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Leinster vs Ospreys

Leinster | Official Matchday Programme of Leinster Rugby | Issue 09 Leinster vs Ospreys | United Rugby Championship Saturday 19th February, 2022 | KO 5pm | RDS Arena

Leinster | Official Matchday Programme of Leinster Rugby | Issue 09
Leinster vs Ospreys | United Rugby Championship
Saturday 19th February, 2022 | KO 5pm | RDS Arena

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ISSUE 9 | LEINSTER RUGBY OFFICIAL MATCHDAY PROGRAMME<br />

LEINSTER<br />

VS<br />

ospreys<br />

SAT 19 th FEB<br />

RDS ARENA<br />

KO 5PM


Newstead Building A,<br />

UCD,<br />

Belfield,<br />

Dublin 4<br />

#LEIVOSP<br />

The Line up<br />

Telephone:<br />

012693224<br />

Fax:<br />

012693142<br />

E-mail:<br />

information@leinsterrugby.ie<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie<br />

6<br />

24<br />

EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT<br />

President: John Walsh<br />

Chief Executive: Michael Dawson<br />

Honorary Secretary: Stuart Bayley<br />

Honorary Treasurer: Michael McGrail<br />

RUGBY MANAGEMENT<br />

Head Coach: Leo Cullen<br />

Senior Coach: Stuart Lancaster<br />

Head of Rugby Operations:<br />

Guy Easterby<br />

Assistant Coach: Robin McBryde<br />

Backs Coach: Felipe Contepomi<br />

Kicking Coach: Emmet Farrell<br />

Contact Skills Coach: Denis Leamy<br />

14<br />

PROGRAMME CREDITS<br />

Editorial Team: Marcus Ó Buachalla,<br />

Ryan Corry & Paul Cahill<br />

Advertising: Gary Nolan<br />

Design: Julian Tredinnick,<br />

Ignition Sports Media<br />

Photography: Sportsfile<br />

Chief Steward: Sword Security<br />

Ambulance: St. John’s Ambulance<br />

Medilink<br />

Event Control & Safety Services:<br />

Eamonn O’Boyle & Associates<br />

44<br />

86<br />

STAY<br />

CONNECTED<br />

& KEEP<br />

UP-TO-DATE<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 3


john walsh welcome<br />

PRESIDENT, LEINSTER RUGBY 2020/22<br />

On behalf of <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby we extend<br />

a warm welcome to <strong>Ospreys</strong> to the RDS<br />

Arena for Round 10 of the United Rugby<br />

Championship and for the 40th league<br />

fixture between us Celtic cousins.<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby has recorded 23<br />

wins, three draws and 13 defeats<br />

in those years and we have<br />

had our fair share of drama too<br />

coming down the home stretch.<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> can boast seven league titles<br />

