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Leinster vs Edinburgh

Leinster | Official Matchday Programme of Leinster Rugby | Issue 08 Leinster vs Edinburgh | United Rugby Championship Friday 11th February, 2022 | KO 6pm | RDS Arena

Leinster | Official Matchday Programme of Leinster Rugby | Issue 08
Leinster vs Edinburgh | United Rugby Championship
Friday 11th February, 2022 | KO 6pm | RDS Arena

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ISSUE 8 | LEINSTER RUGBY OFFICIAL MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

LEINSTER

VS

edinburgh

FRI 11 th FEB

RDS ARENA

KO 6PM


Newstead Building A,

UCD,

Belfield,

Dublin 4

#LEIVEDI

The Line up

Telephone:

012693224

Fax:

012693142

E-mail:

information@leinsterrugby.ie

www.leinsterrugby.ie

6

24

EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT

President: John Walsh

Chief Executive: Michael Dawson

Honorary Secretary: Stuart Bayley

Honorary Treasurer: Michael McGrail

RUGBY MANAGEMENT

Head Coach: Leo Cullen

Senior Coach: Stuart Lancaster

Head of Rugby Operations:

Guy Easterby

Assistant Coach: Robin McBryde

Backs Coach: Felipe Contepomi

Kicking Coach: Emmet Farrell

Contact Skills Coach: Denis Leamy

14

PROGRAMME CREDITS

Editorial Team: Marcus Ó Buachalla,

Ryan Corry & Paul Cahill

Advertising: Gary Nolan

Design: Julian Tredinnick,

Ignition Sports Media

Photography: Sportsfile

Chief Steward: Sword Security

Ambulance: St. John’s Ambulance

Medilink

Event Control & Safety Services:

Eamonn O’Boyle & Associates

43

88

STAY

CONNECTED

& KEEP

UP-TO-DATE

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 3


john walsh welcome

PRESIDENT, LEINSTER RUGBY 2020/22

We extend a warm welcome to our

fans and guests from Edinburgh

(the city of rugby in my eyes) for

this evening’s rescheduled Round

8 fixture in the United Rugby

Championship.

Edinburgh’s last visit to the RDS was in

November 2020 and while the result did

not go in their favour, the great thing about

our challenging sport is that we can’t dwell

on the past and every game is a new

chapter waiting to be told. Edinburgh arrive

in the RDS with a total of 34 league points

from nine fixtures played while Leinster

trail them with 30 league points from eight

fixtures so this game has a significant

importance for both clubs.

Edinburgh are a club with a proud rugby

tradition and are celebrating their 150th

anniversary year in 2022 having been

founded in 1872, seven years prior to the

establishment of Leinster. We wish the club

well for their celebrations and indeed for

their future as ambassadors for the game in

Scotland.

Edinburgh is a passionate rugby region

with the city and districts the home to over

32 rugby clubs, 20 of which are based in

the city. Little wonder then that Edinburgh

is undoubtedly one of the most popular

and welcoming destinations for Six Nations

rugby fans. In addition international touring

sides such as New Zealand, Australia,

Japan, Canada, Romania, Fiji, Tonga and

Western Samoa are among the teams that

the Edinburgh club have hosted during their

distinguished history.

All Leinster Rugby fans have always enjoyed

the hospitality and atmosphere of a visit to

Edinburgh especially as Scottish supporters

are so knowledgeable and passionate

about the game. There was no better venue

than Edinburgh for Leinster fans to celebrate

our first European Cup victory when we

conquered Leicester in front of 66,000 in

Murrayfield in 2009.

Following the advent of professional rugby

in 1995 Edinburgh Rugby was established

in 1996 by the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU)

as one of the two professional teams in

Scotland along with Glasgow Warriors.

Both sides have reached finals in the

domestic league and indeed in the

Challenge Cup when Edinburgh lost to

Gloucester 19-13 in the 2015 Final.

In the United Rugby Championship and it’s

preceding formats Edinburgh were runners

up to Munster in the then Magners League

in 2008/09 while their rivals Glasgow

claimed a notable Guinness PRO12 title

over Munster in the 2014/15 season

winning the Grand Final by 31-13.

We welcome Edinburgh Chairperson John

Davidson, CEO Douglas Struth, head coach

Mike Blair (capped 85 times for Scotland

and also a British and Irish Lion), team

captain Stuart McInally (40 Scotland caps)

both stalwarts of the Edinburgh clubs and

their squad.

As mentioned, Edinburgh have had an

excellent season to date in what has been

a disrupted United Rugby Championship.

With nine rounds played they have won six,

drawn one and lost two and in the process

scored 224 points and conceded 147

points.

As reigning champions we have to defend

our crown and will be fully aware that we

will face stern challenges both on and off

the field this season and that teams will

be highly motivated to bring our current

winning titles sequence of four to an end.

That said, Leinster’s season to date in both

the United Rugby Championship and

European Rugby Champions Cup has

reflected the determination of the Leinster

squad and team management has to pursue

excellence and success.

Our Champions Cup campaign has resulted

in three wins from four fixtures and in the

process scoring 198 points (30 tries) and

conceding 34 points to qualify for mouthwatering

home and away fixtures with our

local rivals Connacht.

Leinster’s United Rugby Championship

campaign has resulted in six wins and two

defeats (to Ulster in the RDS and away

to Cardiff on our latest United Rugby

Championship start) from eight fixtures and

scoring 246 points (31 tries) and conceding

114 points. This fixture marks the 41st

occasion that we have played Edinburgh

and our record is good with 25 wins, one

draw and 14 defeats.

Leinster Rugby recently lost one of it’s most

respected and popular members of our

community with the passing of Kevin Flynn.

A former President and captain of

Wanderers he proudly represented

Ireland on 22 occasions in a distinguished

international career. He also made a total

of 36 appearances for Leinster as well as

eight appearances for the famed Barbarian

club, for whom he did sterling work as a

committee member.

Kevin’s contribution to Leinster Rugby

was acknowledged with his induction to

Leinster’s Hall of Fame. We extend our

condolences to his family and he will

be much missed by all his friends and

colleagues throughout our nationwide rugby

community.

Congratulations to all in Wanderers for their

sterling support for the Together Academy

project and indeed for the club’s progressive

local community engagement policy. The

club which celebrated its 150th year in

2021 has also fielded its first girls team

this season which will no doubt add to the

strength of their women’s team in seasons

to come.

On the Leinster club scene the draws for

the Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup

and the Bank of Ireland Metropolitan Cup

took place recently and we look forward

to completing these prestigious Leinster

competitions that generate cup rugby

passion between clubs and their fans. This

year will mark the 100th edition of the

Metropolitan Cup so this will be a special

occasion for all those clubs involved.

I hope you all enjoy the game and thank

you for your support which contributes so

much to our success as a club.

On behalf of Leinster Rugby I wish all

involved a happy, healthy and enjoyable

rugby season.

‘Keep The Faith’ as the future belongs to

those who believe in their dreams (Eleanor

Roosevelt)

John Walsh

President Leinster Rugby 2020-2022

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 5


Leo Cullen

head Coach Welcome

Good evening and welcome to the RDS Arena!

A warm welcome also to Mike

Blair and his Edinburgh team,

who have been in flying form

this season and currently sit

ahead of us in the United Rugby

Championship table – we know

we’re in for a tough challenge this

evening.

It’s good to be back in action after the

disappointment of losing away in Cardiff

with the last kick of the game.

It’s always a tough way to lose a game

and serves as a harsh reminder to keep

playing to the final whistle. The defeat

gave us plenty to think about and shows

just how tight this season’s URC is going

to be. There are a number of teams that

can all beat one another on any given

day so we’re in for a very interesting

second half of the season.

A big congratulations to Joe McCarthy,

who made his Leinster debut in Cardiff.

Joe is still only 21 but has really

impressed the group, both in training and

while playing for Dublin University in the

Energia AIL. We all hope that he goes

on to have a long and successful career

with Leinster.

Joe is the latest in a long

line of players that

have come through

our Academy to play

for the senior team,

which is a credit to

everyone involved in

maintaining that vital

pathway.

6 | www.leinsterrugby.ie

It seems a while ago now but many

thanks to everyone who turned out for

our last home fixture against Montpellier

in the Champions Cup.

It was a good day all round and the

5,000 of you who won the lottery and

were allowed in certainly made enough

noise to fill the empty spaces!

A big thank you also to everyone who

followed us over to Bath. There was a

fantastic atmosphere at the Rec, and even

the walk to the ground with members of

the OLSC Committee organising flags

along the route! Brilliant to see.

That victory meant we now face a home/

away knock-out game against Connacht

in the Round of 16. The home leg takes

place on 15 April and we hope to run out

in front of a packed Aviva Stadium as we

chase down that elusive fifth star on the

jersey. Hopefully see you for that one!

Speaking of full houses, it was so uplifting

to see crowds back in situ for the opening

round of the Six Nations.

Ireland’s comprehensive victory over

Wales was impressive to watch and

we were really pleased to see so many

Leinster players contributing to the

win. We’re all hoping for another big

performance and hopefully a win against

France in Paris tomorrow evening.

The Six Nations window is always a

challenging but really exciting time for us.

With so many of our players away on

national duty, it’s an opportunity for

others to step forward and show what

they can do. Today’s game is the first

of three consecutive home fixtures for

us, so it’s also an opportunity for those

players to perform in front of their own

supporters.

I hope we’ll see as many of you as

possible here in the next few weeks as

we push for a good quarter-final

seeding.

A big thanks to all our sponsors,

especially Bank of Ireland, for their

continued backing. Now that normality

has all but returned, we look forward

to seeing more of you and hopefully

sharing some big occasions in the coming

months.

This time of year is also the start of the

Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Schools

Cups and I want to wish everyone

involved the best of luck. Schools rugby

represents everything that’s good about

our game and this season will again see

players, coaches, families, volunteers

and others enjoying the best of underage

rugby and making memories that last a

lifetime.

Of course our clubs have been up and

running the last few months and we are

hearing great reports about the talent

on display in the Shane Horgan Cup

and of course, the newly named, Sarah

Robinson Cup.

In March, both the Bank of Ireland

Provincial Towns Cup and the

Metropolitan Cup kick-off and it will be

great to see those competitions back

especially with the Provincial Towns Cup

lying dormant since 2019 because of

Covid-19.

Spring is finally here, games are

back across our 12 counties and

there’s an optimism in the air

that makes everything feel

brighter.

Thanks for all your

support, always, and

sticking with us through

thick and thin.

Leo.

Enjoy the game,


With so many of our players

away on national duty, it’s an

opportunity for others to step

forward and show what they can do.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 7


8 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


carla

delaney

DIRECTOR, BANK OF IRELAND AREA EAST

Welcome back

to the RDS

Arena for

this evening’s

clash against

Edinburgh Rugby,

where for the

first time in a

long time we can

finally welcome

fans to a full

stadium! What a

sight it will be

for the Leinster

Rugby players

to run out at a

packed RDS and

to hear that

famous roar

once again.

It is hard to believe we have to go

back two years to the last time we

had a packed RDS with little or

no Covid-19 restrictions. The past

few weeks have given everyone

in society a massive boost as

restrictions were eased and a

sense of normality returned to our

lives.

It is also great to be starting a three-week

block of home games with a visit from

one of the form teams in the United Rugby

Championship, Edinburgh Rugby, who lie

in second place. Leo Cullen and his men

will be keenly aware of the danger that

the Scottish side pose, and there have

been some exciting battles between these

teams over the last few years.

No doubt the players’ minds will be

focussed on bouncing back from the

disappointment of the loss away to

Cardiff Rugby in the last URC round.

Despite that defeat we had yet another

example of the Leinster Rugby player

pathway delivering with the debut of Joe

McCarthy. Congratulations, Joe!

Away from the Leinster Senior squad, it

has been great to see action returning in

the Shane Horgan Cup and the Sarah

Robinson Cup. These are two competitions

that Bank of Ireland is proud to support,

championing the boys and girls in our

clubs and giving them their first taste of

competitive and representative action.

We were also delighted that the draw

for the Bank of Ireland Metropolitan

Cup and Provincial Towns Cup took

place recently and to see all the clubs

excited to get back out there competing

for two prestigious trophies – especially

the Provincial Towns Cup which has

been missing off the rugby calendar

since 2019. It is great to have it back

in 2022 and will be interesting to see if

Enniscorthy can retain their title after the

two-year hiatus.

At half-time in this evening’s match you’ll

also get to enjoy and cheer on the

budding rugby stars of the future as minis

rugby takes centre stage. This is another

area that Bank of Ireland is delighted to

be back supporting and I want to wish

all four teams taking part the very best

of luck.

One by one, all the elements that make

up the full match-day experience are

returning and it is great to be a part of it

all again.

Enjoy the game,

Carla Delaney.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 9


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Did you

know?

Leinster Rugby have lost two

of their last three United Rugby

Championship encounters, at home

to Ulster and away at Cardiff. The

defeat to Ulster was Leinster’s

only home loss since Munster beat

them at the RDS Arena in last

season’s Rainbow Cup.

• The Leinstermen have lost just

one of their last nine encounters

with Scottish opponents: 12-15

to Glasgow at Scotstoun in the

Rainbow Cup in June.

Edinburgh Rugby lost their most

recent match 19-23 at Ospreys

on 29 January to end a six-game

unbeaten run in the United Rugby

Championship.

Edinburgh have won twice away

from home in the United Rugby

Championship this season,

beating Zebre in Round 5 and

Dragons in Round 6.

