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Leinster vs Ulster

Leinster | Official Matchday Programme of Leinster Rugby | Issue 04 Leinster vs Ulster | United Rugby Championship Saturday 27 November | KO 20:00 | RDS Arena

Leinster | Official Matchday Programme of Leinster Rugby | Issue 04
Leinster vs Ulster | United Rugby Championship
Saturday 27 November | KO 20:00 | RDS Arena

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ISSUE 4 | LEINSTER RUGBY OFFICIAL MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

LEINSTER

VS

ulster

SAT 27 TH NOV

RDS ARENA

KO 8PM


Newstead Building A,

UCD,

Belfield,

Dublin 4

#LEIVULS

The Line up

Telephone:

012693224

Fax:

012693142

E-mail:

information@leinsterrugby.ie

www.leinsterrugby.ie

6

24

EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT

President: John Walsh

Chief Executive: Michael Dawson

Honorary Secretary: Stuart Bayley

Honorary Treasurer: Michael McGrail

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: Denis Leamy

14

PROGRAMME CREDITS

Editorial Team: Marcus Ó Buachalla,

Ryan Corry & Paul Cahill

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

62

86

STAY

CONNECTED

& KEEP

UP-TO-DATE

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 3


PRESIDENT, LEINSTER RUGBY 2020/22

john walsh welcome

We extend a warm welcome to all

rugby fans joining us for tonight’s

Round 6 fixture of the United

Rugby Championship in what

promises to be a classic “derby”

encounter featuring the current top

two clubs in the competition.

Leinster are undefeated having won their

five fixtures to date for a total of 24 league

points and in the process scoring 162

points and conceding 46 points.

Ulster won their first four games for a total

of 20 league points but that momentum

was halted by Connacht who recorded

a 36 points to 11 points victory over the

Ulster side at the Aviva Stadium in Round

5. Ulster have scored 136 points and

conceded 86 points while both sides have

recorded four try bonus points.

The rivalry between Leinster and Ulster

date’s back to 1895 and has always been

intense. This fixture will mark the 104th

occasion that we have met with Leinster

winning 62 of the encounters and Ulster

with 35 wins and just six draws.

On behalf of Leinster Rugby we welcome

the Ulster management team of Dan

McFarland (Coach), Iain Henderson

(Captain) and the squad to the RDS.

We also look forward to renewing

acquaintance and friendships with Gary

Leslie (President), Philip Gregg (Senior

Vice President), Denis Gardiner (Junior

Vice President, David Dobbin (Honorary

Secretary), Michael Boyd (Honorary

Treasurer). While we may be rivals on

the pitch we continue to work with our

colleagues in Ulster, Connacht and

Munster for the continued development of

the game at all levels on this island and we

share many common goals and objectives.

World Rugby has 128 countries

representing over 10 million players (28%

are Women and Girls) affiliated to the

global organisation which is estimated to

have in excess of 877 million followers.

Promoting our game in it’s various formats

to new audiences in this digital age

and various communication platforms is

essential and I know we in Leinster Rugby

are committed to the task.

Our digital match programmes have

proved to be very successful in promoting

not only the professional game but

also our club and school competitions

throughout our 12 county Province. Under

the guidance of Billy Murphy, Chair of

the Leinster Commercial and Marketing

committee and his dedicated committee

members we are establishing a dedicated

in-house video studio and we welcome

Robert Maguire to his new role as

videographer for what promises to be a

new and exciting development for Leinster

Rugby.

On a recent visit to the UK my attention

was drawn to the Royal Mail’s issuing of a

new set of eight postal stamps celebrating

rugby on these islands. I was delighted

that Ireland’s 37 times capped flying

winger Simon Geoghegan (depicting

him rounding Will Carling to score the

winning try in Irelands 13-12 victory in

1994) and Sophie Spence (winner of the

2013 and 2015 Women’s Six Nations

Championship) featured as representatives

of Irish Rugby.

Congratulations to Leinster’s legendary

Johnny Sexton on achieving his 100th Irish

cap on an unforgettable occasion at the

Aviva in which he played Japan for the first

occasion. What a reception he received

from all present and much to delight of all

he marked the occasion by scoring a try.

The game also marked a milestone for

New Ross RFC’s iconic player Tadhg

Furlong who was making his 50th

appearance for Ireland. It was also an

unforgettable day for Leinster’s Dan

Sheehan in making his debut for Ireland so

congratulations to him and all associated

with his player development pathway from

Bective Rangers and Clongowes Wood.

He becomes the 31st Leinster player in

our current squad to have the distinction of

playing for Ireland.

Irish captain Johnny Sexton and Ireland

Head Coach Andy Farrell recently

acknowledged the positive importance

that spectators play in the performance of

a team and that the absence of full houses

due to the pandemic created unique

challenges for players. Thankfully we are

now looking forward to happier times for

all sports fans and this was very evident

on the occasion of the staging of the 112th

Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Schools

Junior Cup Final staged at Energia Park.

With over 4,500 passionate supporters in

attendance to witness the clash between

Blackrock College and Newbridge

College the occasion served up a game

was described as a classic and the energy

of the event produced a worthy final.

Blackrock College have been serial

winners of both the Leinster Schools

Senior and Junior Cups with a total of

121 victories. Newbridge College have

contributed enormously to Leinster Rugby

and indeed to the various clubs in the

North Midlands Area and have recorded

three victories in the Senior Cup and were

in search of their 3rd Junior Cup having

first won it in 1950.

It was a great thrill for me as President of

Leinster and as a County Kildare native

to present the Junior Cup to Newbridge

College. The coverage of the final by local

papers The Kildare Nationalist and The

Leinster Leader has to be acknowledged

in terms of its quality and content and

serves as a timely reminder to us of the

importance that our local papers play

in our communities and especially in

promoting our various local sporting

organisations.

Club rugby in Leinster is the bedrock

on which we can continue to develop

our sport and I would urge all rugby

supporters to get involved in supporting

your local clubs for the future of Leinster

Rugby.

On behalf of Leinster Rugby I wish all

involved a happy,

healthy and

enjoyable season.

“Keep The Faith”

as the future

belongs to those

who believe in their

dreams (Eleanor

Roosevelt)

JOHN WALSH

President Leinster

Rugby 2020/22

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 5


Leo Cullen

head Coach Welcome

Good evening and a warm Dublin welcome to Dan

McFarland and his Ulster team for our first

interprovincial derby game of the season.

After an international break over

the last few weeks, we’re excited

to be back in action and delighted

to have our supporters here at

the RDS Arena for this evening’s

game.

A huge congratulations to everyone

involved with the Ireland team these

past weeks. It was a really successful

international window and sets us up

nicely for the Six Nations.

I was one of the lucky ones with a ticket

for the games this autumn and was able

to enjoy three brilliant matches with

my seven-year-old son in tow. Great

memories!

It is a thrilling time to be involved in sport

as stadiums return to full capacity. We

missed our supporters dearly last season

– as did all teams – but to see and

feel the response from the public to the

Irish team has been really special. The

6 | www.leinsterrugby.ie

Tadhg Furlong also notched up a

significant milestone in winning

his 50th cap for Ireland. For a

tighthead prop, a half-century of

international caps is a hell of an

achievement...

atmosphere for the New Zealand game

was electric.

Hopefully, we’ll get to experience

something similar over the coming

months.

A special word of congratulations to

Jonathan Sexton who reached the

milestone of 100 Ireland caps against

Japan. It is a remarkable feat for

Johnny to have achieved; the latest in a

remarkable career. And to go on and

lead the team to victory against the All

Blacks the following week added another

layer onto the achievement.

It was probably a little bit lost in

everything that was going on, but Tadhg

Furlong also notched up a significant

milestone in winning his 50th cap for

Ireland. For a tighthead prop, a halfcentury

of international caps is a hell

of an achievement and Tadhg still has

plenty left in the tank!

Congratulations to Dan Sheehan on

making his Ireland debut against Japan

and then winning his second cap against

Argentina. Dan worked incredibly hard in

pre-season so it has been brilliant for us

coaches to see him get his reward.

It’s also been nice to see plenty of

Energia AIL rugby in recent weeks. A

number of Leinster players, both senior

and Academy, have featured and the

quality of games has been excellent.

We rely heavily on all the volunteer work

that goes on around the province at

club and school level and it’s marvellous

to see the energy and enthusiasm with

which so many people support and help

the game. Many of us simply wouldn’t

be here without the work of the many

volunteers out there.

As always, a big thanks to all our

sponsors, in particular Bank of Ireland.

These are still challenging times, for all

companies, but we hugely appreciate the

backing you give the team.

There’s lots to look forward to in the

coming weeks.

After Ulster tonight, we are back here

on Friday for the visit of Connacht (with

some tickets still available at the time of

writing!). We then kick off our Heineken

Champions Cup campaign at the Aviva

Stadium against Bath, and I believe there

are also tickets left for that – we’re

going to need a full house and all

our supporters in full cry.

In the meantime, thanks to

everyone for your continued

support of the team.

I hope you enjoy

tonight’s game, and

that we see you again

soon.

Leo


www.leinsterrugby.ie | 7


Joann

Hosey

PROVINCIAL DIRECTOR

BANK OF IRELAND DUBLIN

A warm welcome back to the RDS Arena for a headline

Saturday night kick-off against Ulster Rugby.

Ulster’s last outing was also an

interprovincial fixture against

Connacht, and there is little doubt

they will be looking to return to

winning ways. All of which makes

the task facing Leo Cullen and his

players even more challenging as

they look to pick up where they

left off before the Autumn Series

break.

Our congratulations go to all the Leinster

men’s players who were involved in

Ireland’s recent campaign. And a special

mention must go Johnny Sexton who

won his 100th cap for Ireland against

Japan, to Tadhg Furlong on winning his

50th cap and also to Dan Sheehan for

winning his first.

It was also fantastic to see the Ireland

women’s team return to winning ways

and having their games hosted in the

RDS Arena for the first time ever. It has

been a tough few months for everyone

involved with that squad of players, so

it was great for them to finish their own

Autumn Series on a high.

While it is great to see the Leinster team

and indeed the national sides back

playing (and winning!) it also gives the

grassroots such a lift to see the return of

the Energia All-Ireland League, not to

mention the games taking place across

junior rugby and in our schools.

Congratulations must go to Newbridge

College for winning the Bank of Ireland

Leinster Rugby Schools Junior Cup, and

also a word of congratulations to King’s

Hospital on their win in the Fr. Godfrey

Cup.

It was also uplifting to see the opening

rounds of the Bank of Ireland Shane

Horgan Cup and the newly titled Sarah

Robinson Cup take place recently in

Energia Park.

I know those five Area squads are now

busy preparing for the next rounds

which will be played in December, and

it is great to see those young men and

women pull on their Area jerseys with

such pride and taking those first steps

towards representative honours.

This evening’s game is the start of a

ten-week block of games for Leo and his

squad of players - and everyone in Bank

of Ireland wishes them the very best of

luck.

This intensive run of matches will be

season defining in many ways, and when

we come to the end of this busy block of

games we will be a lot closer to knowing

what the end-of-season run-in will look

like.

As always, we wish everyone involved

the very best, and once again must

remind everyone to do all that they can

in the RDS this evening to ensure we take

personal responsibility with regards to

the public health guidelines.

JH

Enjoy the game,

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 9


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16 TEAMS,

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1 LEAGUE


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Did you

know?

Leinster have won their last

six United Rugby Championship

matches since their 12-15

defeat to Glasgow at Scotstoun

in Round 5 of last season’s

Rainbow Cup.

• The Leinstermen have won

their last five home games in

the Championship since their

3-27 reversal to Munster at the

RDS Arena in the Rainbow Cup

in April.

Ulster’s five game winning

run in the United Rugby

Championship ended with their

11-36 loss to Connacht at Aviva

Stadium in Round 5.

Ulster have lost their last

six fixtures against fellow

Irish provinces since beating

Munster 15-10 in Belfast on 2

January.

Leinster have lost only one of

their last eleven fixtures with

Ulster in all competitions and

that by a solitary point at

Kingspan Stadium in the United

Rugby Championship in April

2019.

Ulster’s only previous win

at the RDS Arena was 22-18 in

March 2013.

COMPARISON

Overall URC head-to-head record:

Played 43, Leinster won 33, Ulster won 8 with 2 matches drawn.

Last 3 URC results:

9 Oct - Zebre (H) W 43-7 8 Oct - Benetton (H) W 28-8

16 Oct - Scarlets (H) W 50-15 15 Oct - Lions (H) W 26-10

22 Oct - Glasgow (A) W 31-15 23 Oct - Connacht (A) L 11-36

URC 2021/22

1st - W5 D0 L0 - 24pts

WWWWW (24pts)

URC form

2nd - W4 D0 L1 - 20pts

WWWWL (20pts)

Top try scorer

3 - Ronan Kelleher, Adam Byrne, Dan Sheehan 5 - Nick Timoney

Top points scorer

26 - Ross Byrne 43 - Nathan Doak

Date Venue L U Leinster scorers Ulster scorers

Fri 20 Dec 19 RDS Arena 54 42 Robbie Henshaw(T) Max Deegan(2T) Harry

Byrne(7C) Scott Penny(2T) Cian Kelleher(T)

Rob Kearney(T) Fergus McFadden(T)

Sat 29 Aug

20

Aviva Stadium 28 10 Ross Byrne(C/3P) Harry Byrne(T/C) Scott

Penny(T) Ed Byrne(T)

Sat 12 Sep 20 Aviva Stadium (TF) 27 5 James Lowe(T) Robbie Henshaw(T) Ross

Byrne(2C/2P) Caelan Doris(T) Johnny

Sexton(C)

Fri 8 Jan 21 RDS Arena 24 12 Robbie Henshaw(T) Ross Byrne(C) James

Tracy(T) Sean Cronin(T) Dave Kearney(T)

Johnny Sexton(C)

Sat 6 Mar 21 Kingspan Stadium 38 19 Michael Bent(T) Ross Byrne(5C/P) Rhys

Ruddock(T) Ed Byrne(T) Dan Sheehan(T)

Josh van der Flier(T)

Fri 14 May 21 RDS Arena (RC) 21 17 Jack Conan(T) Robbie Henshaw(T) Cian

Healy(T) Garry Ringrose(3C)

Craig Gilroy(T) Matt Faddes(T) Angus

Kernohan(T) Bill Johnston(6C) Johnny

Stewart(T) Greg Jones(2T)

Rob Herring(T) John Cooney(C/P)

James Hume(T)

John Cooney(4P)

Nick Timoney(T) Robert Baloucoune(T)

John Cooney(C) Marcell Coetzee(T) Mike

Lowry(C)

Craig Gilroy(T) Billy Burns(C/P) Robert

Baloucoune(T) Ian Madigan(C)

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 13


14 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


obbie

henshaw

the big interview

The end of the Autumn

Series usually

brings with it

some well-deserved

downtime for the

Ireland players

as they return to

their provinces.

