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Leinster vs Bath

Leinster | Official Matchday Programme of Leinster Rugby | Issue 06 Leinster vs Bath | EPCR Heineken Champions Cup Friday 3rd December, 2021 | KO 3:15 | Aviva Stadium

Leinster | Official Matchday Programme of Leinster Rugby | Issue 06
Leinster vs Bath | EPCR Heineken Champions Cup
Friday 3rd December, 2021 | KO 3:15 | Aviva Stadium

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ISSUE 6 | LEINSTER RUGBY OFFICIAL MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

LEINSTER

VS

bath

SAT 11 th DEC

AVIVA STADIUM

KO 3.15PM

FRONT PAGE


POWERED BY NATURE

CRAFTED FOR YOU

TISSOTWATCHES.COM

TISSOT, INNOVATORS BY TRADITION


Newstead Building A,

UCD,

Belfield,

Dublin 4

#LEIVBAT

The Line up

Telephone:

012693224

Fax:

012693142

E-mail:

information@leinsterrugby.ie

www.leinsterrugby.ie

10

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

60

92

STAY

CONNECTED

& KEEP

UP-TO-DATE

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 3


EPCR WELCOME

MESSAGE

A warm welcome to this

match in the 2021/22 Heineken

Champions Cup season as we

look forward once again to

elite clubs and top players

producing the brilliance and

drama which have for long

been the trademarks of our

truly world-class tournament.

Following the new EPCR

agreement which was concluded

last April, we are now entering

an exciting era for Heineken

Champions Cup rugby and with

stadiums across Europe opening

up to fans once again, we will

see a return to the traditional

passion and colour which have

characterised the competition

since its inception in 1995.

The 24-club format with two pools of 12

has been retained, and following two

rounds of matches this month, and two in

January, the eight highest-ranked clubs

in each pool will qualify for the knockout

stage.

An innovative Round of 16 with home

and away legs, and then traditional

quarter-finals and semi-finals, will

guarantee a further series of compelling

fixtures culminating in the 2022 final at

the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille on

Saturday, 28 May. In addition, three

clubs from each pool will qualify for the

Round of 16 of the EPCR Challenge Cup.

A special mention must go to Stade

Toulousain who made history last season

when they lifted the trophy in such fine

style for a record fifth time, and to the

supremely-talented Antoine Dupont who

became the first French player to be

awarded the Anthony Foley Memorial

Trophy as EPCR European Player of the

Year.

We are delighted to be joined on the

journey to the Marseille finals by our

long-standing title partner, Heineken, and

we also extend the hand of welcome to

our newest official partner, DHL, who will

provide customised logistics solutions for

both the Heineken Champions Cup and

the EPCR Challenge Cup. We would also

like to thank Tissot, the Financial Times,

Gilbert and Kappa for their continuing

support.

We recognise the superb coverage

provided by our TV partners BT Sport,

beIN SPORTS, France Télévisions,

Channel 4 and Virgin Media whose

output is complemented by the wide

range of linear and OTT platforms which

broadcast the Heineken Champions Cup

globally.

The elite clubs in this season’s tournament

have a total of 38 European titles

between them so we are certain of topquality

entertainment from the kick-off to

the final whistle.

On behalf of everyone at EPCR, enjoy

the match and best wishes to you, the

fans, as well as to your club’s players

and staff for what promises to be another

memorable Heineken Champions Cup

season.

Yours in rugby,

Dominic McKay

EPCR Chairman (interim)


Every great match

starts with 0.0


Welcome to Round 1 of the

Heineken® Champions Cup

2021/2022.

The start of a new season of

Heineken® Champions Cup rugby

always brings great excitement

and anticipation for what awaits

between now and the end of

May. All teams start out with

hopes and dreams of making

the final in Marseilles and what

promises to be a fantastic festival

of rugby. We at HEINEKEN Ireland

are immensely proud to be title

sponsor of Europe’s leading club

rugby competition, a tournament

that conjures up so many truly

memorable sporting occasions,

forever etched in the folklore of

Irish sport and I have no doubt,

more memories will be made in

this new season.

What makes this season even more

special is that it truly marks the return of

the big match day occasion that we have

all missed so much over the past couple

of seasons. It was testament to the

great work of EPCR and the players and

officials of all the participating teams,

that the past two Heineken® Champions

Cup seasons were completed, albeit in

a truncated manner. However, what

was abundantly clear is that matchday

is nothing without fans in stadia. It really

is fantastic that all fans will again get to

enjoy rugby around Europe this season;

be it live in stadia or in their local bar

over a refreshing Heineken® with friends.

The pandemic has impacted us all in

so many ways, but sport has been a

real beacon of hope, a source of great

enjoyment and comfort to so many. Long

may it continue to be.

I wish all teams participating in this

season’s competition good luck and

success. It goes without saying that

we in HEINEKEN Ireland will keep a

particularly close eye on the results of

Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster.

I wish them all well in Round 1 & 2 as

they take on quality English and French

opposition.

Enjoy the games and as always please

do socialise responsibly.

Maarten Schuurman

Managing Director, HEINEKEN Ireland.


PRESIDENT, LEINSTER RUGBY 2020/22

john walsh welcome

At this time of the rugby playing

season the thoughts of rugby fans

across Europe turn to the stars but

not skywards.

It’s the desire that your cherished club

will have their jersey emblazoned by

a golden star signifying that they have

won a Heineken Champions Cup in the

2021/22 season.

The competition which commenced in

1995/96 (won by Toulouse) has brought

excitement and drama to European club

rugby and attracted sports fans from

all over the rugby world (128 affiliated

countries to World Rugby) to follow

the tournament and the fortunes of the

international players and their clubs as

the competition progresses.

Leinster are the proud winners of four

titles, just one behind Toulouse who went

ahead of them by winning last season’s

final. To date just 12 of Europe’s leading

clubs have won the European Cup. Three

from Ireland with seven wins, three from

France with nine wins and six clubs from

England with 10 wins between them.

After seven rounds of the United Rugby

Championship, Leinster top the league

table narrowly with 29 points closely

pursued by Edinburgh on 28 points and

followed by Ulster in third position on 25

points.

In the process of achieving this position

Leinster have won six of their seven

fixtures in the league and have scored

219 points (the highest number in the

16-team league) and conceded 85 points

(the lowest of all the sides who have

played their seven league fixtures).

So we head into our European campaign

in solid form with the ambition and desire

to add a fifth star to our club shirt that

has currently four stars on it signifying

our hard earned victories in 2008/09

(beating Leicester), 2010/11 (beating

Northampton), 2011/12 (beating Ulster)

and in 2017/18 (beating Racing).

We are however mindful that these stars

are not easily captured having lost the

2018/19 final to Saracens, losing out

again to Saracens in the quarter-final in

2019/20 and exiting at the semi-final last

season to La Rochelle.

The 24 elite European clubs taking part

in this season’s tournament all have the

ambition and desire to make the final in

Stade de Velodrome in Marseille next

May.

This season Leinster’s Pool stage

opposition consists of Bath (Heineken

Cup winners in 1997/98, beating Brive

and European Challenge Cup winners

in 2007/08 beating Worcester) and

Montpellier (winners of the European

Challenge Cup in 2021 beating Leicester

18-17 and in 2016 beating Harlequins,

and also winners of the European Shield

in 2004, beating Viadana).

Bath’s season to date has been one of

ill-fortune and their Gallagher Premiership

campaign sees them rooted to the

dreaded number 13 position at the

bottom of the league with no wins to

date.

The pendulum of good fortune that all

teams need for success has gone in the

wrong direction for what undoubtedly

has been one of England’s most

successful clubs.

However their European campaign last

season was good and they reached the

semi-final of the European Challenge

Cup losing narrowly to the eventual

winners Montpellier. They know that this

competition offers them a great chance to

focus on something else and rejuvenate

their season.

In the professional era, Leinster have

played Bath on 11 occasions for nine

victories and two defeats and while

these stats may impress I can assure you

that they were all very hard and closely

fought wins.

The Rec is one of the most historic playing

fields in the history of the game and has

been home to Bath since 1894. It can be

a hot cauldron for visiting teams and the

atmosphere of the fans creates a unique

theatre for rugby. Just like the mighty

River Avon that flows beside the grounds,

visiting sides can become embroiled in

turbulent times at The Rec.

Next weekend it’s a trip to France for

Leo Cullen’s men but that can wait for

next week. For now all eyes are on Stuart

Hooper’s Bath and the challenge they

pose.

Regrettably the dark clouds of the

Covid-19 pandemic are still with us and

some of the positive role that fans play

for both sides in European fixtures may

well be reduced due to travel regulations.

However, on behalf of all involved in

Leinster Rugby I extend a warm welcome

to all the fans who join us for our

European fixtures at home and abroad

and I wish a safe trip to any Leinster

supporters heading to France next

weekend.

Enjoy the games and stay safe.

JOHN WALSH

President Leinster Rugby 2020/22

8 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


10 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Leo Cullen

head Coach Welcome

A very warm welcome to you all, and in particular to

Stuart Hooper and his Bath team for the much-anticipated

start of this year’s Heineken Champions Cup. Both clubs

have a rich history in the competition, and we have gone

head-to-head on no less than 11 previous occasions. I’m

sure today will be another keenly contested affair.

It’s hard to believe this is our last

home game of 2021. What a year

it has been!

It’s really great to be signing off with our

largest attendance of the year and we

are all so grateful to you for turning out

and giving us your backing. We hope

today is another positive step on the way

to Leinster playing in front of a full Aviva

Stadium.

We also hope you get to spend some

quality time with loved ones over the

Christmas period as we look forward to

brighter days ahead.

For the team, the festivities will be short

as we are on the road for three straight

weeks: Montpellier away next week,

followed by Munster on St Stephen’s Day

and then Ulster on New Year’s Day. It all

adds up to a big and exciting challenge

for the group.

Our sympathies are very much with all

the players and staff who were caught

up in South Africa over the last couple of

weeks. It was really bad luck and could

have happened to any of us, so we wish

those who were unlucky enough to fall ill

a speedy recovery.

I am also thinking of Ifan Phillips, the

Ospreys hooker, who was involved in

a very serious road traffic accident last

week. Ifan, his family, friends and all of

his colleagues at the Ospreys are in our

thoughts at a very difficult time for them

all.

To all the team’s sponsors, we would

normally enjoy a Christmas get-together

of some description, but with recent

guidelines this has not been possible.

As a group, we are very appreciative

of all that you do for the team, and we

hope those of you who have made it

here today have an excellent day out. A

special shout out to Best Menswear for

kitting us out in our smart new suits! And

also to Beauchamps who have recently

renewed their sponsorship.

We have some special guests

with us today. I hope you all

give Fergus McFadden a warm

welcome back as I believe he

will be introduced before the

game to the crowd at Aviva

Stadium. Ferg was a great

competitor for Leinster over many years

and unfortunately had to finish in an

empty stadium so we are delighted that

he can join us today along with his wife

Rebecca and other members of his family.

We also have the team of 2001 here to

celebrate Leinster’s Celtic League win

which (hard to believe I know) was 20

years ago!

Leinster were very early in the journey

of professional rugby at the time but it

was an important first step in delivering

silverware. The team also had to dig-in to

pull out an against-the-odds performance

after going down to 14 men early in the

game.

December gives us the opportunity to

work with the Peter McVerry Trust as our

latest charity partner and we would like

to thank Life Style Sports and adidas for

donating cold weather kit at a time when

it is most needed.

Finally, to our wonderful supporters,

it was really special to have had you

back at the RDS Arena for the two

interprovincial derbies. Everyone

involved was hugely disappointed with

our performance against Ulster where

we felt we let you down, but last week’s

effort against Connacht was much more

like it from us. We hope we can build on

that over the coming weeks, and we’re

counting on your support as always.

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy

Christmas and here’s to 2022!

Enjoy the game,

Leo.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 11


Joann

Hosey

PROVINCIAL DIRECTOR

BANK OF IRELAND DUBLIN

Welcome to the

Aviva Stadium

for Leinster

Rugby’s first

Heineken

Champions Cup

tie of the season

against Bath.

This match comes hot on the heels

of two recent Interpro matches

against Ulster and Connacht,

which provided some stern

challenges for Leo Cullen and his

squad. No doubt they are looking

forward to facing the different

kind of challenge Bath will pose

today.

Before going any further I must

mention Munster Rugby as they battle

to overcome their own recent Covid

challenges. We hope that the players

and staff who remained behind in South

Africa all the best upon returning home –

and that they enjoy a speedy recovery.

Leinster Rugby has a long history of

playing Bath both in the pool and the

knockout stages of European rugby.

There is huge respect between both clubs

and we are all looking forward to what

I’m sure will be two keenly contested

clashes, both this weekend in Dublin and

again in January 2022 when Leinster

visit the Rec.

Bank of Ireland was delighted to host

a presentation night at the RDS for the

Leinster Rugby Women’s team on Friday,

3 December. Special congratulations

should go to all the players presented

with their Leinster debut caps - and

indeed to all the players given their

representative jerseys on the night. It

was a special occasion to celebrate

their journey to that point and we were

delighted to host this event.

Elsewhere in this match day programme,

Mick Dawson, Leinster Rugby CEO, is

being celebrated for over 20 years at

the helm.

Bank of Ireland would like to extend

its thanks and good wishes to Mick,

someone we have enjoyed an excellent

relationship with over many years. We

congratulate him on reaching this major

milestone and wish him many more years

of success leading the organisation.

A massive amount has been achieved

under his watch over the past two

decades, and I’m sure that he’ll only add

further to his legacy in the years to come

from his UCD base.

Finally, it was wonderful to see the Bank

of Ireland half-time minis return over the

last two weekends, and we look forward

to witnessing more mini action today at

the Aviva Stadium.

Leinster rugby clubs are the foundation

stones of the ‘From The Ground Up’

model, and it is great to be able to

support this wonderful initiative once

again.

JH

Enjoy the game,

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 13


14 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


andrew

porter

the big interview

BY RYAN CORRY

It was hard not to feel

sympathetic towards

how Andrew Porter’s

2020/21 campaign

finished.