and <strong>Ospreys</strong> have four titles to their<br />

credit. However these stats do not reflect<br />

that <strong>Leinster</strong> have been runner-up to the<br />

<strong>Ospreys</strong> on the two occasions that we<br />

have met in the league final and that<br />

these finals were staged on our home<br />

turf at the RDS Arena in front of our<br />

home fans. The <strong>Ospreys</strong> have become<br />

renowned party spoilers as they also<br />

edged out Munster to win their first<br />

league title in 2005.<br />

A special welcome to our visitors Rob<br />

Davies (Chairperson), Nick Garcia<br />

(CEO), Toby Booth (Head Coach) and<br />

Club Captain Justin Tipuric and the<br />

travelling squad. There will always be a<br />

welcome on the Emerald Isle for Mike<br />

Ruddock who has contributed so much to<br />

the sport and we wish him every success<br />

in his role as Development Officer with<br />

<strong>Ospreys</strong>.<br />

In this season’s United Rugby<br />

Championship, <strong>Ospreys</strong> have played<br />

10 for six wins, four defeats and in<br />

the process scoring 203 points and<br />

conceding 238 points. They are currently<br />

in sixth position in the URC with 26<br />

points.<br />

Reflecting on those past two league finals<br />

in 2010 and 2012 between <strong>Leinster</strong> and<br />

<strong>Ospreys</strong> we know that the <strong>Ospreys</strong> are a<br />

proud club side that are totally committed<br />

to playing to the final whistle even if the<br />

score board does is not always in their<br />

favour.<br />

In the 2010 league final, we were<br />

beaten 17-12 in front of a sell-out crowd<br />

of 19,750. <strong>Leinster</strong> were skippered by<br />

Shane Jennings and Johnny Sexton<br />

landed four penalties but we failed to<br />

cross the whitewash to land a telling blow<br />

and haul back an Osprey lead. <strong>Ospreys</strong><br />

scores came from Lee Byrne and the<br />

flying winger Tommy Bowe (holder of the<br />

league’s try scoring record of 65 tries).<br />

<strong>Ospreys</strong> captain Ryan Jones lifted the<br />

trophy and spoilt the anticipated farewell<br />

party for <strong>Leinster</strong> coach Michael Cheika<br />

on his final game in charge.<br />

The 2012 league final will no doubt be<br />

regarded as a thrilling classic game by<br />

all rugby fans with the <strong>Ospreys</strong> edging<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> by a 31-30.<br />

Coached by Joe Schmidt, <strong>Leinster</strong> were<br />

favourites to add to their European Cup<br />

final success over Ulster and were led by<br />

Leo Cullen. <strong>Leinster</strong>’s scores came from<br />

Seán Cronin (try), Isa Nacewa (two tries)<br />

with Johnny Sexton converting the three<br />

tries and landing three of his four penalty<br />

kicks. The <strong>Ospreys</strong> scores came from<br />

Shane Williams (two tries), Ashley Beck<br />

(try) with Dan Biggar converting two and<br />

adding three penalties.<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> led at half-time by 17-9 but<br />

<strong>Ospreys</strong> edged their way back into<br />

the contest just after the restart. With<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> down to 14 following a yellow<br />

card, Shane Williams signed off his<br />

<strong>Ospreys</strong> career with a 78th-minute try<br />

that required a converted kick by out-half<br />

and Welsh centurion Dan Biggar to<br />

seal victory and leave the <strong>Leinster</strong> fans<br />

shocked.<br />

The importance that sport plays in our<br />

lives and our communities has been<br />

recognised by Government and on<br />

behalf of <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby I wish to take the<br />

opportunity to acknowledge and thank<br />

them for their support.<br />

In addition to the Covid Support Grants<br />

of €85 million that were allocated to 42<br />

national sporting organisations, the recent<br />

Government announcement regarding<br />

the allocation of €150 million under the<br />

Sports Capital Programme has been a<br />

huge boost to morale as we emerge from<br />

over 20 months of necessary restrictions<br />

as a result of the pandemic.<br />

The Sports Capital Programme was first<br />

introduced by Government in 1998<br />

and to date has resulted in over €1.1<br />

billion being allocated to over 13,000<br />

approved sports projects. The current<br />

programme announced by Government<br />

allocated €150 million of which €16.6<br />

million was allocated to the ‘equipment<br />

only’ aspect of the grant. The balance<br />

has now been allocated to a total of<br />

1,900 projects submitted on behalf of<br />

30 sports.<br />

The sport of rugby has continued to<br />

benefit from this recent allocation and<br />

a total of 85 clubs nationally were<br />

successful in obtaining funding for capital


projects. A total of 39 <strong>Leinster</strong> clubs<br />

have received funding amounting to<br />

€3.3 million of which 16 clubs received<br />

funding in excess of €100,000 for their<br />

projects and six <strong>Leinster</strong> clubs receiving<br />

the maximum grant of €150,000. The<br />

total number of <strong>Leinster</strong> clubs who<br />

have received grants under both the<br />

‘equipment only’ and the sport capital<br />

element is 50 clubs for a total amount of<br />

€3,433,500.<br />

A total of €56 million has been allocated<br />

to the 12-county province of <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