• The Scotsmen have won only

one of their last eight fixtures

against Irish provinces: 15-14

against Connacht in Galway last

March.

Leinster have lost only two

of their last nine encounters

with Edinburgh, at Myerside

in February 2018 and at BT

Murrayfield in March 2019.

Edinburgh have lost on their

last eighteen visits to Dublin

to face Leinster in Dublin in

all tournaments since their

27-13 victory at Donnybrook in

November 2005.

COMPARISON

Overall URC head-to-head record:

Played 34, Leinster won 22, Edinburgh won 12.

Last 3 URC results:

27 Nov - Ulster (H) L 10-20 3 Dec - Benetton (H) W 24-10

3 Dec - Connacht (H) W 47-19 8 Jan - Cardiff Rugby (H) W 34-10

29 Jan - Cardiff Rugby (A) L 27-29 29 Jan - Ospreys (A) L 19-23

URC 2021/22

4th - W6 D0 L2 - 30PTS

WWWLWL (21pts)

URC form

2nd - W6 D1 L2 - 34PTS

WWWWWL (25pts)

Top try scorer

4 - Adam Byrne, 4 - Darcy Graham,

Dan Sheehan

Boan Venter, Ben Vellacott

Top points scorer

45 - Ross Byrne 37 - Blair Kinghorn

Date Venue L E Leinster scorers Edinburgh scorers

Fri 29 Sep 17 RDS Arena 21 13 Ross Byrne(C) Jordi Murphy(T) Joey

Carbery(T) Jamison Gibson-Park(T) Johnny

Sexton(2C)

Fri 9 Feb 18 Myreside 24 29 Ross Byrne(2C) Max Deegan(T) Barry

Daly(2T) Scott Fardy(T)

Sat 22 Sep 18 RDS Arena 31 7 James Lowe(T) Garry Ringrose(T) Jordan

Larmour(T) Fergus McFadden(T) Johnny

Sexton(T/3C)

Jason Tovey(T/C/2P)

Nathan Fowles(T) Duhan van der Merwe(T)

Jaco van der Walt(C) Mark Bennett(T) Sam

Hidalgo-Clyne(C) Murray McCallum(T) Luke

Crosbie(T)

Jaco van der Walt(C) Magnus Bradbury(T)

Fri 22 Mar 19 BT Murrayfield 11 28 Ciaran Frawley(2P) Sean Cronin(T) Jaco van der Walt(2C) Viliame Mata(T)

Willem Nel(T) Ross Ford(T) Simon Hickey(C)

Penalty Try(T)

Fri 11 Oct 19 RDS Arena 40 14 Michael Bent(T) Ross Byrne(4C) Harry

Byrne(C) Rowan Osborne(T) Scott Penny(T)

Jamison Gibson-Park(T) Caelan Doris(T)

Michael Milne(T)

Mon 16 Nov

20

RDS Arena 50 10 Ciaran Frawley(5C) Peter Dooley(T) Dave

Kearney(T) Cian Kelleher(3T) Dan Leavy(T)

Luke McGrath(2T)

Jaco van der Walt(C) Jamie Farndale(T)

Simon Hickey(C) Charlie Shiel(T)

Nathan Chamberlain(C/P) Nic Groom(T)

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 13


14 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


max

deegan

the big interview

BY RYAN CORRY

Running

out against

Harlequins

at Aviva

Stadium in a

pre-season

friendly in

September

marked the

biggest step

in a long

journey for

Max Deegan.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 15


It was the back rower’s first

appearance since suffering an

horrific ACL injury in October the

previous year when, to many, he

appeared to be at the peak of his

powers.

Prior to the shutdown of sport in early

2020, his stunning form for Leinster

Rugby had carried him into Andy Farrell’s

Ireland squad and seen him get his first

international cap in the Guinness Six

Nations.

While the most unforeseen of

circumstances would halt that, the knee

injury would extend Deegan’s lay-off

while the game continued without him.

“Last year was really tough, getting

injured early and not getting back until

the start of this year. It’s such a long-term

injury and every week you just want

to be out there playing with the lads.

It’s just great to be back. There was

a bit of a slow start to the year with

how my knee was reacting to being

back training but it’s feeling really

good now and I’ve been feeling

really good on the pitch too,” he

explains.

“It was such an odd one. I was playing

and really happy with how it was going

and then the pandemic kicks in. We get

back then and I play two games and do

my ACL. It’s not the best luck but that’s

the way sport is, isn’t it?

“And the way times were with Covid,

I’m just really happy to be back playing.

We’ve a really good team this year and

I’m happy to be involved in it so now

I’m looking forward to pushing on and

hopefully winning a few trophies at the

end of the year.”

On the night Deegan’s injury occurred,

Dragons were the opposition, a team

that has accidentally been linked with the

former St Michael’s College man as long

as he has been around the professional

game.

December 3, 2016, as a 20-year-old,

Deegan came off the bench to make

his Leinster Rugby debut in a home win

against the Welsh side.

He’d also make his first start for the

province at Rodney Parade in September

the following year before, in the reverse

fixture, scoring his first try in Leinster

colours.

His luck with Dragons took a turn on

that night in October 2020 but now

the hope is that the latest marker is

the start of a reverse in fortune again

– his first competitive start since that

night came at Rodney Parade earlier

this season.

However, he acknowledges that there

was and is some work still left to done.

“That’s a weird one. My mates always

allude to it about anytime we’re playing

Dragons that I’ll be playing. It’s a funny

16 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


one when you say it like that, it’s mad. It

seems that a lot of good things and bad

things come from playing against them,”

Deegan laughs.

“I had a lot of confidence in the work

that myself and the physios had done,

the knee felt really strong but it took a

while just to get back into the swing of

things. Like even the first few games,

a little protection of it, I felt good but

subconsciously you have that bit of doubt

in your head.

“Once I got that match fitness back,

which is the most important thing, I

started to feel really good and I think I’m

in the best position I’ve been since the

injury at the moment.

“I’ve just had the one start this year, the

knee wasn’t too good so I don’t think I

was able to put out on the pitch what

I really wanted to and there’s such an

insane amount of competition in the back

row right now, the likes of Jack (Conan)

and Caelan (Doris) are going so well

at the moment, and then there’s Rhys

(Ruddock), Josh (van der Flier), (Scott)

Penny, Will (Connors), (Dan) Leavy, it’s

ridiculous.

It’s such a long-term injury

and every week you just want to

be out there playing with the

lads. It’s just great to be back.

“Everyone’s playing well too, nobody

is playing poorly at the moment in that

position so now that the lads are off

in camp, it’s great that we can get the

opportunity to play and we’ll have to take

these chances. Anyone can get injured at

any time and there’s big games coming

up that you want to be involved in.”

That element of doubt around his return

to action becomes clearer when you look

at some of those around him who haven’t

been so fortunate in their comebacks from

long-term injury. Two of the back rows he

named along with Conor O’Brien and

Brian Deeny have been through similar

periods of rehab with more misfortune

greeting them down the line.

“I’ve been lucky enough considering the

ACL is such a big injury. You see Will last

week, Dan had such a long injury and

then comes back, he’s in great condition,

he looks great at the moment but then he

injures his wrist, how bad can your luck

get?,” Deegan says.

“Same with Will, his knee, his hamstring

and then he gets a random knee injury

in the last game. It’s shocking for them,

I really feel for them. In that sense, I feel

very lucky with how my body is at the

moment because it could be so much

worse.

“I can’t state enough how lucky I was to

have COB and Brian working with me

because they’re two great guys. Both

were very unlucky to be in the same

position that I was but having them with

me was great, being by yourself can be

tough but having them made it easier and

more enjoyable.

“It can appear very dark at times but

having them there to have the craic in

the gym made the rehab phase so much

easier. They’re two amazing players but

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 17


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also two great mates of mine. They’ve

picked up one or two little injuries as well

on the back of it which is terrible to see,

and you feel for them so I’m keen to see

them bounce back and really get going.”

So, with that phase of his career in the

rearview mirror, it’s back to the present

for Deegan and how he can once again

hit the heights of 2019/20 that saw him

included in that Ireland squad.

Coming off the back of that loss to Cardiff

where he replaced Connors after half an

hour, he has a chance to start his second

game of the campaign and is quietly

appreciative of having some rescheduled

games added to this window allowing

him to stake his claim for further inclusion.

“The Cardiff loss was unbelievably

disappointing. I thought there were parts

of the game that we did well in but at the

end of the day we just coughed up too

many penalties. There were some things

that we got wrong,” he reflects.

“It’s a tough place to go. There was a

big crowd and it’s the first time they’ve

had fans back so it was very loud and

passionate from their fans. Some of

our decisions and accuracy around the

breakdown just wasn’t good enough. That

leads to points and then they start getting

on top of us and score some nice tries

when we missed a few chances. We have

to take those chances when we get them

while not giving them the opportunities to

score like we did late in the game.

“It’s a game we easily could have won

too so it’s frustrating. You could see it in

the changing room after, everyone was

bitterly disappointed with how the result

went but there are still positives to take

away from it. Positives that we’ll bring

into this next game and of course a few

fix-ups.”

That loss gives added impetus to the

visit of Edinburgh to the RDS Arena this

evening.

The Scottish capital side sit ahead of

Leinster in the table but both sides have

fallen spots in the last fortnight having

suffered defeats in Wales – Edinburgh

going down to Ospreys in Swansea.

For every bit of motivation losing to

Cardiff can add to Leinster’s mindset

this evening, it’ll be matched by their

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 19


opponents while, as Deegan highlights,

both sides will also feature squad players

pushing for further inclusion in the

absence of internationals.

“There was supposed to be no games

on in this block for us which would have

been so annoying so you’re almost

thankful that those games had to be

rescheduled. We’re all chomping at the

bit here. There’s good strength in depth

and we can’t wait to show the coaches

what we’ve got,” he says.

“There’s so many of us vying for positions

in the team, a lot of the lads are going

well and we just want to make it in

because we’ve a good block of games

now and we can’t wait to rip into them.

Edinburgh have been going really well.

The new coaching set-up has brought

a new attacking style to the team.

They’re playing very well, a much more

expansive game but we can’t wait to play

them, especially back at home.

“Away to Cardiff was so tough to take

and we want to put that right in front of

our home crowd. Edinburgh are a really

good side though and they’re playing

some of their best rugby for a while so I

can’t wait to get at them.”

Of course, with so many changes now to

squads with those internationals away,

there will be rotation to much of the

personnel on both sides which could add

some difficulty from a ‘team analysis’

point of view.

However, under Mike Blair, Edinburgh

have set out a new style of play and

Deegan expects them to be aiming

to replicate that regardless of who is

in-sit from 1-23.

“There’s a small bit of the

unknown but at the end of the

day, they’ll play the same

brand of rugby and try to

play the same way. It’s

not a different set-up, the

personnel will be different

but they’ll try to attack the same

20 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


We’re all

chomping at the

bit here. There’s

good strength in

depth and we can’t

wait to show the

coaches what

we’ve got.”

way and set up to defend the same way,”

he adds.

“But then with that bit of unknown, it

forces us to focus on ourselves and we

always believe that if we perform to the

best of our ability, we’re going to go

really well. It puts the focus on us and the

importance of our attack, our defence,

our set-piece, making sure we get that

right before we start to worry about what

they’re doing.

“Mike Blair has brought in a great sense

of width to their game. That’s what we’ve

seen this season and there might be some

changes but that’s what we are going

to expect from them. That means we’ve

got to get our defence right, be more

disciplined, avoid giving them chances or

entries into our 22. Nail our defence first

and then show them what we’ve got.”

Deegan admits he hasn’t given much

thought to what comes beyond tonight,

forcing himself to stay in the current week,

focusing on the current game, but has still

set reachable goals.

From the highs of becoming an Ireland

international to the low of the ACL injury,

he knows all too well that you don’t want

to look too far ahead of yourself in rugby.

“I haven’t really thought that far down

the line. I want to be in the team when

it comes to these big games. I want to

be on the pitch, I want to be involved. If

we’re trying to win trophies, I want to be

helping the team push for them. The thing

at the moment though is I just want to get

back on the pitch, get good minutes, play

good rugby. That’s what it’s all about.

“I want to be involved but that starts with

training well, playing well, making an

impact on the pitch, getting the ball in my

hand as much as possible, and trying to

make things happen which I’m focused

on at the moment and then hopefully

those other things will come down the

line.”

Based on the heights he has reached in

the past, you would think that it’s only a

matter of time.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 21


Action

replay 29 27

CARDIFF RUGBY

Hallam Amos; Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo,

Ben Thomas (Max Llewellyn 66),

Aled Summerhill; Jarrod Evans,

Lloyd Williams; Corey Domachowski

(Rhys Carre 50), Kirby Myhill

(Efan Daniel 66), Dimitri Arhip

(Dillon Lewis 50); Josh Turnbull,

Rory Thornton (Teddy Williams 57);

Shane Lewis-Hughes, Will Boyde

(Sam Moore h-t), James Botham.

SCORERS

Tries: Owen Lane, Hallam Amos.

Cons: Jarrod Evans (2).

Pens: Jarrod Evans (4), Ben Thomas.

SATURDAY, 11 DECEMBER

AVIVA STADIUM

ATTENDANCE: 25,403

HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP

LEINSTER RUGBY

Jimmy O’Brien; Adam Byrne

(Tommy O’Brien 53), Jamie Osborne

(Harry Byrne 63), Ciarán Frawley,

Rory O’Loughlin; Ross Byrne,

Luke McGrath; Ed Byrne (Peter Dooley

53), Seán Cronin (James Tracy 47),

Michael Alaalatoa; Devin Toner

(Ross Molony 53), Joe McCarthy;

Rhys Ruddock, Will Connors

(Max Deegan 30), Scott Penny.