But as the

provincial coaches

have been busy

explaining this

week, there is no

set-rule for this

time of the year

either and instead

each case will

be treated on its

merits.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 15


Some players will be off on city

breaks and like we have seen

some do this week, take in places

like the Camp Nou, other players

will hit even sunnier climes and

will look to really put the feet up

in places like the Algarve.

For others though, who have been

retained by their provinces, it’s about

trying to find a bite to eat on a Tuesday

evening in Ranelagh ahead of the down

day on Wednesday.

No rest for the wicked. Or for Robbie

Henshaw. But he’s not complaining.

“I’m definitely in an unusual position

heading into this weekend against Ulster

and still waiting for my first game for

Leinster but look, I was just delighted

to get the game under my belt at the

weekend against Argentina.

“I felt good and I suppose I’m just keen

now for my season to kick on now.”

Far from looking for a break, you get

the sense that the 28-year-old centre

from Westmeath is raring to go

again this weekend, to pull on a

jersey and that he is happy to be

16 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


ack in the mix after a frustrating start to

the season.

After a very positive personal experience

with the British & Irish Lions during the

summer where he started all three Test

matches against South Africa, he was

good to go until injury cut across his

plans.

“It was great to get in for the last game

first of all because at the start we

mapped it out with the Leinster medical

team and then obviously with the Irish

lads and we had a plan.

“To be fair, initially, there was a chance

I wouldn’t be back for the November

block but the rehab went well thankfully

and the lads did a great job with me in

Leinster and Ireland. The medical staff

and the physios.

“So in reality I am a little ahead of time

which has probably been my experience

with most injuries. I am lucky in that I

tend to be a relatively fast healer which

is great but you still have to follow a plan

and to be fair I couldn’t have asked for

better guidance and we worked on it

together and I managed to get back in

the frame for the Argentina game.

I...it was a great way to finish the

Autumn Series with a performance

and a win like that. The Aviva was

buzzing and I suppose it was the

first time for me in a long while

playing in front of supporters and

family and friends.

“It was some first game back! Very

tough.”

His comments reveal the relationship that

exists between a player and his medical

team and that ultimately needs to flourish

for these players to return and to hit their

straps in their first game back.

“The lads in Leinster, Garreth Farrell

and Karl Denvir, we had a chat after the

injury. I picked it up training with Leinster

so I sat down with the two of them and

they said ‘let’s not put a number on this,

let’s not talk about a period of time, let’s

go day by day, week by week’ and that’s

what we did.

“But it was with a view to still pushing

hard and to seeing how we’d go and that

was then fed into the Irish medical team

who got on board then when I came into

camp here. So not only the relationship

between me and the medics, but also the

relationship that’s there between the lads

here in Leinster and then the lads with

Ireland.

“As I mentioned earlier I am fortunate that

I am a quick healer but not everyone is

like that so the fact that they were open to

that approach and just seeing how we’d

go was great for me and I was fully on

board with it.

“I definitely think that approach stood to

me and then the communication piece

between the medical staff. We had a

clear plan and we executed it really well,

pushing it bit by bit but always staying

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 17


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on top of it and me being comfortable.

Thankfully on this occasion the plan

worked really well for me.”

Another plan that worked really well

was the plan developed by the Ireland

coaching team and executed by the

players last Sunday against Argentina.

“We had to work to break them down

especially in the first half and look if they

kicked a few goals and if the winger

hadn’t knocked on we could have been

looking at a much different picture so that

is the reality check for us too.

“But it was a great way to finish the

Autumn Series with a performance and a

win like that. The Aviva was buzzing and

I suppose it was the first time for me in a

long while playing in front of supporters

and family and friends.

“Credit to the forwards they definitely

muscled up and got us over the line when

we were under pressure and it’s a great

way to be heading away from camp with

everyone on a high as they head back to

their provinces.”

He mentions the forward pack and with

all the tries against Argentina coming

from numbers one to eight, was he and

the players outside him keen to get in on

the action?

“We’re dying to get more chances! But to

be fair to the work of John Fogarty and

Paul O’Connell with the pack they are

motoring really well at the minute and

they have developed into a force.

“So it was nice to see them do their thing!

We could sit back and put the feet up for

a change!”

Key to the pack dominance was the

performance of Munster and Ireland

back row Peter O’Mahony and after the

game he was effusive in his praise for the

Ireland camp and the enjoyment that he

felt over the month of training and games.

Henshaw isn’t quite as experienced as

O’Mahony, but with two Lions series

under his belt as well as 57 Leinster caps

and 53 Ireland caps, he is well placed to

give his own take on what is going well at

the moment.

“It’s hard to say but I just feel that

everyone is being themselves and is

comfortable in their own skin. There is no

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 19


hierarchy, everyone has a voice and a

contribution to make and a platform to

have that heard.

“It’s just a really good environment and

I think the High Performance Centre in

Abbotstown is really adding to that. You

are up in the morning and out you go

and you put in the hours in a brilliant

facility. But then it’s back to Carton House

and there is no rugby. Carton is for us

to relax and catch up and just switch off

and that has been massive for us I think.

“We can park the work and switch off

and that really helps.

“I think too the integration of the younger

lads with the more experienced lads has

gone well. You look at someone like Dan

Sheehan who comes in and gets capped

for the first time and then gets his first try

for Ireland at the weekend. He’s been

great but also Nick Timoney as well

and Ryan Baird who came in late at the

weekend. All of them really, those lads

finding their feet but they have adjusted

really well.

First of all

it’s really

exciting to be

back playing

an interpro

because we

haven’t had

one yet this

season and

now we head

into a block

of ten games

where we have

four interpros

as well as

four European

games.

“In the examples of Nick and Ryan they

obviously came in very late to the squad

on Sunday but you saw how seamlessly

they adapted. That doesn’t happen unless

the cohesion is there during the week or

during the whole camp really. So yeah,

it’s all little things but when you add them

all up it does make a difference.”

Before we bring him back to matters

Leinster, it would be remiss of us not to

chat about the Lions selection and while

it was unfortunately a Series lost for the

tourists, from a personal point of view,

20 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Henshaw felt that a monkey was finally

off his back after his tour was cut short

four years previous.

“It was definitely a weird feeling coming

home from the 2017 tour early with that

injury and I suppose it was on my mind

a fair bit that I hadn’t given it my full

performance or given my all to the jersey

because of that injury and coming

home.

“That was definitely on my mind

coming into this tour to South

Africa and I was determined

that no matter what

happened I’d give it my all

and give it my best shot.

“Thankfully I got the three

Test starts and it was a really

enjoyable tour as well, a really

good group of lads.”

Collectively though they came up

just short against the reigning Rugby

World Cup champions.

“It’s small margins, isn’t it? Kick

of a ball in the end really and

that’s the frustration. It’s

not like you can go out

and rectify it next

week! It’s a long

wait for the next

tour!”

Conversations around a tour four years

away can definitely wait for another day

but what can’t wait is his assessment of

this Ulster Rugby team that visit the RDS

Arena this evening.

They started in a blistering fashion

winning their opening four games in the

United Rugby Championship but they

came unstuck the last day in Dublin

against Connacht Rugby.

“First of all it’s really exciting to be back

playing an interpro because we haven’t

had one yet this season and now we

head into a block of ten games where

we have four interpros as well as four

European games so the intensity in this

block will go up a notch or two that’s

for sure.

“And then you’ve got lads who only last

week you were going to battle with for

Ireland and now you’re looking to knock

lumps out of each other! But that’s the

beauty of the rivalries isn’t it and you

wouldn’t have it any other way. I love

these games.

“I suppose Ulster will be coming down

here to Dublin again and that trip to the

Aviva Stadium and the game against

Connacht will be in their minds. That will

be stewing for a few weeks and no more

than ourselves they will just want to start

this next block in a really positive fashion

and they’ll look at this as the perfect

game to get up and running.”

The last time he played against Ulster

in the RDS it was a high-scoring 54-42

win for Leinster in December 2019 so he

knows well what can happen when both

these teams click.

What has he seen of Dan McFarland’s

side so far in their five games and are

they capable of a similar performance?

“Absolutely they are. They are a really

well-drilled side and Dan is an excellent

coach who I know from his time with

Connacht. He’s a coach with great

experience and he has turned them

into a really competitive side whether

that’s in the URC or in Europe. They are

competing consistently for trophies now.

“When they are on the money, they can

score from anywhere and the flip of that

is that when we have the ball you are

coming up against a defensive system

coached by Jared Payne who I’d have a

lot of time for as well.

“So a dangerous side but well capable

of keeping you at bay as well and we

know we will have to be at our best to

get a performance and to start this block

positively.”

He experienced fans at the Aviva on

Sunday for the first time in a long while,

but this will be his first game at the RDS

Arena with fans since January 2020

when he lined up against Lyon in the

Heineken Champions Cup.

But that’s not to say that he hasn’t

experienced the match days.

“It will be my first game back playing

alright with fans at the RDS but I was

actually here for the Scarlets game but I

sat over the Grand Stand rather than over

with the others in Anglesea Stand and it

was brilliant. Atmosphere was something

else so I’d imagine now with Ulster

coming down and they usually travel in

numbers as well that it will be brilliant.

“That Scarlets game gave me a really

good taste for what a match day at the

RDS can be like for the supporters and it

will be class to get in front of them now

on Saturday.”

And with that he was gone. Off to find a

bite to eat. There will be time enough to

put the feet up because right now, Robbie

Henshaw has catching up to do.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 21


Action

replay 15 31

GLASGOW WARRIORS

Ross Thompson; Kyle Steyn, Sione

Tuipulotu (Nick Grigg, 70), Sam

Johnson, Rufus McLean; Duncan Weir

(Cole Forbes, 56), Ali Price (George

Horne, 53); Jamie Bhatti (Oli Kebble,

45), Johnny Matthews (George Turner,

41), Zander Fagerson (Enrique

Pieretto, 53), Rob Harley (Lewis Bean,

75), Richie Gray, Ryan Wilson (C),

Rory Darge (Matt Fagerson, 61) Jack

Dempsey.

SCORERS:

Tries: Jack Dempsey, Lewis Bean.

Con: Ross Thompson.

Pen: Ross Thompson.

FRIDAY 22ND OCTOBER 2021

SCOTSTOUN STADIUM

REFEREE: CRAIG EVANS (WALES)

UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP

LEINSTER RUGBY

Hugo Keenan; Adam Byrne, Garry

Ringrose (Jamie Osborne, 69), Ciarán

Frawley, James Lowe; Ross Byrne, Luke

McGrath (C) (Jamison Gibson-Park,

62); Cian Healy (Ed Byrne, 53), Rónan

Kelleher (Dan Sheehan, 53), Tadhg

Furlong (Michael Ala’alatoa, 53), Ross

Molony, Ryan Baird (Devin Toner, 50),

Caelan Doris (Rhys Ruddock, 67), Dan

Leavy (Josh van der Flier, 50), Jack

Conan (sin bin: 48-58).

SCORERS:

Tries: Rónan Kelleher, Hugo Keenan,

Adam Byrne, Dan Sheehan.

Cons: Ross Byrne (4).

Pen: Ross Byrne.

22 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


I started in the

Bective Minis, then

went to Clongowes

for five years.

Then two years in

Trinity, two years

in Lansdowne. Into

the Leinster subacademy,

the u18’s,

the u19’s and now

finally into the

Irish squad. There’s

plenty more to

come hopefully.

Dan Sheehan

If you want to

be successful

towards the end

of the season,

you need that

competition in

the group, and

guys pushing

each other on.

There’s a lot

of gmaes to

be played and

it’s going to be

hugely exciting

for us and

competitive as

well.

Leo Cullen

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 23


Club in focus:

South East Lions

Enniscorthy RFC /

Wexford Wanderers RFC

A Sporting Partnership

for Women’s Rugby

It’s a common problem, one faced

by clubs new and old, in all four

provinces, that of attendance

numbers, recruiting new players

and retaining those already

involved. The experience is felt at

all levels, from minis, underage

and up to senior level, both men’s

and women’s, boys and girls. In

recent years, no area has faced as

many hurdles as Women’s Rugby.

Indeed, in the clubhouses of Wexford

Wanderers and Enniscorthy, this very

real issue raised its head. While both

clubs have had strong female squads in

the past, they have both struggled with

numbers in recent years finding it difficult

at times to field competitive teams and

faced with dwindling numbers in the post

covid world, both clubs faced a stark

choice, accept the loss of a season of

rugby and the loss of development for

underage players or address the problem

with some creative ideas.

South East Lions were established in

August 2021 from a sporting partnership

between Enniscorthy RFC and Wexford

Wanderers RFC.

This merger is a long-term plan between

both clubs to enable them to field a

women’s team and to have a pathway for

their blossoming female youths and minis

section to aspire to. What was once

known as women’s teams are now fully

developed female sections for each club

with an array of teams, a dream of many

involved in the clubs for many years.

While both clubs have always had a

healthy rivalry, they have also had a spirit

of comradery which has helped these

clubs forge a friendship with their love of

the game.