From the highest of

highs with his British

and Irish Lions callup

to a crushing low

when he obtained a foot

injury in the Guinness

PRO14 Rainbow Cup

clash with Glasgow

that would rule him

out of the summer

tour to South Africa.

It was professional

sport at its cruellest.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 15


So, while the tour went ahead

despite various difficulties and

obstacles that it endured in

getting played, Porter turned

back to the drawing board

and set to work under the

watchful eye of Leinster Rugby

rehabilitation physiotherapist,

Fearghal Kerin.

“Ah yeah, it was a proud moment for

me getting named in the squad, for my

family, for my girlfriend and myself, it was

incredible just being named in the squad.

Then you had the disappointment, the

bad timing of the injury with my foot. It

was a summer of ups and downs.

“I think I watched maybe the last half of

the last game and that was it. I switched

off from rugby a small bit so that I could

focus on myself over the summer,” Porter

says of the Lions tour.

“I just wanted to get the best out

of my training and my rehab. I

distanced myself from rugby a

bit over the time off and I think

that kind of refreshed my mind

and helped me to get over that

disappointment.

16 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


“The amount of work put in, in particular

from the physios, I was working with

Fearghal, he was great with me in terms

of getting my body right over the summer

and getting my training into me. It helped

me prepare really well for the season.”

And prepare well he has, Porter has

started the new campaign in the same

vein that led to his initial call to join

Warren Gatland and Co but with the

blue and green jerseys on his mind.

The former St Andrew’s College man has

played four games for Leinster with two

tries under his belt, on top of his three

starts for Ireland in the November series

which also featured his name on the

score sheet against Argentina.

Could it be that the anti-climactic end

to the previous season is driving on the

prop now?

In a word: Maybe.

He confesses that the driving factor is

and always has been the desire to do

his best for his teammates, his family and

the supporters every time he pulls on that

jersey but maybe, just maybe, it’s in the

back of his mind.

There’s so much different

opposition in terms of the

European Cup and there’ll be big

challenges ahead but it’s been

very enjoyable for the most

part of it.

“Even if it wasn’t at the forefront of my

mind, I’d say subconsciously I was like

‘Ok, I didn’t get what I wanted out of the

summer so I’m just going to make the best

of what I have got’”, he admits.

“I did a lot of training in my time over the

summer, especially while I was injured to

give myself the best possible chance for

pre-season.”

Part of ‘making the best of it’ has seen

the once loosehead turned tighthead,

return back across the scrum to where he

initially made a name for himself coming

from school into the Ireland U-20 side

and then, finally, with Leinster.

It was a move that many in Irish rugby

circles had been angling for in the media,

an end to the timeshare of the tighthead

slot between himself and Tadhg Furlong,

a way to get both of them into the same

pack.

That wish has been granted and so far,

it’s returned on its promise with both club

and country enjoying good runs of form.

In reverse, we’ve seen Cian Healy this

season turn in performances on the side

of the scrum he has been less familiar

with throughout his career, something

Porter jokes took him years to come

around to.

“It’s been great. It’s where I’ve started out

in terms of school and Irish U-20s, and

where I started out with Leinster as well.

It’s been a lot smoother than I thought it

would be but there’s still a lot of learning

there for me.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 17


“There’s so much different opposition in

terms of the European Cup and there’ll be

big challenges ahead but it’s been very

enjoyable for the most part of it.

“He (Healy) made the switch look a lot

easier than I made it look. It took me a

few years to get the hang of it, it took him

maybe two games,” he laughs.

“It just shows what an incredible player

he is and continues to be for Leinster and

for Ireland as well. It’s a testament to the

amount of work he puts in off the pitch as

well as on it.

“He’s a bit of a freak athlete, one of those

you come across. An incredible player and

an incredible bloke.”

The Leinster Rugby scrum sessions are

not a place for the faint-hearted. On top

of the experience of Porter and Healy,

you have Samoan international Michael

Ala’alatoa now in the mix, as well as Vakh

Abdaladze, Ed Byrne, Michael Milne, Peter

Dooley, Thomas Clarkson, four international

hookers, thanks to Dan Sheehan’s recent

capping, and the newly-crowned best

tighthead in the world, Furlong.

The latter being named in this week’s World

Rugby Men’s Dream Team of the Year in

that number three slot, according to Porter,

is not a surprise to anyone.

“There’s no doubt about that. He’s worked

hard to have that title really so it just shows

how much he puts in and how he performs

on a weekly basis.”

But, he still fancies himself against anyone

when it comes to the training pitch.

“Ah, we’ll call it 50-50 most of the time.

He’s got a lot of experience and he’s a very

smart player in terms of the scrum so we’ll

say 50-50 for the most part,” Porter says of

the battles with Furlong.

“He has me on some days and it’s one of

the best ways to learn. Like I said, with the

players we have, you’re learning from some

of the best players in the world and it’s a

privilege to be a part of.”

That kind of experience will be needed

today as Leinster Rugby open their

Heineken Champions Cup campaign

against Gallagher Premiership side, Bath.

This season hasn’t gone to plan for Stuart

Hooper’s squad so far as they sit rooted to

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 19


the bottom of the table without a win in

their nine games to date.

However, the calibre of player at their

disposal as well as the raucous and

intimidating nature of their home ground,

The Rec, means that there is no certainty

that their league form will impede their

European ambitions this year.

“They might not have had the best start

in the Premiership but we won’t be taking

them for granted. They could be using the

Champions Cup as a clean slate and be

looking to put in a huge performance.

“So, we’re expecting a big game this

weekend and when we go away to them

in January. We certainly won’t be taking

them lightly, we’ll be bringing our best

performance to the Aviva.”

However, Porter and Leinster will have

ambitions of their own in the Heineken

Champions Cup this year following

a disappointing semi-final loss to La

Rochelle in France earlier in 2021.

When your goal coming into a

competition is to bring home silverware,

each year that passes without doing that

is viewed as a failure.

The goal once more this year is to reach

that decider in Marseille, but that journey

starts today in Ballsbridge at Aviva

Stadium.

“There’s a lot of lads in Leinster that have

had the chance of getting their hands

on a European Cup winners medal

and the trophy. It’s an incredible

feeling, it’s so hard to describe

the pride and the amazing

feeling of being able

to call yourselves the

Champions of Europe.

“That’s what we want,

we want that feeling

again, and we want that for everyone

in Leinster supporting us too. That starts

by going out there and giving our best

performances to get that silverware.

20 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


“It’s about making our fans excited,

especially after not having them for so

long. We want to give them special days,

days to remember, and that comes by

putting out performances that we can be

proud of, playing for them. It’s about that,

especially at home and we have another

job to do this week in the Aviva.”

Being in the Aviva also means that crowd

will be larger than your typical home

match week, and with Christmas just

around the corner, the festive mood has

already started to creep in around the

country, and particularly among rugby

fans who can look forward to the start of

the European campaigns as well as the

action-packed interprovincial calendar.

With clashes against Ulster and

Connacht at the RDS already played in

the past two weeks, this represents the

last opportunity for supporters to come

out and support the lads at home in

2021, something Porter remembers doing

from his own childhood.

That’s what

we want, we

want that

feeling again,

and we want

that for

everyone

in Leinster

supporting

us too. That

starts

by going

out there

and giving

our best

performances

to get that

silverware.

“I remember when I was younger having

so much fun at the Christmas games in

particular. I think Santa dropped in at

half-time at one of the games, I can’t

remember which one, but I remember I

loved it.

“And even playing in our second home

at the Aviva, it’s a class venue to be in to

kick off the European campaign.

“Being out there in front of your home

fans and hearing the noise they create,

it’s something that we’ve really missed

over the last two years with everything

that’s been going on. The difference in

terms of the atmosphere, it’s like playing

in front of a crowd for the first time again.

It’s really special. It’s hard to describe but

it’s bloody incredible.”

As well as his playing career, there’s a

lot going on off the field, studying for

his final year of an Economics degree

and working alongside the Irish Cancer

Society as an ambassador.

One of his recent collaborations with the

charity saw him design a facemask which

is a regular feature in the stands at the

RDS Arena and Aviva Stadium where

face coverings are still required at games.

“I’m not involved in anything personally

with them at the moment but the Irish

Cancer Society always have great

campaigns.

“This year they have this great Christmas

ornament so it’s a good campaign in the

run-up to Christmas and it’s also a lovely

gift for a great cause as well.”

Two weeks of European rugby starts

today at Aviva Stadium before a trip to

Thomond Park on St Stephen’s Day.

In between, there’ll be a quiet Christmas

spent with some family and his girlfriend,

Elaine, a time of year he always enjoys

both at home and at work.

“In normal circumstances, it’s great being

able to see a lot of people, family and

everything, then have the day off for

Christmas Day,” he says.

“It’s a nice time of the year. It’s also a

good time to be playing rugby.”

Once that’s out of the way, we’ll be into

a new year and the hunt for silverware

heats up once again.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 21


Action

replay 47 19

LEINSTER:

Hugo Keenan; Jordan Larmour, Garry

Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw (Tommy

O’Brien 54), James Lowe; Harry Byrne

(Ross Byrne 61), Luke McGrath (Nick

McCarthy 61); Cian Healy (Andrew

Porter 41), Dan Sheehan (Rónan

Kelleher 49), Michael Ala’alatoa (Vakh

Abdaladze 65); Ryan Baird, Devin Toner

(Josh Murphy 58); Rhys Ruddock, Josh

van der Flier, Caelan Doris

(Max Deegan 56).

SCORERS:

Tries: Rhys Ruddock, Garry Ringrose, Dan

Sheehan, Jordan Larmour, Caelan Doris,

Ryan Baird, Max Deegan.

Cons: Harry Byrne (5), Ross Byrne.

SATURDAY, 3 DECEMBER

RDS ARENA

ATTENDANCE: 14,127

UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP

CONNACHT:

Oran McNulty; Alex Wootton, Sammy

Arnold (Tom Farrell 54), Peter Robb,

Mack Hansen; Jack Carty (Conor

Fitzgerald 70), Kieran Marmion (Caolin

Blade 58); Matthew Burke (Jordan

Duggan 58), Heffernan (Shane Delahunt

49), Finlay Bealham (Jack Auniger

45); Leva Fifita, Ultan Dillane (Cian

Prendergast 49); Eoghan Masterson,

Conor Oliver (Sean Masterson 68),

Jarrad Butler.

SCORERS:

Tries: Mack Hansen, Sammy Arnold,

Conor Oliver.

Cons: Jack Carty (2).

22 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


We looked a bit

scrappy, lacking

some cohesion

at the start.

Connacht a good

attacking team.

We got better

control as the

first half went

on. The tries

either side of

half-time were

important for

us.

Leo Cullen

Connacht are

a brilliant

side but we

weren’t happy

with last

week so this

week was

about getting

the basics

right and

putting in a

performance.

Josh van der Flier

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 23


Leinster Senior

Women’s Squad

Honoured at Bank

of Ireland Event

Prior to kick-off in the Leinster v

Connacht game on December 3 the

Leinster Senior Women’s squad

were presented with jerseys at an

event in the RDS Library.

MC for the evening, Sene Naoupu

welcomed the players and their family

members. Thirty-four players from eight

clubs formed the squad captained by

Christy Haney which defeated Connacht

in The Sportsgrounds, Ulster in the RDS

and lost to Munster in Energia Park in a

thrilling series decider.

Also on the night, five players from four

clubs were presented with their first cap

by Leinster Branch president John Walsh.

Emily McKeown (Naas RFC) Mary Healy

(Naas RFC), Emma Murphy (Railway

Union RFC), Ella Roberts (Wicklow RFC),

Alice O’Dowd (Old Belvedere RFC).

Leinster Branch President, John Walsh,

congratulated those receiving jerseys and

their first caps.

In speaking about girls and women’s

rugby in the province, John said,

“We currently have 70 Girls teams

competing in 15 Leinster competitions

and further supported by additional Area

competitions.

“There are significant benefits and

opportunities for our clubs to develop this

sector of the sport. We currently have 32

Leinster Clubs fielding women’s teams

that compete in nine Leinster women’s

competitions.”

John acknowledged the hard work

and dedication of the coaching and

management team.

Phil De Barra (Head Coach)

Tom McKeown (Forwards Coach)

Stephen Maher (Backs Coach)

Maz Reilly (Lineout Coach)

Charl Malherb (Defence Coach)

Ben Watson (Skills and Kicking Coach)

Aaron O’Connor (Strength and

Conditioning Coach)

Martin Quinn (Video Analyst)

Lorna Quinn (Manager)

Shane Martens (Assistant Manager)

Paula Murphy, Head of Strategic

Sponsorship and Corporate and

Social Responsibility at Bank of Ireland

presented jerseys to the squad.

Aine Donnelly

Old Belvedere RFC

Ali Coleman

Blackrock RFC

Alice O'Dowd *

Old Belvedere RFC

Chloe Blackmore

Railway Union RFC

Christy Haney

Blackrock RFC

Clodagh Dunne

Old Belvedere RFC

Caoimhe Molloy

Blackrock RFC

Elaine Anthony

Old Belvedere RFC

Elise O'Byrne-White

Old Belvedere RFC

Ella Roberts *

Wicklow RFC

Emily Mckeown *

Naas RFC

Emma Murphy *

Railway Union RFC

Grace Miller

Old Belvedere RFC

Jennie Finlay

Old Belvedere RFC

Jenny Murphy

Old Belvedere RFC

Lauren Farrell McCabe

Suttonians RFC

Lisa Callan

Railway Union RFC

Mairead Holohan

Blackrock RFC

Meabh O'Brien

Suttonians RFC

Michelle Claffey

Blackrock RFC

24 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Molly Scuffil McCabe

Railway Union RFC

Niamh Byrne

Railway Union RFC

Nikki Caughey

Railway Union RFC

Rachel Horan

CYM RFC

Vic O Mahony

Old Belvedere RFC

Mary Healy*

Naas RFC

Judy Bobbett

Blackrock RFC

Ailbhe Dowling

Old Belvedere RFC

Ciara Faulkner

MU Barnhall RFC

Grace Tutty

CYM RFC

Holly Leach

MU Barnhall RFC

Katelynn Doran

MU Barnhall RFC

*Denotes first cap

Old Belvedere RFC’s Jenny Murphy was

presented with the Leinster Women’s

Committee Player of the Series award by

Women’s Chairperson, Eugene Noble.