SCORERS

Tries: Adam Byrne, James Tracy, Scott

Penny.

Cons: Ross Byrne (3).

Pens: Ross Byrne (2).

22 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


I’m fairly gutted for a lot of the

guys who have been waiting a while

for this opportunity. There was

plenty of good stuff for us to take

from the game.

Head coach Leo Cullen

I’m really

delighted to

get this chance

to make my

debut and with

my family here

but would have

preferred the

win.

Joe McCarthy

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 23


Lindsay Peat Announces

International Retirement

Lindsay Peat has

announced her

retirement from

international rugby,

bringing the curtain

down on a stellar

and inspirational

career in green. Peat

made her Ireland

debut in 2015 and

went on to win 38

Test caps, her final

appearance coming in

the autumn Test win

over the USA at the

RDS last November.

Peat was a driving force both

on and off the pitch during her

six-year international career,

inspiring a new generation of

players through her performances

and passion for the sport and

green jersey. Although she

has now called time on her

international rugby career, Peat

is not hanging up her boots

completely and will continue

to play in the Energia Women’s

All-Ireland League with Railway

Union.

Commenting on her retirement, Peat said:

“To write a statement or to not has been

a question on my mind but today it feels

right to simply say thank you.

“I always dreamed of becoming a

professional athlete, a sportsperson,

and I have on the greatest level possible

fulfilled that dream. I still feel the need to

pinch myself to believe it.

“The last six years have given me the

chance to sing my beloved ‘Amhrán na

bhFiann’, to sing ‘Ireland’s Call’, to meet

the President of Ireland, to play in a home

World Cup.

24 | www.leinsterrugby.ie

“In 38 appearances I have scored tries

for my country and given away a few

too! I have laughed. I have cried. I really

did go out and ‘break a leg’!

“I want to take this opportunity to give a

special thank you to everyone who has

played an integral part in my journey

over the last six years.

“To the IRFU and all the staff at No

10/12, to the HPC, coaching and

management teams, medical staff, S&C

coaches, nutritionists, game officials,

sponsors and Rugby Players Ireland. To

my opponents, my team-mates, my club

Railway Union – thank you.

“To the supporters, especially family and

friends, who have supported me and us

as a team. You have all been immense

in helping us to build a world for female

sports, in helping it thrive and continuing

to push it to where it needs to be. You see

the potential – thank you.

“A special mention to the aspiring young

girls who come and support us: you are

our motivation and inspiration to be better

and to keep going, even when times are

tough – thank you.

“Finally, to the foundations and the

people who have loved me, supported

me, believed in me, gave me so many

tools of pride, passion, hard work,

humility and never-say-die attitude – my

family and extended family. I owe you

the biggest thank you of all because

I couldn’t have gone on this journey

without you. Your support has been

relentless and tireless, and I am eternally

grateful. Each of you have motivated me

to be the very best version of myself on

and off the pitch – thank you!

“I am filled with many emotions as I

confirm my retirement from international

rugby. I am both hugely proud and sad

and in equal measure, but ultimately I

have an overriding sense of excitement

for what the future holds.”


TikTok Women’s

Six Nations

The Ireland Women’s team, under

new head coach Greg McWilliams

and newly appointed assistant

coach Niamh Briggs, will get

their 2022 campaign underway

against Wales on Saturday, 26

March, (KO 4.45pm) at the RDS in

Dublin, where almost 3,000 fans

supported the team during their

recent win over Japan.

Ireland will then travel to France for

round two on Saturday, 2 April, before

their second home game, against Italy,

is played at Musgrave Park on Sunday,

10 April (KO 5pm). The Cork venue has

been successfully hosting the Ireland

U-20s since 2019.

The penultimate weekend sees the

Ireland women travel to play England

on Sunday, 24 April (KO 12pm), before

the final home match of the 2022 Six

Nations, against Scotland, is staged at

Kingspan Stadium on Saturday, 30 April

(KO 8pm). This will be the first senior

international to be played at the Belfast

venue since the 2017 Women’s Rugby

World Cup final.

For the first time in its history, the

Women’s Six Nations will have a title

partner, with the championship set to

be known as the TikTok Women’s Six

Nations.

As a platform designed to bring fans

even closer to the action, TikTok will offer

new and existing rugby fans a window

into the women’s game, one of the

fastest growing areas of the sport. The

investment from TikTok will be felt by each

Union.

Whilst not limited to the women’s

game, this partnership will help each

Union continue to develop this area

of the game. In doing so, exposure

for the women’s game, engagement,

participation and major growth are all

ambitions of this partnership.

The 2022 championship will see all 15

matches broadcast on BBC in the UK,

RTÉ and Virgin Media in Ireland and Sky

Italia in Italy.

Six Nations CEO Ben Morel commented:

“Increased visibility is key for the growth

of the women’s game. We are delighted

to have enhanced broadcast partnerships

in place along with a continuation of the

dedicated window from which we saw

such success last year.

“These two key developments along with

continued investment in many other areas

including performance, commercial and

marketing will enhance the Women’s Six

Nations for fans and players alike.”

Ticket information for Ireland’s three

home games in Dublin, Cork, and Belfast

will be available on IrishRugby.ie.

If you are

interested in

taking up rugby

or you would like

to follow our

updates, check out

our social media

channels:

Leinster Women’s Rugby

LeinsterWomensRugby

@LeinsterWomen

womenspro@leinsterrugby.ie

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 25


HERE’S TO BEING SHOULDER

TO SHOULDER AGAIN


SHOP THE 2021/22 LEINSTER RUGBY RANGE NOW,

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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?

EELY

TORPEDO

CONTENT

SPY

how did you do?

IN A BLUR?

MICHAEL ALA’ALATOA

ANAGRAMS

PETER DOOLE

SCOTT PENNY

ZOOMED IN!

NICK MCCARTHY

zoomed in!

WHo is this leinster

player having an

extreme close-up?

28 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


AJ Products provides unique

solutions for office,

warehouse and

environment

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AZTO

with

Jamie Osborne

A – Action: If you could be a superhero,

which would you be?

Thor

B – Boyhood: Who was your favourite

sporting idol growing up?

Brian O’Driscoll

C – Childhood: What is your favourite

childhood memory?

Playing rugby in the garden with my

brothers!

D – Dish: What’s your go-to pre-match

meal?

Chicken stir fry with rice

E – Education: What was your favourite

subject in school?

History

F – Film buff: What’s your favourite film?

The Hangover

G – Groove: Who is the best dancer in

the squad?

Thomas Clarkson

H – Holiday: What’s your favourite

holiday destination?

Spain

I – Inside: Who is the worst to sit beside

in the dressing room?

Niall Comerford

J – Joker: Who is the funniest in the

squad?

Joe McCarthy

K – Kick-off: What’s your favourite time

of the day to play a match?

5pm

L – Languages: How many languages

can you speak?

One

M – Music: Your favourite artist and

song right now?

Two Door Cinema Club - What You

Know

N – Number: Do you have a lucky

number?

I don’t have a lucky number yet!

30 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


O – Others: What’s your favourite

sport outside of rugby?

Gaelic football to play, football

to follow

P – Pal: Who is your best mate in

the squad?

Alex Soroka

Q – Quirky: Who has the most

interesting fashion sense?

Martin Moloney

R – Red Carpet: Who is the most

famous contact in your phone?

Max O’Reilly

S – Superstitions: Do you have any

matchday routines?

No

T – Trim: What’s the worst haircut

you’ve ever had?

I shaved my head during the first

lockdown!

U: Under pressure: Who in the

squad would be the best in a bad

situation?

Temi Lasisi

V – Verified: How often do you use

social media?

Rarely post on it but use it a lot…

W – Worst fear: What are

you most scared of?

Spiders

X – X-ray: Have you ever

broken any bones?

Not yet anyway

Y – Youth: Where did you

grow up?

Naas, Co Kildare

Z – Zoo: What’s your

favourite animal?

Dogs

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 31


THE SPIRIT OF

UNITED RUGBY

CHAMPIONSHIP.

Enjoy responsibly

DISCOVER THE SPIRIT WITHIN |

#SAVOURTHEMOMENT


Men’s Energia All-Ireland

League update

With 12 of 18 rounds in the men’s

Energia All-Ireland League now

complete, Leinster clubs are

currently enjoying a short break

in the competition before facing

into the season defining last six

matches in the campaign which

recommences on 19 February.

There are 18 Leinster clubs competing

across the five divisions of 10 teams

which make up this season’s league.

Each of those clubs will now firmly have

their sights on what is required to either

achieve a top-four finish to get into playoffs,

or to escape a dreaded relegation

play-off by avoiding finishing in the

bottom two.

The leading four clubs in each division

will play-off to decide who is the overall

winner with the clubs finishing first and

second having home advantage in a

semi-final against the third and fourth

clubs respectfully leading into a final for

the title. In Division 1A, the final winner

will be crowned the Energia All-Ireland

League champions, while the winners in

each of the other four division play-offs

will win promotion to the league above.

At the other end of the scale the bottom

two clubs in each division will playoff

where the team finishing second last will

have home advantage in a game that

will define who is relegated to the league

below.

DIVISION 1A

Of the five Leinster clubs competing,

three currently fill the top three places.

Clontarf pave the way having only lost

one game to date, they hold a five-point

advantage at the top over second-placed

Lansdowne, who in turn are six points

clear of Terenure College who have won

their last six games in a row.

Dublin University in sixth place are nicely

placed to contend and are only four

points adrift of a play-off spot. UCD in

eighth place are 12 points clear of the

bottom two clubs and should retain their

1A status.

DIVISION 1B

Again, there are five Leinster clubs

competing and it is Old Wesley who sit

on top and are another club to only taste

defeat once this season. They hold a

six-point lead and are 10 points clear of

third-placed St Mary’s, who in turn are

three points clear of fourth-placed Naas.

Old Belvedere are in seventh place and

can still surmount a challenge if their

fortunes change. Navan, although in

10th position, have shown better form of

late as they strive to get out of having to

face a relegation play-off.

DIVISION 2A

MU Barnhall are the sole Leinster

representative in this division and sit

comfortably in fifth place, seventh points

adrift of a play-off place. A strong finish

to the remainder of the campaign could

see them make a challenge.

DIVISION 2B

It is Greystones who hold a commanding

lead at the top again having only been

beaten once so far in this season’s

campaign. The battle for the other three

play-off places is tightly fought between

a number of clubs. Blackrock lie in joint

second place a full 13 points behind the

Wicklow men. Wanderers are in joint

fourth place a further three points behind.

With Greystones looking more and more

likely to finish top, for and against points

along with bonus points could yet decide

who joins them in the play-offs. Malahide

will require another couple of victories

to lift themselves out of having to face a

relegation play-off.

DIVISION 2C

Again, it is the Leinster clubs to the fore

with the three clubs competing in this

league from the province sitting in the

top three positions. Enniscorthy are the

fourth Leinster club across the divisions to

have only been beaten once this season.

The Wexford team hold a nine-point

advantage over second-placed Skerries,

who in turn have a nine-point lead over

Tullamore in third place.

So, all in all, the bulk of the province’s

clubs face into the final stages of this

season’s Energia Men’s All-Ireland

league with plenty at stake so an exciting

end to the campaign with plenty of great

rugby action is anticipated before playoffs

take place. Good luck to all.

Check out the IRFU website along with

participating club websites and social

media outlets for upcoming fixtures.

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: 113kg

7

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

23

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

13

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

53

CAPS

13

CAPS

Jamison Gibson-Park #1247

SCRUM HALF

DOB: 23/02/1992

HEIGHT: 1.75m

WEIGHT: 80kg

13

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

113

CAPS

2

CAPS

Robbie Henshaw #1251

53

CAPS

9

CAPS

Dave Kearney #1158

19

CAPS

Hugo Keenan #1253

17

CAPS

Ronan Kelleher #1277

17

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

41

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

38

CAPS

Rhys Ruddock #1167

27

CAPS

James Ryan #1259

41

CAPS

Johnny Sexton #1127

102

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

3

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

36

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


Official Health

and Wellbeing

Partner to

Leinster Rugby

Always a beat ahead


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Official Media Partner of Leinster Rugby


Surprise visitor to

Seapoint RC inspires

next generation

A cold Wednesday evening

training session for the U-13

squad in south Dublin’s Seapoint

RC took a sunny turn as New

Zealand rugby legend Sonny

Bill Williams showed up to offer

some coaching advice and share

his expertise with the lads last

month.

The two-time Rugby World Cup winner

turned boxer, currently in Ireland, where

he is in training, decided to drop down to

the club to meet the young players and

their coaches.

Commenting on the appearance of

the All Blacks legend, Club President

Mick O’Toole says: “We were so

honoured that Sonny Bill dropped in to

see us here in Seapoint. I don’t think

he could believe the reception he got

with everyone looking for photos and a

handshake but Sonny Bill couldn’t have

been more gracious and was hugely

generous with his time, staying for the

entire session with our U-13s squad.”

The club took to social media to share the

news, and photographs from Williams’

appearance, garnering huge interest and

support from far and wide.

U-13 coach, Graham Byrne, added,

“The lads were absolutely thrilled to

meet a rugby legend of the calibre of

Sonny Bill Williams. He’s such a fantastic

role model for them, offering them some

super advice namely that having fun and

enjoying the game is the most important

thing. We wholeheartedly agree here in

Seapoint as our motto is ‘Fun, Fitness and

Friendship’.”