With Enniscorthy’s Director of Rugby

John Murphy and Wexford Wanderers

counterpart, Des Dempsey, playing key

roles in the partnership and John Bolger’s

experience as Head coach this is a team

who are focused on creating a positive

environment to enjoy rugby with player

development at the forefront of their team

ethos.

“We knew we would struggle in the

season ahead, we had several committed

players and coaches, but we wouldn’t be

able to provide a full-strength team and

risked losing these solid volunteers and

players, and in the process setting back

participation in women’s rugby along

with it.”

Des Dempsey, Director of Rugby,

Wexford Wanderers RFC acknowledges,

“we had to address the issue head

on, and following conversations with

our local rivals, or I should now say

colleagues, we ascertained that

Enniscorthy were also in a similar

position”

John Murphy, Director of Rugby,

Enniscorthy RFC, echoed the position.

“We faced an awful scenario, we

have been developing gradually and

consistently over the past number of

seasons, our girls’ numbers across minis

and youths were growing and we were

seeing some genuine results, but then,

24 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


like so many other clubs, a combination

of the long covid break and other

uncontrollable issues left us with a gap in

numbers for our senior team.

“We faced the choice of lining out

uncompetitive, reduced numbered

teams or further abandoning another

season, which could have damaged

our women’s rugby programmes. That’s

when the discussions happened with

Wexford, we looked at our combined

issues, the challenges we both faced and

decided to run with the positives, take the

opportunity and what many considered

the risk and try something new. And well

so far, it has been successful.”

The squad is made up of almost 30

women some of whom have played for

their respective clubs as senior, youths

and even mini’s.

The women have varying degrees of

experience playing with some players

new to the game, some recent graduates

from the youth’s section and some

with a wealth of experience who are

intent on improving playing quality and

progressing their team. The South East

Lions are currently competing in Division

4 of the Leinster League.

Following the initial launch of the

combined team, there has been interest

from former players and new members

looking to get involved.

There is an air of positivity around the

squad, a determination to work and a

desire to make a success of the venture.

The support from both parent clubs has

been steadfast and the future is looking

bright!

TRAINING

Training takes place in Wexford

Wanderers RFC in Parklane on

Wednesday’s 7:15-8:30 and in

Enniscorthy RFC on Friday’s 7:15-8:30

and new players are always welcome.

If you would like to become a part of

the South East Lions team contact

Anna Marie Russell

annamarierussell@gmail.com

or 0879054102

If you are

interested in

taking up rugby

or you would like

to follow our

updates, check out

our social media

channels:

Leinster Women’s Rugby

LeinsterWomensRugby

@LeinsterWomen

womenspro@leinsterrugby.ie

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 25


HERE’S TO BEING SHOULDER

TO SHOULDER AGAIN


SHOP THE 2021/22 LEINSTER RUGBY RANGE NOW,

EXCLUSIVELY AT LIFE STYLE SPORTS

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 27


leo

the lion’s

kids

corner

IN A BLUR!

Can you name this

leinster player?

spot the difference!

Can you find all six?

ANAGRAMS

Can you un-jumble the names of these players?

CANARY

FIRE LAW

TIC CRACK

HYMN

how did you do?

IN A BLUR?

DAN SHEEHAN

ANAGRAMS

CIARAN FRAWLEY

NICK MCCARTHY

ZOOMED IN!

ANDREW PORTER

zoomed in!

WHo is this leinster

player having an

extreme close-up?

28 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


AJ Products provides unique

solutions for office,

warehouse and

environment

www.ajproducts.ie


AZTO

with

Nick McCarthy

A – Action: If you could be a

superhero, which would you be?

Spiderman

B – Boyhood: Who was your favourite

sporting idol growing up?

Brian O’Meara – ex-Leinster and

Ireland scrum half. He ended up

coaching me in school

C – Childhood: What is your favourite

childhood memory?

Summers down in Brittas Bay, in my

Grandparents house

D – Dish: What’s your go-to pre-match

meal?

Spaghetti Bolognese

E – Education: What was your

favourite subject in school?

Physics

F – Film buff: What’s your favourite

film?

Saving Private Ryan

G – Groove: Who is the best dancer in

the squad?

Hugo Keenan

H – Holiday: What’s your favourite

holiday destination?

Bali

I – Inside: Who is the worst to sit

beside in the dressing room?

Adam Byrne - burns the ear off you!

J – Joker: Who is the funniest in the

squad?

Ed Byrne is the squad clown!

K – Kick-off: What’s your favourite

time of the day to play a match?

5pm

L – Languages: How many languages

can you speak?

Very basic Spanish

M – Music: Your favourite artist and

song right now?

Polo G, Painting Pictures

30 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


N – Number: Do you have a lucky

number?

25

O – Others: What’s your favourite

sport outside of rugby?

Golf

P – Pal: Who is your best mate in the

squad?

James Ryan tells me he is, but he’s

very hard to meet up with outside

the office!

Q – Quirky: Who has the most

interesting fashion sense?

Jack Dunne

R – Red Carpet: Who is the most

famous contact in your phone?

I couldn’t say!

S – Superstitions: Do you have any

matchday routines?

Cold shower

T – Trim: What’s the worst haircut

you’ve ever had?

Peroxide bleach when I was about

13

U: Under pressure: Who in the squad

would be the best in a bad situation?

Jimmy O’Brien

V – Verified: How often do you use

social media?

Every day unfortunately

W – Worst fear: What are you most

scared of?

Rats

X – X-ray: Have you ever broken any

bones?

I broke my wrist a few years ago

Y – Youth: Where did you grow up?

I was born in the US but moved back

to Dublin when I was one

Z – Zoo: What’s your favourite

animal?

Lion

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 31


THE SPIRIT OF

UNITED RUGBY

CHAMPIONSHIP.

Enjoy responsibly

DISCOVER THE SPIRIT WITHIN |

#SAVOURTHEMOMENT


Leinster Rugby in the

Mukuru Slums

Leinster

Rugby and

Kenya Rugby

have joined

forces to

introduce

rugby to the

street kids of

Mukuru slums

in Nairobi.

Following the support of Leinster

Rugby and supporters, a small

group of Irish volunteers led

by Paula Cullen has been

instrumental in introducing the

game to a group of street kids

who reside in a rehab centre in the

slums of Mukuru.

Finally, after a couple of years of Kenya

Rugby students teaching the boys the skills

of 7-a-side rugby, they attended their first

tournament recently.

Although they did not win, they were

without doubt the best dressed players

in the stadium playing with pride in their

Leinster Rugby tops.

For the boys it was a wonderful

experience to play rugby with other

privileged teams. This is hopefully the start

of more to come!

With the next project, we hope to raise

enough funds to install suitable playing

fields in the rehab centre.

You can donate on the Go Fund Me page

by clicking the image, where you can also

see the boys performing the Jerusalema

challenge!

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 35


leinster

squad

2021/22 season

Vakh Abdaladze #1263

PROP

DOB: 06/02/1996

HEIGHT: 1.88m

WEIGHT: 121kg

Michael Ala’alatoa #1301

prop

DOB: 28/08/1991

HEIGHT: 1.91m

WEIGHT: 127kg

7

CAPS

Ryan Baird #1278

LOCK

DOB: 26/07/1999

HEIGHT: 1.98m

WEIGHT: 103.18kg

6

CAPS

Adam Byrne #1213

WING / FULL BACK

DOB: 10/04/1994

HEIGHT: 1.91m

WEIGHT: 98.18kg

1

CAP

Ed Byrne #1222

6

CAPS

Harry Byrne #1280

2

CAPS

Ross Byrne #1236

13

CAPS

Thomas Clarkson

PROP

DOB: 09/09/1993

HEIGHT: 1.8m

WEIGHT: 114.09kg

FLY HALF

DOB: 22/04/1999

HEIGHT: 1.9m

WEIGHT: 95kg

FLY HALF

DOB: 08/04/1995

HEIGHT: 1.9m

WEIGHT: 92kg

PROP

DOB: 22/02/2000

HEIGHT: 1.85m

WEIGHT: 118kg

36 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Jack Conan #1223

22

CAPS

7

CAPS

Will Connors #1264

9

CAPS

Sean Cronin #1202

72

CAPS

Max Deegan #1256

1

CAP

NO. 8

DOB: 29/07/1992

HEIGHT: 1.93m

WEIGHT: 114.09kg

BACK ROW

DOB: 04/04/1996

HEIGHT: 1.96m

WEIGHT: 100kg

HOOKER

DOB: 06/05/1986

HEIGHT: 1.78m

WEIGHT: 103.18kg

NO. 8

DOB: 01/10/1996

HEIGHT: 1.93m

WEIGHT: 110kg

Peter Dooley #1230

Caelan Doris #1268

12

CAPS

Jack Dunne #1276

Ciaran Frawley #1265

PROP

DOB: 04/08/1994

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 117kg

BACK ROW

DOB: 02/04/1998

HEIGHT: 1.93m

WEIGHT: 107kg

LOCK

DOB: 21/11/1998

HEIGHT: 2.03m

WEIGHT: 120kg

FLY HALF

DOB: 04/12/1997

HEIGHT: 1.91m

WEIGHT: 98kg

Tadhg Furlong #1220

PROP

DOB: 14/11/1992

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 125kg

52

CAPS

13

CAPS

Jamison Gibson-Park #1247

SCRUM HALF

DOB: 23/02/1992

HEIGHT: 1.75m

WEIGHT: 80kg

12

CAPS

David Hawkshaw #1290

FLY HALF / Centre

DOB: 03/07/1999

HEIGHT: 1.75m )

WEIGHT: 85.91kg

Cian Healy #1142

PROP

DOB: 07/10/1987

HEIGHT: 1.85m

WEIGHT: 116.82kg

112

CAPS

2

CAPS

Robbie Henshaw #1251

53

CAPS

9

CAPS

Dave Kearney #1158

19

CAPS

Hugo Keenan #1253

16

CAPS

Ronan Kelleher #1277

16

CAPS

CENTRE

DOB: 12/06/1993

HEIGHT: 1.9m

WEIGHT: 99.09kg

WING / FULL BACK

DOB: 19/06/1989

HEIGHT: 1.8m

WEIGHT: 90kg

FULL BACK

DOB: 18/06/1996

HEIGHT: 1.85m

WEIGHT: 91.82kg

HOOKER

DOB: 24/01/1998

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 105kg

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 37


Jordan Larmour #1258

30

CAPS

Dan Leavy #1231

11

CAPS

WING

DOB: 10/06/1997

HEIGHT: 1.78m

WEIGHT: 90kg

FLANKER

DOB: 23/05/1994

HEIGHT: 1.91m

WEIGHT: 105.91kg

for full squad profiles

please click here

James Lowe #1262

9

CAPS

Nick McCarthy #1241

Luke McGrath #1206

19

CAPS

Michael Milne #1279

WING / FULL BACK

DOB: 08/07/1992

HEIGHT: 1.88m

WEIGHT: 105kg

SCRUM HALF

DOB: 25/03/1995

HEIGHT: 1.8m

WEIGHT: 84.09kg

SCRUM HALF

DOB: 03/02/1993

HEIGHT: 1.75m

WEIGHT: 84.09kg

PROP

DOB: 05/02/1999

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 115kg

Jimmy O’Brien #1272

Conor O’Brien #1260

Josh Murphy #1261

Ross Molony #1233

LOCK

DOB: 11/05/1994

HEIGHT: 1.96m

WEIGHT: 113kg

FLANKER

DOB: 17/02/1995

HEIGHT: 1.98m

WEIGHT: 110kg

CENTRE

DOB: 06/02/1996

HEIGHT: 1.91m

WEIGHT: 100kg

CENTRE

DOB: 27/11/1996

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 88kg

Tommy O’Brien #1283

Rory O’Loughlin #1248

1

CAP

Scott Penny #1271

Andrew Porter #1246

40

CAPS

CENTRE

DOB: 28/05/1998

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 95kg

CENTRE

DOB: 21/01/1994

HEIGHT: 1.88m

WEIGHT: 94.09kg

FLANKER

DOB: 22/09/1999

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 104kg

PROP

DOB: 16/01/1996

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 114.09kg

38 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Garry Ringrose #1237

37

CAPS

Rhys Ruddock #1167

27

CAPS

James Ryan #1259

40

CAPS

Johnny Sexton #1127

101

CAPS

14

CAPS

CENTRE

DOB: 26/01/1995

HEIGHT: 1.85m

WEIGHT: 96kg

BACK ROW

DOB: 13/11/1990

HEIGHT: 1.91m

WEIGHT: 113.18kg

LOCK

DOB: 24/07/1996

HEIGHT: 2.03m

WEIGHT: 115kg

FLY HALF

DOB: 11/07/1985

HEIGHT: 1.88m

WEIGHT: 90kg

Dan Sheehan #1286

HOOKER

DOB: 17/09/1998

HEIGHT: 1.91m

WEIGHT: 110.91kg

2

CAPS

Devin Toner #1128

LOCK

DOB: 29/06/1986

HEIGHT: 2.11m

WEIGHT: 127kg

70

CAPS

James Tracy #1211

HOOKER

DOB: 02/04/1991

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 106kg

6

CAPS

Josh van der Flier #1228

FLANKER

DOB: 25/04/1993

HEIGHT: 1.85m

WEIGHT: 103kg

35

CAPS

Coaching

Staff

2021/22 season

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

DENIS LEAMY

CONTACT SKILLS COACH

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 39


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Arklow’s Favourite

Barney Hynes

BY ROBERT KELLY ARKLOW PRO

On a damp

and dull

November

morning,

Barney Hynes

travels

across the

leaf strewn

country

roads of

south County

Wicklow.

With a boot

full of rugby

balls and

cones he

approaches

the village

of Aughrim.

