugo Keenan

Garry Ringrose

Robbie Henshaw

Dave Kearney

Harry Byrne

Jamison Gibson-Park

15

14

13

12

11

10

9

FULL BACK

RIGHT WING

OUTSIDE CENTRE

INSIDE CENTRE

LEFT WING

FLY HALF

SCRUM HALF

Tom Collins

Ryan Olowofela

Fraser Dingwall

Rory Hutchinson

Taqele Naiyaravoro

George Furbank

Tom James

Cian Healy

Rónan Kelleher

Andrew Porter

Ryan Baird

James Ryan

Rhys Ruddock [C]

Josh van der Flier

Caelan Doris

James Tracy

Peter Dooley

Michael Bent

Ross Molony

Josh Murphy

Luke McGrath

Ross Byrne

Dan Leavy

1

2

3

4

5

6

LOOSE HEAD PROP

HOOKER

TIGHT HEAD PROP

SECOND ROW

SECOND ROW

Alex Waller [C]

Sam Matavesi

Paul Hill

Alex Moon

Api Ratuniyarawa

BLINDSIDE FLANKER Nick Isiekwe

OPENSIDE

FRONT 7

FLANKER Tom Wood

PAGE

NUMBER 8 Shaun Adendorff

8

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

Mikey Haywood

Francois van Wyk

Owen Franks

Alex Coles

Teimana Harrison

Henry Taylor

Piers Francis

Matt Proctor

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

Referee: Saints Pierre Brousset (Fra)

Assistant Referee: Sean Gallagher (Ire)

Assistant Referee: Eoghan Cross (Ire)

TMO: Olly Hodges (Ire)

Citing Commissioner: John Montgomery (Sco)

From The Ground Up | 102 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


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