Many of the parents, who were having a

coffee in the clubhouse on the evening,

said they were delighted for the players

and were sure it would be a January

evening they will never forget in their

beloved club.

The annual Seapoint RC Blitz, the largest

event of its kind in Ireland, takes place

on Sunday, April 24, in Kilbogget

Park, Cabinteely, Co Dublin where it is

expected that over 30 clubs, 100 teams

and over 1,600 players at U-10, U-11

and U-12 level will take part in over 400

matches for a day of rucking, passing

and tackling.

For more information go to:

www.seapointrugby.com

Images: Damien Corcoran

Seapoint RC are always seeking new

players, girls and boys at all levels,

whether you are starting off your rugby

adventure or coming back to play.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 43


Ratoath RFC

Building A Stake

In The Community

Ratoath RFC

is a young,

vibrant

club serving

the areas

of Ratoath,

Dunshaughlin,

Dunboyne and

surrounding

areas.

Since founding in 2004, over

1000 young people from the local

community have played in the

club, and there are more than

200 current players and dozens

of coaches and volunteers. The

club has strong links to the local

community and schools, and is

proud of the work which has

led to on-field success including

victories in the North East Area

McGee Cup and Leinster Dunne

Cup for its senior team.

The youth’s section has regularly won in

cups and shields in the North East and

Leinster divisions, and the club is well

represented in the Leinster development

squads competing in the Shane Horgan

Cup. Upwards of 70 minis boys and girls

under the age of 12 train and play each

weekend, and there is a real sense of

community and fun on Saturday mornings

when they train!

Ratoath RFC is very much a community

club. The club works with local community

activists and organisations, volunteering

to improve the life of its hinterland. It is

not uncommon to see minis and their

families organised into crews of litterpickers

along the Ratoath riverwalk or in

the village.

44 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


After COVID restrictions eased, the club

was delighted to be invited to play an

exhibition game for older residents in

the Silver Stream Nursing Home. As a

family club, regular trips to the RDS and

Aviva Stadium for parents and players

are organised throughout the season to

watch their heroes and socialise together.

The club’s challenge now is to provide

its young people with the facilities they

deserve. The club has embarked on

an ambitious project over recent years,

acquiring land and constructing a fine

new pitch. Now, the focus is on building

a clubhouse to replace dilapidated

portacabins which have been vandalised

and are no longer fit-for-purpose.

“It’s been a long road to here. We had

several fundraisers interrupted because of

COVID, as indeed were our construction

plans,” says club chairman Conor Kiely.

“Our new pitch was a real step forward,

and the focus now is to complete our

clubhouse build. We finally turned the

sod and laid foundations in the summer

of 2021 and we have been actively

fundraising, selling sponsorship, running

raffles, golf outings and the like.

“People have been extraordinarily

generous. Our local community

businesses have really gotten behind us,

some very generous supporters in the

construction sector have helped turn the

dream of a new clubhouse into a reality,

and the club network of parents and

friends worked hard to sell 1,000 tickets

for our recent Car Draw.

“We hope our new facilities will develop

into a real focal point for our club and

our community in the years to come.”

The club is powering towards a bright

future and hopes to eventually have a

player or two on the Leinster squad who

will have fond memories of their time in

Ratoath Rugby Club, where it all started

for them!

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 45


compiled by stuart farmer

media services limited

Leinster Player

Statistics

SQUAD

CAP

NO

DEBUT

2021/22 SEASON FOR LEINSTER LEINSTER CAREER

ALL GAMES URC EPCR ALL GAMES PRO14/URC EPCR

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

SINCE LAST TRY

CAPS

VAKH ABDALADZE 1263 2 DEC 17 0+3 - - 0+2 - - 0+1 - - 0+15 1 5 0+14 1 5 0+1 - - 14 -

MICHAEL ALA'ALATOA 1301 25 SEP 21 6+4 1 5 5+2 - - 1+2 1 5 6+4 1 5 5+2 - - 1+2 1 5 3 WS 7

RYAN BAIRD 1278 27 APR 19 4+4 1 5 3+3 1 5 1+1 - - 16+19 7 35 14+14 7 35 2+5 - - 3 IR 7

ADAM BYRNE 1213 29 DEC 12 4 4 20 4 4 20 - - - 53+8 24 120 43+8 18 90 10 6 30 1 IR 1

ED BYRNE 1222 9 FEB 14 3+3 1 5 3+3 1 5 - - - 22+54 11 55 22+43 10 50 0+11 1 5 4 IR 6

HARRY BYRNE 1280 28 SEP 19 2+2 - 10 2+2 - 10 - - - 16+12 6 164 16+11 6 159 0+1 - 5 7 IR 2

ROSS BYRNE 1236 4 SEP 15 6+4 2 78 4+3 1 45 2+1 1 33 76+38 8 728 62+21 3 516 14+17 5 212 3 IR 13

THOMAS CLARK-

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

SON

JACK CONAN 1223 20 FEB 14 4 2 10 2 - - 2 2 10 84+25 25 125 61+15 16 80 23+10 9 45 2 IR 23

WILL CONNORS 1264 9 FEB 18 1+1 - - 1+1 - - - - - 18+7 2 10 17+7 2 10 1 - - 12 IR 9

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

SEAN CRONIN 1202 28 OCT 11 2+1 1 5 2+1 1 5 - - - 122+76 43 215 78+55 26 130 43+19 16 80 3 IR 72

MAX DEEGAN 1256 3 DEC 16 1+8 2 10 1+5 2 10 0+3 - - 36+38 20 100 33+27 18 90 3+11 2 10 5 IR 1

PETER DOOLEY 1230 31 OCT 14 0+3 - - 0+3 - - - - - 40+56 5 25 38+50 5 25 2+6 - - 11 -

CAELAN DORIS 1268 28 APR 18 7 2 10 4 2 10 3 - - 39+8 7 35 30+6 5 25 9+2 2 10 4 IR 13

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 8+2 1 7 6+1 - 2 2+1 1 5 25+20 5 150 22+15 3 134 3+5 2 16 2 -

TADHG FURLONG 1220 1 NOV 13 5 1 5 3 - - 2 1 5 78+41 9 45 45+33 3 15 33+8 6 30 2 IR 53

JAMISON GIBSON-PARK 1247 2 SEP 16 4+3 3 15 2+2 - - 2+1 3 15 53+55 20 100 46+30 14 70 7+25 6 30 2 IR 13

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+7 1 5 2+4 1 5 0+3 - - 158+82 28 140 92+52 14 70 64+29 13 65 6 IR 113

ROBBIE HENSHAW 1251 8 OCT 16 3 1 5 2 1 5 1 - - 59+1 12 60 27 6 30 32+1 6 30 3 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 8 3 15 5 1 5 3 2 10 35+3 7 35 27+3 5 25 8 2 10 1 IR 17

RONAN KELLEHER 1277 22 FEB 19 5+2 4 20 2+2 3 15 3 1 5 25+7 13 65 16+5 11 55 9+2 2 10 3 IR 17

JORDAN LARMOUR 1258 2 SEP 17 7 4 20 4 2 10 3 2 10 59+10 23 115 35+7 16 80 24+3 7 35 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 5+1 2 10 4 - - 1+1 2 10 57+1 36 180 38 25 125 19+1 11 55 1 IR 9

JOE MCCARTHY 1303 29 JAN 22 1 - - 1 - - - - - 1 - - 1 - - - - - - -

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 7+3 - - 6+1 - - 1+2 - - 109+52 39 195 75+44 31 155 34+8 8 40 12 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 8+2 1 5 5+2 - - 3 1 5 72+54 5 25 67+39 4 20 5+15 1 5 3 -

JOSH MURPHY 1261 3 NOV 17 2+1 - - 0+1 - - 2 - - 44+8 5 25 41+7 4 20 3+1 1 5 12 -

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

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 5+1 5 25 3 - - 2+1 5 25 31+10 12 62 27+9 6 32 4+1 6 30 2 -

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

TOMMY O'BRIEN 1283 20 DEC 19 0+5 - - 0+4 - - 0+1 - - 4+10 3 15 4+9 3 15 0+1 - - 10 -

RORY O'LOUGHLIN 1248 2 SEP 16 3 - - 3 - - - - - 67+23 21 105 60+15 18 90 7+8 3 15 33 IR 1

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

SCOTT PENNY 1271 23 NOV 18 3 2 10 3 2 10 - - - 26+6 18 90 26+6 18 90 - - - 1 -

ANDREW PORTER 1246 2 SEP 16 6+1 3 15 3+1 2 10 3 1 5 34+50 14 70 26+31 10 50 8+19 4 20 1 IR 41

GARRY RINGROSE 1237 12 SEP 15 8 1 5 5 1 5 3 - - 92+2 28 148 57+1 17 93 35+1 11 55 4 IR 38

RHYS RUDDOCK 1167 6 DEC 09 7+3 1 5 6+2 1 5 1+1 - - 150+48 12 60 112+33 10 50 37+13 2 10 4 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 41

JOHNNY SEXTON 1127 27 JAN 06 3+2 - 42 2+1 - 22 1+1 - 20 151+27 26 1549 89+20 13 855 60+7 12 663 18 IR 102

DAN SHEEHAN 1286 23 OCT 20 3+5 7 35 3+2 4 20 0+3 3 15 6+15 13 65 6+12 10 50 0+3 3 15 1 IR 3

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 4+2 - - 4+1 - - 0+1 - - 210+62 4 20 144+43 4 20 63+19 - - 55 IR 70

JAMES TRACY 1211 4 NOV 12 1+3 2 10 1+3 2 10 - - - 58+75 16 80 51+47 15 75 7+28 1 5 1 IR 6

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

JOSH VAN DER FLIER 1228 11 OCT 14 7+1 5 25 4+1 1 5 3 4 20 82+24 16 80 49+18 8 40 33+6 8 40 1 IR 36

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 88.89% 28 4 - 14 4 - 14 - - 224 79 1 168 54 1 56 25 - 390 77.69%

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 80.00% 18 2 - 8 2 - 10 - - 252 294 11 128 171 7 117 119 4 685 79.71%

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 47


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ig picture

29 January 2022

Joe McCarthy of Leinster runs out

for his debut before the United

Rugby Championship match

between Cardiff and Leinster

at Cardiff Arms Park in Cardiff,

Wales.

50 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 51


Tackle those

winter heating bills

with a home energy upgrade

Our Cosy Homes Scheme is a one stop

shop for home energy upgrades, big or

small. You could save up to 30% on your

energy bills with measures like improved

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Talk to us today about how you

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energia.ie/cosy-homes

0818 300 701


www.leinsterrugby.ie | 53


offical leinster

supporters club

Friday Night Lights is back!

Nothing unusual about that we

hear you say, except that this is

the first time in a long time that

regularly scheduled domestic

fixtures are intertwined with

International action.

Given a number of postponements of

games before Christmas, this Friday sees

us welcome Edinburgh Rugby for a fixture

that had been pencilled in for May, but

now brought forward. This game is the

first in a series of four for us over the

next month where we have three games

at home, before a trip to Treviso the first

weekend in March, all in all a busy time

for Leo and Co.

Given that the last game here in the

RDS against the Montpellier took place

under crowd restrictions, we’re delighted

these have now been lifted and that the

full contingent of the Leinster faithful can

attend for what is sure to be a crunch

fixture for both sides.

Two weeks ago we suffered a last minute

defeat away to Cardiff, while the same

weekend, our visitors for this evening

Edinburgh, also suffered defeat away to

Ospreys.

Given the interprovincial fixture last

weekend between Ulster and Connacht,

the result of that game means it a case of

2nd vs 4th for this evening.

Both sides will desperately want to get

their seasons back on track as if we’re

honest, neither would have expected to

lose away in Wales two weeks ago.

A stern, tough contest would’ve been

expected don’t get us wrong, but you

would’ve expected to taste success as

opposed defeat after the 80 minutes and

so Leo, Stuart and all involved will no

doubt want to show themselves, and the

fans, that this was a blip and that business

as usual is expected.

Our last outing against Edinburgh was

the November 2020 meeting in the

RDS, where in front of no fans, we came

away victors on a score of 50 – 10. The

Player of the Match that evening was

Dan Leavy who notched up an impressive

performance and set of stats on the field:

Points 5

Metres Gained 68

Carries 16

Tackles Made 3

It’s obviously bitterly disappointing that

Dan is not in action either domestically or

internationally at this time and we, as do

all the fans wish him a speedy recovery

and can’t wait for him to be back soon.

Switching to the focus for this week’s

game and as noted above this is simply

a game neither side will want to lose as

both desperately look to get their seasons

back on track.

Edinburgh currently sit in second whilst for

ourselves, it’s fourth. A number of teams

have played 10 games while it’s nine for

Edinburgh and eight for Leinster so the

win here would give either side a much

needed boost given we both also have

players away on international duty for the

foreseeable future.

LEINSTER

Played 8 Won 6 Drawn 0 Lost 2

For 246 Against 114

Bonus 5 Points 30

EDINBURGH

Played 9 Won 6 Drawn 1 Lost 2

For 224 Against 147

Bonus 6 Points 34

As always we’re thankful for the support

we as a committee get from Leinster

Rugby, as well as you the supporters, and

we encourage you to continue to show

your support for the team through our

social media channels.

Yours in rugby,

The 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


Join our FRIENDS

programme

and help support

seriously injured

rugby players

For more details,

click here

www.irfucharitabletrust.com


As Official Clean Air Partner to Leinster

Rugby we are delighted to support the

team in their pursuit of excellence by

adding Novaerus Air Disinfection 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.