The county grounds of Wicklow

GAA appear on his left but he

turns right and is soon outside

the local national school. Within

minutes he is warmly greeted

by the young students to calls of

“Barney” as they queue up to

report on their weekend exploits

on the rugby field. In fact, ask any

youth from Arklow to Avoca and

on towards Tinahely and they all

know “Barney –the rugby man”.

Barney is one of Leinster Rugby’s fortyone

Club Community Rugby Officer’s

(CCRO), a role that involves working

with schools, clubs and the community to

deliver a tailored programme to expand

the game throughout the province.

To find a more suitable candidate for a

CCRO would be difficult.

Not many have played rugby over

five decades, starting with Presentation

College in 1969 and ending with

Arklow in 2000, with spells playing

for Greystones and Clondalkin RFC in

between. He has played Senior Cup

and won a Towns Cup, coached youths

and women’s teams. In fairness, there is

little that Barney has not done in terms

of rugby.

Nine years into the role and the fruits of

his labour are now being witnessed at

Arklow RFC.

There was a time when Arklow had no

youths system; whereas Arklow now fields

teams from minis right up to under 18.5’s,

starting a potential conveyor belt of

players to feed the senior teams.

“I go into this job every day like it’s my

first day”, says Barney as he lines out the

grids for today’s drills, “doing this job,

working with kids has been the happiest

time of my life”.

Judging by the enthusiasm on the faces of

those passing balls and taking side steps

in the school yard, it may very well be

their happiest time too.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 43


Carlow Rising

BY DEBBIE CARTY

Carlow

Rugby

Club,

officially

titled

County

Carlow

Football

Club, is

about to

celebrate

150

years in

existence.

Club members intend to mark this

important milestone with a major

rugby renewal and by enhancing

the role played by the club in the

community of Carlow and the

hinterland.

To mark the 150th anniversary a select

team from the club, following wide

consultation, has put together a Five Year

Strategic Plan. This will drive development

and growth within Carlow rugby from

now to 2027.

Since County Carlow Football Club

(CCFC) was founded in 1873 it has

a rich history of on-field cup and

league success and off-field community

involvement. Carlow, the oldest provincial

rugby club in Ireland, holds the record for

Bank of Ireland Rugby Provincial Towns

Cup wins and in the 1990’s CCFC won

promotion to the All-Ireland League.

The strategic plan aims to build on this

foundation to further enhance the playing

of rugby in the Carlow area and to

open up the club’s facilities for the local

community.

The plan outlines a vision for the club’s

future with real tangible targets for both

on and off-field activity.

The targets include:

• Becoming the most successful, inclusive,

community centred provincial rugby club

in Leinster

• Winning the Towns Cup and gaining

promotion to Division 1 of the Leinster

League

• The revival of women's rugby at all age

levels in the club and the appointment of

a women's rugby co-ordinator

44 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


• Increasing co-operation with other

community organisations and involving

the community in the 150-year

celebrations.

• Promotion of rugby in local schools

and in the community.

• A continuation of Carlow’s tradition of

providing in-house coaches and mentors

and delivering referees for rugby in

Leinster

• A revamp of the grounds at Oakpark

to include new facilities for minis rugby,

a walkway for the public and pollinator

plants along the margins to enhance

natural diversity as part of a plan to

achieve Green Flag status

• Growing club membership by 10% a

year

• Development of the club house facilities

to attract outside commercial usage.

• A review of fundraising activities which

will include three different sponsorship

categories and the creation of a 150th

anniversary wall built with sponsored

bricks.

Overall, the new strategic plan and vision

for the club and for rugby in Carlow calls

for investment in the club, its members

and the community.

This will be backed by the club’s amateur

ethos and great tradition of volunteerism

by its members.

Speaking after receiving the five-year

plan then Club President, and now Club

Chairman, Edel Gibbons, thanked each

and every person who contributed to it.

She looked forward to being a part of

“one of the most exciting periods in our

County Carlow Football Club’s history as

we work together to achieve a successful,

inclusive, community based provincial

rugby club in Leinster”.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 45


compiled by stuart farmer

media services limited

Leinster Player

Statistics

SQUAD

CAP

NO

DEBUT

2021/22 SEASON FOR LEINSTER LEINSTER CAREER

ALL GAMES URC EPCR ALL GAMES PRO14/URC 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+12 1 5 0+12 1 5 - - - 11 -

MICHAEL ALA'ALATOA 1301 25 SEP 21 3+2 - - 3+2 - - - - - 3+2 - - 3+2 - - - - - - WS 7

RYAN BAIRD 1278 27 APR 19 2+3 - - 2+3 - - - - - 14+18 6 30 13+14 6 30 1+4 - - 6 IR 6

ADAM BYRNE 1213 29 DEC 12 2 3 15 2 3 15 - - - 51+8 23 115 41+8 17 85 10 6 30 1 IR 1

ED BYRNE 1222 9 FEB 14 1+3 1 5 1+3 1 5 - - - 20+54 11 55 20+43 10 50 0+11 1 5 2 IR 6

HARRY BYRNE 1280 28 SEP 19 1 - - 1 - - - - - 15+10 6 154 15+9 6 149 0+1 - 5 4 IR 2

ROSS BYRNE 1236 4 SEP 15 2+2 1 26 2+2 1 26 - - - 72+36 7 676 60+20 3 497 12+16 4 179 4 IR 13

THOMAS CLARK-

1285 29 AUG 20 - - - - - - - - - 2+8 - - 2+8 - - - - - - -

SON

JACK CONAN 1223 20 FEB 14 2 - - 2 - - - - - 82+25 23 115 61+15 16 80 21+10 7 35 3 IR 22

WILL CONNORS 1264 9 FEB 18 - - - - - - - - - 17+6 2 10 16+6 2 10 1 - - 10 IR 9

TIM CORKERY 1298 12 MAR 21 - - - - - - - - - 0+2 - - 0+2 - - - - - - -

SEAN CRONIN 1202 28 OCT 11 1 1 5 1 1 5 - - - 121+75 43 215 77+54 26 130 43+19 16 80 1 IR 72

MAX DEEGAN 1256 3 DEC 16 1+2 1 5 1+2 1 5 - - - 36+32 19 95 33+24 17 85 3+8 2 10 2 IR 1

PETER DOOLEY 1230 31 OCT 14 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - 40+54 5 25 38+48 5 25 2+6 - - 9 -

CAELAN DORIS 1268 28 APR 18 3 1 5 3 1 5 - - - 35+8 6 30 29+6 4 20 6+2 2 10 2 IR 12

JACK DUNNE 1276 16 FEB 19 - - - - - - - - - 2+13 - - 2+13 - - - - - - -

CORMAC FOLEY 1299 24 APR 21 - - - - - - - - - 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - - -

CIARAN FRAWLEY 1265 17 FEB 18 4+1 - 2 4+1 - 2 - - - 21+19 4 145 20+15 3 134 1+4 1 11 10 -

TADHG FURLONG 1220 1 NOV 13 2 - - 2 - - - - - 75+41 8 40 44+33 3 15 31+8 5 25 5 IR 52

JAMISON GIBSON-PARK 1247 2 SEP 16 2+2 - - 2+2 - - - - - 51+54 17 85 46+30 14 70 5+24 3 15 9 IR 12

MARCUS HANAN 1295 19 FEB 21 - - - - - - - - - 0+3 - - 0+3 - - - - - - -

DAVID HAWKSHAW 1290 2 NOV 20 - - - - - - - - - 0+8 1 14 0+8 1 14 - - - 4 -

CIAN HEALY 1142 5 MAY 07 1+4 1 5 1+4 1 5 - - - 157+79 28 140 91+52 14 70 64+26 13 65 2 IR 112

ROBBIE HENSHAW 1251 8 OCT 16 - - - - - - - - - 56+1 11 55 25 5 25 31+1 6 30 1 IR 53

DAVE KEARNEY 1158 16 MAY 09 - - - - - - - - - 147+22 51 255 121+15 44 220 25+6 7 35 7 IR 19

HUGO KEENAN 1253 5 NOV 16 4 1 5 4 1 5 - - - 31+3 5 25 26+3 5 25 5 - - 1 IR 16

RONAN KELLEHER 1277 22 FEB 19 2+1 3 15 2+1 3 15 - - - 22+6 12 60 16+4 11 55 6+2 1 5 1 IR 16

JORDAN LARMOUR 1258 2 SEP 17 2 1 5 2 1 5 - - - 54+10 20 100 33+7 15 75 21+3 5 25 2 IR 30

DAN LEAVY 1231 31 OCT 14 2+1 - - 2+1 - - - - - 45+30 17 85 37+20 13 65 8+10 4 20 4 IR 11

46 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


SQUAD

CAP

NO

DEBUT

2021/22 SEASON FOR LEINSTER LEINSTER CAREER

ALL GAMES URC EPCR ALL GAMES PRO14/URC EPCR

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

SINCE LAST TRY

CAPS

JAMES LOWE 1262 2 DEC 17 3 - - 3 - - - - - 55 34 170 37 25 125 18 9 45 6 IR 9

NICK MCCARTHY 1241 19 DEC 15 0+2 - - 0+2 - - - - - 6+32 4 20 6+26 4 20 0+6 - - 7 -

LUKE MCGRATH 1206 5 MAY 12 3+1 - - 3+1 - - - - - 105+50 39 195 72+44 31 155 33+6 8 40 6 IR 19

MICHAEL MILNE 1279 28 SEP 19 - - - - - - - - - 1+15 2 10 1+15 2 10 - - - 14 -

MARTIN MOLONEY 1300 24 APR 21 - - - - - - - - - 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - - -

ROSS MOLONY 1233 20 FEB 15 4+1 - - 4+1 - - - - - 68+53 4 20 66+38 4 20 2+15 - - 7 -

JOSH MURPHY 1261 3 NOV 17 - - - - - - - - - 42+7 5 25 41+6 4 20 1+1 1 5 9 -

JAMIE OSBORNE 1294 30 JAN 21 1+2 - - 1+2 - - - - - 3+6 1 5 3+6 1 5 - - - 4 -

CONOR O'BRIEN 1260 3 NOV 17 1 - - 1 - - - - - 17+7 6 30 17+6 6 30 0+1 - - 10 -

JIMMY O'BRIEN 1272 23 NOV 18 1 - - 1 - - - - - 27+9 7 37 25+9 6 32 2 1 5 2 -

SEAN O'BRIEN 1297 12 MAR 21 - - - - - - - - - 0+2 - - 0+2 - - - - - - -

TOMMY O'BRIEN 1283 20 DEC 19 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - 4+6 3 15 4+6 3 15 - - - 6 -

RORY O'LOUGHLIN 1248 2 SEP 16 2 - - 2 - - - - - 66+23 21 105 59+15 18 90 7+8 3 15 32 IR 1

MAX O'REILLY 1291 2 JAN 21 - - - - - - - - - 6+1 1 5 6+1 1 5 - - - 6 -

SCOTT PENNY 1271 23 NOV 18 1 1 5 1 1 5 - - - 24+6 17 85 24+6 17 85 - - - 1 -

ANDREW PORTER 1246 2 SEP 16 3 2 10 3 2 10 - - - 31+49 13 65 26+30 10 50 5+19 3 15 1 IR 40

GARRY RINGROSE 1237 12 SEP 15 4 - - 4 - - - - - 88+2 27 143 56+1 16 88 32+1 11 55 5 IR 37

RHYS RUDDOCK 1167 6 DEC 09 3+2 - - 3+2 - - - - - 146+47 11 55 109+33 9 45 36+12 2 10 9 IR 27

ROB RUSSELL 1302 3 OCT 21 1+1 - - 1+1 - - - - - 1+1 - - 1+1 - - - - - - -

JAMES RYAN 1259 2 SEP 17 3 - - 3 - - - - - 47+6 3 15 25+1 1 5 22+5 2 10 13 IR 40

JOHNNY SEXTON 1127 27 JAN 06 2+1 - 22 2+1 - 22 - - - 150+26 26 1529 89+20 13 855 59+6 12 643 16 IR 101

DAN SHEEHAN 1286 23 OCT 20 2+2 3 15 2+2 3 15 - - - 5+12 9 45 5+12 9 45 - - - 1 IR 2

ANDREW SMITH 1292 2 JAN 21 - - - - - - - - - 1+1 - - 1+1 - - - - - - -

ALEX SOROKA 1296 28 FEB 21 - - - - - - - - - 1+1 - - 1+1 - - - - - - -

DEVIN TONER 1128 27 JAN 06 1+1 - - 1+1 - - - - - 207+61 4 20 141+43 4 20 63+18 - - 51 IR 70

JAMES TRACY 1211 4 NOV 12 0+2 1 5 0+2 1 5 - - - 57+74 15 75 50+46 14 70 7+28 1 5 2 IR 6

LIAM TURNER 1287 23 OCT 20 - - - - - - - - - 4+2 - - 4+2 - - - - - - -

JOSH VAN DER FLIER 1228 11 OCT 14 3+1 1 5 3+1 1 5 - - - 78+24 12 60 48+18 8 40 30+6 4 20 4 IR 35

2021/22 SEASON FOR LEINSTER LEINSTER CAREER

ALL GAMES URC EPCR ALL GAMES PRO14/URC 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 0.00% - - - - - - - - - 53 6 52 5 1 1 76 77.63%

ROSS BYRNE 100.00% 9 1 - 9 1 - - - - 205 76 1 163 51 1 42 25 - 364 77.20%

CIARAN FRAWLEY 100.00% 1 - - 1 - - - - - 52 7 - 49 7 - 3 - - 73 80.82%

DAVID HAWKSHAW - - - - - - - - - - 3 1 - 3 1 - - - - 6 66.67%

JIMMY O'BRIEN - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - 1 - - - - - 3 33.33%

GARRY RINGROSE - - - - - - - - - - 4 - - 4 - - - - - 6 66.67%

JOHNNY SEXTON 83.33% 8 2 - 8 2 - - - - 242 294 11 128 171 7 107 119 4 672 79.76%

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 47


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ig picture

6 November 2021

CONGRATULATIONS ON

YOUR IRELAND DEBUT

Dan Sheehan after the Autumn

Nations Series match between

Ireland and Japan at Aviva

Stadium.