Speaking about the event Eugene said,

“The Leinster Cap and Jersey Presentation

event held in the beautiful surroundings

of the RDS Library on December 3 was a

great celebration of all that is good with

rugby in Leinster - celebrating the players

and the journey that they have taken to

play interprovincial rugby for Leinster.

“It is also an important milestone on the

journey that lies ahead of them. Each of

the players bring honour to themselves,

their families and their clubs but perhaps

more importantly they are the role models

for those young players that look to play

as they play, they see them and they want

to be them, so that some will fill those

Leinster Rugby jerseys in years to come.”

Thanks to Bank of Ireland for their

continued support of women’s rugby.

A full gallery of photos from the event can

be found now on leinsterrugby.ie

CONNACHT 12 LEINSTER 17

The Sportsgrounds

Saturday, 28 August, 2021

LEINSTER 57 ULSTER 12

Energia Park

Saturday, 4 September, 2021

LEINSTER 7 MUNSTER 19

Energia Park

Saturday, 11 September, 2021

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


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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?

NEVER AD

A KEY

AD A HEN

HENS

how did you do?

IN A BLUR?

ANDREW PORTER

ANAGRAMS

DAVE KEARNEY

DAN SHEEHAN

ZOOMED IN!

JAMES RYAN

zoomed in!

WHo is this leinster

player having an

extreme close-up?

28 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


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AZTO

with

Jordan Larmour

A – Action: If you could be a

superhero, which would you be?

Flash - because he’s fast!

B – Boyhood: Who was your favourite

sporting idol growing up?

Brian O’Driscoll

C – Childhood: What is your favourite

childhood memory?

Family holidays

D – Dish: What’s your go-to pre-match

meal?

Overnight oats

E – Education: What was your

favourite subject in school?

Business

F – Film buff: What’s your favourite

film?

The Big Short

G – Groove: Who is the best dancer in

the squad?

Ed Byrne

H – Holiday: What’s your favourite

holiday destination?

Portugal

I – Inside: Who is the worst to sit

beside in the dressing room?

Ciarán Frawley

J – Joker: Who is the funniest in the

squad?

Dan Leavy

K – Kick-off: What’s your favourite

time of the day to play a match?

Three o’clock

L – Languages: How many languages

can you speak?

One

M – Music: Your favourite artist and

song right now?

Dermot Kennedy - Better Days

N – Number: Do you have a lucky

number?

No lucky number!

30 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


O – Others: What’s your favourite

sport outside of rugby?

Golf

P – Pal: Who is your best mate in

the squad?

Everyone

Q – Quirky: Who has the most

interesting fashion sense?

Jack Dunne

R – Red Carpet: Who is the most

famous contact in your phone?

Johnny Sexton

S – Superstitions: Do you have any

matchday routines?

Nope

T – Trim: What’s the worst haircut

you’ve ever had?

Dying my hair blonde and it

turning orange!

U: Under pressure: Who in the

squad would be the best in a bad

situation?

Garry Ringrose

V – Verified: How often do you use

social media?

Every day

W – Worst fear: What are

you most scared of?

Rats

X – X-ray: Have you ever

broken any bones?

No - touch wood!

Y – Youth: Where did you

grow up?

Dublin

Z – Zoo: What’s your

favourite animal?

Dogs

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 31


Did you

know?

Leinster and Bath have

met 11 times previously

in the Heineken Champions

Cup, the Irish province

winning nine of those

encounters (L2).

• At home Leinster have

won five of their six

Heineken Champions Cup

games against Bath, the

Premiership side’s sole

victory coming in

October 2005, a narrow

22-19 win at the RDS.

Bath’s next defeat in the

Heineken Champions Cup

will be their 50th, the

4th Premiership club to

notch up as many defeats

in the competition

(Leicester, Northampton,

Harlequins).

COMPARISON

head-to-head record:

Played 11, Leinster won 9, bath won 2, no draws.

LEINSTER RUGBY LAST 3 MEETINGS BATH RUGBY

42 15/12/2018 LEINSTER RUGBY VS BATH RUGBY 15

17 08/12/2018 BATH RUGBY VS LEINSTER RUGBY 10

25 16/01/2016 LEINSTER RUGBY VS BATH RUGBY 11

PLAYED

179

(93 home, 86 away)

PLAYED

105

(52 home, 53 away)

• Josh van der Flier was

the top tackler in the

Heineken Champions Cup

last season, making 65

tackles across his four

appearances, with only

three players winning

more turnovers than the

Leinsterman (4).

• Johnny Sexton (Leinster

Rugby) needs one more

point to become the

fourth player to score

700 points in the

history of the Heineken

Champions Cup (Ronan

O’Gara, Stephen Jones,

Owen Farrell).

WINS

122

(75 home, 47 away)

LOSSES

52

(17 home, 35 away)

DRAWS

5

(1 home, 4 away)

AVERAGE POINTS

26

BIGGEST WIN

92 - 17

HEAVIEST DEFEAT

10 - 51

WINS

54

(32 home, 22 away)

LOSSES

49

(19 home, 30 away)

DRAWS

2

(1 home, 1 away)

AVERAGE POINTS

22

BIGGEST WIN

56 - 15

HEAVIEST DEFEAT

0 - 28

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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Girls rugby numbers thriving at

St Mary’s

College RFC

St Mary’s

College, over

the past

number of

years, have

focused on the

redevelopment

and growth

of the female

rugby-playing

community in

the club. This

is a key focus

for the club

as they aim to

ensure female

involvement

at all levels

throughout

the club.

In the past eight months St Mary’s

started a recruitment process

for the Give it a Try Programme,

noticing a huge uptake for girls

rugby in the area.

Over the summer months of the

programme, they were able to teach

the fundamental skills of rugby, all while

watching numbers grow session by

session.

Within a few months, the club have been

able to field teams at U-8, U-10 and

U-12.

The girls marked their first match of the

season at home to Seapoint RFC in

October.

This was the first match ever for almost

all of the girls and all in attendance

were very impressed by the skills and

capabilities shown by both teams.

In early November, they travelled to

Greystones RFC for another great game

where the girls continued to develop and

grow a deep love for the sport.

The club have found a key part of the

recruitment process is to consistently add

elements of ‘fun’ to the training while still

gaining key skills.

As well as fun on the training pitch, it’s

important that they are having fun off

the pitch too. So far this year, they have

already had a team day out to Energia

Park to watch the women’s interprovincial

matches, as well as supporting the Irish

women in the RDS in their fantastic

Autumn Series performances.

The support and encouragement that

the girls have received so far has been

incredible and has only motivated the

team and coaches even further.

St Mary’s have been incredibly lucky

with amazing volunteers coming from explayers

at senior and youths levels as well

as locals and parents – all turning out on

a weekly basis to help guide this growing

bunch of players.

The goal as a club is to continue to build

each team from here - welcoming female

players from seven years of age right

through to 18 and over as they hope to

build a senior women’s team in 2022.

As it stands, in 2021 alone, they have

increased the female playing population

by over 200 per cent and have no

plans to stop there as they welcome new

players on a weekly basis.

They see the growth being reflective

of the positive campaign around the

participation of girls and women in sport

generally as well as the trojan work

being done on the ground by the players,

parents, coaches and media volunteers.

More information about training is

available by emailing girlsrugby@

smcrfc.com or contacting the club

through any of the social media pages.

42 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


THE GREATEST WEEKEND IN RUGBY

27-28 MAY, STADE VÉLODROME


Mother and daughter duo make

history for Tallaght Women

Tallaght Rugby Club was set up

in 2002 as part of the ‘Tallaght

Project’, an IRFU initiative

designed to introduce rugby in

non-traditional areas. The teams

at the time were a mixture of boy

and girl youth teams and a male

senior team.

Not to be left out of the action, Tallaght

women’s rugby team started out as a

development social team in 2011. A team

of women culminating of friends, family,

even wives and girlfriends of senior men

players, the level of competitiveness and

passion saw the team grow from a social

league to Division 5 of the Leinster Metro

League.

Long time player and Women’s

Development Officer/Captain Martina

Fitzpatrick has been part of the women’s

setup for the last 10 years. Player, coach,

mammy and head of women’s recruitment

for the team, it was no surprise to see her

love and passion for the game rub off on

her eldest daughter Abbie Keeley.

A keen out-half, Abbie grew from

the Tallaght RFC youth division and

flourished to play U-18 with the Bistos

(a team combined with Tallaght RFC,

Old Belvedere and St Mary’s College

RFC). Martina and Abbie both adore the

sport for it is a fantastic way to keep fit,

make friends, gain new skills and for its

inclusivity.

Something which is very important to

Abbie: “I have been playing rugby for

the last 10 years so it is a big part of

my life. I’ve always felt at home with my

rugby team, always felt welcome on the

pitch. Everyone has always been so kind

so welcoming and supportive of me, it’s

just really uplifting. Rugby really helped

me with my confidence, with my diversity,

and my identity as well, there really is no

sport like it for me”

On October 10, 2021, in the first league

game of the season, club history was

made. For the first time ever, Tallaght

RFC proudly welcomed their first parent

and child pairing on field in mother and

daughter duo, Martina and Abbie.

In an incredibly emotional and inspiring

performance Tallaght RFC Women

secured their first win of the season at

home and the icing on the cake? Abbie

playing full-back, scored her first try as a

senior women’s player for the club on the

pitch with her mam watching on.

Skipper Martina is a firm believer that

rugby is for everyone and welcomes

anyone thinking of taking up the sport to

go for it as soon as they feel the interest.

“As a woman and mother of two girls,

taking part in sport has always been

important to me. I firmly believe that no

matter what body type or experience that

you have, there is a place for you on the

pitch. I had watched rugby for years but

never thought of taking it up but a chance

meeting led to me starting rugby in my

mid-30s and I have loved every minute

of it since. My only regret is not starting

sooner. I’m so glad that I did and to say

that I’ve played rugby with my daughter

by my side is just incredible”

Tallaght RFC Women are so grateful to

their wonderful sponsors in PeachyLean

and Inivo Medical. Their support on and

off the field is massively important to the

ladies as looking and feeling part of a

team means everything to them.

Tallaght Senior Women always welcome

players to their team. If you are new and

eager to take up the sport, or simply

looking to pull your boots back on, look

no further come and join the team today

by contacting Martina on 086 842

5657. Check them out on social media

and follow their journey.

F

I

T

Facebook:

Tallaght RFC

Instagram:

Tallaght_Rugby

Twitter:

@TallaghtRFC

44 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Cheslin Kolbe last season, Juan Imhoff in 2019/20

and Maxime Médard in 2018/19. Consider the

star quality of the last three overall winners of

the Champions Try of the Round and you know

that the competition to find the best try of this

Heineken Champions Cup season will feature

some of the biggest names in the world game.

Kolbe’s was awarded the accolade in 2020/21

for a breathtaking score against Ulster Rugby in

Round 1. Taking a pass from Thomas Ramos, the

former Stade Toulousain wing beat two Ulster

defenders, kicked over another and collected

after two bounces to slide over the whitewash in

remarkable fashion.

Fans were given the opportunity to vote for

the best tries selected from Rounds 1 and 2,

the Round of 16, the quarter-finals, as well as

Juan Cruz Mallia’s score during the final at

Twickenham, before Kolbe emerged as the

overall winner.

Last season, the Champions Try of the Round

competition was largely dominated by players

from TOP 14 clubs. What will happen this

season? Which outstanding players will make

the difference? Which tries will get the fans’ vote

along with the verdict of a panel of renowned

rugby experts.

Each Monday following match weekends, a

shortlist of five tries will be selected by EPCR

and opened to public vote with fans having the

chance to win some great prizes.

This will be the perfect opportunity to watch the

best Heineken Champions Cup tries over and

over again and to vote for The One to Win.