Draws made for the

2022 Provincial Towns

Cup and Metro Cup

The draws for the 2022 Bank

of Ireland Metropolitan Cup

and Provincial Towns Cup were

broadcast recently on the Leinster

Rugby and Bank of Ireland

Facebook and YouTube pages.

The draw for the Provincial Towns Cup

seconds competition was also revealed.

The Provincial Towns Cup is set to

kick off on Sunday, 6 March, with

the Metropolitan Cup kicking off the

following weekend.

Twenty-eight teams will take part in this

year’s Provincial Towns Cup competition,

while four teams have been awarded

byes through to the second round.

These four teams are playing in Division

1A of the Leinster League: Ashbourne

RFC, Dundalk RFC, Kilkenny RFC and

Gorey RFC.

BANK OF IRELAND PROVINCIAL

TOWNS CUP FIRST ROUND DRAW:

County Carlow FC v

Longford RFC

Wexford Wanderers RFC v

Boyne RFC

Edenderry RFC v

Cill Dara RFC

Enniscorthy RFC v

Mullingar RFC

Clondalkin RFC v

Portlaoise RFC

Wicklow RFC v

Naas RFC

New Ross RFC v

Tullow RFC

Arklow RFC v

Tullamore RFC

Navan RFC v

Roscrea RFC

North Kildare v

Skerries RFC

Balbriggan RFC v

Athy RFC

Newbridge RFC v

Midland Warriors RFC

BANK OF IRELAND PROVINCIAL

TOWNS CUP – SECONDS CUP

DRAW:

Longford RFC v

Boyne RFC

North Meath/Athboy v

Clane RFC

Wicklow RFC v

Rathdrum RFC

Tullow RFC v

North Kildare RFC

Ashbourne RFC v

Portlaoise RFC

Mullingar RFC v

Edenderry RFC

New Ross RFC v

Wexford Wanderers RFC

Gorey RFC v

Ardee RFC

County Carlow FC v

Birr RFC

Portarlington RFC v

Athy RFC

BYES:

Naas RFC • Newbridge RFC

Cill Dara RFC • Kilkenny RFC

Dundalk RFC • Clondalkin RFC

BANK OF IRELAND

METROPOLITAN CUP

FIRST ROUND DRAW:

Terenure College RFC v

Old Wesley RFC

Lansdowne FC v

Greystones RFC

Old Belvedere RFC v

Bective Rangers RFC

Dublin University FC v

Monkstown FC

Suttonians RFC v

Seapoint RC

Blackrock College RFC v

MU Barnhall RFC

Wanderers FC v

Clontarf FC

St Mary's College RFC v

UCD RFC

Watch the full 2022 Metro Cup and

Towns Cup draw here.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 59


Virtual Mascot

David

Nixon

Age: 8

School: St Fintan’s NS Sutton

Class: Second Class

Hobbies: He plays rugby, GAA and soccer.

He absolutely loves sport, and has his eye on

Johnny Sexton’s position!

Favourite Player: Johnny Sexton

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 61


WHERE ARE

THEY NOW?

AIDAN KEARNEY

THEN: Aidan

Kearney

made 26

appearances

for Leinster

across the

2002/03 and

2003/04

seasons.

NOW: He is

currently

looking for

a new job in

rugby, living

in Bayside,

married to

Jenna with

three children

Ryan (8), Max

(6), and Lola

(1 1 / 2 ).

62 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Aidan Kearney was something

of a physical phenom back in the

late 1990s.

He moved from St Paul’s College in

Raheny to St Michael’s College for the

final two years of school which coincided

with a change in the age limit, enabling

Aidan to play both years of the Senior

Cup

In 1998, he shifted gears to UCD on

a two-year scholarship and was also

involved in the IRFU Academy where

Aidan joined the likes of Paul O’Connell,

Donncha O’Callaghan, Brian O’Driscoll,

Kieran Campbell, Adrian Flavin, Jerry

Flannery and Paddy Wallace.

The 6’ 7”, 18 stone, and more, second

row was a man before his time in the

sense that he represented the Ireland

sevens.

“I suppose I was quite athletic and quite

fast. Denis McBride and Kurt McQuilkin

were running the sevens programme.

They were in and out to the IRFU

Academy sessions,” says Aidan.

It was there they would have noticed a

specimen, whose measurables screamed

international second row forward, with

the God-given gifts to roam the sevens

circuit.

“It was funny. We were training up in

UCD in our wet gear in around two or

three degrees of cold weather. We went

from there to 30 degrees heat in Dubai,”

he recalls.

“Willie Anderson was a coach at

the Academy. He asked me to join

Dungannon which I thought was strange

at the time. In hindsight, why would it be

strange when one of your coaches wants

you to play for his club?

“It was an opportunity to be coached by

Willie and play with Paddy Johns, who

had come back from Saracens at that

point.

“I was also moving from an Academy

contract to an Ulster Development

contract, the next step-up. That was a nobrainer

for me because, believe it or not,

Paddy was my Ireland hero growing up.

“I ended up there for three years and,

in the year of foot and mouth, won the

All-Ireland League, beating Cork Con in

the final in 2001.

With the 1998 U-19 World Cup and All-

Ireland League medals draped around

his neck, Aidan had all the appearance

of a sure bet to have a long and shining

professional career.

However, Aidan never made it beyond

the bench in his two years at Ulster,

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 63


triggering a return to Leinster in 2002.

This was made more attractive by the

departure of Bob Casey to London Irish

and Trevor Brennan to Toulouse that

summer and the offer of a two-year senior

contract.

“There was a gap that needed filling and,

I guess, it was natural for me to move

home where Willie had become Leinster

assistant to Matt Williams.

“For my first year, I played for Leinster

and for Dungannon because of how they

had looked after me for two seasons.”

Interestingly, Aidan’s memory of many

marquee moments are sketchy at best: “I

don’t know why that is,” he remarks.

“Maybe the Donnybrook matches are

rolled into one. They all seemed similar.

Don’t forget, this was back at a time

when the crowds were 5,000-6,000

whereas the away matches were all

about new experiences.

For example, the debut in blue against

Glasgow Warriors on September 6,

2002, does not resonate at all. He made

three successive appearances in the

64 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


second row for his first three caps, adding

Cardiff and Border Reivers to his resume.

None stands out in his recall.

“When you are in the company of

Malcolm O’Kelly and Leo Cullen,

they were straight in when they were

available. I would have been competing

against Ben Gissing for the other slot,”

he states.

“When you felt like you were making

ground on these guys, the Heineken Cup

came around and the intensity went up

another level at training in those weeks.

“I struggled with that early on as a young

player, getting used to it. That said, I

thoroughly enjoyed my two years at

Leinster.”

Nonetheless, Aidan accumulated four

starts from nine caps in 2002/03 and

a further nine starts from 17 caps in his

second season, including a run of three

tries in three matches.

On the face of it, this was clear progress.

It wasn’t convincing enough for Declan

Kidney to want to see more of Aidan

when the Corkman took over in the

summer of 2004.

The rise of the versatile Ciaran Potts

meant there was no place on the roster

for Aidan, forcing a career-defining

personal decision, leading to the end of

his time in the paid ranks.

“There were no spots in the other

provinces available. I sat down with my

auld lad (Frank) to consider trawling

through the UK with a Championship

club. Did I want to do that? Did I want to

bounce around? Not really,” he admits.

“If I was to look back, it was probably a

regret that I didn’t have an agent at the

time, someone to reach out and test the

waters.”

There is a reason professional contracts

are sometimes handed out on a ‘position

of need’ basis. It could just be that Aidan

came along at a time when Irish rugby

was stocked with international locks.

O’Connell and O’Callaghan at Munster.

O’Kelly and Cullen at Leinster.

He moved closer to home to play for

Clontarf in the All-Ireland League for

one season and then back to where it all

started at Suttonians to reconnect with

childhood teammates Karl Cowman,

Noel Hehir, Darragh Dowling and Dave

Walsh.

“I decided to move into the family

business, selling industrial supplies, for

about 12 years,” he says.

“Five years ago, when dad decided to

sell up, I looked on it as an opportunity

to get back into rugby. I started part-time

as a Club Community Rugby Officer for

Leinster and Rugby Development Officer

for Dublin City University.

“From there, I was working as an

operations officer with the participation

team in the IRFU for three years until

about six months ago when I became a

victim of the consequences of Covid,” he

declares.

The man who left Leinster after two years

in professional rugby feels compelled to

stick with the game he loves.

“I know I want to be involved in rugby in

some shape or form. I am just looking for

the right opportunity.”

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 65


Referees

Corner

BY DAN WALLACE

National Panel

The start of the new year saw

some changes to the IRFU

National Referees Panel.

Congratulations to Robbie Jenkinson

who was promoted to Level 3 following

some excellent domestic performances.

Robbie joins Michael Forrestal and

Paul O’Connor. Colm Roche, John

Flynn and Sam Holt were moved to

the Level 2 panel where they join longserving

referee John Carvill and Glenn

Sheridan.

Padraic Reidy moves into Level 1.

Padraic recently refereed the All-Ireland

Junior Cup Final. He joins Dermot

Blake, Andrew Cole, Nigel Correll, Paul

Haycock, and Cillian Hogan. This brings

a total of 14 Leinster Rugby Referee on

the IRFU National Referee Panel.

We wish them all well for the remainder

of the season.

Seminar Update

We had over 200 referees

at our first referees seminar

of the season in January.

The topic of the seminar was

‘Game Management’ and

the session was enabled by

Sean Gallagher from the IRFU

alongside Jim McCourt from

the Leinster Disciplinary panel

and International TMO Brian

MacNeice.

The presentation went through a number

of topics including Positive Referee

Behaviors and some guidelines on

working with coaches before, during

and after games, developing positive

relationships with captains and players

alike and also how to work and deal

with external factors.

Want to get

involved?

Feel free to make contact with the Leinster Rugby Referees

at hayley.whyte@leinsterrugby.ie If you are interested

in becoming a referee get in contact with us through our

Facebook, our website www.leinsterrugbyreferees.ie or

through twitter @leinsterreferee.

66 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Brian MacNeice spoke through various

scenarios that a referee may encounter

and how to work through those

scenarios.

Preparation is obviously key and running

through the scenarios in your head is

important preparation.

We had an excellent Q&A session

after, discussing various scenarios that

referees have encountered. The meeting

was held online, but we look forward to

getting back to in-person meetings in the

near future.

Law

Clarifications

World Rugby often publishes

law clarifications during the

season. If a union in membership

is unable to clarify an aspect of

law it may submit a request for

a clarification in law to the World

Rugby designated members.

The World Rugby website https://

www.world.rugby/the-game/

laws/clarifications contains all such

requests for clarifications as far back

as 2002 and gives the associated

response from the designated members.

On occasions, clarifications in law will

result in a law amendment. There have

already been two in 2022.

The main one is that England Rugby

have asked for clarity relating to when a

ball is deemed to be leaving/emerging

from a ruck and when such a ball can

be dived on to claim control of the ball.

Law 15 describes how a ruck ends, and

says a player cannot fall onto the ball,

but we seek clarity on when a player is

legally entitled to dive onto the ball?

World Rugby responded with relevant

law wordings. (There is an excellent

video to accompany this explanation on

the website)

Law 15.16: “Players must not: d) Fall

over the ball as it is coming out of a

ruck.”

Law 15.18: “A ruck ends and play

continues when the ball leaves the ruck

or when the ball in the ruck is on or over

the goal line.”

Definitions: Near = within one metre.

The ball is leaving/emerging from the

ruck when it is in motion away from

the ruck, or when the ball is sitting

just beyond the hindmost player. This

becomes relevant when determining if

a player can fall onto the ball so that

player can comply with law 15.16.

In being consistent with other areas

of Law (scrum law 19.38a, tackle law

14.8d), we determine that the player

can only dive onto such a ball if it is

more than one metre away from the ruck

it has emerged from. ‘Near’ is defined

in law as being “within one metre”. If

the ball has left the ruck, then the ruck

is over, and the ball is out. Providing a

player comes from an onside position

and does not dive onto the ball if it is

within one metre of the ruck, they may

play the ball.

Will this answer the much-asked

question - Is the ball out ref?

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 67


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South-East Area Update

BY DEBORAH CARTY

Paddy Mosse commented afterwards that

the team played as a unit and that the

overall performance was excellent.

ARKLOW

Arklow Amazons 13 Greystones 7

The Arklow Amazons took to the pitch at

home on 28 January against Greystones

in their first match in the Women’s League

Division 3 since mid-December. A try from

Greystones after just five minutes was to

be their only score of the night.

Solid defence by Arklow then denied

Greystones time and again, this was

typified by Rebecca New who seemed

to be everywhere the action was all

night. An excellent result and a great

springboard for the second half of the

season.

The Arklow U-14 girls are delighted to

announce that they will be sponsored by

The Broken Chair Cafe. The entire team

were on hand this morning to meet owner

Cliona Ennis-Byrne at the official hand

over of their new set of jerseys.

The Byrne family are great supporters

of Arklow Rugby as both players and

sponsors and look forward to great times

ahead.

CARLOW

Co Carlow’s little buzzy ‘Bees’ inclusive

team is always growing. They love seeing

new faces and new players are ALWAYS

welcome. Please contact the club if you

have any questions about joining!

ENNISCORTHY

Pictured - Ivan Poole in Enniscorthy in

2018 after winning the Provincial Towns

Cup with young supporters Mark Byrne

and Ben Kidd who now, just a few

short years later, got the chance to play

alongside Ivan in an AIL match v Clonmel

two weeks ago.