50 | www.leinsterrugby.ie

Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile


Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

21 November 2021

CONGRATULATIONS ON

50 IRELAND CAPS

Tadhg Furlong during the Autumn

Nations Series match between

Ireland and Argentina at Aviva

Stadium.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 51


ENERGIA AIL

A 30 YEAR RUGBY LEGACY

Watch now at

energia.ie/energia-ail-30


New Ross RFC

Going Green

BY DEBBIE CARTY

New Ross RFC has

taken a step into

the future by

being the first

club grounds in

the country to

launch a policy

discouraging

the use of single

use plastics

on its grounds

at FBD Park in

Southknock.

Simultaneously, it

has also launched

a No Smoking

policy on the

grounds.

Speaking at the dual launch last

Sunday, Club President, David

Burke said that the club caters for

large numbers of young players

across all ages from under six

years upwards and it was felt by

the club management committee

that children and youths needed

to be discouraged from possibly

taking up smoking and that

one of the best ways of doing

this would be to de-normalise

smoking in their vicinity.

“We all know the ill effects smoking can

have on health and New Ross RFC wants

to do all in its power to help prevent the

habit passing on to the next generations'

he said as he unveiled the specially

designed signage informing visitors and

members of the new policy on the club

grounds.”

Simultaneously, Chairman Brendan Roche

launched the ban on single use plastics.

This policy is aimed at reducing waste

and encouraging members and visitors to

use a multi-use bottle while exercising.

“Everyone is sick and tired of seeing

plastic bottles dumped all over the

countryside and at the sides of pitches so

here, at New Ross RFC, we want to lead

the way by preventing these items being

used on our grounds.

“We believe that we are the first Club in

Ireland to introduce this policy and would

Brendan Roche, Chairman

NRRFC and David Burke,

President launching the

policy and signage

encourage others to follow our lead

and help improve the environment for

everybody” he said as he revealed the

applicable signage.

“From this season, the club's minis jerseys

carry 'No Smoking' and 'No single-use

plastics' logos so that we can begin to

spread the message wherever we go”

said Mike Quinn, Minis Co-ordinator.

“We will be delighted if we can make

just a little difference to the future health

and environment of our younger people”

he added.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 53


offical leinster

supporters club

Round 6 of the 2021/22 United Rugby Championship is upon us and

it’s hard to believe it’s around five weeks (22/23 Oct) since we

last saw action as it was the turn of the International teams

to take centre stage during most of November.

Previous seasons would’ve seen

a mix of both provincial and

international however this year

was different and so for a lot of the

players, from all 16 teams, they

are most certainly raring to go and

ready to once again take to their

respective fields of play for what

is sure to be a mouth-watering

weekend of rugby.

This weekend sees us welcome the visitors

of Ulster to the RDS for this Saturday

evening (8pm) KO in front of what we

hope will be a raucous crowd who will

be looking forward to seeing these two

go head-2-head once again for what is

sure to be a highly entertaining fixture

of rugby. These two are no strangers to

each other and have fought many classic

contests down through the years however

as it currently stands in the head-2-head,

it’s ourselves who have won all 5 of the

last and given our run of form coming into

Round 6, you imagine it will be a case of

“more of the same please” from Leo, Stuart

and the rest of the Leinster contingent.

There were certainly plenty of Leinster

players on international duty during the

Autumn series, however we are very

fortunate in the squad of players that we’re

able to call on and given as noted above,

there were no non international fixtures

54 | www.leinsterrugby.ie

Leinster

Ulster

160 Points 134

23 Tries 20

46 Points Conceded 86

89% Tackle Success 91%

Ross Byrne (26) Leading Points Scorer Nathan Doak (43)

Adam Byrne (3) Leading Try Scorer Nick Timoney (5)

Jordan Larmour (12) Defenders Beaten James Hume (13)

Hugo Keenan (256) Metres Gained Ethan McIlroy (196)

Ross Molony (53) Number of Tackles Alan O’Connor (61)

Josh Van Der Flier (5) Turnovers Won Nick Tomoney (5)

since October, those who didn’t pull on the

green, will be looking to ensure that the

blue jersey they pull on for this fixture, will

need to be surgically removed for the next

one. A couple of busy weeks now with

both home interprovincial fixtures as well

as the start of European action, leaves the

players anxious to ensure that they spend

as much time on the pitch as possible and

we the fans want to see them there too as

we are very lucky to have some incredible

talent and want to see this nurtured

through to its fullest extent.

Don’t forget to drop into the Laighin Out

before or after the game if you’re looking

to purchase some OLSC Merchandise. The

shop will be open and we look forward

to seeing you all there. You can of course

purchase, and keep up to date with all

things OLSC online, and we encourage

you to visit any of our social media

platforms.

A reminder also to all fans to please

continue to ensure you follow all directions

of RDS staff and let’s keep each other

safe. For now though, here’s to a fantastic

evening of rugby and don’t forget that

when the boys do take to the field this

evening, that you welcome them back

with that familiar Leinster roar. After all, it’s

been a lifetime since we last roared them

onto the RDS pitch.

Be loud, Be proud, Be blue!

Your OLSC Committee


OFFICIAL

LEINSTER

SUPPORTERS

CLUB

Suort us by

visiting r

ONLINE

STORE

Kp up date

OLSC

NEWS

Ctact us

olsc@leinsterrugby.ie

Foow us

#seaofblue P D E Q


Join our FRIENDS

programme

and help support

seriously injured

rugby players

For more details,

click here

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 57

www.irfucharitabletrust.com


GETTING

We check social media

for the latest views

and thoughts across

SOCIAL

the 12 counties

58 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


www.leinsterrugby.ie | 59


Virtual Mascot

Vivian

King

Age: 8

School: Dulargy National School,

Ravensdale, Dundalk

Class: 2nd class

Hobbies: Playing rugby, soccer,

horse riding & violin

Favourite Player: Johnny Sexton

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 61


WHERE ARE

THEY NOW?

ZANE KIRCHNER

THEN: Zane

played 88

times for

Leinster over

four seasons

(2013-2017)

winning a

PRO12 title in

2014, scoring

two tries in

the Final in

the RDS Arena.

NOW: He lives

in Blanco, on

the Western

Cape, with his

wife Tasneem

and daughter

Amaris,

concentrating

on the launch

of ‘The Bookz

and Bootz

Foundation.’

62 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Zane Kirchner has never been

much of a ‘talker.’ Until now.

The ex-Leinster and Springbok player is a

self-admitted “loner,” a man happier in his

own space than anyone else’s.

When you delve into his background, this

makes perfect sense. He is the exception,

escaping the generational poverty and

violence that has imprisoned thousands

in his town.

“I come from nothing. I come from the

ghetto,” he says, from his home in Blanco,

at the foot of the Outeniqua mountains on

the Western Cape.

“When you come from very little, you try

to hold onto whatever it is you have as

best you can.”

The psychological battle for territory is

rooted in the three sections Zane grew

up around, the Valley, the Pits and the

Skeem, providing three natural rivals to

fuel a gangster mentality, based around

drugs, alcohol abuse and gender-based

violence.

“It is just the mentality of our people,

growing up over the years. They fight for

a piece of land or a territory that was

never even theirs.

At Leinster, I saw people

with passion, who cared about

other people, who wanted to

make a difference.

“As a child, you deal with a lot of things

that are tough on the eyes. You see a lot

of bad things happen every day. This

turns people towards that life, not because

they are bad people, but because they

cannot see any other alternative.”

It could so easily have been Zane’s life

too were it not for a steely mentality and

the escape route rugby provided for him.

“Sport was my way of getting out. It

granted me a way of exploring life and

making me a better man,” he stresses.

“I always had the feeling that I wanted to

be different. But, there was no role model

for me, so I had to do it by myself.

“At 16, training was my out. When others

took booze and drugs, I went training.

Even if I went out, I had to be running on

the road by 5 or 6 the next morning.

“What I saw granted me more energy

and drove me to overcome the life I was

born into. My difference came through

rugby.

“What rugby has done for me is

something for which I will be forever

grateful.”

In 2002, at 17, Zane was invited to play

rugby for the Griquas on the Northern

Cape by his coach Abrie Minnie where

outworking more talented players became

his mission.

It was the first time he had left his parents’

home. For months, Zane cried himself to

sleep. It almost got too much to take.

One night, he made a call home only to

be told: ‘there is nothing for you here.

There is nothing to come back to.’

He resolved to pursue a better life. Work

ethic has been his point of difference.

It was the basis for five years of senior

rugby at Griquas (2003-2007), for six

years at the Blue Bulls (2008-2013) and,

ultimately, for 31 Springbok caps.

“The harder I worked the further I could

get away from Blanco in my head. You

want to stay away from that environment.”

In 2013, Zane made another difficult

decision, walking away from the Blue

Bulls to join the Leinster Blues.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 63


“I needed something new, a new

environment, a new challenge, a new

stimulus,” he recalls.

“Back then, the European games weren’t

as often televised in South Africa as they

are now. Leinster was still a mystery to me.

“It was a big learning curve for me as a

player and as a man. You come from a

South African environment where it is all

about ‘harder and more’ to Leinster where

it is about, ‘less, smarter and how can we

be better?’

“You are talking about systems-versusindividuals.

When it comes to the

environment, I started feeling a love for

Leinster, how they develop their players,

how they improve them.

“For example, a lot of the Leinster boys

I saw beating the Bulls in the URC in

September were in the Academy and

Sub-Academy when I was there.

“Everything Leo (Cullen) and Stuart

(Lancaster) said would happen in

meetings, it happened year-on-year.

They had faith in the players they were

building.

“The difference is in man management

and the ability to understand how

to make each and every player feel

important. Everyone there holds the pride

of the badge to their chest. There is that

brotherhood, a feeling of going the extra

mile for each other.

“When Stuart came to Leinster, I enjoyed

the language he spoke, the detail he

brought, the clarity, how smart they are

about everything they do.

“I have so much respect for those people

and that environment. World-class. Worldclass.”

Now, his main goal in life is to take what

he has learned from what he has seen

and apply it back home.

“I have always had a dream to get back

to and give back to the place I come

from. I realised the best way to do this

was by setting up a foundation ‘Bookz

and Bootz.’

“I want to take my platform and use

it to impact the communities around

where I am, from a sports development

perspective.

“I want them to understand the mental

toughness you need to be an athlete and

use that resilience in your daily life.

“When you see where I come from, the

challenges are in your face on a daily

basis. It is a 24/7 decision-making

process that kids have to go through.

“While I was playing rugby, I held out

great hope that progress had been made

at home.

64 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


“At Leinster, I saw people with passion,

who cared about other people, who

wanted to make a difference.

“When I came home, I took a few months

out, walking around all the clubs and

schools in the area. We are so far behind

in terms of what our kids need.

“I got to work in soup kitchens on a daily

basis for most of the year post-April of

2020. Sadly, nothing has changed,” he

says.

It inspired Zane to set up ‘The Bookz and

Bootz Foundation,’ using rugby to instill

the discipline and life fundamentals to

work towards a better life.

The aim is to attract some European

support, to tap into the networks and the

environments he has been exposed to.

“I want a Multiple Purpose Recreational

Facility where everyone from 13-18 can

come and take part in rugby,” he says.

“The plan is to build towards a squad of

100-150 athletes which will be known as

The Bookz and Bootz All Stars.

“The hope is to grant them the exposure

to knowledge I’ve been fortunate to

experience. Hopefully, through that, their

perspective on things will change.”

The veteran Springbok returned home to

a deprived area to bring about change,

to give hope to the hopeless and a voice

to those who have no platform to be

heard.

The current process for securing a facility,

which is more or less a field, is hugely

frustrating.

“Around here many don’t want to

understand the potential and influence of

Sport, especially rugby,” Zane states.

“To know and understand the potential

this project holds, it sometimes makes you

wonder why there are so many obstacles

in place.

“I want to share the vision and dream that

I have to give our kids, another way to

look at the world, to open their eyes to

other possibilities.

“Rugby will only teach them the ability to

be resilient, from a mental perspective.

If they can overcome those shuttle runs,

tackles, training sessions, they can

compete in life.

“It goes far beyond the four lines of

competition. But, every single day you

have to make a decision because you are

surrounded by those four lines every day.

“When you come from an environment

like this, it is a decision between doing

good and bad, saying yes or no. It is a

responsibility that most of our kids don’t

understand.

“I want to serve and assist our current

leaders. It won’t be easy. I know that. It

wasn’t for me.

“Achieving what I did is not what I’m

driving, even though anything is possible.

But, allowing our future generations to

dream is a privilege we can’t starve them

from.

“The discipline and resilience taken from

‘Bookz and Bootz’ can be core values

for a new life, to be paid forward for

generations to come.

“The fear of change is a curse that will

forever limit our growth. I want our kids to

embrace change - for the better.”

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 65


Referees

Corner

BY DAN WALLACE

Welcome to another edition of Referees Corner and a warm

welcome to Frank Murphy, today’s match referee and his

team. Frank is a former rugby player. Originally from Cork,

Murphy played for his native province of Munster before

moving to the English side Leicester Tigers, with whom

he won a Premiership title, and then finished his career

with Connacht, another Irish province, making over 100

appearances for the side.

He began refereeing in the

All-Ireland League in 2015,

progressing to referee in the

British and Irish Cup later that

year. He began refereeing at

international level in 2016, and

has taken charge of games in

the European Nations Cup. In

November 2016, Murphy took

charge of his first PRO12 game,

and has since gone on to referee

in the Heineken Challenge Cup at

European level.

Last week I had a chance to catch up

with Katie Byrne. Katie is a Leinster

Rugby Referee, currently progressing

speedily through the ranks in Leinster

with aspirations for the Energia All-

Ireland league.