CHAMPIONS TRY OF THE ROUND

WINNERS 2020/21

Round 1/Champions Try of the Season:

Cheslin Kolbe

Stade Toulousain v Ulster Rugby

Round 2: Alivereti Raka

ASM Clermont Auvergne v Munster Rugby

Round of 16: Antoine Dupont

Stade Toulousain v Munster Rugby

Quarter-Final: Grégory Alldritt

Stade Rochelais v Sale Sharks

EPCRUGBY.COM/TOTR


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+2 - - 0+2 - - - - - 0+14 1 5 0+14 1 5 - - - 13 -

MICHAEL ALA'ALATOA 1301 25 SEP 21 4+2 - - 4+2 - - - - - 4+2 - - 4+2 - - - - - - WS 7

RYAN BAIRD 1278 27 APR 19 3+3 1 5 3+3 1 5 - - - 15+18 7 35 14+14 7 35 1+4 - - 1 IR 6

ADAM BYRNE 1213 29 DEC 12 3 3 15 3 3 15 - - - 52+8 23 115 42+8 17 85 10 6 30 2 IR 1

ED BYRNE 1222 9 FEB 14 2+3 1 5 2+3 1 5 - - - 21+54 11 55 21+43 10 50 0+11 1 5 3 IR 6

HARRY BYRNE 1280 28 SEP 19 2+1 - 10 2+1 - 10 - - - 16+11 6 164 16+10 6 159 0+1 - 5 6 IR 2

ROSS BYRNE 1236 4 SEP 15 3+3 1 33 3+3 1 33 - - - 73+37 7 683 61+21 3 504 12+16 4 179 6 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 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - 17+7 2 10 16+7 2 10 1 - - 11 IR 9

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

SEAN CRONIN 1202 28 OCT 11 1+1 1 5 1+1 1 5 - - - 121+76 43 215 77+55 26 130 43+19 16 80 2 IR 72

MAX DEEGAN 1256 3 DEC 16 1+4 2 10 1+4 2 10 - - - 36+34 20 100 33+26 18 90 3+8 2 10 1 IR 1

PETER DOOLEY 1230 31 OCT 14 0+2 - - 0+2 - - - - - 40+55 5 25 38+49 5 25 2+6 - - 10 -

CAELAN DORIS 1268 28 APR 18 4 2 10 4 2 10 - - - 36+8 7 35 30+6 5 25 6+2 2 10 1 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 5+1 - 2 5+1 - 2 - - - 22+19 4 145 21+15 3 134 1+4 1 11 11 -

TADHG FURLONG 1220 1 NOV 13 3 - - 3 - - - - - 76+41 8 40 45+33 3 15 31+8 5 25 6 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 2+4 1 5 2+4 1 5 - - - 158+79 28 140 92+52 14 70 64+26 13 65 3 IR 112

ROBBIE HENSHAW 1251 8 OCT 16 2 1 5 2 1 5 - - - 58+1 12 60 27 6 30 31+1 6 30 2 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 5 1 5 5 1 5 - - - 32+3 5 25 27+3 5 25 5 - - 2 IR 16

RONAN KELLEHER 1277 22 FEB 19 2+2 3 15 2+2 3 15 - - - 22+7 12 60 16+5 11 55 6+2 1 5 2 IR 16

JORDAN LARMOUR 1258 2 SEP 17 4 2 10 4 2 10 - - - 56+10 21 105 35+7 16 80 21+3 5 25 1 IR 30

DAN LEAVY 1231 31 OCT 14 3+1 - - 3+1 - - - - - 46+30 17 85 38+20 13 65 8+10 4 20 5 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 4 - - 4 - - - - - 56 34 170 38 25 125 18 9 45 7 IR 9

NICK MCCARTHY 1241 19 DEC 15 0+4 - - 0+4 - - - - - 6+34 4 20 6+28 4 20 0+6 - - 9 -

LUKE MCGRATH 1206 5 MAY 12 5+1 - - 5+1 - - - - - 107+50 39 195 74+44 31 155 33+6 8 40 8 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 5+1 - - 5+1 - - - - - 69+53 4 20 67+38 4 20 2+15 - - 8 -

JOSH MURPHY 1261 3 NOV 17 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - 42+8 5 25 41+7 4 20 1+1 1 5 10 -

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 2 - - 2 - - - - - 28+9 7 37 26+9 6 32 2 1 5 3 -

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

TOMMY O'BRIEN 1283 20 DEC 19 0+3 - - 0+3 - - - - - 4+8 3 15 4+8 3 15 - - - 8 -

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 2 1 5 2 1 5 - - - 25+6 17 85 25+6 17 85 - - - 2 -

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

GARRY RINGROSE 1237 12 SEP 15 5 1 5 5 1 5 - - - 89+2 28 148 57+1 17 93 32+1 11 55 1 IR 37

RHYS RUDDOCK 1167 6 DEC 09 5+2 1 5 5+2 1 5 - - - 148+47 12 60 111+33 10 50 36+12 2 10 1 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 3+2 4 20 3+2 4 20 - - - 6+12 10 50 6+12 10 50 - - - 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 3+1 - - 3+1 - - - - - 209+61 4 20 143+43 4 20 63+18 - - 53 IR 70

JAMES TRACY 1211 4 NOV 12 1+2 1 5 1+2 1 5 - - - 58+74 15 75 51+46 14 70 7+28 1 5 3 IR 6

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

JOSH VAN DER FLIER 1228 11 OCT 14 4+1 1 5 4+1 1 5 - - - 79+24 12 60 49+18 8 40 30+6 4 20 5 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 62.50% 5 - - 5 - - - - - 58 6 57 5 1 1 82 78.05%

ROSS BYRNE 100.00% 11 2 - 11 2 - - - - 207 77 1 165 52 1 42 25 - 367 77.38%

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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Offices in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Mullingar

Tel: +353 (0)1 266 6000

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Web: aon.com/Ireland

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ig picture

3 December 2021

Leinster Rugby President John Walsh, far right, and Paula Murphy, Head of

Strategic Sponsorship and Corporate & Social Responsibility at Bank of Ireland,

second from right, with Leinster players and coaching staff after the players were

presented with their jerseys during the Leinster Rugby Womens Cap and Jersey

Presentation at the RDS Library in Dublin.

50 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 51


ENERGIA AIL

A 30 YEAR RUGBY LEGACY

Watch now at

energia.ie/energia-ail-30


Progressive Suttonians

keen to kick on

This season, Suttonians RFC

Women’s squad has taken on a

new coaching team with Stephen

Costelloe coming in as the new

head coach and being joined by

Christy O’Shea and Rob Ingham.

The team has been developing a new

way of playing and the season to date

has been progressive. The squad have

adapted well and are embracing the

opportunity to play an expansive brand

of rugby and putting their core skills to

the test.

Five Suttonians player were involved in

interprovincial action and a further four

have joined via the dual-status route

including one who went onto to represent

Ireland in the international sevens squad.

The aim is to get more women involved

in the provinces and hopefully progress

to the next step of full representative

honours with Ireland.

The club has done exceptional work in

building a new gym which is state of the

art along with getting their S&C coach to

design specific programs for each of the

women, this facility has been a fantastic

addition.

The club organize food for the squads

on a Thursday night after training and

this has reinforced the bond between the

squads. All these things have provided

Suttonians with a great platform on which

to build from and gives the club a great

opportunity to develop and create top

class women’s players for the Energia AIL

league, Leinster Women’s rugby and the

provinces.

Coach Stephen Costelloe said: “The

squad is a very talented group who are

keen to learn and work hard. Whilst

the results have been mixed so far this

season, they are not far away from

everything clicking. The aim was to be as

competitive as possible up to Christmas

and then really attack the second half of

the season.

“I expect great things from this team and

am encouraged by their commitment

and work rate. We have worked hard on

recruitment this season. Suttonians are

always open to new players joining us,

whether they are experienced or not, the

group is a welcoming group who want to

get the best out of each other.

“We have built great connections with

Naas RFC and Tullamore RFC, which

has resulted in getting some fantastic

dual-status players. It is important to

acknowledge these clubs who have got

the players to the level they are currently

at, and we look forward to facilitating

other players in Dublin for college or

work reasons. They will always find a

warm welcome into the Suttonians rugby

family.”

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 53


offical leinster

supporters club

Round 1 of the 2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup is finally

upon and follows what has been a bumper last few weeks and

months of action both provincially and internationally.

Saturday rugby is always a fun

occasion and you can be sure

that the first round of any new

competition is no exception as

we welcome Bath Rugby to the

Aviva Stadium for this afternoon’s

fixture (KO 3.15pm).

Last season as we know saw us fall at

the second last hurdle, defeated 32-23

in the semi-final by La Rochelle after

finishing top of Pool A initially after our

two fixtures, whilst our visitors for today

finished outside the initial top eight of

the same pool after losing both of their

fixtures.

Previous form though should never be

taken for granted as you simply never

know who is going to turn up on the day

and given how up and down everything

has been of late, nothing is a given when

it comes to sport and especially rugby.

A greasy surface, an awkward bounce of

a ball, a missed clearance and suddenly

a comfortable foothold you had on a

game could come back to haunt you and

leave your supporters with sweaty palms

and nervous glances at the clock! Sure

what else would you rather be doing I

hear you ask!!

We hope there will be another raucous

crowd in the Aviva who will be looking

Leinster

Bath

9 wins Head-to-Head 2 wins

179 (93 home, 86 away) Played 105 (52 home, 53 away)

122 (75 home, 47 away) Wins 54 (32 home, 22 away)

52 (17 home, 35 away) Losses 49 (19 home, 30 away)

5 (1 home, 4 away) Draws 2 (1 home, 1 away)

26 Average Points 22

92-17 Biggest Win 56-15

10-51 Heaviest defeat 0-28

forward to seeing these two go head-tohead

once again for what is sure to be a

highly entertaining fixture of rugby.

We’re all well aware there is another

fixture next weekend also and whilst it is

away in France, we must not and cannot

let the focus shift to what is next week

before the final whistle has blown on this

fixture. We know too many times, teams

can easily shift their focus but we have

also seen what this can do to a team and

so we can rest assured that Leo, Stuart

and the rest of the Leinster contingent will

be working to ensure the focus is 100 per

cent on Bath this afternoon and the task

in hand there. Then and only then can we

look to next week.

A reminder also to all fans to please

continue to ensure you follow all

directions of Aviva staff and let’s keep

each other safe. For now though, here’s

to a fantastic afternoon of rugby and

don’t forget that when the boys do take to

the field this afternoon, that you welcome

them back with that familiar Leinster roar.

After all, it’s the Heineken Champions

Cup and it starts now, our Drive for Five!

For those of you who will be travelling

over to France next weekend, do keep an

eye out for our next ‘Supporters Guide

To…’ which we’ll hopefully get issued

during the week for you to take with you

in a handy PDF format on your mobile

device.

Be loud, Be proud, Be blue!

Your OLSC Committee

54 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


OFFICIAL

LEINSTER

SUPPORTERS

CLUB

Suort Suort Suort Suort Suort us by

visiting r r r r r

ONLINE

STORE

Kp Kp Kp Kp Kp up date

OLSC

NEWS

Ctact Ctact Ctact Ctact Ctact us

olsc@leinsterrugby.ie

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#seaofblue P D E Q


GETTING

We check social media

for the latest views

and thoughts across

SOCIAL

the 12 counties

56 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Virtual Mascot

Tristan

Moynagh

Age: 6

School: St Mary’s and St Gerard’s National

School, Enniskerry

Class: Senior Infants

Hobbies: Loves Lego!

Favourite Player: Johnny Sexton!

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 59


WHERE ARE

THEY NOW?

DES DILLON

THEN: Des

Dillon earned

56 caps over

four seasons

from 2002/03

to 2005/06.

NOW: He is

married to

Stephanie

with three

children James

(7), Henry

(5) and Holly

(3), living in

Monkstown,

working as a

Director of ‘Le

Cheile’, a Life

and Pensions

company.

60 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


When I

look back on

it, I could

have easily

gone away,

played with

another club

and returned

home a few

years later.

I just always

wanted to

play for

Leinster. It

was my club.

In March of 2003, Des Dillon had

to feel good about himself when

looking around the dressing room

at Donnybrook, now known as

Energia Park.

The 22-year-old had just been part of

an Ireland ‘A’ side that had thwarted

England with a 50-metre penalty from

Mark McHugh deep into injury time.

So many of the exhausted, smiling faces

in the room would go on to represent

their country at the highest level,

stalwarts like Simon Easterby, Donncha

O’Callaghan and Tyrone Howe. In fact,

just two of the 15, Barry Everitt and Dillon

would end their playing days without a

full senior cap.

Out-half Everitt chose a different path in a

fine career that involved Munster, Leinster,

London Irish and Northampton Saints.

Three years later, Dillon, the very

promising No 8, was out of favour and

out of the game due to a combination of

injury and post-playing considerations.

“When I got selected to play in my first

Ireland ‘A’ international, I could see the

road ahead to an Ireland cap. It became

more of a reality to me,” he says.

“I did my knee in that match which,

subsequently, prevented me from playing

in the next two matches.”

It is a familiar theme to Dillon’s career,

injury intervening when the next step

looked within reach in a professional

career that was relatively short and not

always sweet.

Coming out of Clongowes Wood

College, coached by the late, great Vinny

Murray, the 6’ 6” back-five forward held

a huge reputation as a natural leader

from lifting the 1998 Leinster Senior

Schools Cup as the captain.

The story of the schoolboy hero has been

told many times over. Usually, it goes one

of two ways.

The practical reality is that Des was still a

teenager when he came into contact with

mature, grizzled veterans of the game

that had seen it all.

“I didn’t see myself as someone with a

big reputation,” he says.

“At the time, professional rugby was just

taking off. I was looking at Victor Costello

and Eric Miller ahead of me in the back

row. Really, they were the ones with the

big reputations.

“When I came out of school, I was

involved in the first Leinster Academy.

There were five or six that came out every

year. I was one of those.

“Around then, you are talking about the

likes of Brian O’Driscoll, Andy Dunne,

Shane Moore, Shane Horgan and Dave

Blaney.”

Sitting above them, his Clongowes

classmate Gordon D’Arcy went straight

into the senior squad.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 61


It took three years from leaving school for

Dillon to make his Leinster breakthrough,

after a loan arrangement to Connacht

in 2001.

“I had a great year at Connacht. I played

No 8 for the entire season. Steph Nel

was the coach; Eric Elwood the captain,”

he recalls.

“It was my first experience of training fulltime,

being in the gym full-time, playing

full-time. The seasons were shorter back

then. From there, I returned to play for

UCD for the rest of the season.

“In fact, I played for UCD for three or

four great years, moving from Division 3

up to Division 1 in the All-Ireland League.

It was a good starting point for me, in

terms of training and getting used to

senior rugby.”

Connacht followed up with a tempting

contract offer which, ultimately, he turned

down when Leinster coach Matt Williams

made his pitch.

“I was coming into a set-up where Trevor

Brennan had just left. It seemed like the

right move at the time. Looking back on

it, it probably wasn’t because I ended up

sitting on the bench behind Victor and

Eric for the next couple of seasons.

“It is well-documented how we had a

new coach every year. Matt Williams

left. Gary Ella came in. I played well

that season, starting at No 8 the whole

season.”

When Declan Kidney was the Ireland

U-19 coach in 1999, Des was his

captain. A strong connection had been

made before Kidney became Leinster

coach in 2004.

It was the basis for a four-year contract

that spoke to Kidney’s opinion on Dillon

and the importance of the versatile

forward to Leinster’s future.

“A four-year deal was very rare back

then. In hindsight, that was part of my

downfall,” he shares.

62 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


“By year two, Michael Cheika had come

in and I wasn’t getting selected. I wasn’t

part of his plans. It was pretty frustrating

to know you had two years left on your

contract and you weren’t playing.”

Costello kept signing one-year contracts

which kept Dillon attached to the idea

that ‘next year could be my year’. He had

his sights set on moving Costello out of

the jersey. It just never happened.