The newly formed South-East Lions, an

amalgamated team of Enniscorthy and

Wexford Wanderers U-18.5 girls, are up

and running and playing very well in the

leagues

GOREY

A great morning of minis rugby was

held recently in Gorey RFC with big

numbers travelling from Co Carlow FC,

Enniscorthy RFC and Rathdrum RFC. The

club extended a massive thanks to all for

their time in organising.

KILKENNY

Well done to Donal Kealy, Sean Dunne

and Ruaidhri Galwey, who were part of

the South-East U-17 squad who drew 27-

27 with the North Midlands recently. The

future is bright.

Kilkenny 32 DLSP 3

The Kilkenny women’s team secured

an impressive win recently. There were

scores from Tina Wright, Lieke Hoban,

Lucy Harte, Eimear Kelly and a brace for

Ciara Coone, while there was a standout

performance from Jenny Kirwan. Coach

TULLOW

Tullow U-18.5s played the first round

of the Tom D’Arcy Cup last weekend,

beating Portarlington 24-17 in a wellfought,

nail-biting match. Well done to all

involved and good luck in the next round.

RATHDRUM

Thanks to Noel McMullen for traveling to

the senior men's away game on Sunday,

16 January, to snap some super shots as

always. Rathdrum faced Stillorgan and

while the result didn't go Rathdrum’s way,

they put in a commendable showing with

tries from Ciaran Phelan (2), Danny Tuke

and Conor Parsons.

WICKLOW

There was a first ever away win for

Wicklow in the Energia Women’s AIL,

beating Malone RFC 13-12. Emma

Curran bagged a try, which she

converted herself, while Beth Roberts

slotted two penalties. After a tough start

to the first AIL campaign, the team are

growing into the competition.

WEXFORD

WANDERERS

Wexford Wanderers had a unique type

of training this week with a visit from the

Rescue Helicopter 117, the helicopter

landing on the floodlit front pitch as part

of their own training. The club is always

happy to accommodate Rescue 117.

Minis rugby at Wexford Wanderers is

free to join now for the rest of the season

and the club are busy recruiting boys and

girls of all ages, with particular focus on

adding to the U-7 age group. Contact

the club’s social media pages if you are

interested in joining.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 69


North Midlands Area minis

girls blitz a huge success

It all started with a conversation

between Cill Dara Minis Coordinator

Barry Kilgallen and his

North Kildare counterpart Jerry

Bradley.

Both clubs were struggling to get regular

games for their minis girls teams and

Barry suggested that a blitz involving

all teams from the North Midlands Area

might be a good idea.

The Minis Co-ordinators in the area enjoy

a really good working relationship and

regularly share ideas and experiences,

not just when they meet in person and

blitzes but also on their WhatsApp group

which CRO Joe Carbery set up some

time ago.

As soon as Barry mentioned his idea

in the group it was greeted with huge

enthusiasm and when the Minis Coordinators

went back to the coaches of

their girls teams, that enthusiasm was

echoed and amplified. “Just tell us when

and where” was the response that came

from coaches and parents.

Barry volunteered to host the blitz in Cill

Dara RFC and it was agreed to run it

under lights on a Friday night to avoid

a clash with regular minis activities. The

invitation was also extended to Tullow

RFC as Barry was aware that they were

also struggling to get games for their

girls and the invitation was gratefully

accepted.

On Friday night last, excited U-10 and

U-12 girls from Athy, Blessington, Cill

Dara, Clane, Naas, Newbridge, North

Kildare, Portarlington, Portlaoise and

Tullow arrived in huge numbers and

were greeted by members of the current

Leinster U-18 Girls squad who were all

70 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


eally impressed with the numbers in

attendance.

Alana Fitzpatrick, Éadaoin Murtagh and

Hannah Wilson took time to speak to the

girls and have their photos taken with

them before the blitz started.

Almost 200 girls played a series of short

games and the standard of play was

really outstanding and a testament to

the great work being done in the North

Midlands clubs to develop the skill

levels and the levels of participation. As

everyone was leaving Cill Dara the only

question being asked was: “When will

the next one be?”

No doubt the North Midlands Minis

Co-ordinators won’t be long in scheduling

the next one.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 71


ank of ireland

MATCHDAY MINIS

Tullow RFC

Coaches: George Campbell, Fionnuala Cloney, Joe Dolan,

Kieran Doyle, Michael Hennessy, Tonu Talanoa,

Oscar Traynor.

Team: Josh Barry Doyle, Noah Byrne, Tadhg Campbell,

Sean Cloney, Paddy Corcoran, Alfie Donohue,

Daniel Dolan, Harry Doyle, Podge Finn, Rhys Hennessy,

Thomas Hopkins, Sean Kehoe, Cillian Kelly, William Myers,

Olan McNab, Luke O Connor, JP O Dwyer, Mike Sheehan,

Tana Talanoa, Noah Traynor.

Birr RFC

Front row L to R: Thomas Burke, Ben Swanepoel,

Ronan Keogh, Harry Larkin, Lee Mannion,

Lochlann Fletcher, Iarla Sheehan, Conail Fay, Shane Milne,

Fionn Whelehan, Declan O’Meara, Alice Murray,

Siofra Ginty, Cronan Murphy.

Back row L to R: Alun Owens (Coach), Denis Tierney

(Coach), Colm Boylan, Tom Enright , Gwilym Tooher,

Donnacha O’Meara, Mossy Dooley, Oisin Molloy Berry,

Donagh Tierney, Lorcan Maloney, Jake Dunican,

Lorcan Owens, Ruairdhri Ginty, MJ Bene, Mike Murphy

(Coach) Patrick Burke, Mike Sheahan (Coach)

Missing from photo: Hugh Plunkett and Michael Clery.

Naas RFC

Coaches: Brian Cogan, Joe Mullins.

Players: Daniel Britton Milner, Fionn Brownen,

Alex Burgin, Ryan Clarke, Owen Cogan, Luca Cowan,

Fred Dick, John Fielding, Mark Forde, Eoghan Gilbert,

Harry Greene, Oisin Lynch, Jonah Maguire,

Charlie Mangan, Christian Morrissey, Adam Mullins,

Jack Preston, Tom Troy, Noah Tyrell, Finbar Ward.

Portarlington RFC

Squad: Callum Walsh, Hugh Melaniphy, Ben Petriw, Ian

Wardrop, Tristan Gallagher, Brochan Carey,

Reuben McElwee, Darragh Doris, Jack Donoher,

Lucas Gutierrez, Evan Brett, Ryan Murphy, Aidan O’Reilly,

Jack Bennett, Jake Moore, Kyle O’Brien, Sean Malone,

Daire O’Connell, Peadar Murphy, Tommy Fullam.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 73


RNLI AND LEINSTER

RUGBY ANNOUNCE

CHARITY PARTNERSHIP

Leinster Rugby

has announced

the maritime

search and

rescue charity

RNLI - the

Royal National

Lifeboat

Institution -

as its latest

charity

partner of

the 2021/22

season as part

of the Charity

Affiliate

Programme

which was

first launched

in November

2020.

For more information, visit:

www.rnli.org

74 | www.leinsterrugby.ie

Like last season, Leinster Rugby

will once again work with a new

charity each month in the hope of

raising the profile of that charity

and the RNLI has been chosen

for the month of February after

being nominated by Energia,

one of Leinster Rugby’s premium

partners.

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at

sea and on inland waters.

Established in 1824, the RNLI works to

save lives and prevent drowning off the

coast and on a number of loughs and

rivers throughout Ireland and the UK.

In Ireland, this is done through their

lifeboat service, operated largely by

volunteers, living, and working in their

local communities and who remain on

call 24/7 to help those in need on the

water.

Every year in Ireland, RNLI volunteer

lifeboat crews help rescue hundreds of

people and the charity has saved over

143,000 lives since its foundation.

The service depends on voluntary

donations to fund its lifesaving work.

On the island of Ireland there are 46

lifeboat stations, 11 of which are based

in Leinster. These are Clogherhead in

County Louth, Skerries, Howth and Dún

Laoghaire in Dublin, Arklow, Wicklow,

Wexford, Courtown, Rosslare Harbour,

Fethard-on-Sea and Kilmore Quay.

Welcoming the news, Mary Creedon,

Fundraising and Partnership Lead in the

RNLI in Ireland said, “We are delighted

that the RNLI have been chosen as

Leinster Rugby’s charity partner for the

month of February, as part of the Charity

Affiliate Programme and we are grateful

to Energia for their kind nomination.

“It’s been a challenging couple of years

for charities in Ireland, but the RNLI’s

volunteer lifeboat crews have continued

to operate a 24/7 search and rescue

service and launch at a moment’s notice

to save lives in their communities.

“This partnership allows the charity

to reach more people with lifesaving

messages and water safety advice.

Sharing these with the supporters of

Leinster Rugby brings an awareness of

the potential dangers of using the water

for all types of activity and provides

advice on what to do if you see someone

in trouble on the water.


“It will bring the work of the RNLI and

their volunteer lifeboat crews in their

communities, to a huge audience of

committed and passionate supporters.”

Since 2017, RNLI volunteer lifeboat

crews based at the 11 lifeboat stations

in Leinster have rescued 1,702 people

during callouts.

In attendance at the launch in Leinster

Rugby head office in UCD were Leinster

Rugby players Emma Murphy, Ella

Roberts, Vakh Abdaladze and Scott

Penny, as were representatives from the

RNLI and Energia.

“We’re thrilled that our partnership with

Leinster Rugby has allowed us to shine

a light on the RNLI, a charity which was

selected by our staff for Leinster Rugby’s

February charity partner.

“The RNLI do so much for the country

and we hope to lend some positive

energy to the work they’re doing saving

lives at sea,’’ said Amy O’Shaughnessy,

Head of Brand for Energia Group.

For the month of February, Leinster Rugby

will lend its digital support to the RNLI

and its considerable efforts to keep us all

safe in Irish waters.

Leinster Rugby also confirmed that Bank

of Ireland would continue to support

the charity partner scheme again this

season and that its Player of the Month

Award donation will now be made to the

monthly charity affiliate, rather than the

player in question, a move that is also

supported by the Leinster Rugby players.

Eamon de Búrca, Sponsorship Manager

with Leinster Rugby, commented, “The

RNLI is a new partner for us here at

Leinster Rugby and we are very grateful

to the team in Energia for bringing such a

worthwhile charity to our door.

“February is a busy month with a lot

of on-field activity so hopefully that will

allow us to elevate the exposure for the

RNLI across all of our digital platforms.”

Like all the charities selected, the RNLI

was selected by Leinster Rugby after

a consultation process involving the

leadership group of the men, women’s

and Academy teams and consultation

with the premium sponsors and partners

and the Official Leinster Supporters Club.

The charities

supported by

Leinster Rugby

as part of

this charity

partner

initiative,

include;

2020/21 Season:

Women’s Aid (November),

Debra Ireland (December),

numerous local causes supported

by Bank of Ireland (January),

ALONE (February), Pieta (March),

AsIAm (April), LauraLynn (May),

the Gavin Glynn Foundation (June),

Irish Heart Foundation (August) and

CRY (September)

2021/22 Season:

Alzheimer Society of

Ireland (November), Peter

McVerry Trust (December),

numerous local causes supported

by Bank of Ireland such as

Outcomers, Citywise Means

Business, New Horizon and

Purple House (January), the RNLI

(February)

The selection process for all the

charities includes the Leinster Rugby

players, Leinster Rugby sponsors

and partners and also the Official

Leinster Supporters Club (OLSC).

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 75


TO MAXIMISE YOUR SPORTS AND EXERCISE

PERFORMANCE THROUGH NUTRITION

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

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

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

Protein Rich.

Protein provides your muscles with

the building blocks to repair & grow.

Carb-Up.

Carbohydrate foods are king as they

power high intensity play.

Fuel-Up.

Consume the majority of your

carbohydrates around training to

support fuelling and recovery.

Recover.

Quality rest & nutrition between

training sessions is the key to

recovery. Remember to:

Repair with protein,

Refuel with carbohydrate,

Rehydrate with fluid.

Hydrate.

Dehydration can lead to a drop in

exercise intensity & can impact your

decision making. Drink 2-3 litres of

fluid each day to ensure hydration.

Game Day.

To fuel performance on the field,

consume a large carbohydrate rich

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

chicken & pasta, turkey bolognaise

wraps.

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KNOWING WHAT ADVICE TO TAKE

IS ESSENTIAL IN THIS GAME.

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COUNTRY

SCOTLAND

HOME GROUND

DAM HEALTH STADIUM

FOUNDED

1872

edinburgh

last time out

Ospreys 23

Edinburgh Rugby 19

Saturday, 29 January | swansea.com Stadium | URC | words: edinburghrugby.org

Edinburgh Rugby fell to a tough defeat in South Wales,

with the Ospreys claiming a 23-19 win - despite a

hat-trick from Edinburgh prop Boan Venter.

The visitors led 14-3 at half time,

thanks to a quickfire brace from

loosehead prop Venter, however

the boot of Stephen Myler

and tries from Matt Protheroe

and Sam Parry saw the home

side climb into a lead. Venter

completed his hat-trick on the

hour mark, but it was Myler who

had the final word, nudging two

late penalties to hand Edinburgh

their first URC defeat since

October.

Edinburgh arrived in south Wales

having failed to win in Swansea

since 2009, however they looked to

be heading to victory after taking a

commanding lead in the first half. The

early exchanges were cagey, with

multiple kicking exchanges and set

piece battles, but it was Edinburgh who

were able to take the game by the

scruff of the neck.