What made you decide to take up

the whistle? I was playing rugby in

Tullamore and had undertaken an

affiliate referee course. I didn’t have

any aspirations to become a referee at

the time, but Declan O’Reilly who was

a referee in the club asked me to do

an u16 girls game one weekend and

that’s where I started out. I always had

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, our website www.leinsterrugbyreferees.ie or

through twitter @leinsterreferee.

66 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


gpfoto.ie

a decent understanding of the law while

playing but I quickly realised there were

a lot more variations to it. After seven

years the challenge of refereeing on a

more permanent basis appealed to me.

How long are you refereeing now?

It’s four years since I became a trial

member. I was still playing during my

year as a trialist but retired the following

year, and subsequently became a full

member of the ARLB.

What is the biggest thing you have

learned since you started out? The

importance of good communication. You

need to be able to explain decisions to

players and prevent negative behaviour.

Your whistle tone and signals play a big

part in this.

What was the process like to become

a referee? I started out as an affiliate,

then progressed as a trial member, and

after passing my trial game, became

elected as a full member.

gpfoto.ie

What is your training regime like?

Steve Griffiths won’t thank me for saying

this but I’m not a big fan of running (nor

are my achilles!). I find it tedious when

you’re not on the pitch, so the bulk of my

training is done between the gym and

the pool. I normally do two days cardio

and two days of weights per week,

along with a game or two.

What is your favourite thing about

refereeing? As cliche as it sounds,

the people. You meet such a variety

of people in different roles and from

different backgrounds. I’ve been

fortunate enough to get to work with

a number of high profile international

referees including Hollie Davidson, Sara

Cox and Aimee Barrett-Theron during

the Women’s 6 Nations and referees

from other provinces.

What is the most memorable game

you have refereed so far? This was

probably the most difficult question to

answer. I think I’ve done 120+ in the

last few years. I’ve really enjoyed the

opportunity to travel to Connacht and

Munster for my opening IPAS fixtures. I

was down in Newcastle West recently

for a Munster Junior A fixture, and the

standard of rugby was great.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 67


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What is your pre – match routine

like? I’m a sucker for being early, I’ve

had nightmares about being late for

games. I normally have a good carb

filled breakfast in the morning of protein

pancakes and fruit. I always try to arrive

60-90 minutes before KO. I like to get

all the formalities out of the way early,

so the team sheets, stud check, front row

chat and coin toss are out of the way

between 30 - 45 minutes before KO. I

tend to wait until 20 minutes before KO

to do my warm-up, which is a mixture of

static stretching, dynamic stretching and

running. I head back into the dressing

room about five minutes before KO and

then give the teams a time check before

following them back out.

What are your refereeing aspirations

- you are currently on IPAS, what

is IPAS about? My aspirations have

changed every season. When I first

started out, I never imagined that I

would be on IPAS - It wasn’t on my

radar. This season, it’s obviously to

pass IPAS and make it onto the national

panel. IPAS is short for Inter Provincial

Assessment System. It’s essentially a

set of six games, two in each province,

where you’re assessed by a local

assessor. The IRFU then decide at the

end of the season, if your performance

is good enough to make it onto the

national panel of referees. One day, it

would also be nice to tick a women’s

international off the list, but I’ll cross that

bridge if I get to it.

Who is your idol or favourite referee

and why? Luke Pearce is probably

my favourite referee at the minute.

He’s always, cool, calm and collected

in his approach. He has a good

gpfoto.ie

understanding of the law and really

effective communication with players.

What will make you improve as a

referee? Getting on the pitch. The more

games you get under your belt, the

better. Even if it’s an under 13 game,

it’s still valuable in the grand scheme

of things; you can work on the basics

which follow through, no matter what

level you’re refereeing. Also being

receptive to feedback from mentors and

other referees will benefit you.

What advice would you give to

someone thinking about taking

up refereeing? Just try it! It’s not as

daunting as a lot of people think. We’re

lucky in rugby, that referees are well

respected and there’s an abundance

of support available from mentors,

assessors and fellow referees in your

local area and beyond.

Do you do any self-analysis after

games? I’m probably my biggest critic.

I tend to analyse decisions and any

mistakes I make before I acknowledge

the decisions I’ve got right.

Wishing Katie the very best for the

season ahead and her IPAS games.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 69


MATCHDAY MINIS

Ashbourne RFC

First row left to right: Louis O'Connor, Lorcan le Priol,

Rhys Everard, Jack Fox, Charlie Doherty, James McEntee,

Michael Blaney

Second Row: Jasper Zwaan, Luke Moran, Conor

Weldon, Joe Kinsella, Padraic Tallon, James Dexter,

Andrew Broughton, Connor Beggy, Philip Gaffney, Tadhg

O'Buachalla, Sebastian Sadowski, Sam Rees, Donnacha

Paget

Not pictured: Charlie Barry, Dylan Cooke, Hamish Crothers,

John Farrell, James McGeever, James Potterton, Aleksandrs

Samsonovs, Alfie Woods

Wicklow RFC

Players: Adam Armstrong, Alex Birrell, Harry Bowen, Josh

Callery, Daniel Connolly, Luke Connolly, Tyler Devlin,

Cian Dunne, Fran Garcia, Bill Guinan, Alex Healy, Adam

Hughes, Cian Jones, Matt Kelly, Ryan Mahon, Colum

McCarthy, Alexander McKenna, Elijahjohn Rangitaawa,

Tamati Rangitaawa, Calum Reid, Toby Salley, Oisin Tallon,

Eoin Treanor, Patrick Treanor, Alex Tyson, Karl Uhlemann,

Danny Vickers, Rory Wolohan, Benny Williams,

Nicholas Zieg.

Coaches/Managers: Karl Birrell, Niall Callery, Sean

Connolly, Nigel Kelly, Eimear McCarthy, Alan Reid,

Alan Vickers.

Coaches: Scottie Broughton, JP le Priol, Brendan McGeever,

Jennifer O'Buachalla, Niki Potterton, Emmet Tannum

Roscrea RFC

Back row: Ivan Dann (Coach), Keelin Walsh, Liam Nash,

Ciaran Gill, Kalum Moloney, Nathan Matthews, Conor

Fogarty, Odhran Mulrooney, Bobby Hayes, Donal Ryan,

Christian Nolan, Padraig Hayes (Coach).

Front row: Tom Draper, Noah Delaney, Thomas Shanahan,

Jonah Dann, John Guidera, Jack Delaney, Craig Fogarty,

Donnacha Flannery, Kieran Longhurst, Odhran Sloan.

Ardee RFC

Back row left to right: Keith Moran (Coach), Charlie

Murray, Adam Malone, Orla Boyle, Olivia Govern, Jenna

Jackson, Hayden Higgins Lynch, Ben Reilly

Middle left to right: Finn Osbourne, Jake Steel, Callum

Callan, Eoin Sheeran, Jack Moran, Conor Martin, Colm

Sheeran (Coach)

Front left to right : Turlough McCague, Dean Tighe, Senan

Keeley, Pat Smith, Paddy McArdle, Jeremiasz McKal

Missing from the picture : Dylan Devlin,

Matthew McCormack

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 71


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.

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using code Leinster20 on optimumnutrition.ie


KNOWING WHAT ADVICE TO TAKE

IS ESSENTIAL IN THIS GAME.

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The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is

the national leader in advocating

for and providing dementiaspecific

supports and services.

Our vision is an Ireland where people

on the journey of dementia are valued

and supported and our mission is to

advocate, empower and champion the

rights of people living with dementia and

their communities to quality support and

services.

A national non-profit organisation, the

ASI is person-centred, rights-based and

grassroots led with the voice of the

person with dementia and their carer at

its core.

OUR RICH HISTORY

The ASI was founded in 1982. We will

celebrate our 40th Anniversary next year.

Winifred Bligh and Imelda Gillespie met

in January 1982, as they had a sister

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forms of dementia.

As carers they found that not only were

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disease or dementia but that information,

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From this first meeting they founded

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ABOUT DEMENTIA

Dementia is the name for a range of

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brain. This damage can affect memory,

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Sometimes a person may experience a

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may be diagnosed with dementia and

it may not be possible to confirm if

it is Alzheimer’s or another cause of

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There are many diseases that may cause

dementia. The most common causes

include Alzheimer’s disease, vascular

dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies

and Frontotemporal dementia.

FACTS ABOUT DEMENTIA

• There are almost 64,000 people with

dementia in Ireland and for every one

person with dementia three others are

directly affected;

• The number of people with dementia

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• Over 180,000 people in Ireland are

currently or have been carers for a family

member or partner with dementia with

many more providing support and care in

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• There are 11,000 new cases of

dementia in Ireland each year. That’s at

least 30 people every day and anyone

can get dementia - even people in their

30s/40s/50s;

• 1 in 10 people diagnosed with

dementia in Ireland are under 65

Services provided by The ASI:

• National Helpline

• Social Clubs

• Support Groups

• Day Care Services

• Home Care

• Dementia Adviser Service

• Mobile Information Bus

Helpline: The Alzheimer Society

of Ireland National Helpline is open

six days a week Monday to Friday

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on 1800 341 341.

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• Discount Code

The ASI is offering a special discount for

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www.leinsterrugby.ie | 75


COUNTRY

IRELAND

HOME GROUND

KINGSPAN STADIUM

FOUNDED

1879

CHAMPIONS

1 | 2005-2006

The visitors enjoyed a spell of

territory inside Connacht’s half

as they looked to make an early

impression. They earned an early

penalty when Connacht failed

to roll away in the tackle. Ulster

opted for the line-out, but good

defence from the men in green got

them the turnover. The decision

was reversed in Ulster’s favour

following an altercation. This

time, Nathan Doak stepped up for

a pop at the posts and made no

mistake for the first points on the

board for Ulster.

Connacht struck on eleven minutes

through second row, Niall Murray who

went on the charge to burst over the line.

Jack Carty landed the conversion to take

the lead.

Ulster got purchase again inside

Connacht’s 22 when the hosts were

penalised for going off-side, and Nathan

Doak nudged over the three points to

bring the gap to one point.

ulster

last time out

CONNACHT 36

ULSTER 11

23 October 2021 | United Rugby Championship | Aviva Stadium

Ulster fell to their first defeat of the season in the

United Rugby Championship as Connacht took the spoils

at Aviva Stadium on Saturday evening.

The men in white found themselves under

pressure when winger Mack Hansen

sniffed out an intercept opportunity to

run in for Connacht’s second try. Jack

Carty converted. With the wind in their

sails, Connacht pressed further and got a

penalty just two minutes later when Ulster

crept off-side and Carty landed the three

to stretch the lead.

A penalty opportunity came for Ulster on

the half-hour mark, but Doak’s kick drifted

just left of the posts.

Ulster found themselves down to fourteen

when Alan O’Connor was sent to the

bin, and just a few minutes later, so did

Connacht with Ultan Dillane the yellow

card recipient for repeated infringements.

After the break, Connacht came charging

out of the blocks, and Paul Boyle looked

like he might get over for a try, but Matty

Rea and Stuart McCloskey did really well

to hold him up over the line, allowing Billy

Burns to make the goal-line drop-out.

Ulster struggled to get out of their half

in the third quarter of the game. They

were quick to rip the ball through Iain

Henderson, and pounced on loose ball

opportunities, but couldn’t retain the ball

to build the territory needed.

The hosts struck twice in quick succession,

with John Porch bamboozling Ulster’s

defence for their third, and Diarmuid

76 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Kilgallen making an intercept to run clear

for the bonus-point try. Carty slotted the

conversion for the latter.

The Ulster men got their sole unconverted

try on 67 minutes, when Brad Roberts

bundled over from the Ulster maul.

With the clock in the red, Ulster looked

to get another try as Robert Baloucoune

raced down the wing, but Connacht

were able to regain possession and

Mack Hansen broke clear to run in for

their fifth try, with Jack Carty adding the

conversion.

Connacht: (15-9) Tiernan O’Halloran,

John Porch, Sammy Arnold, Tom Daly,

Mack Hansen, Jack Carty (CAPT), Kieran

Marmion;

(1-8) Matthew Burke, Dave Heffernan,

Finlay Bealham, Niall Murray, Ultan

Dillane, Eoghan Masterson, Conor

Oliver, Paul Boyle.

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Jordan

Duggan, Jack Aungier, Oisín Dowling,

Jarrad Butler, Caolin Blade, Conor

Fitzgerald, Diarmuid Kilgallen.

Tries: Niall Murray, Mack Hansen (2),

John Porch, Diarmuid Kilgallen

Cons: Jack Carty (4)

Pen: Jack Carty

Ulster: (15-9) Ethan McIlroy, Robert

Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart

McCloskey, Craig Gilroy, Billy Burns,

Nathan Doak;

(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Tom

O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson

(Capt.), Matty Rea, Nick Timoney, David

McCann.

Replacements: Brad Roberts, Andrew

Warwick, Ross Kane, Kieran Treadwell,

Greg Jones, David Shanahan, Mike

Lowry, Ben Moxham.

Tries: Brad Roberts

Pen: Nathan Doak (2)

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 77


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Head Coach

Dan McFarland

Dan was born in Oxfordshire,

England. His playing career

highlights include winning the

French Top 14 with Stade Français

in 2000, before amassing over

100 caps for Connacht.

McFarland made the transition from

player to coach at Connacht, becoming

Assistant Coach in 2010. He went on

to be Assistant Coach for Glasgow

Warriors, who won the PRO12

Championship for the first time during

his first season as second in command,

before moving to BT Murrayfield in 2017.

McFarland joined Ulster in 2018 from

the Scottish national team, where he was

Assistant Coach to Gregor Townsend.

Captain

Iain Henderson

An outstanding schoolboy at

Belfast Royal Academy the multitalented

Henderson is regarded

as world-class in any position in

the back five of the scrum.