All along, there were offers coming in

from Harlequins and London Irish in

England and Perpignan in France. But,

there was enough reason to believe his

chance was just around the corner.

In his last season, Cheika came

in, installed a rigorous pre-season

programme to have the Leinster players in

great shape. However, in the first match

of 2005/06, a back injury effectively

accounted for six months out of the game.

In the meantime, along came Jamie

Heaslip. And that was it. Mr Indestructible

went on to win almost every honour

in the game, while Dillon was out of

professional rugby by the end of the

season.

“When I look back on it, I could have

easily gone away, played with another

club and returned home a few years later.

I just always wanted to play for Leinster. It

was my club.”

He could never let go of the dream of

becoming a centrepiece of Leinster’s

future and fell between two stools as a

multi-position player, a jack of all trades.

“The frustration was in not starting for

Cheika. You can’t make a case if you’re

not playing. When I was on the bench,

I was covering a number of positions

and, maybe, caught in between being a

second row and back row.”

In December 2005, he chose to move to

Ospreys because Ryan Jones had been

hampered by injury, playing well enough

to be offered a multi-year contract by the

Welsh club. He decided not to take it.

“My back was always at me. I was never

able to train fully, to take on the workload

I needed to be at my peak physically,”

he says.

At one point, he sat down with Leinster’s

doctors Arthur Tanner and Jim McShane

to be told how it was not a good idea to

play on. The scans suggested arthritis in

the lower spine which could have been

remedied by a spinal fusion.

The support of his parents, Leo, a County

Carlow club man, and Mary, at his

games and for their advice eased the

burden of decision-making.

“I didn’t want to go ahead with the

operation because of the long-term life

implications,” he admits.

Thankfully, he had embraced education,

starting with a BA in Sports Management

at UCD, following up with an Information

Technology course, a stockbroking

course, and a property management

course at Dublin Business School. He

is a Qualified Financial Advisor and

Specialist in Alternative Investments now.

“I was frustrated. I wasn’t getting

selected. I was offered a job at Davy

Stockbrokers. And I took it,” he adds.

“Looking back, I am glad I made that

choice. I have been working away for

more than 15 years since I retired.”

He took a lot from what he had learned

in rugby and used it as the basis for

moving into a new area.

“Rugby definitely helped in my transition.

You bring a team mentality, a lot of

confidence and discipline.

“I am in the Life and Pensions industry as

a Director of ‘Le Cheile’ Group Financial

Services. It is going really well. I am out

and about meeting people, working on

business development, bringing clients to

matches, using sport as an ice-breaker to

discuss business.

“I made lifelong friends in my time

playing, in particular guys like Niall

Treston, Brian O’Riordan, Gavin Hickie,

Dave Blaney and Darce (Gordon

D’Arcy). We still meet up regularly at

different events, like those organised by

the Rugby Players of Ireland Past Players

Union.

The benefit of time has enabled Dillon to

recount his experience at Leinster as a

positive part of his life.

“I look back at it with great fondness.

Sure, there was frustration. But, I took a

lot from all the teams I played for and I

still use those tools today.”

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 63


Referees

Corner

BY DAN WALLACE

Welcome to the first Heineken Champions

Cup Referees Corner of the season.

A warm welcome to the man

in the middle, Pierre Brousset.

Pierre was the man in the middle

when we took on Northampton

Saints last season.

The Top 14 referee was promoted to the

World Rugby panel for the rugby sevens

season in 2017 and was chosen by the

World Rugby match officials selection

panel to represent France during the

2016/17 season of the seven-a-side

world circuit.

In 2019, he was promoted to the

French National Panel. After Romain

Poite, Jérôme Garcès, Pascal Gaüzère,

Mathieu Raynal and Alexandre Ruiz, the

FFR now has six referees at the highest

level with Brousset. Best of luck to him

today.

ANNUAL AWARDS

Every year during our annual

dinner we hand out our annual

awards. Sadly, this event has not

taken place in recent times.

There are five main awards, one for

lifetime achievement – the Ham Lambert

Award (2018/19 Pierce Fitzpatrick),

one for referee of the year – the

Harold Ardill Award (2018/19 Robbie

O’Flynn), one for Referee Performance

of the Year – the Alain Rolland

Award which was introduced in 2015

(2018/19 Colm Roche ) - one for club

of the year – the Terry Doyle Memorial

Award (2018/19 Old Wesley RFC)

and the Denis Collins Perpetual Award

for Progressive Referee which has been

recently added.

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.

64 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


The club of the year award is voted by

the active referees of the association.

Due to Covid restrictions a small

ceremony took place before the Leinster

v Ulster game and we are delighted to

announce and congratulate this year’s

winners:

Terry Doyle Memorial Award for Club

of the Year: Greystones RFC. A super

club and a clear winner in the voting

process from the active referees.

Ham Lambert Lifetime Achievement

Award: Bryan O’Neill (Lansdowne

FC) Bryan is a long time member of

the Leinster Rugby Referees and former

president who has given great service to

the association.

Harry Ardil Referee of the Year: Simon

‘Nigel’ Owens (Old Wesley RFC) Simon

has held multiple roles in the association

and has given a huge amount of free

time to refereeing at all levels.

Alain Rolland Award for Refereeing

Performance of the Year: Andrew Cole

(Old Wesley RFC) Andrew is one of

Ireland’s up and coming referees. He

had a superb season in 2019/20 and

continues to improve.

Denis Collins Perpetual Award for

Progressive Referee: Katie Byrne

(Tullamore RFC) Katie has shown huge

potential since becoming a referee and

continues to shine and rise through the

ranks.

Well done to all the deserving winners.

NEW RECRUITS

The Leinster Rugby Referees

have been working hard over

the opening months of this

season to recruit, educate and

develop new match officials. To

date this season, 17 new match

officials have graduated through

the trainee referee process to

become full members of the

Leinster Rugby Referees.

The Leinster Rugby Referees held

their latest New Referees Course on

Saturday, 30 October, in St Michael’s

College in Dublin. It was great to have

25 new trainee referees in attendance,

representing schools and clubs from

every corner of the province.

Seán Gallagher (Referee Development

Manager) facilitated the course, where

the trainee referees learned about the

basic principles of refereeing. There

were several guest speakers too –

Hayley Whyte (Referee Administrator)

presented on planning and preparation

for referees, Sam Holt (National Panel

Referee) presented on working as part

of a match official team and Michael

Kirk (Leinster Rugby Referee) shared his

experience of becoming a referee over

the past year.

The New Referees Course is just the

first step for these new trainee referees.

Over the coming weekends they will

be appointed to referee and touch

judge age-grade matches in their area.

A group of experienced mentors will

attend these matches to support them as

they take to the pitch for the first time.

The trainee referees will also attend

follow up workshops as they learn about

the more technical areas of the game.

In November they will learn about

scrum and lineout, in January the topic

will be refereeing the breakdown and

in February they will explore game

management.

Once these new match officials have

completed the trainee referee process,

they will become full members of the

Leinster Rugby Referees and begin their

journey on the IRFU Referee Pathway.

Seán Gallagher (Referee Development

Manager) said, “It is very important

that we consistently recruit, educate

and develop new match officials each

season. Our aim is to ensure that we

have enough referees to cover all the

age-grade and adult games each week

and to develop quality match officials

who will progress through the IRFU

Referee Pathway.”

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 65


Leinster Men’s Metro

Leagues

Round-up

Along with other domestic

league competitions run by the

Leinster Branch, the 10 divisions

in the Metro League provides

competitive rugby for 75 teams

from a cross section of clubs

spread across the province.

Depending on the strength and playing

numbers within a club the current system

allows clubs the opportunity to play

against teams of a similar standard but

who could be from a bigger club who

field more teams. With promotion and

relegation at stake the leagues allow for

all teams competing to find a level to suit

their standard.

In Metro League Division 1, the nine

teams competing are the J1 sides of clubs

competing in the Energia All-Ireland

League. As we approach the mid-season

break Terenure are top having only

tasted defeat once this season, they are

eight points ahead of second-placed Old

Wesley. Dublin University and UCD fill

third and fourth positions respectively.

Division 2 is comprised of a mix between

All-Ireland League clubs J1 and J2 two

sides. MU Barnhall have opened up a

nine-point lead over Old Wesley and

Naas although the Donnybrook men

have a game in hand. Greystones lie in

fourth place, a point behind, but have

two games in hand over the leaders, so

still plenty to play for at the top of this

division.

Division 3 - Skerries lead the way and

they hold a three-point lead at the top

over second-placed Navan. The two

clubs played against each other last time

out with Skerries winning what was a try

scoring fest by 41-38. Enniscorthy lie five

points behind in third position.

Division 4 - Naas remain unbeaten

having won all six matches played to

date and have a two-point lead and a

game in hand over second-placed Old

Wesley. The students of UCD sit in third

place. This division sees the first of the

Metro and Area clubs involved with both

Rathdrum and Stillorgan/Rathfarnham

competing.

In Division 5, Terenure are the club very

much in command as the Lakelands

team remain unbeaten with six from

six successes to date. Lansdowne sit in

second place followed by Coolmine in

third position.

Old Wesley who sit top in Division 6

having only lost one game so far in

the campaign and that was against

Clontarf who are in second place, two

points behind. Dublin University are in

third position ahead of Terenure and

Clondalkin who both have a game in

hand.

Division 7 - Old Belvedere are the

leaders as they also have only lost one

game to date, they hold a four-point lead

with a game in hand over second-placed

Blackrock. Stillorgan/Rathfarnham lie in

third place ahead of BGF Ravens who

are followed by Swords and the Emerald

Warriors in mid-division.

Division 8 is topped by Greystones, four

points clear of Railway Union. Bective

Rangers and De La Salle Palmerston are

on the same points in third and fourth

place respectively but the ‘Rangers’ have

a game in hand over the other sides.

Division 9 is tight at the top of the table

where St Mary’s hold a one-point lead

over second-placed Malahide who are

on the same points as Clondalkin who

have played one game more. Dogos/

AIB, Newbridge and Tallaght also

compete in this division.

In Division 10, Portarlington are in

first place by virtue of a better points

difference than Midland Warriors, each

team having won six of their eight games

played to date. Coolmine are four points

behind in third place but with a game in

hand. Athy lie in fourth position, unbeaten

having only played four games so far in

the campaign after being placed in this

division late. So, again all to play for at

the top of the table.

As we head into the Christmas break and

all involved in the 10 divisions that make

up our Metro Leagues get an opportunity

to recharge the batteries over the festive

season, there is plenty of great domestic

rugby to look forward to when matches

resume in the New Year.

All our Metro League clubs across the

province, their players, coaches and

volunteers are to be commended for their

dedication and commitment in getting

matches played especially during these

difficult times.

66 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


YOUR ACCESS TO THE HEART OF EUROPEAN

RUGBY HAS NEVER BEEN BETTER

HEINEKENCHAMPIONSCUP.COM

#HeinekenChampionsCup


ank of ireland

MATCHDAY MINIS

MU Barnhall RFC

Squad: Isaac Gunn, Elwood McGreal, Arán Uhlemann,

Max Ellerker, Max Kinsella, Conor Horan, Joe Cribben,

Conor Nealon, Ryan Fenton, Charlie Kinsella Phillips,

Michéal Walsh, Simon Hearns, Matthew Tyrrell, Lucia Mc

Cracken, Luke Carthy, Tadhg Friscic, Eoin Roche, Rhys

Henry, Cillian Burke, Leo Nolan

Coaches: Jonathan Fenton, Gavin Carthy

Portlaoise RFC

Back Row (Left to Right): John Lynch (coach), Harry

Redmond, David Peters, Simon Shirley, Charlie Peavoy,

Joseph Kelly, Ben Heffernan, Daragh Hooban, Billy Lawless,

Jack Downey, Alan O’Connell (coach).

Front Row (Left to Right): Owen Harding, Dylan Clear,

Freddie Walshe, Jerry O’Connell, Harry Shore, Luke

Delaney, Jake Murray, Oscar O’Connell, Alex O’Brien

McCormack, Tadhg Lowry, Matthew Lynch

Tullamore RFC

Squad: Tom Brennan, Daniel Bourke, Timothy Cunningham,

Cillian Daly, Oisín Dolan, Harry Dumpleton, Callum

Grehan, Ríain Guinan, Tomás McFadden, Fionn McGrath,

Eoin Minnock, Liam O’Connor, Harry O’Meara, Keith

O’Rourke, Sean Ryan, Conor Sullivan, Mattia Toselli, Oisín

Whelan

Navan RFC

Squad: Ryan Escobar, Sam Friel, Sean Duffy, Ted Duffy,

Killian Welsh, Keelan Power, Chris Barry, Sean Masterson,

Simon Hobbs, Erik Hannukka, Peter Higgins, Tom Moran,

Adam Kohistani, Evin Spillane, Danny Farrell, Asanka

Varney, Killian Faggan, Jimmy Shorten, James Mallon, Ryan

Carter

Coaches: Cyril Escobar, John Duffy

Coaching Team: Michael Whelan, Seán O’Rourke

68 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


20 years as CEO for

Mick Dawson

70 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


On a cold

November morning

in 2001, Mick

Dawson packed

his bag, left

home, got into his

car and drove the

short distance

to the Leinster

Rugby head office

for his first day

as CEO.

We call it a head office but it was

really just a portacabin where the

Ken Wall Centre of Excellence now

sits in Energia Park.

A lot has changed since then for Leinster

Rugby but one thing that has remained

constant is the man at the helm.

Twenty years later, Mick Dawson is still in

charge and has overseen huge change

both on and off the field.

The Leinster Rugby professional team

have been changed from also-rans to

four-time Champions Cup winners and

record-winners in the URC.

There is now a women’s rugby

programme with dedicated staff that

have grown numbers in the province from

seven girls teams in 2009 to over 70 girls

teams at the last count.

The Leinster Rugby player pathway now

develops and nurtures homegrown talent

from the clubs and the schools through

the Shane Horgan Cup, the Sarah

Robinson Cup, the schools competitions

into the Leinster Rugby blue jersey that

run out at Energia Park or the RDS Arena.