With an Ospreys player in the sin-bin

the capital club cashed in, Boan Venter

crashing over from close range twice in

four minutes. The first was after a series

of picking and going from the forwards,

the second finishing off a flowing move

set up by a thunderous break from

Cammy Hutchison.

Edinburgh missed a chance to score a

third; Henry Pyrgos chipped over the

defence to Darcy Graham, who was

able to regather and put Glen Young

into space near the line. The Ospreys

defence scrambled and turned over

78 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


the ball – a pivotal turning point in the

match. Myler nudged a penalty over,

however it was the hosts who were

firmly in charge at the interval.

Ospreys came out of the blocks firing

in the second half, and quickly hit back

through a Matt Protheroe score – the

fullback finishing after a period of

pressure, with the ball going wide as

the hosts held a penalty advantage.

The hosts then hit the front through Sam

Parry, who crashed over after a nicely

worked lineout move to give the Welsh

side the lead for the first time.

Venter completed his hat-trick in

response, burrowing his way over from

close range. Venter became the 13th

player to score a hat-trick of tries for

Edinburgh in the professional era, and

the first prop to do so - the only other

front-rower being Stuart McInally,

against Timisoara Saracens in 2016.

Indiscipline would prove costly though,

with Myler holding his nerve to add two

penalties to condemn Edinburgh to a

tough defeat in Swansea.

OSPREYS – Matt Protheroe; Keelan

Giles (Gareth Anscombe 51), Michael

Giles, Kieran Williams (Tiaan Thomas-

Wheeler 75), Luke Morgan; Stephen

Myler, Rhys Webb; Nicky Smith (Rhodri

Jones 63), Sam Parry (Elvis Taione

63), Tom Botha (Rhys Henry 63); Rhys

Davies, Lloyd Ashley (Huw Owen-Sutton

78); William Griffiths, Harri Deaves

(Morgan Morris 51), Ethan Roots.

EDINBURGH – Henry Immelman; Darcy

Graham, Matt Currie (Mark Bennett 61),

Cameron Hutchison, Emiliano Boffelli;

Jaco van der Walt, Henry Pyrgos (Ben

Vellacott 61); Boan Venter (Harrison

Courtney 73), David Cherry (Adam

McBurney 45), Angus Williams (Jamie

Hodgson 45); Marshall Sykes, Glen

Young (Lee-Roy Atalifo 45-79); Magnus

Bradbury, Connor Boyle, Mesulame

Kunavula (Ben Muncaster 63).

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 79


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Head coach

Mike Blair

Former Scotland international

scrum-half Mike Blair took the

reins as Edinburgh head coach in

2021.

During his playing days, he amassed 85

caps for his country as well as almost

250 club appearances for Edinburgh,

Brive, Newcastle and Glasgow over 14

years, 169 of those with his current club.

Having already gained coaching

experience with Ponteland RFC, he joined

Glasgow as an Assistant coach when

hanging up the boots before joining the

Scotland set-up for five years prior to

returning to the capital.

Co-Captains

Stuart McInally

and Grant

Gilchrist

Captaincy duties for Edinburgh

are shared between two local

players in Stuart McInally and

Grant Gilchrist who have gone on

to be club centurions.

McInally, who also captained Scotland

during the 2019 Six Nations, is a

hooker by trade now after making his

breakthrough in the back row. He’s been

capped 37 times by Scotland.

Gilchrist has been a stalwart for

Edinburgh since his debut in 2011

against Cardiff and, now capped 42

times internationally, has recently signed

a contract to extend his stay with his

home club.

edinburgh squad

FORWARDS

LEE-ROY ATALIFO

PROP

CONNOR BOYLE

FLANKER

MAGNUS BRADBURY

FLANKER

DAVE CHERRY

HOOKER

HARRISON COURTNEY

PROP

LUKE CROSBIE

FLANKER

LUAN DE BRUIN

PROP

GRANT GILCHRIST

LOCK

NICK HAINING

FLANKER

PATRICK HARRISON

HOOKER

JAMIE HODGSON

LOCK

MESULAME KUNAVULA KUNALOLO

FLANKER

VILIAME MATA

NO. 8

ADAM MCBURNEY

HOOKER

STUART MCINALLY

HOOKER

BEN MUNCASTER

NO. 8

WILLEM NEL

PROP

PIERCE PHILLIPS

LOCK

JAMIE RITCHIE

FLANKER

PIERRE SCHOEMAN

PROP

MARSHALL SYKES

LOCK

BOAN VENTER

PROP

HAMISH WATSON

FLANKER

ANGUS WILLIAMS

PROP

GLEN YOUNG

LOCK

BACKS

MARK BENNETT

CENTRE

JACK BLAIN

WING

EMILIANO BOFFELLI

FULLBACK

MATT CURRIE

CENTRE

CHRIS DEAN

CENTRE

DARCY GRAHAM

WING

DAMIEN HOYLAND

WING

CAMMY HUTCHISON

CENTRE

HENRY IMMELMAN

FULLBACK

JAMES JOHNSTONE

CENTRE

BLAIR KINGHORN

FULLBACK

JAMES LANG

CENTRE

RAMIRO MOYANO JOYA

WING

FREDDIE OWSLEY

WING

HENRY PYRGOS

SCRUM-HALF

CHARLIE SAVALA

FLY-HALF

CHARLIE SHIEL

SCRUM-HALF

JACO VAN DER WALT

FLY-HALF

BEN VELLACOTT

SCRUM-HALF

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 81


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12 Counties, One Club

in

Focus

Founded: 1873

Ground: Oak Park. Carlow

Web: www.carlowrugby.ie

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @carlowrugby

County

Carlow

Football

Club is one

of the oldest

clubs in

Ireland, set

to celebrate

its 150th

anniversary

in 2023.

County

Carlow

It has a long and proud

tradition underpinned by many

achievements in Junior and Senior

rugby.

The early-to-mid 1990s was a golden

age in the history of the club, winning five

Provincial Towns Cups from 1992-1997.

They were promoted into the AIL in 1997

and joined the chase for greater glory

around the rugby fields on the island.

This halcyon period produced five

consecutive seasons in Divisions 4 to

Division 1 from 1998 to 2003 and backto-back

Leinster Senior Cups in 2003 and

2004.

That was then. This is now. Currently,

County Carlow is fighting the good fight

in Division 1B of the Leinster League.

“Overall, our goal is to get back to

winning Towns Cups again on our way

into All-Ireland League rugby,” says

committee member Melvin Elmes.

“We are a long way from that at the

moment. These are different times. We

will have to make it back to the AIL with

players that come up through our Minis

and Youth system.

“In those years, the same as every other

club in the country, we made no bones

about it, we had to bring in outside

players to maintain our momentum.”

That top-down strategy of bringing in

players to lift the standards of those

already there worked for many years.

But, it came with unsustainable costs.

County Carlow started to drop through

Co Carlow From Left Aurlene

Browne & Muireann Brennan

Co Carlow Club

President Tom Crotty

& Edel Gibbons

84 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Co Carlow From Left Justin Hannon, Melvin

Elmes, Michael Carbery, Ian Dwyer

the Divisions, returning to the Leinster

League where they have been toiling

away.

“At the moment, we are allowed to bring

in one overseas player. But, we are not

doing that anymore. The onus is on us to

produce the players,” he states.

In an overall context, it is a competitive

world out there where multiple sports

clubs are vying for the attention of

children.

It is not enough to simply exist and trade

on a stellar reputation. There has to be a

campaign to grow the numbers streaming

into the club and to keep them coming in.

In that regard, County Carlow has

committed to being agile in how it

welcomes in the new and existing

members and how it reaches out to make

new connections in the community.

There is a five-year strategic plan which

includes short and long-term goals to be

achieved on and off the pitch.

It is subdivided into the development

of five areas: rugby, grounds, facilities,

governance and structure.

The club is becoming a victim of its

success in that pressure on space is driven

by the increase in numbers, splitting the

minis into two groups, six to nine-yearolds

practicing from 9.30-10.30 and the

remainder from 10.30-11.30.

In minis rugby, there are in the region

of 200 kids at the club on a Saturday

morning for sessions, co-ordinated by

Robert Keady. At youths rugby, there are

100 boys and girls, spread across six

teams, currently managed by Brendan

Carbery

County Carlow also has an all-inclusive

‘Bees Squad’ managed by Aurlene

Browne and Muireann Brennan. The

attitude of volunteering back to the club

is there in the involvement of past-players,

parents and members.

“It is a family club. There are

approximately 165 families attached

to the club. There are 71 families

directly involved in the running of the

club whether as coaches or committee

members,” says Elmes.

“There are 100 volunteers that willingly

give up their free time to make County

Carlow what it is to all of us. We are not

saying we are any different from, or any

better than, any other club.”

This enables a commitment to a minimum

three-person coaching team for all levels

of youth and mini rugby in line with a mini

youth and senior player retention plan.

Director of Rugby Derek Cope oversees

the strength in playing depth from the 66

male players. The seconds are setting the

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 85


pace in 1B of the seconds league and the

J3s focus on the Anderson Cup.

The long-term targets revolve around

winning the Towns Cup, reaching out

to promote rugby in all the schools in

Carlow through Club Community Rugby

Officer Gavin Whitney.

There is a strong desire to increase the

number of girls at minis, youth and adult

levels by at least 10 per cent every year.

They already have ‘The Rhinos’ girls

teams which evolved from a very

successful working group with neighbours

Tullow RFC.

Further, there is a drive to actively attract

the community into the club.

“We intend to put in a walking track

around the pitches for the parents and

locals to use during training or at other

times of the day,” says Elmes.

The club wants to launch and establish

an annual community volunteer event

to grow the number of volunteers and

celebrate those already involved in the

club.

The process to have floodlights on all

three pitches began, starting with the top

training pitch.

At the moment, the club is planning for

Phase 2 of their training lights due to

commence in April and is set to take eight

weeks.

Everything is in place to complete

the process thanks to funding by a

Department of Transport and Tourism

Sports Capital Grant, club fundraising

and membership

“We have continually worked on the

grounds where monies are available to

us,” says Justin Hannon, the chairman of

development.

This is micro-managed by Ian Dwyer,

chairman of finance, his committee and

honorary treasurer Terry Cassidy.

“We are very reluctant to go down the

road to an all-weather, artificial pitch. We

hold the opinion that it is not sustainable

for Junior clubs due to extra costs, such

as the maintenance fees etc,” declares

Hannon.

“We would prefer a state-of-the-art grass

pitch. At the moment, our surface is not

bad. But, we have applied for grant aid

to help us level it and reseed it.

“We have all the other infrastructure. We

have the stand. We have the lights. We

just need to upgrade the pitches.”

The bathrooms are up for redevelopment

and there is an eagerness to turn the

famous ‘triangle’ area into a mini rugby/

training pitch and an outdoor gymnasium

by the end of this year.

Further, there are plans to resurface

the car park and for the gym, hall and

kitchen to contribute financially to the

club as a rentable space for functions,

fitness classes, as a training venue or a

performance/exhibition space.

“The purchase of a pitch maintenance

vehicle and complementary equipment

has been approved along with an

application for green flag status which

encompasses a pollinator plan, a waste

policy and litter plan,” notes Donald

Daly, chairman of house and grounds.

86 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


There is a will to increase cooperation

with other community organisations in

the local area and to engage with other

clubs and groups with at least one new

formal collaboration each year.

This is part of the wish to bring the

community into the club, as exemplified

by the relationship with Dolmen Athletics

Club.

In 2014, a 10-person management

committee was formed, meeting twice-aweek,

to make hard financial decisions,

reporting back to the executive monthly.

The result of which was running two Gala

dinners with Joe Schmidt and Johnny

Sexton appearing as headline speakers,

plus two very enjoyable outdoor summer

concerts.

The governance and structure element is

there to ensure high standards in running

the club and continually working around

any transition for those coming into new

positions.

“This ensures the tasks and roles being

carried out within the club are being

guided and monitored,” says Hannon.

“It includes every role from small to big

so that each person is clear about what is

expected of them.”

The club acknowledges the continued

support of the members, the IRFU, Leinster

Branch, sponsors and various public

schemes all of which keep its progress

on track.

“We are indebted to our membership

database, in particular the support

given to subscriptions secretary Michael

Carbery over the last two years in

concern to the Covid pandemic,” says

chairperson Edel Gibbons.

It sounds like County Carlow club is on

its way.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 87


88 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


mark

hernan

THE ACADEMY

INTERVIEW

BY PAUL CAHILL

Like all

aspiring

rugby players

his age, Mark

Hernan’s

ascendency

through the

rugby ranks

came to a

shuttering

halt in

2020 due to

Covid-19.

Mark was a member of the

2020 Ireland U-20 side that had

already beaten Scotland, Wales

and England in the U-20 Six

Nations before the tournament

was abandoned.

But, unlike most players his age, Mark

Hernan had the foresight to recognize

the opportunity he had with the

unplanned extended break. After a

series of injuries during his school days,

Hernan seized the opportunity to hit the

gym, and build the size required for the

senior game.

“The first four months of lockdown I

enjoyed. It was a new experience,” says

the Leinster Academy back-rower.

“I was doing two good gym sessions a

day and eating a lot because I didn’t

have anything else to do. It came at a

good time for me. That transition period

after the U-20s, there is no intermediate

section, you’re straight into the AIL so it

was good to help me catch up and put

on that bit of weight I really needed.”