Carefully guided through the Ulster

development scheme he was a key

member, as a teenager, of Ireland’s

U19 and U20s and his marauding

runs, tackling and ball-carrying saw

him elevated to the full international

side against South Africa in 2012. He

returned from lengthy injury in 2016 to

galvanise Ulster and to be immediately

reinstalled in the Irish touring squad in

South Africa that summer before going

on to feature in 2017 British & Irish Lions

tour of New Zealand. Henderson played

a vital part of Ireland’s 2019 World Cup

squad in Japan.

scarlets squad

FORWARDS

JOHN ANDREW

HOOKER

SAM CARTER

LOCK

IAIN HENDERSON

LOCK

ROB HERRING

HOOKER

CORMAC IZUCHUKWU

LOCK

GREG JONES

BACK-ROW

ROSS KANE

PROP

MICK KEARNEY

LOCK

ADAM MCBURNEY

HOOKER

KYLE MCCALL

PROP

DAVID MCCANN

BACK-ROW

JACK MCGRATH

PROP

GARETH MILASINOVICH

PROP

MARTY MOORE

PROP

JORDI MURPHY

BACK-ROW

ALAN O’CONNOR

LOCK

DAVID O’CONNOR

LOCK

ERIC O’SULLIVAN

PROP

TOM O’TOOLE

PROP

MATTY REA

NO. 8

MARCUS REA

BACK-ROW

CALLUM REID

PROP

SEAN REIDY

BACK-ROW

BRADLEY ROBERTS

HOOKER

TOM STEWART

HOOKER

NICK TIMONEY

BACK-ROW

KIERAN TREADWELL

LOCK

DUANE VERMEULEN

NO. 8

ANDREW WARWICK

PROP

BACKS

WILL ADDISON

UTILITY BACK

ROBERT BALOUCOUNE

WING

BILLY BURNS

FLY-HALF

JOHN COONEY

SCRUM-HALF

ANGUS CURTIS

CENTRE

NATHAN DOAK

SCRUM-HALF

CRAIG GILROY

WING

JAMES HUME

CENTRE

MICHAEL LOWRY

FULLBACK

ROB LYTTLE

WING

IAN MADIGAN

FLY-HALF

LUKE MARSHALL

CENTRE

STUART MCCLOSKEY

CENTRE

ETHAN MCILROY

WING

STEWART MOORE

CENTRE

BEN MOXHAM

WING

AARON SEXTON

WING

DAVE SHANAHAN

SCRUM-HALF

JACOB STOCKDALE

WING

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 79


Club in Focus

WICKLOW

The world we live in is

increasingly becoming all

about the here and now,

immediate gratification

for what goes right, instant

ingratitude for what doesn’t.

By its very nature, sport is a

results-based business. Yes, even

in the amateur arena. When the

slings and arrows come your way,

it is easy to lose sight of your

target, to forget about the hard

road travelled over many years

and the grand plan ahead.

When Wicklow Rugby Club earned the

right to represent in the Energia Women’s

All-Ireland League, they did it not as a

rising offshoot of the traditional, more

influential men’s clubs.

They did it through the grind of years

put down, the push to bring girls into the

game, to make their club an equal rights

place to play.

“In 2019, the IRFU decided to set up the

10-team All-Ireland League. They did so

by inviting applications which was an

interesting way of doing it,” says Wicklow

club President Brian Clarke.

Wicklow U14’s Leinster Youths Cup champions 2019

partly to facilitate the growth in women

and girl’s rugby.

club. We ticked a lot of boxes. That was

it. We were in.”

“We would have been closer to the top

of Division One in Leinster and would

have been a prime candidate on that

alone.

“We also have the facilities, three

fantastic pitches, including a really good

quality floodlit pitch, a brand new 1,500

square-foot gym, kitted out to IRFU senior

standards, eight changing rooms, built

“We approached the application to the

AIL like a job interview, presented to the

IRFU in the head office in Lansdowne

Road.

“We shared the history of the club and

the recent growth particularly from the

women’s and girls perspectives and told

them about our fantastic set-up for the

youths and our ambition for the entire

Getting into the All-Ireland League is one

thing, competing as a legitimate force is

quite another.

“The luck of the draw meant we had to

play the four top clubs in the opening five

rounds, three of them away from home.

There was a sharp intake of breath when

we saw that,” says Clarke.

82 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Wicklow U16’s Leinster Youths Cup champions 2019

Wicklow Left to Right Ella Roberts, Brian Clarke, Jess Roberts

It has been a sobering experience in

this, Wicklow’s first proper season in the

AIL. They have been humbled by the

powerhouses of the AIL, losing out to Old

Belvedere (63-0), Railway Union (142-0)

and Blackrock College (63-0) in the

opening three rounds of the All-Ireland

League.

This brought with it a hail of criticism

about mismatches and the merits of the

All-Ireland League as the step below

Interprovincial level, the Railway Union

whitewash even drawing national

headlines.

“In some ways, it doesn’t serve any

purpose to go over the Railway Union

match or, indeed, those three matches.

We had to get on with it and get past it,”

he says.

“We were invited into the competition.

The other side of that is we accepted the

challenge. To be beaten like we were

against Railway would have damaged a

lesser group of women.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 83


“They are a hardy, determined bunch.

The girls have done a remarkable job to

take lessons from those games and apply

them to the next challenge.”

In round four, Wicklow weathered that

physical and psychological storm to

come out on top against Malone 12-7 at

Ashtown Lane.

“I think it showed we can compete at this

level. It gave the girls so much belief. The

energy at training is always good. but, it

was so much better when doing it off the

back of a win.

The first girls’ team in Wicklow

RFC was launched over 15 years ago

in 2005. Many years of hard work,

fielding underage teams are now

paying dividends as these players

are finally feeding into the adult

set up.

“The opportunity to play against better

players has made our girls better. Their

physicality and the speed of the game

has increased. You could say we are

learning as we go.”

Since then, a further setback against UL

Bohemian, where the match points were

conceded due to Covid-related issues

and key position unavailability, was

encouragingly followed by a bounce-

84 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Wicklow U18’s Leinster Youths Cup champions 2019

back win over Ballincollig (15-10) at

home earlier this month.

The club is going places. There is a

pathway there as evidenced by the

graduation of Ella Roberts to the Ireland

senior squad and that of Vicky Elmes

Kinlan to the Ireland Sevens squad.

“It does make a difference. We have all

the girls on the U-14s, U-16s and U-18s

looking at Ella and Vicky, showing how

they can do it too. It is fantastic for those

girls.

“Instead of looking to faraway fields to

progress, they can reach their potential

within Wicklow where they have all their

family and friends.”

More than that, Roberts and Elmes-Kinlan

have an eager army of young athletes,

who are making serious strides at the age

grade levels.

“We have one of the biggest girls

sections in the country,” he adds.

“In 2019, we went up to Energia Park to

see our U-14s, U-16s and U-18s all win

their respective Youths Cup finals on the

same day. That confirmed the work that

had been done, leading to a conveyor

belt of girls coming through the club.

“The first girls’ team in Wicklow RFC

was launched over 15 years ago in

2005. Many years of hard work,

fielding underage teams are now paying

dividends as these players are finally

feeding into the adult set up.”

The increase in numbers is impressive,

the total playing members jumping from

335 five years ago to 755 this season.

The biggest hike is at the Kinder or minis

section, from 135 to 269.

This has led to an increase in

representative honours whether through

the collective success of the club or

through that of personal progress.

Beth Roberts, Ciara Brennan, Elmes-

Kinlan, Nicola Schmidt, Emma Curran,

Naoise O’Reilly, Laura Newsome and

Eva Phelan have all moved from that

stellar U-18s squad up to the current

senior squad.

There is buy-in from everyone at the club

as the men of Wicklow continue with their

ambition to eventually join the AIL ranks.

“On the social side of things, for the first

time in a while, there are a lot of the men

and women players in their 20s. There is

a good relationship there,” attests Clarke.

“The men’s team turned up for the

Blackrock and Malone AIL games and

actually cheered Malone and Wicklow

off the pitch at the end of that game.

“That support has been reciprocated

by the women and it has brought great

energy and life to the club.”

A club working towards an even brighter

future because it has a plan that stretches

far beyond the here and now.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 85


86 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Marcus

Hanan

THE ACADEMY

INTERVIEW

BY PAUL CAHILL

Marcus Hanan is very clear

in who he wants to thank

for getting him to where he

is today.

“If it wasn’t for Clane

RFC, I wouldn’t be

playing rugby today”

he states matter-of-factly

but it is obvious to see why

he feels so strongly.

His hometown club in Kildare laid

the foundations for what was to

follow and then he did the rest.

The Leinster Academy prop made his

senior debut away to the Dragons on

February 19th, 2021 in the PRO14, but it

was a bumpy road to get there.

Hanan began with Clane RFC as a

seven-year-old and stayed with his

hometown club until he was 18.

During his late teens, he got a taste of

representative rugby with the North-

Midlands Area team in the Bank of

Ireland Shane Horgan Cup.

“I would go training with them after

school on a Monday and Wednesday.

One year it was moved to Naas, which I

was delighted about because it’s handy

from Clane! But it was great to get that

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 87


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taste for it because it showed you that

there was a road ahead if that’s what

you wanted to go after.

“The Shane Horgan Cup is the pathway

that’s there for the club lads and there is

now the Sarah Robinson Cup for the girls

as well and it’s a brilliant development

competition for the clubs’ system.”

As mentioned, the road ahead had some

bumps not least when his Clane side

disbanded at under 18 level but keen

to kick on, Hanan decided to move to

North Kildare RFC for the move into the

adult game.

But just as he was hoping to start a new

chapter in his rugby career, disaster

struck as he broke his leg in his first

appearance for his new club.

Having not been selected for the Irish

under 18 side the previous year, Hanan

would now miss the opportunity to put

his best foot forward for selection for the

Irish Under 19’s side also.

“That injury meant I didn’t get to play

too much that year at all,” says Hanan

now looking back on a time when it

might have been easier to walk away but

instead, he renewed his determination to

make it work.

“It gave me a chance to get into the gym

and to really work at that. I did that and

while there are never any guarantees,

it definitely helped my physical

development having that time to dedicate

to my S&C programme.”

Once fit, the Irish Under 20’s were now

unbelievably in his sights.

Having missed so much rugby the year

previous, and not being selected for

the Under 18’s a year earlier, it was an

ambitious goal for Hanan but it was one

that he targeted, and ultimately achieved

with a call-up to the Ireland Under 20s

for the 2020 Six Nations.

After performing well in training, Hanan

thought he had every chance of starting

the opening game against Scotland. But,

not for the first time in his career, lady

luck had other plans and disaster struck

once again for the Kildare native who

contracted mumps the week before the

game.

Thankfully, he was deemed fit a week

later to start against Wales at Musgrave

Park in Cork and he could finally say that

he had achieved his goal.

Other than a seven-minute cameo in a

friendly for the Irish Under 18’s Club

side, Hanan was finally about to make

his mark in a green jersey.

Ireland ran out comprehensive winners

with a score line of 36-22. It was no

cameo either as his 70 minutes on the

pitch were enough for Hanan to retain

his place in the starting 15 for the round

three game against England at Franklin’s

Gardens.

Once again, Ireland made a real

statement of intent by winning 39-21 and

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 89


had Italy and France standing in their

way of a Grand-Slam.

After overcoming injuries at the worst

possible times, unfortunately another

setback was just around the corner for

Hanan and his Irish teammates, but it

was one nobody had any control over.

Having finally established himself in an

Irish shirt, the 2020 U20’s Six Nations

was suspended as the Covid-19 situation

took hold and all rugby activity was

suspended.

As the season came to an abrupt halt,

Marcus Hanan found himself in limbo

and with no definite sense of what the

future held either.

“I was told at the end of that season that

I wasn’t getting an Academy contract

yet from Leinster as they needed to see

me play a bit more rugby, which was

fair enough given how much time I had

missed. So I was still in the Sub-Academy

in the gym in the Ken Wall Centre of

Excellence in Energia Park and doing

pitch sessions trying to stay ready.”

His perseverance and dedication paid

off and it didn’t take long for that call to

come.

“I was in the Centre of Excellence in

Donnybrook on the Tuesday. At that time,

I would train in the morning and then go

and work with my dad in the afternoons.

So I was working that day thinking I had

the Wednesday off.

“I got a call from Dave Fagan to say I

was to come down for the Senior squad

meeting. As soon as I walked in Leo just

said to me, ‘you’re training tomorrow in

the RDS. See you there.’

“I remember just thinking, ‘whoa, this is

heavy’!

“It was unbelievable though and the lads

were so sound from the time I joined

them. I remember Cian Healy and Peter

Dooley came up to me straight away, so

they made me feel really welcome.”

Having now sampled the professional

side of the game, Hanan was hoping for

more and just needed an opportunity to

show what he could do.

That chance came on December 12th,

2020 as Hanan was named to start

for Leinster ‘A’ against Connacht ‘A’ in

Energia Park.

“I knew that was a big game for me. I

knew I just had to go out and impress,”

says Hanan.

Leinster ‘A’ ran out 44-14 winners where

Hanan was joined by other now senior

players such as Dan Sheehan, David

Hawkshaw, Jamie Osborne and Jack

Dunne to name a few.

90 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


“I was happy how I played that day. I

had been training with the senior squad

for a while by then, so I was feeling

good about myself in that environment

and about my rugby.”

Not long after that Connacht game,

former Leinster Academy manager, Noel

McNamara rang Hanan to let him know

that they had now seen enough.

The man from Clane was being given a

full Academy contract. Another huge step

forward.

Having weathered the storm and the setbacks,

Hanan was now on a roll of good

news and less than a month later, he was

given another huge lift.

“I remember Leo came up and said

that I was going to be on the bench

for the Dragons game that weekend.

It was brilliant, but we were still very

much in our bubble, so I didn’t get to

see too many people from home before

the game or at the game. But it was a

Leinster debut and it was unbelievable.

“Thinking back to the setbacks and the

disappointments, it was just such a great

day.”

It was unbelievable though and

the lads were so sound from the

time I joined them. I remember Cian

Healy and Peter Dooley came up to

me straight away, so they made me

feel really welcome.