Those portacabins in Donnybrook,

were soon changed into an office over

what is now the O’Brien’s off-license

in Donnybrook, then to another facility

above MAO restaurant again in

Donnybrook, and then finally, thanks to

David and Cathy Shubotham, to UCD,

where the Leinster Rugby head office has

been since 2012.

But the change wasn’t confined to the

head office as Donnybrook, now Energia

Park of course, also took on many

facelifts and in that time a new stand

was built, two state-of-the-art artificial

pitches installed and of course the Ken

Wall Centre of Excellence was opened in

September 2019.

Nor is Energia Park the only home of

Leinster Rugby anymore, with the RDS

Arena and the Aviva Stadium now also

sharing the considerable load of catering

for the Leinster men’s and women’s teams.

Dawson would be the first to deflect

attention away from his own impact so

better to seek opinion from those that

have seen him at close quarters in that

time.

Former Leinster and Ireland player

Philip Lawlor, was working with Leinster

Rugby when Dawson first arrived and is

still there today as Head of the Rugby

Department, overseeing every aspect of

the game below professional level.

“In his time at the helm of Leinster Rugby,

Mick has always understood the role

clubs and schools play in Leinster Rugby’s

success.

“His encouragement and support for

the innovation and drive that exists in

Leinster’s clubs and schools along with

its rugby department staff and committee

structures has ensured we stay at the

forefront of player, coach, volunteer and

referee development across the men’s

and the women’s game in Ireland.

“From a personnel point of view Mick is

a man of huge integrity, who has always

had my back, a good and insightful

counsel whose encouragement and

support in pushing boundaries and

driving development has ensured that

being part of Leinster Rugby has always

been interesting, rewarding and very

enjoyable.”

Dawson has had to work with many head

coaches during those 20 years from Matt

Williams right the way through to Leo

Cullen.

He did of course know Cullen very well,

Cullen having skippered Leinster Rugby

to an unprecedented three Heineken Cup

trophies and a European Challenge Cup

as a player.

And his appointment in the summer

of 2015 has turned into another huge

success.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 71


As newly announced Official Clean Air Partner of

Leinster Rugby, we are delighted to support the

team in their pursuit of excellence, by adding

Novaerus air disinfection technology to their

winning formula.

Irish-designed and patented Novaerus NanoStrike

technology strives to give Leinster the physical and

competitive edge by disinfecting the squad and

management team’s indoor air safely, 24/7.

Clean air is as important to a world-class winning

team as clean water, superb nutrition, and a healthy

lifestyle, all improving cognitive and physical

performance on and off the pitch. Wishing our

new partners Leinster Rugby all the best vs Bath

Rugby today.


“Mick is synonymous with all that is great

about Leinster Rugby,” says Cullen.

“It’s not just about winning it’s about

building relationships that will survive

the test of time. Personally, Mick has

always been a great support to me

both as a player and more recently as a

coach. And whenever I have brought him

problems, he is always keen to provide

solutions.

Leinster Rugby owes Mick a great deal

for his leadership and the work he has

put in over the course of the last 20

years.”

Finally, who better than the man charged

with steering the ship on the pitch in the

Heineken Champions Cup and the URC

over the coming weeks, Johnny Sexton,

for his thoughts on the Dawson years.

“Everything starts with the leader of any

organisation and he is very much the

one that has driven things from the top.

I’m sure he’s had battles over the years

internally or with the IRFU but I think

he has always been pro-active in his

approach and has found that balance

between professionalism and the integrity

of the game.

“I think he’s done a fantastic job with the

success that we have had but leaving

that to one side you look at some of the

decisions he has made and in particular

some of the moves he has made.

“The move to the RDS from Donnybrook

is the one that stands out for me but also

in terms of the facilities that we now

have in UCD and down in Energia Park

and now a vision for four other Centres

of Excellence around the province to

further tap into the talent that is out there

amongst the boys and girls in our clubs

and schools.

“Success can’t happen unless it is driven

from the top down and he has certainly

done that but he has also been a great

personality around the place. He’s a

good character, you can have a laugh

with him, and even though he is obviously

the CEO of the organisation you can go

to him, call into him, chat to him and get

along with him.”

When mentioning decisions Dawson

has made in his time at Leinster Rugby,

the hiring of head coaches is one that

gathers most headlines.

It is hard to ignore the impact that

Michael Cheika had on Leinster, but

beyond that the impact that Joe Schmidt

then had on Leinster and Irish rugby.

Of course Schmidt turned down the initial

approach from Dawson but not content

with ‘no’ for an answer, Dawson went

after Schmidt a second time but had an

ace or two up his sleeve. Namely, Cullen

and Sexton, his captain and the young

out-half that Schmidt could build a team

around at club level, and in time, at

international level.

“Cheika coming in changed the culture

of the organisation and then Joe came in

and made it even better again. Two great

appointments,” Sexton adds.

“But Mick was very clever in that he

knew who he was dealing with and

what would work and when it didn’t go

right the first time in his chats with Joe,

he arranged a second meeting and I

remember it like it was yesterday. It feels

like yesterday! It was myself and Leo and

Jono Gibbes who met with him and had

good chats.

“The funny thing is I came away from

that meeting thinking Joe was far too

nice to be a head coach! But Mick saw

something in him, had done his research

and that appointment brought us to

another level and we’ve never looked

back.”

He’s not gone or going anywhere but 20

years at the helm is worth acknowledging

and celebrating.

Congratulations Mick!

As they say in Irish, fiche bliain ag fás,

fiche bliain faoi bhláth.

Twenty years growing, twenty years

blossoming.

Here’s to many more.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 73


TO MAXIMISE YOUR SPORTS AND EXERCISE

PERFORMANCE THROUGH NUTRITION

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

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

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

Protein Rich.

Protein provides your muscles with

the building blocks to repair & grow.

Carb-Up.

Carbohydrate foods are king as they

power high intensity play.

Fuel-Up.

Consume the majority of your

carbohydrates around training to

support fuelling and recovery.

Recover.

Quality rest & nutrition between

training sessions is the key to

recovery. Remember to:

Repair with protein,

Refuel with carbohydrate,

Rehydrate with fluid.

Hydrate.

Dehydration can lead to a drop in

exercise intensity & can impact your

decision making. Drink 2-3 litres of

fluid each day to ensure hydration.

Game Day.

To fuel performance on the field,

consume a large carbohydrate rich

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

chicken & pasta, turkey bolognaise

wraps.

Get 20% off all Optimum Nutrition products

using code Leinster20 on optimumnutrition.ie


KNOWING WHAT ADVICE TO TAKE

IS ESSENTIAL IN THIS GAME.

beauchamps.ie

OFFICIAL LEGAL ADVISOR

Beauchamps LLP | Riverside Two | Sir John Rogerson’s Quay | Dublin 2 | D02 KV60


Leinster Rugby Charity Affiliate

Peter McVerry Trust

There is no doubt that the

Covid-19 pandemic has been a

challenge to everyone. But for the

most vulnerable in our society –

those without a place to call home

– it was particularly daunting.

Over the past 20 months Peter

McVerry Trust has, in partnership with

State agencies and other voluntary

organisations in the sector, kept the

vulnerable safe and continued to help

those in need.

Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust

writes:

At the onset of the pandemic Peter

McVerry Trust responded rapidly to

meet the needs of people living in

homelessness, especially those accessing

our emergency accommodation services.

RESPONDING TO A

GLOBAL CRISIS

We provided an immediate and urgent

response to Covid-19 and supported over

7,000 people to self-isolate.

Our isolation services cater to four

separate groups; people living in

homelessness, patients leaving HSE

services without a home to go to, children

in Tusla services and asylum seekers

entering the country for the first time

through the International Protection

Accommodation Services.

Within each isolation unit, we provide

rapid access to essential supports

including addiction, mental health and

translation services.

PROTECTING

PARTICIPANTS AND

STAFF

Throughout our response to Covid-19 we

have sought to ensure that we offer the

best possible protection and supports

to people in homelessness and our

own team members. Covid-19 testing is

carried out on-site in our isolation services

by nursing and social care workers and,

once available, the vaccine was offered

to all Peter McVerry Trust participants

and staff members. To date, over 1,500

participants have received the Covid-19

vaccination. We’re now working to

ensure our frontline team and participants

receive their booster shots.

DAY TO DAY WORK

All of this work is in addition to working

with all those with whom we normally

support in our day to day work as a

charity.

We provide low-threshold entry services,

primarily to younger people and

vulnerable adults with complex needs,

and offers pathways out of homelessness

based on the principles of the Housing

First model. Our mission is to target those

most marginalised in society and offer

them a safe, challenging and supportive

environment through our service

provision.

Our aim is to treat participants with

warmth and respect and actively

encourage them to be involved in all

aspects of their own support plan. We

aim to assist each person to re-establish

himself or herself in the community and

move towards greater independence.

LIVE SIMPLY, SHARE

GENEROUSLY

This year we will work with over 10,000

people, a 20 per cent increase on last

year. Unfortunately, the fundraising

environment has been incredibly

challenging since the onset of Covid-19

in Ireland.

At the start of November, Stephen Kenny,

the manager of the Irish men’s football

team, launched our Christmas Fundraising

Appeal at our latest social housing

scheme in Dublin, where we created 18

social housing apartments by refurbishing

two vacant buildings. Tenants will now

be moving into these homes in time for

Christmas.

Our Christmas fundraising appeal is

using the theme ‘Live Simply, Share

Generously’, a quote from our founder

Fr Peter McVerry’s interview with Tommy

Tiernan on RTÉ earlier in the year.

We know, and have seen first-hand over

the years, the generosity of the Irish

public and we hope that people who are

in a position to donate and support this

year’s Christmas appeal do so, whether

it’s on an individual level, as a business,

a group of employees or through

community groups.

We hope people will reflect on the

simple message to ‘live simply and share

generously’, as we need all the support

we can get in the run up to Christmas.

2020 IN BRIEF

Worked with 7,800 people

Active in 28 out of 31 local

authorities across Ireland

1,300 people supported into housing

Opened our Mid-East Regional Office

in Naas, Co. Kildare

76 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Live simply,

share

generously


HANGING WITH THE STARS

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Wicklow U-12s in RDS

Wicklow RFC U-12

boys squad were

delighted to be

invited to the

Bank of Ireland

Leinster Rugby

half-time mini

games at the

Leinster v Ulster

game on Saturday,

27 November.

The exhibition matches are the

highlight of Leinster minis rugby

and had been postponed for the

last few seasons due to Covid

restrictions.

Wicklow U-12s’ day started at Ashtown

Lane where they travelled by bus to the

game in Dublin. Before they left Wicklow,

they were given a lively send off by Club

President Brian Clarke who, on behalf

of the club, wished the kids well and

reminded them to enjoy the experience.

Wicklow RFC arrived full of enthusiasm

at the RDS and were given VIP treatment,

escorted to their reserved seating in the

South Stand. They had plenty of time

to watch the Leinster and Ulster players

warming up.

As half-time approached the Wicklow

players got their game faces on to

prepare for the highlight of their young

rugby lives. As the half-time whistle blew

on the main game the kids ran onto the

main pitch in front of a crowd of 15,000

spectators

Their match kicked off against Ashbourne

RFC and from the start they played like

warriors to score two brilliant team tries.

The match was over in a flash and they

finished the game with a lap of honour

around the pitch to the applause of an

appreciative crowd.

The kids then resumed their seats for

the second half of the adult game.

Ulster were the deserved winners in the

interprovincial fixture but that was soon

forgotten on the bus journey home where

the kids recounted their memories of a

truly unforgettable experience.

This day will be long remembered by this

group of talented players.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 79


Founded:

1865

Ground:

THE RECREATION GROUND

Capacity:

14,500

bath rugby

last time out

Northampton Saints 40

Bath Rugby 19

Losing Josh McNally in the warmup,

the Blue, Black and Whites fell

behind within a minute as Rory

Hutchinson ran in for Saints.

Tommy Freeman scored soon after before

Sam Underhill replied for the visitors.

Bath then lost half-back pairing Ben

Spencer and Danny Cipriani to injuries

and Northampton crossed twice through

Juarno Augustus.

Lewis Boyce nudged his way over for a

score just before the break and fellow

prop Will Stuart added to Bath’s tally.

But Northampton sealed their victory via

a double from wing Courtnall Skosan.

Saints went on the front foot from the

off and crossed in the first minute. The

hosts made use of an overlap to the right

and Hutchinson scampered across the

whitewash.

In response. Tom de Glanville evaded a

number of challenges before releasing

Franklin’s Gardens | 4 December 2021 | Word and pictures: bathrugby.com

A heavily disrupted Bath Rugby were beaten by

Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens on

their last day out.

Spencer. In turn, he went out the

backdoor to Josh Bayliss after making 15

or so metres but the ball couldn’t quite

stick.

Tom Dunn and Underhill carried well to

make metres and the forwards had great

early success at the line-out but not before

Freeman went over from an inside ball.

Three penalties moved Bath to the five

and a strong maul allowed Underhill to

leg drive his way to the line.

Soon after, with Spencer on the floor

receiving treatment, Saints made the

most of their advantage with their third

try. Fraser Dingwall raced away and

was superbly hauled down by Butt but

managed to pop for No 8 Augustus to

dot down.

The back-rower managed to grab his

second moments later on a short line with

Bath forced into a makeshift backline

and down to 14 due to a Mike Williams

sin bin.

Further changes were needed early in

the second half as Williams received a

blow to the head but Bath continued to

have joy at the line-out and succession

of penalties resulted in Matavesi being

yellow carded.

The resultant penalty saw Stuart tap and

power over to make it 28-19, however

80 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Northampton rallied and replied

immediately through Skosan.

Attacking intent remained with Bath

as Underhill and de Glanville asked

questions of the home defence.

Though when Saints did eventually

retrieve possession, they managed to

make it count. Will Muir and de Glanville

put their bodies on the line to stop Ollie

Sleightholme from finishing a cross-kick

but the ball was quickly recycled and

punt to the other corner where Skosan

was on hand to score his second.