We have heard of Academy players

taking over back gardens and sheds

as they prepared their makeshift home

gyms, but the Hernan family were

particularly accommodating.

“Dave Fagan gave me a load of gym

gear which I set up in the kitchen. My

mum wasn’t too happy about it, but we

all got on with it!”

The Hernan family have a history

of accommodating Mark’s sporting

prowess, as parents Ray and Suzanne

drove him from venue to venue.

As a kid, he lined up for St Mary’s

RFC, Lansdowne FC, played golf in

Elm Park, soccer with St James’, cricket

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 89


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in Pembroke and Gaelic football with

Clanna Gael Fontenoy.

That’s a lot of mileage.

As is usually the case, it was a trip down

to a local rugby club that sparked an

obsession with the game.

“I was four or five when I joined St

Mary’s. My dad was involved there and

my older brother was already playing

there so it was fairly natural to go down

and join them.”

While Mark may have been a little

bit skeptical at first, the strong rugby

tradition in his family meant he was

going to give rugby as many visits as was

needed.

“My dad captained Mary’s when he

was younger.

“He also played with Connacht and Old

Belvedere. His brothers played interpro

rugby too. There was a big family

influence to play rugby. I wasn’t much

of a fan as a kid. I still played it but I

was playing lots of things. But something

switched in me and then I was in it. It was

probably my dad and brother throwing

me a rugby ball all of the time!”

Households all over the country see the

younger sibling attempting to copy the

older one, and the Hernans were no

different, as Mark looked to emulate his

older brother, Peter.

“My brother definitely played a big part

in getting me into rugby. He was more

into rugby than me when I was small and

he would bring me with him down to St

Mary’s.

“He kind of got me into it. He played in

school too. He’s been great for me and

he helps me a lot. He supports me big

time.”

While Mark’s dad played a key role in

bringing him down to St Mary’s, it was

the other way around just a few years

later.

“A lot of my friends were playing in

Lansdowne, so I moved over there when

I was about nine or 10. I got my dad

involved when we moved and he started

doing a lot of underage coaching with

us. I played there until first year in St

Michael’s when that became the big

priority. But it was great to get back to

the club after I finished school.”

Rugby certainly became the priority

once Hernan stepped through the gates

of St Michael’s College. And it was

some current Leinster senior players who

helped sway him away from the dozen

or so other sports occupying the young

athlete.

“It was easy to look up to the lads

who had just left the school and were

breaking into the Leinster team.

“When I was in first year, Josh Murphy,

Ross Molony, Ross Byrne and Denis

Coulson all came back to the school to

coach us. They were only in first year

of college. They were all playing Irish

U-20s so it was cool to see those lads as

a 13-year-old.”

It was to be a fruitful time for Hernan,

as he would go on to captain the St

Michael’s 2019 Senior Cup team to

glory alongside fellow Academy players

Jack Boyle, Lee Barron and Chris

Cosgrave.

Despite leading the team to success,

Leinster representation didn’t immediately

follow.

“I didn’t really play much Leinster

underage compared to the other lads. I

didn’t play Leinster U-18 or U-19.

“It was when I left school I got a call to

go to the Ireland U-19 trip to France and

I stayed in the camp right through the

U-20s. It wasn’t like I was on every team

coming through.

“It meant I didn’t really know what to

expect, and I don’t think people really

knew what to expect from me. Lots of

people probably didn’t know who I

was,”says Mark with a smile on his face.

Hernan was stepping into the unknown

somewhat ahead of his first U-20 Six

Nations game.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 91


With little international experience to

draw on, it was the advice of senior

teammates that got him in the right frame

of mind.

“I didn’t really know what to expect

going down to Musgrave Park. I wasn’t

sure what it would be like. I actually

spoke to Scott Penny and he said it’s

unbelievable and explained how massive

it is, so I knew it was a big deal.

“You kind of get a grasp of it once you

get down there. When you run onto the

pitch, it’s a pretty cool experience. It was

definitely a level up and you could feel

that physically. The way the coaches

prepared us was similar to here at

Leinster. The training meant we were able

to deal with that.”

But, after impressive wins over Scotland,

Wales and England, including two tries

for Hernan in the game against the

Welsh, the flanker was left in limbo.

“It was quite annoying. The coaches kept

reminding us to keep working towards

the World Cup in the summer, and we

thought we’d play the last two games in

a few weeks. We didn’t know the severity

of Covid and what it was going to do.

About two or three months before the

World Cup, we could see it wasn’t going

to happen.”

With restrictions starting to ease and the

disappointment of the U-20 cancelations

behind him, and now with a strong

block of gym work in the bank, Hernan

was back in the sub-Academy trying to

impress.

“I was training with Jack Boyle, Temi

Lasisi, Chris Cosgrave and all of those

lads. I was training with them for about

eight months or so which was great,

but I was itching to get up to UCD and

experience what the senior set up was

like.”

Eventually, the phone call finally came.

After injury setbacks, missing

representative selection and a global

pandemic, Mark Hernan would be

joining the Leinster Academy full time.

It’s a phone call that he will never forget.

“It was in the middle of June, 2021,

when I got the call. I was out playing

golf with a few friends. I got the call out

of nowhere to say I would be getting a

contract in the summer. I was over the

moon. It was nice that I had my mates

there to share it with them.

“Even for my family, because I know they

feel the stress I feel, maybe even worse.

Every time I come home if things haven’t

gone well and I’m in a bad mood, it

can easily rub off on everyone. It was

a big relief for the family and they were

delighted for me, which was great. I rang

my brother first. I rang my best mate to let

him know too. It was special. Something I

won’t forget for a while.”

Later that summer, Hernan began preseason

in UCD as a full Academy player.

With lots of senior players still away,

it was an opportunity to learn from the

best.

92 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


We didn’t know

the severity of

Covid and what

it was going to

do. About two

or three months

before the World

Cup, we could see

it wasn’t going

to happen.

“The Irish and Lions lads weren’t back

yet, so it was nice for all of the Academy

lads to come in and show what we can

do in front of Leo and Stuart. It’s great

that they back the Academy lads.

“It’s something that I think is great about

this club that as a young lad you are

training with some of the biggest names.

When you are growing up it’s something

you dream of, but when you’re here you

have to get to grips with it pretty fast and

get on with it.”

Soon, Mark Hernan was training with

the same players who coached him as a

13-year-old.

Was it strange standing shoulder to

shoulder with the players you admired

for so long?

“It wasn’t weird for me, but it was

probably weird for them! They might

have felt a bit old!

“It was cool though to start training week

in, week out with the lads you looked up

to. But you can’t fanboy for too long, you

have to get on with it.”

He is definitely getting on with it, and is

making up for lost time with a good body

of work under his belt.

Having lifted the Senior Cup trophy

as captain of St Michael’s, as well as

scoring twice for Ireland in an U-20 Six

Nations game, his favourite game to

date might come as a bit of a surprise.

“It would be Leinster ‘A’ against Cardiff

in the Celtic Cup in Cardiff Arms Park,”

says Hernan after taking a moment to

think.

“It was the first step up from school that

I had. I had Irish U-19s but that wasn’t

too different to schools. But with the

Leinster ‘A’ team, I was playing with lads

10 years older than me. We won fairly

comfortably, but I remember it was a

good team to be involved in and it was a

great experience.

“It was my first adult game in a Leinster

jersey just a few months after I left

school. I remember coming off at halftime

and I was exhausted. It was about

28 degrees in August and I was blowing.

“I realised senior rugby is another step

up, but it was a great experience. It was

luck of the draw that I got to play. There

were a few injuries and Penny had gone

up to the senior team, so it was nice that I

was backed to go out and play with that

squad. It was definitely special.”

Hernan appreciates each step he makes

on the rugby ladder.

Perhaps it takes a few setbacks along the

way, but this Academy player certainly

has an old head on young shoulders.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 93


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 #1303

DOB: 26/03/2001

HEIGHT: 1.95m WEIGHT: 119kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps) &

Leinster Rugby (1 cap)

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 (11 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

94 | 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 (5 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 | 95


Date

25/09

03/10

09/10

16/10

22/10

27/11

03/12

11/12

1/12

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

W

45-20 HCC BATH Aviva

Stadium

L

0-28

HCC MONTPELLIER

26/12 P-P URC MUNSTER

01/01 P-P URC ULSTER

1/01

22/01

28/29/30

Jan

W

89-7

W

64-7

L

29-27

GGL (Altrad)

Stadium

Thomond

Park

Kingspan

Stadium

KEENAN

1T

HCC MONTPELLIER RDS Arena KEENAN

HCC BATH

URC

CARDIFF

RUGBY

Recreation

Ground

Cardiff Arms

Park

11/02 18:00 URC EDINBURGH RDS Arena

fixtures and

results 2021/22

LARMOUR

1T

LOWE

RINGROSE FRAWLEY LOWE

FRAWLEY

HENSHAW

LARMOUR RINGROSE FRAWLEY

LARMOUR

LOWE

LOWE

1T

H BYRNE

SEXTON

1C 1P

R BYRNE

4C 1P

R BYRNE

1C 1P

H BYRNE

5C

R BYRNE

5C

MCGRATH

GIBSON-PARK

MCGRATH

E BYRNE

1T

PORTER

1T

HEALY

CRONIN

1T

KELLEHER

1T

KELLEHER

1T

MCGRATH E BYRNE TRACY

MCGRATH

GIBSON-PARK

2T

HEALY

PORTER

- - - - - - - - -

KEENAN

1T

LARMOUR

1T

LARMOUR

1T

RINGROSE

RINGROSE

FRAWLEY

HENSHAW

J O’BRIEN

1T

J O’BRIEN

4T

J O’BRIEN A BYRNE 1T OSBORNE FRAWLEY O’LOUGHLIN

R BYRNE

1T 7C

SEXTON

5C

R BYRNE

3C 2P

GIBSON-PARK

1T

MCGRATH

PORTER

PORTER

1T

SHEEHAN

1T

KELLEHER

1T

KELLEHER

KELLEHER

MCGRATH E BYRNE CRONIN

19/02 TBC URC OSPREYS RDS Arena

25/02 19:35 URC SIGMA LIONS RDS Arena

04/05/06

Mar

25/26/27

Mar

01/02/03

Apr

TBC

URC BENETTON

Stadio

Monigo

TBC URC CONNACHT Sportsground

TBC URC MUNSTER RDS Arena

08/04 20:00 HCC CONNACHT Sportsground

15/04 17:30 HCC CONNACHT

22/23/24

Apr

29/30/01

Apr

TBC

TBC

URC CELL C

SHARKS

URC DHL

STORMERS

Aviva

Stadium

Jonsson

Kings Park

Green Point

Stagium

96 | 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

FURLONG

1T

MOLONY BAIRD RUDDOCK

VAN DER FLIER

1T

DORIS SHEEHAN HEALY ALAALATOA TONER DEEGAN MCGRATH J O’BRIEN T O’BRIEN

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

FURLONG

MOLONY

1T

J MURPHY

DORIS

VAN DER FLIER

2T

CONAN

2T

SHEEHAN

2T

HEALY

ALAALATOA

1T

RUDDOCK DEEGAN MCGRATH

SEXTON

5C

LOWE

1T

ALAALATOA MOLONY MURPHY DORIS

VAN DER FLIER

1T

CONAN

SHEEHAN

1T

HEALY ABDALADZE BAIRD DEEGAN GIBSON-PARK

R BYRNE

2C

FRAWLEY

1T

ALAALATOA TONER J MCCARTHY RUDDOCK CONNORS PENNY 1T TRACY 1T DOOLEY ABDALADZE MOLONY DEEGAN N MCCARTHY H BYRNE T O’BRIEN

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 97


matchday

Squads

officials

Jamie Osborne

Tommy O’Brien

Rory O’Loughlin

Ciarán Frawley

Dave Kearney

Ross Byrne

Nick McCarthy

15

14

13

12

11

10

9

FULL BACK

RIGHT WING

OUTSIDE CENTRE

INSIDE CENTRE

LEFT WING

FLY HALF

SCRUM HALF

Henry Immelman

Ramiro Moyano

Matt Currie

James Lang

Emiliano Boffelli

Charlie Savala

Henry Pyrgos [C]

REFEREE

ADAM JONES (WRFU)

(14TH LEAGUE GAME)

ASSISTANT REFEREE

EOGHAN CROSS (IRFU)

ASSISTANT REFEREE

STUART DOUGLAS (IRFU)

TMO

OLLY HODGES (IRFU)

Ed Byrne

James Tracy

Michael Ala’alatoa

Ross Molony

Josh Murphy

Rhys Ruddock [C]

Scott Penny

Max Deegan

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

LOOSE HEAD PROP

HOOKER

TIGHT HEAD PROP

SECOND ROW

SECOND ROW

BLINDSIDE FLANKER

OPENSIDE FLANKER

NUMBER 8

Boan Venter

Adam McBurney

Lee-Roy Atalifo

Marshall Sykes

Glen Young

Ben Muncaster

Connor Boyle

Mesulame Kunavula

Seán Cronin

Peter Dooley

Vakh Abdaladze

Devin Toner

Martin Moloney

Luke McGrath

Harry Byrne

Rob Russell

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

Dave Cherry

Sam Grahamslaw

Jake Armstrong

Pierce Phillips

Kwagga van Niekerk

Charlie Shiel

Jaco van der Walt

Cammy Hutchison


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 Shot

5 February 2022

Ryan Baird of Ireland celebrates

winning a scrum penalty during

the Guinness Six Nations Rugby

Championship match between

Ireland and Wales at the Aviva

Stadium in Dublin.

100 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 101

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