At Rodney Parade in south Wales, on

February 19th 2021, Marcus Hanan

became Leinster cap number 1295.

Roughly six months earlier, Hanan was

still without a full Academy contract,

unsure of what the future held.

Now, he had his Academy contract,

had just won a Leinster senior cap

and was playing alongside seasoned

internationals.

“If I hadn’t had that rocky road

beforehand, I’d probably be struggling

now. It’s still tough not being able to

train, but the other lads doing rehab

bring you along.

“Nobody gets left out. It’s a good

environment. I hope to be back in

January, so I’m over half-way. I’m hoping

to hit the ground running as soon as I

get back.”

“It was great for everyone in Clane and

everyone associated with the club.

“They were all so supportive and I

received so many messages after that

game. It was brilliant to see what it meant

to them all and they deserve to enjoy it

as much as me.

“I wish I had come onto a less sloppy

pitch is the only thing! There wasn’t much

grass left but I’m well used to that though

from playing at home, so it reminded me

of home and it didn’t bother me,” Hanan

says with a smile.

Two more senior appearances against

Zebre and Ospreys made it a debut

season to remember for Marcus Hanan.

A knee injury at the start of this season

has been another slight setback, but it’s

nothing he can’t handle.

There is no doubting that Marcus Hanan

will be raring to go once he is available

for selection once again. He has college

assignments and continual assessment

to keep him busy as well so he won’t be

idle.

Whatever heights he goes on to achieve

on the rugby pitches though, he will

always remember to thank his first club

for his start in the game.

“If it wasn’t for Clane RFC, I wouldn’t be

playing rugby today.

“If that first day at under 7s when I went

down, if that first day hadn’t been as

good as it was, I’d be in a completely

different place now.”

Marcus Hanan and Clane RFC. Where it

all began. From the ground up.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 91


Leinster Rugby Academy

Year Three 2021/22:

Leinster Rugby Academy

Year two 2021/22:

Second Row

Brian Deeny

DOB: 02/03/2000

HEIGHT: 1.99m WEIGHT: 121kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (8 caps)

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

wing

Niall Comerford

DOB: 06/04/2000

HEIGHT: 1.83m WEIGHT: 86kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20

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

Cormac Foley #1299

DOB: 24/10/1999

HEIGHT: 1.81m WEIGHT: 88kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (9 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (1 cap)

Marcus Hanan #1295

DOB: 03/10/2000

HEIGHT:1.8m WEIGHT:110.91kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (2 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (3 caps)

Scrum Half

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

prop

Did You Know? Marcus is from Clane in Kildare and is the

youngest of three. His dad went to the High School and then

played rugby in Old Wesley before coaching back at Clane

RFC. Marcus has Italian connections on his mother’s side with her

father, Luigi Rea, being from Italy. Marcus is studying Business

Management in Griffith College. Instagram: @marcus_hanan

Back Row

Martin Moloney #1300

DOB: 19/10/1999

HEIGHT: 1.88m WEIGHT: 99kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (5 caps) &

Leinster Rugby (1 cap)

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

Second Row

Joe McCarthy

DOB: 26/03/2001

HEIGHT: 1.95m WEIGHT: 119kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps)

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

Second Row

Charlie Ryan

DOB: 03/02/1999

HEIGHT: 2.01m WEIGHT: 115kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (15 caps)

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

hooker

John McKee

DOB: 15/02/2000

HEIGHT: 1.82m WEIGHT: 105kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (12 caps)

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_

Centre

Liam Turner #1287

DOB: 14/07/1999

HEIGHT: 1.73m WEIGHT: 91kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (10 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (6 caps)

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

Centre / Full Back

Jamie Osborne #1294

DOB: 16/11/2001

HEIGHT:1.93m WEIGHT:96.82kg

HONOURS: Leinster Rugby (9 caps)

Did you know? Jamie is studying commerce in UCD. His

grandad, Paddy Osborne, was a horse trainer in Naas,

while his dad played rugby all throughout his life and

his mum played hockey. Other than rugby, Jamie loves

all sports especially soccer, GAA and NFL. Jamie is

currently in a house with fellow Leinster Academy players

Brian Deeny, Martin Moloney and Max O’Reilly.

Instagram: @jamieosborne01

92 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Seán O’Brien #1297

Lee Barron

DOB: 31/07/2000

HEIGHT: 1.90m WEIGHT: 103kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (2 caps)

DOB: 15/02/2001

HEIGHT: 1.91m WEIGHT: 108kg

Back Row

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

Hooker

Did You Know: Lee played golf growing up in the

Castle Golf Club and in the end was playing off a

handicap of eight. He has family roots in Carlow but

went to school in Dublin and attended St Michael’s College.

As well as rugby with his school, he also played

GAA and even lined out in Croke Park.

Max O’Reilly #1291

Chris Cosgrave

Full Back

DOB: 26/02/2000

HEIGHT: 1.85m WEIGHT: 86kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps) &

Leinster Rugby (7 caps)

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

full back

DOB: 24/07/2001

HEIGHT:1.83m WEIGHT:85kg

Did You Know: Chris is a member of UCD RFC, where

he is also an Ad Astra scholar studying Agricultural

Science. His athleticism is best highlighted by his feats

in the field of Athletics with All-Ireland honours to his

name in both the 4x100m relay and the Discus. Before

the UCD and St Michael’s College days, he played at

a young age with Old Belvedere RFC.

Andrew Smith #1292

Mark Hernan

DOB: 21/07/2000

HEIGHT: 1.83m WEIGHT: 91kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps) &

Leinster Rugby (2 caps)

DOB: 04/07/2000

HEIGHT: 1.88m WEIGHT: 99kg

Back Three

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

Flanker

Did You Know: Mark was coached by Ross Molony,

Josh Murphy, Ross Byrne and Nick McCarthy when in

St. Michael’s College. His grandfather Fergus O’Brien

was Lord Mayor of Dublin and his father, Ray, played

for Connacht seniors and Ireland u25s.

Alex Soroka #1296

Temi Lasisi

Back Row

DOB: 19/02/2001

HEIGHT: 1.95m WEIGHT: 104.5kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (7 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (2 caps)

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

prop

DOB: 09/05/2001

HEIGHT: 1.78m WEIGHT: 115.8kg

Did You Know: The TUD Mechanical Engineering

student originally picked up the oval ball in Enniscorthy

before later moving to Lansdowne FC. Temi rose

through the ranks in the Youths system, his first outing

with the province came at U-18 level against Northampton.

He also describes himself as a ‘competent

pianist’.

Leinster Rugby Academy

Year one 2021/22:

Scrum half

Ben Murphy

DOB: 23/04/2001

HEIGHT: 1.75m WEIGHT: 80kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (1 cap)

Did You Know: Ben played all different sports growing

up including football, GAA and golf and won an 800m

gold in the U-14 East Leinsters. He is studying economics

in UCD. Ben’s father Richie played for Leinster

Rugby and has coached at all levels of the game and is

the current Ireland U-20s head coach.

Jack Boyle

DOB: 10/03/2002

HEIGHT: 1.85m WEIGHT: 106kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (4 caps)

Rob Russell #1302

DOB: 13/01/1999

HEIGHT: 1.83m WEIGHT: 90kg

Leinster Rugby (2 caps)

Prop

Did You Know: Jack’s father, Herbie, and uncles, Colon

and Eric, all represented Old Wesley rugby club for

years. His cousin Stephen Boyle also represented the

Leinster Rugby youths. Jack is currently studying for a

Commerce Degree in UCD.

Full Back / Wing

Did You Know: Rob is currently in his final year of

Business and Management in DIT. He started playing

rugby at the age of five with Wanderers RFC. He also

played football up to minor level with Kilmacud Crokes

and it took priority over rugby until he left school.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 93


fixtures and

results 2021/22

Date

25/09

03/10

09/10

16/10

22/10

KO/

Result

W

31-3

W

7-6

W

43-7

Opposiotion Venue 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 1 2

URC VODACOM

BULLS

URC DRAGONS

Aviva

Stadium

Rodney

Parade

URC ZEBRE RDS Arena J O’BRIEN

KEENAN O’LOUGHLIN RINGROSE FRAWLEY LOWE

SEXTON

3C 1P

MCGRATH

PORTER

1T

SHEEHAN

KEENAN RUSSELL RINGROSE C O’BRIEN O’LOUGHLIN R BYRNE GIBSON-PARK PORTER SHEEHAN

A BYRNE

2T

OSBORNE

FRAWLEY

W

50-15 URC SCARLETS RDS Arena KEENAN LARMOUR RINGROSE FRAWLEY

1C

W

15-31

URC GLASGOW

Scotstoun

Stadium

KEENAN

1T

A BYRNE

1T

LARMOUR

1T

LOWE

RINGROSE FRAWLEY LOWE

H BYRNE

SEXTON

1C 1P

R BYRNE

4C 1P

MCGRATH

GIBSON-PARK

MCGRATH

E BYRNE

1T

PORTER

1T

HEALY

CRONIN

1T

KELLEHER

1T

KELLEHER

1T

27/11 20:00 URC ULSTER RDS Arena

03/12 19:45 URC CONNACHT RDS Arena

11 Dec 15:15 HCC BATH

17 Dec 20:00 HCC MONTPELLIER

26/12 19:35 URC MUNSTER

01/01 19:35 URC ULSTER

Aviva

Stadium

GGL (Altrad)

Stadium

Thomond

Park

Kingspan

Stadium

07/01 19:35 URC SIGMA LIONS RDS Arena

16 Jan 13:00 HCC MONTPELLIER RDS Arena

22 Jan 13:00 HCC BATH

28/29/30

Jan

18/19/20

Feb

04/05/06

Mar

25/26/27

Mar

01/02/03

Apr

22/23/24

Apr

29/30/01

Apr

20/21/22

May

TBC

URC CARDIFF

RUGBY

Recreation

Ground

Cardiff Arms

Park

TBC URC OSPREYS RDS Arena

TBC

URC BENETTON

tadio

Monigo

TBC URC CONNACHT Sportsground

TBC URC MUNSTER RDS Arena

TBC

TBC

URC CELL C

SHARKS

URC DHL

STORMERS

Jonsson

Kings Park

Green Point

Stagium

TBC URC EDINBURGH RDS Arena

94 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


3 4 5 6 7 8 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

ALAALATOA MOLONY J RYAN RUDDOCK

VAN FLIER DER

1T

ALAALATOA MOLONY RYAN RUDDOCK VAN FLIER DER

ALAALATOA BAIRD TONER LEAVY

FURLONG MOLONY RYAN

DORIS

2T

PENNY

1T

VAN FLIER DER

DORIS

DEEGAN

1T

RUDDOCK

CONAN

FURLONG MOLONY BAIRD DORIS LEAVY CONAN

TRACY

1T

E BYRNE HEALY BAIRD DEEGAN GIBSON-PARK

R BYRNE

1T 1C

TRACY E BYRNE HEALY BAIRD LEAVY N MCCARTHY C FRAWLEY

KELLEHER

1T

SHEEHAN

2T

SHEEHAN

1T

DOOLEY HEALY MOLONY DEEGAN N MCCARTHY

HEALY

1T

ALAALATOA BAIRD RUDDOCK MCGRATH

SEXTON

4C

R BYRNE

3C

OSBORNE

S PENNY

[UNUSED]

RUSSELL

T O’BRIEN

E BYRNE ALAALATOA TONER RUDDOCK GIBSON-PARK OSBORNE VAN FLIER DER

An Garda Síochána supports the 16 Days of Activism

against Gender-Based Violence Campaign

We are supporting the United Nations #16DaysofActivism against

Gender-Based Violence campaign.

25th November 2021 (International Day of No Violence against Women) to

10th December 2021 (International Human Rights Day)

An Garda Síochána are here to listen, support and protect.

If you do not feel safe or are concerned about a friend/relative,

please contact your local Garda Station (details on www.garda.ie).

Alternatively, contact your local domestic abuse support agency (details can be

found at https://www.safeireland.ie/get-help/where-to-find-help/)

If you require urgent assistance or support, please call 999 or 112.

Keeping People Safe

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 95


matchday

Squads

Jimmy O’Brien

Adam Byrne

Robbie Henshaw

Ciarán Frawley

Jordan Larmour

Ross Byrne

Luke McGrath [C]

15

14

13

12

11

10

9

FULL BACK

RIGHT WING

OUTSIDE CENTRE

INSIDE CENTRE

LEFT WING

FLY HALF

SCRUM HALF

Mike Lowry

Craig Gilroy

James Hume

Stuart McCloskey

Ethan McIlroy

Billy Burns

John Cooney

officials

REFEREE:

FRANK MURPHY

(IRFU, 53RD COMPETITION GAME)

ASSISTANT REFEREES:

EOGHAN CROSS (IRFU)

ROBERT O’SULLIVAN (IRFU)

TMO:

LEO COLGAN (IRFU)

Ed Byrne

James Tracy

Tadhg Furlong

Ross Molony

Devin Toner

Dan Leavy

Scott Penny

Rhys Ruddock

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

LOOSE HEAD PROP

HOOKER

TIGHT HEAD PROP

SECOND ROW

SECOND ROW

BLINDSIDE FLANKER

OPENSIDE FLANKER

NUMBER 8

Andrew Warwick

Rob Herring

Marty Moore

Alan O’Connor [C]

Sam Carter

Greg Jones

Nick Timoney

David McCann

Seán Cronin

Peter Dooley

Vakh Abdaladze

Max Deegan

Will Connors

Nick McCarthy

Harry Byrne

Tommy O’Brien

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

Tom Stewart

Eric O’Sullivan

Ross Kane

Mick Kearney

Marcus Rea

Nathan Doak

Angus Curtis

Rob Lyttle


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Parting Shot

6 November 2021

CONGRATULATIONS ON

100 IRELAND CAPS

Jonathan Sexton of Ireland with

a Katana that was presented to

him by the Japanese captain after

the Autumn Nations Series match

between Ireland and Japan at

Aviva Stadium.

98 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 99

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