Until the very end, Bath tried their best

to get a try-bonus. Max Ojomoh – who

stepped in at out-half – sent a looping

ball to Muir on the wing and de Glanville

dancing footwork made hard ground.

Ojomoh again flicked a ball out to

Bayliss and his strength forced his way

to the five.

Saints were patient in their defensive

system and earned a turnover on their

own goalline to thwart Bath and see out

the game.

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS – George

Furbank; Tommy Freeman, Fraser

Dingwall, Rory Hutchinson, Courtnall

Skosan; Dan Biggar, Alex Mitchell; Alex

Waller, Sam Matavesi, Ehren Painter;

David Ribbans, Alex Moon; Karl Wilkins,

Lewis Ludlam, Juarno Augustus.

Replacements: James Fish, Nick Auterac,

Paul Hill, Api Ratuniyarawa, Alex

Coles, Tom James, Tom Litchfield, Ollie

Sleightholme.

BATH RUGBY – Tom de Glanville;

Semesa Rokoduguni, Will Butt, Max

Ojomah, Will Muir; Danny Cipriani, Ben

Spencer; Lewis Boyce, Tom Dunn, Will

Stuart; Mike Williams, Charlie Ewels; Tom

Ellis, Sam Underhill, Josh Bayliss.

Replacements: Jacques du Toit, Will

Vaughan, D’Arcy Rae, Nahum Merigan,

Richard de Carpentier, Ewan Richards,

Ollie Fox, Gabriel Hamer-Webb.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 81


ath squad

Director of Rugby

Stuart Hooper

Stuart Hooper joined Bath Rugby

from Leeds at the start of the

2008/09 season. In 2011, Hooper

was named the new Bath Rugby

club captain for the 2011/12

season.

Hooper retired with immediate effect

from all rugby in 2016 under medical

advice as the result of a back injury and it

was soon announced that he would take

on the role of Performance and Player

Development Director at Bath.

In 2019, it was announced that Hooper

would take on the role of Director of

Rugby for Bath Rugby at the start of

the 2019/20 season, following the

departure of Todd Blackadder.

Captain

charlie ewels

Homegrown second row Charlie

Ewels was named club captain

ahead of the 2019/20 season.

The 26-year-old made his debut for

the club in November 2014 against

Glasgow Warriors in the Heineken

Champions Cup and has since amassed

over a century of appearances.

He has also represented England on 23

occasions, scoring two tries, following a

debut against Fiji in 2016.

82 | www.leinsterrugby.ie

DARREN ATKINS

FULL BACK/WING

ORLANDO BAILEY

OUTSIDE HALF

JOSH BAYLISS

BACK ROW

LEWIS BOYCE

LOOSE HEAD PROP

WILL BUTT

CENTRE

TOM CARR-SMITH

SCRUM HALF

DANNY CIPRIANI

OUTSIDE HALF

MAX CLARK

CENTRE

JACO COETZEE

BACK ROW

JOE COKANASIGA

WING

ARTHUR CORDWELL

LOOSE HEAD PROP

TOM COWAN

BACK ROW

RICHARD DE CARPENTIER

BACK ROW

TOM DE GLANVILLE

OUTSIDE HALF

JOSH DINGLEY

BACK ROW/LOCK

CIARAN DONOGHUE

OUTSIDE HALF

TOM DOUGHTY

HOOKER

JACQUES DU TOIT

HOOKER

TOM DUNN

HOOKER

TOM ELLIS

LOCK

CHARLIE EWELS

LOCK

TAULUPE FALETAU

BACK ROW

OLLIE FOX

SCRUM HALF

GABE GOSS

WING

MACKENZIE GRAHAM

BACK ROW

MAX GREEN

SCRUM HALF

ARCHIE GRIFFIN

TIGHT HEAD PROP

GABE HAMER-WEBB

WING

JOHANNES JONKER

TIGHT HEAD PROP

JONATHAN JOSEPH

CENTRE

ARCHIE MAGGS

TIGHT HEAD PROP

RUARIDH MCCONNOCHIE

FULL BACK

JOSH MCNALLY

LOCK

NAHUM MERIGAN

NO 8

WILL MUIR

WING

BENO OBANO

LOOSE HEAD PROP

MAX OJOMOH

CENTRE

D’ARCY RAE

TIGHT HEAD PROP

FRANKIE READ

BACK ROW

CAMERON REDPATH

CENTRE

MILES REID

FLANKER

EWAN RICHARDS

BACK ROW/LOCK

SEMESA ROKODUGUNI

WING

JUAN SCHOEMAN

LOOSE HEAD PROP

TIAN SCHOEMAN

OUTSIDE HALF

JOE SIMPSON

SCRUM HALF

JASPER SPANDLER

HOOKER

BEN SPENCER

SCRUM HALF

WILL SPENCER

LOCK

ETHAN STADDON

BACK ROW/LOCK

ARCHIE STANLEY

LOOSE HEAD PROP

JOHN STEWART

HOOKER

WILL STUART

TIGHT HEAD PROP

SAM UNDERHILL

BACK ROW

WILL VAUGHAN

LOOSE HEAD PROP

KIERAN VERDEN

LOOSE HEAD PROP

ANTHONY WATSON

FULL BACK

MIKE WILLIAMS

BACK ROW/LOCK

GEORGE WORBOYS

FULL BACK


Club in Focus

LIBERTY SAINTS

Tom

Magee has

known the

despair a

hopeless

future

can hold.

At 26, it led Tom to start playing a

sport he had never even seen. He

went on to represent Wanderers

in the All-Ireland League for 10

years.

The President at Liberty Saints Rugby

Club in Dublin 8 is forever optimistic that

young people’s lives can be saved long

before they are lost to the cruel realities

of life in the inner city.

What rugby can be to those who

embrace the discipline, commitment

and identity of team is a way out of the

drudgery of the everyday challenge it

can be to simply get out of bed and stay

out of trouble.

“When you put guys on a rugby pitch,

where there is nowhere to hide, it’s

pi**ing rain, someone comes running at

you, that is when you see who they are.

“You realise how vulnerable they are,

despite the hoods on their heads,” says

Tom.

“When you are on a team with someone,

you get to know a lot about them, you

see pieces of their personality they might

never want you to see.

“You automatically know, that guy is

dishonest, that guy is lazy, that guy is a

coward, that guy is brave, that guy can

be trusted. Behaviours come out when the

rules are laid out.

“People around you suffer when

you don’t follow the rules, keep your

discipline and play as part of the team.

“This is where the seeds for personal

growth and development can grow

from as boys and girls learn how to take

instructions and be accountable.

“Without rugby, without sport, in Dublin

8, nothing happens. Trouble, gangs,

drugs, jail becomes the natural cycle.”

Tom is in the business of using rugby to

bring change to the community and make

lives better.

Of course, for every good story, there

are many to keep feet firmly rooted to the

ground.

Andy Ciobanu showed a lot of promise

as a rugby player for Liberty Saints. He

won a scholarship to Terenure College,

made the Senior Cup team in 2019 and

went on to college.

Tom Magee with members of the girls

team ahead of their first game

He is currently in the second year of an

Computer Science degree in UCD.

“Andy is very positive, very grateful

for the opportunity he earned and an

example to everyone else of what can

be achieved with the right discipline,”

says Tom.

Aaron Crowe is another player who has

gone on to third level education, studying

Sports Management in Technological

University Dublin. He now gives back to

the club every Sunday morning coaching

the next generation of ‘Saints’.

Adam Malone played on the same team

as Andy and Aaron at Liberty Saints.

When he outgrew the club as an 18-yearold,

Adam went down to Wanderers and

played several games at scrum-half.

He struggled with the transition from a

teenager with the purpose rugby gave

him to the adult world in which life’s

challenges became overwhelming.

In August, at just 20 years of age, he

tragically died, two weeks after the birth

of his daughter Vada Rae.

In 2018, two Liberty players Craig

86 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Aaron Crowe

Since 2014, we have been

campaigning in the area for a pitch

for all these children who have

never run anywhere unless they are

getting chased by the Gardai.

Andy Ciobanu makes tackle with

Conor Fitzgerald in support

Hanlon-McKeon and Conor Fitzgerald,

idle one afternoon, walked along the

roof of a derelict building near St James’

Hospital just for the craic.

At one point, Conor heard a crack,

looked back and saw a hole in the

roof. He looked six meters below to see

Craig’s still body on concrete. Another

one gone.

For every good news story, there are

many heartbreaking ones that make you

realise how fragile life can be.

“Sport, in this case rugby, is about the

values young people can learn and the

needs that are met for players, even how

they feel when coming off a pitch with a

black eye after being beaten. They feel

alive because they are testing themselves

against their peers in a positive way,”

says Tom.

“That is what keeps me involved. I am

passionate about what we are doing. I

look at rugby as a way of fulfilling needs

for young people, the fun, the freedom,

the belonging, the power of team.

Andy Ciobanu with J McG

“We are not interested in trying to

find the next Brian O’Driscoll. We are

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 87


interested in finding out who the next

Andy Ciobanu and Adam Malone can

be.”

The club has had a rethink in recent years,

moving to intervene earlier in the lives of

the local children.

“Part of the reason we started this was

to attract teenagers, at the stage where

they were moving from sixth class into

secondary school.

“They are meeting new peers, meeting a

lot of distractions. They end up portraying

a personality they have to live up to on

the streets,” adds Tom.

“We decided we had to introduce

ourselves to these kids earlier at nine, 10,

11, not 13, 14 15, so that we can gain

their confidence as people they already

know, not as strangers when they hit those

teenage years.”

There has been a determination to spread

the gospel, finding support from St James’

primary school where Liberty Saints reach

out to children.

“We thought it would only be boys that

would find rugby attractive. What we

found was the girls were just as interested.

“Where we are, the nearest landmark

to us is Fatima Luas stop, where Fatima

Mansions was situated. There are no team

sports in the area. None.”

On the morning of the Ireland v Argentina

November international, for the first time,

Liberty Saints took 16 girls from age 9-11,

to play against Terenure in another step

forward for the club.

“Since 2014, we have been campaigning

in the area for a pitch for all these

children who have never run anywhere

unless they are getting chased by the

Gardai.

“They play in the flats, kick a ball against

a wall, but never pull on a pair of football

boots. They never know what it is to be

part of a team.

“The only ‘team’ these kids know is the

four or five teenagers hanging around in

a gang on the street corners.

“Kids want to be a part of something

bigger than themselves. That is the only

grouping they know.”

The coaches at Liberty Saints give these

children a new gang to be part of, one

that won’t eat into their humanity, one that

gives them hope in the present, at least.

“We now have 40-50 children for

training on a Sunday morning with Barry

(Barry Holmes, head coach). We are the

only ones in that part of Dublin 8 within

a three-mile radius from a population of

60,000 that are engaged in team sport.

That is incredibly sad.”

Now living in Artane, Tom is still

committed to the Liberties as a strong

supporter of the move to ‘Reclaim the

Iveagh Markets’ and as a member of

‘Sporting Liberties’, a campaign to secure

sports facilities in the area.

Tom Magee

“Although I don’t physically go to bed

there every night, my heart is there,” he

states.

“I just want to see those kids get a fair

chance at a good life and get the same

opportunities to be involved in sport that

all the kids from the rest of Dublin have. It

doesn’t seem like a big ask.”

In November, a patch of land on

Marrowbone Lane, about the size of

a GAA pitch, was rezoned from Z4,

which is commercial, to Z9, which is

recreational.

Hope has been revived that, at last, their

‘Field of Dreams’ can come true.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 89


Southeast

Area Update

BY DEBORAH CARTY

Arklow

Arklow’s U-14, 16 and 18 Girls got

together recently and headed to the

RDS to support the Irish Women’s team

against Japan, the U-12 girls were busy

winning three out of three games at a

blitz in Gorey.

U-18.5s Challenge v Gorey

Arklow 31 v Gorey 7

A very well attended match under

lights despite the cold weather saw

Arklow blow off the cobwebs with a

comprehensive win over neighbours

Gorey, with a number of Arklow players

lining out for the first time since the

pandemic, it was great to see the team on

the pitch again. A great result for Arklow

but more importantly great to see this

group of lads back out playing again.

Carlow

Co Carlow are currently engaging in an

exciting project to collect and preserve

the history of Co Carlow Football Club

from its foundation in October 1873 to

mark its 150th year.

The aim is to have a documented

history and archive in time for the 150th

Anniversary of the club in 2023, we

would ask that anyone who has any old

photographs, brochures, memorabilia,

stories or memories you are willing

to share from any era to contact

carlowrugby@gmail.com.

Enniscorthy

Eighteen-year-old James Doyle came

off the bench in his first game for

Enniscorthy’s AIL team recently, scoring

a try helping to secure a win against

Sunday’s Well, this was followed by

another great win against Bangor where

Doyle and his teacher and club captain

Tomás Stamp, both of CBS Enniscorthy,

celebrated another win, one as a student

and one as a teacher.

Gorey

Congratulations to Gorey’s Kate Farrell

McCabe who represented the Irish

Sevens squad in Dubai. Best of luck Kate

from everyone in Gorey RFC.

Kilkenny

Well done to our Women’s First team

who have returned to their winning ways,

defeating Swords recently, the concession

of an early try appeared to galvanise the

team and they had a very strong win.

The side are now three wins from four

games in the Leinster League and deserve

kudos for the continuous hard work and

willingness to learn.

Kilkenny RFC U-13, U-14 and U-16

have all qualified for their respective

Southeast finals. Well done to all players,

coaches, volunteers and other support

for their hard work in getting three out

of four youth sides to the area final. A

clear indication that the club’s youth

development strategy is on track.

Tullow

Tullow’s first and second teams played

last weekend with this being the seconds’

first match of the season in a local derby

away to Co Carlow where old rivalries

and friendships were renewed.

Tullow RFC minis enjoyed their own

‘Autumn Series’ of blitzes around the

Southeast. The U-10 girls ‘Tullow Tigers’

are enjoying their first season together

this year.

Rathdrum

Give Rugby a Try in Rathdrum! Are you

new to the area or looking for a team,

sport and club to join? Rathdrum Rugby

Club is now recruiting for all ages, adults

and youths. For more information get in

touch with the club through their Social

Media pages.

Wicklow

With the minis back playing in the RDS

at half-time, Wicklow’s U-12s were one

of the first teams back on the pitch, a

brilliant night had by all soaking up the

atmosphere in the RDS.

Wexford

Wanderers

Wexford U-10 and U-12 girls recently

travelled to Gorey for their first game of

the season with many of them making

their rugby debut showcasing their

fantastic rugby skills on a cold but

bright Sunday morning. The future of the

Women’s game is bright in Wexford.

Wexford recently held their Annual

Memorial night in the Clubhouse, this is

held on the third Friday of November

every year to remember those they have

lost from the club, their families and the

wider community.

A call went out recently looking for

historical photos of Wexford over the

years, with some great pictures coming

in, the club are looking forward to seeing

many more old faces on the website.

90 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


92 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Temi

Lasisi

THE ACADEMY

INTERVIEW

BY MARCUS Ó BUACHALLA

“It’s all a bit mad

really.”

The words of Temi Lasisi,

the Enniscorthy prop

as he looks back on the

journey to this point,

to the Leinster Rugby

Academy and sharing

the same training

environment as Messrs.

Healy, Furlong and Porter.

It’s all a bit mad because it

shouldn’t have been this way.

Football, soccer that is, was his thing.

That was his sport.

His sport, that is, until the dad of one of

his mates, Ryan Cahill, intervened and

suggested something else.

“I was never into rugby as a young

fella. I was into football, loved it but I

was a big kid and the local club was

a bit away from my house so it was

awkward to get to on a Monday and a

Wednesday.

“Whereas the rugby club, Enniscorthy

RFC, was just on my doorstep.

“I just never thought of it as an option

because I wasn’t into it. Not only was I

not into it, I hadn’t a clue about the rules

or how to play it or whatever but then a

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 93


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mate of mine’s dad mentioned to me that

I should go with him to training one night.

“So I went with Colm, and with my mate

Ryan, and I just loved it.

“Honestly, day one, went up and loved

it. As I said I was a big kid so I suppose

parts of it came easily to me and I just

went from there.”

He was still relatively young, 11-years-old

and in sixth class he reckons, so while

he was a late starter, there was plenty of

time to play catch up.

Lasisi went to the CBS in Enniscorthy but

again it would have been easier for him

to drift to other sports.

“The CBS was great and while we had

a rugby team, we were more a GAA

school so the majority of the lads on the

rugby team we had were GAA players

that just happened to play rugby.

“It wasn’t a huge focus for the school but

thankfully I was still involved and loving

my rugby at the club. I played there from

U-11 all the way to U-18 and I suppose

in around U-16 level, I started to get

selected elsewhere.”

Getting selected elsewhere at that level

of course means the Shane Horgan Cup

where the five areas of Leinster compete

to bring home the provincial honours.

His area is of course the South-East and

the best club players at U-16 and U-18

level from that area get to pull on the

jersey and start their representative road.

It leads then to the Leinster Clubs team

at U-18, then the Leinster U-19s and

all things going well, to the Leinster

U-20s and a spot potentially in the sub-

Academy.

Until a global pandemic shows up and

has other ideas.

“I was happy because I got into the

Leinster U-20s but I never stepped foot

inside the Centre of Excellence because

of Covid-19. It all got pushed back and

then cancelled. So it suddenly became

much harder to make it, if that makes

sense?”

It certainly does.

It’s a story well told on these pages over

the last few weeks.

Look at our chats with Marcus Hanan

and Jack Boyle and the challenges

they faced in their quest for Academy

contracts when there were no

opportunities to do their thing on an

actual rugby pitch.

And that has been replicated at all levels

and people falling away from sport

when opportunities were not available.

Lasisi has seen it at his own club.

“I know lads back in Enniscorthy and

they have stuck with the GAA, whereas

before Covid-19 they were really decent

rugby players that also played GAA.

“Some lads have been lost to all sports,

not just rugby, and that’s a pity.”

He wasn’t lost, but he could have been.

“I honestly didn’t see this as an option,

getting an Academy contract because

there was no rugby. By now I was

transferred to Lansdowne FC in Dublin

while studying but no games to play.

“So how do you show what you can do?

“I was studying in TUD (formerly DIT)

studying Mechanical Engineering, I was

training away with Lansdowne and then

I got an opportunity with the Ireland

U-20s.

“But like I said, I wasn’t in the Centre

of Excellence down in Energia Park

or anything. I wasn’t having those

conversations. That was until I played

with the Ireland U-20s and I suppose the

possibility opened up again. I got my

first cap there at that level, I had a good

campaign and that’s when it all took off.”

So what was the plan?

“Continue my studies, continue the rugby

with Lansdowne and just see where it all

got me. I won’t lie, I really didn’t expect

any of this!

“It’s class! I have the contract now and

I haven’t a bad word to say about my

time in the Academy so far. It’s been

unbelievable.”

The studies are still ongoing and going

well but again it wasn’t the road best

travelled for a young Lasisi.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 95


“In first year in the CBS I made a massive

mistake! I chose languages for my

modules!

“I was doing that until Junior Cert as

my module but it was a big mistake

and it wasn’t until I did terrible in a few

exams that a teacher sat my folks down

and said ‘look, we think he should

look at another option, he’s not great

at languages!’ That was the chat and

thankfully we took that advice.

“I got into fifth year and I changed to

engineering and technical drawing. I

love metal work, I enjoy working with

my hands and that element really suited

me and I chose those two subjects for

the Leaving and left the languages

behind me! I did well then in the Leaving

and especially in engineering so it was

an obvious choice choosing it for my

degree.”

Working with your hands and being

comfortable doing same is something

that all modern props, excelling at an

elite level, need to be good at.

“Definitely. It’s no longer good enough

to lock down a scrum and be good at

your set piece. You now have to bring

more to your game. Be explosive in the

loose, be able to run, to pass off both

sides equally well and have good

hands to bring others into the

game and be an option.

I started out as

a loosehead but I’ve

moved across to

tighthead recently so

I wouldn’t have had a

clue! But Andrew Porter

has been brilliant.

96 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


“The role of a prop has definitely evolved

and moved on. They’re more diverse in

terms of what they can do and hopefully

I can evolve like that too.”

He had previously listed Cian Healy as

his hero growing up.

What’s it like now working in and around

the same environment as him?

“The first three weeks, I was definitely

a little taken aback, a bit mad! In and

around the place and training with lads

that I had watched growing up. It was

crazy but then you quickly realise just

how sound and normal everyone is and

how willing they are to help you.

“I started out as a loosehead but I’ve

moved across to tighthead recently so I

wouldn’t have had a clue! But Andrew

Porter has been brilliant. The two

positions are so different but he went

through the same transition as a prop so

he has been excellent in and around that

but also Tadhg (Furlong) and how good

he has been giving me tips.

“They have all been great. There is a

great work ethic and ethos around the

props I think and that element of helping

each other has definitely been there from

day one and I’ve loved it.”

It is probably no bad thing to hear of that

help and encouragement when you hear

of the schedule the young 20-year-old

has on a daily basis.

“I’d be in UCD or down in Energia Park

for 7am most mornings until one or two

o’clock and then it’s about trying to make

the lectures at three o’clock for a few

hours and then most days I try to hit the

library for an hour before heading home.

“I also eat! I’m trying to bulk up and put

on weight at the moment so I eat a fair

bit during the day or going to college or

whatever.

“It’s a long day, home for 6.30pm or so

to an apartment. I’m in in Smithfield. I

won’t lie. I’m here with a few lads and it’s

fairly messy!

“But I’m really enjoying it all.”

For a man who didn’t think this would be

his path in life, what has been the biggest

change?

“The organisation definitely. There is a

lot to fit in and a lot of scheduling. Then

it’s just working with so many leaders in

their field. Whether that is S&C coaches

like Dave Fagan or the team up in UCD

or Sophie (Conroy) on the nutrition side

of things.

“A lot of that was new to me in terms of it

being every day. Now every area of my

life is mapped out and looked after and

yet they also encourage the academic

side so you are encouraged to finish out

college and to get your degree and they

work with you to make that work.”

There is maybe one area of his life that

has yet to receive the attention that is

deserves; and that is his competence as

a piano player.

Whereas once there was that ability,

now?

“Yeah not so much! I’d be lucky now if I

could belt out Ba Ba Black Sheep on the

piano! That has slipped down the priority

list a fair bit as I am so out of practice!”

Like the 11-year-old Temi Lasisi that

rocked up to Enniscorthy RFC, time is

most definitely on his side.

For the piano practice and also for his

rugby career to take that next significant

step with a senior debut.

But he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Life has been mad until now, and no

doubt there will be other twists and turns,

but rugby is very much here to stay for

the young Wexford man.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 97


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

98 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Seán O’Brien #1297

Lee Barron

Back Row

DOB: 31/07/2000

HEIGHT: 1.90m WEIGHT: 103kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (2 caps)

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

DOB: 15/02/2001

HEIGHT: 1.91m WEIGHT: 108kg

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.

Instagram: @lleebarron

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.

Instagram: @chriscosgrave1

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.

Instagram: @mark_hernani

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’.

Instagram: @lasisi.temi

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. I

nstagram: @ben._murphy01

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.

Instagram: @jackboyle1

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.

Instagram: @robrussell7

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 99


Date

25/09

03/10

09/10

16/10

22/10

27/11

03/12

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

31-15

URC GLASGOW

Scotstoun

Stadium

KEENAN

1T

A BYRNE

1T

L

10-20 URC ULSTER RDS Arena J O’BRIEN A BYRNE HENSHAW

1T

W

47-19 URC CONNACHT RDS Arena KEENAN LARMOUR 1T RINGROSE

1T

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

fixtures and

results 2021/22

LARMOUR

1T

LOWE

RINGROSE FRAWLEY LOWE

FRAWLEY

HENSHAW

LARMOUR

LOWE

H BYRNE

SEXTON

1C 1P

R BYRNE

4C 1P

R BYRNE

1C 1P

H BYRNE

5C

MCGRATH

GIBSON-PARK

MCGRATH

E BYRNE

1T

PORTER

1T

HEALY

CRONIN

1T

KELLEHER

1T

KELLEHER

1T

MCGRATH E BYRNE TRACY

MCGRATH

HEALY

SHEEHAN

1T

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

100 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


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

ALAALATOA MOLONY J RYAN RUDDOCK

VAN DER FLIER

1T

ALAALATOA MOLONY RYAN RUDDOCK VAN DER FLIER

ALAALATOA BAIRD TONER LEAVY

FURLONG MOLONY RYAN

DORIS

2T

PENNY

1T

VAN DER FLIER

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 DER FLIER

FURLONG MOLONY TONER LEAVY PENNY RUDDOCK CRONIN DOOLEY ABDALADZE DEEGAN CONNORS N MCCARTHY H BYRNE T O’BRIEN

ALA’ALATOA

BAIRD

1T

TONER

RUDDOCK

1T

VAN DER FLIER

DORIS

1T

KELLEHER PORTER ABDALADZE J MURPHY

DEEGAN

1T

N MCCARTHY

R BYRNE

1C

T O’BRIEN

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 101


Squads matchday

officials

REFEREE

PIERRE BROUSSET (FRA)

ASSISTANT REFEREE

LUC RAMOS (FRA)

ASSISTANT REFEREE

FLAVIEN HOURQUET (FRA)

TMO

ERIC GAUZINS (FRA)

Hugo Keenan

Jordan Larmour

Garry Ringrose

Ciarán Frawley

James Lowe

Ross Byrne

Jamison Gibson-Park

Andrew Porter

Rónan Kelleher

Tadhg Furlong

Ross Molony

Ryan Baird

Rhys Ruddock [C]

Josh van der Flier

Caelan Doris

15

14

13

12

11

10

9

FULL BACK

RIGHT WING

OUTSIDE CENTRE

INSIDE CENTRE

LEFT WING

FLY HALF

SCRUM HALF

Tom de Glanville

Semesa Rokoduguni

Will Butt

Max Ojomoh

Will Muir

Orlando Bailey

Ben Spencer

LOOSE HEAD

1

PROP Lewis Boyce

FRONT PAGE

HOOKER Jacques du Toit

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

TIGHT HEAD PROP

SECOND ROW

SECOND ROW

BLINDSIDE FLANKER

OPENSIDE FLANKER

NUMBER 8

Will Stuart

Josh McNally

Charlie Ewels [C]

Tom Ellis

Richard de Carpentier

Josh Bayliss

CITING COMMISSIONER

JEFF MARK (WAL)

Dan Sheehan

Cian Healy

Michael Ala’alatoa

Devin Toner

Max Deegan

Luke McGrath

Jimmy O’Brien

Tommy O’Brien

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

Tom Dunn

Arthur Cordwell

D’Arcy Rae

Will Spencer

Ewan Richards

Joe Simpson

Gabriel Hamer-Webb

Tom Prydie


At Sword we know how important the Game is.

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

and enjoy yourself, you're in safe hands.

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

Dublin: 01-6688220

info@swordsecurity.com

www.swordsecurity.com

Securing Sports Fans around the World.


Parting

Shots

3 December 2021

Emily McKeown is presented with

her cap by Leinster Rugby President

John Walsh during the Leinster

Rugby Womens Cap and Jersey

Presentation at the RDS Library in

Dublin.

3 December 2021

Alice O’Dowd is presented with her

cap by Leinster Rugby President

John Walsh during the Leinster

Rugby Womens Cap and Jersey

Presentation at the RDS Library in

Dublin.

3 December 2021

Mary Healy is presented with her

cap by Leinster Rugby President

John Walsh during the Leinster

Rugby Womens Cap and Jersey

Presentation at the RDS Library in

Dublin.

104 | www.leinsterrugby.ie

Photos by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile


RUGBY.

DELIVERED.

TEAMWORK. SPEED. DELIVERY. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE

OFFICIAL LOGISTICS PARTNER. DHL.

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