for various sports and no matter what<br />

sport you follow this is a most welcomed<br />

development for our communities. So<br />

on behalf of our <strong>Leinster</strong> clubs, their<br />

dedicated committees and volunteers<br />

we acknowledge the support and in<br />

particular to the Minister for Tourism,<br />

Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and<br />

Media, Catherine Martin, the Minister<br />

of State for the Gaeltacht and Sport,<br />

Jack Chambers and the Minister for<br />

Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael<br />

McGrath, we say, a heartfelt thanks.<br />

Our recent hard-earned victory over<br />

Edinburgh at the RDS Arena saw Seán<br />

Cronin make his 199th appearance for<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong>.<br />

Rhys Ruddock was also due to make<br />

his 199th appearance but was a late<br />

withdrawal. Another significant milestone<br />

was achieved by Dave Kearney who<br />

reached 170 <strong>Leinster</strong> appearances.<br />

The depth of experience in the 23-man<br />

matchday squad was highlighted by<br />

the fact that seven of the players have<br />

represented <strong>Leinster</strong> on more than<br />

100 occasions for a total of 1,180<br />

appearances.<br />

The five divisions of the men’s <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

League are now reaching their final<br />

rounds and there will be numerous<br />

anxious moments to be endured by<br />

players and supporters in the next<br />

few weeks in what have been very<br />

competitive leagues not just for the<br />

promotion spots but also in the relegation<br />

zones.<br />

Congratulation to Portarlington on<br />

winning Division 3 and to New Ross on<br />

winning Division 2B.<br />

The Division 2A title will go down to a<br />

photo finish between Athy (50 points)<br />

and DLSP (48 points) as will the Division<br />

1B title between Boyne (54 Points) and<br />

Wicklow (52 points). The Division 1 title<br />

for the Eddie Egan Cup and a valued<br />

spot in the Provincial play-off and for<br />

the Energia All-Ireland League will be<br />

between Bective Rangers (52 points) and<br />

Monkstown (48 points).<br />

Both these clubs have featured in the<br />

All-Ireland League previously and would<br />

dearly love to achieve a return to that<br />

league. The very best of good fortune to<br />

all involved and a big thank you to all the<br />

members of the Competitions Committee<br />

under their Chair Ciaran O’Brien for<br />

managing to get these valued leagues<br />

staged during the pandemic period.<br />

I also wish to acknowledge and thank<br />

all our <strong>Leinster</strong> partners and sponsors for<br />

their support and commitment over the<br />

last two seasons during these tough times<br />

and we are very appreciative of having<br />

them on our team and for standing<br />

shoulder to shoulder with us. We look<br />

forward to a more positive future and<br />

strengthening our relationships.<br />

I hope you all enjoy the game and thank<br />

you for your support which contributes so<br />

much to our success as a club.<br />

John Walsh<br />

President <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby 2020-2022<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 5


Leo Cullen<br />

head Coach Welcome<br />

Good evening<br />

and welcome<br />

to the RDS<br />

Arena for our<br />

United Rugby<br />

Championship<br />

clash against<br />

Toby Booth’s<br />

<strong>Ospreys</strong>.<br />

6 | www.leinsterrugby.ie<br />

We had a very tough game here<br />

against the Welsh side last season<br />

when we were beaten by three<br />

late tries, so we know we’re in<br />

for a battle today.<br />

This year’s URC is without doubt the<br />

most competitive it has been, with lots<br />

of fixtures being decided by the finest of<br />

margins, the odd score here and there,<br />

and tonight may be another that goes<br />

down to the wire.<br />

Many thanks to everyone who turned<br />

out for our game last week against<br />

Edinburgh.<br />

Your support means a huge amount to<br />

the team and we are looking forward to<br />

seeing and hearing you in full voice over<br />

the remainder of the season. There’s a<br />

lot to play for and we’ll be battling hard<br />

to make sure we are involved in as many<br />

big games as possible!<br />

Congratulations to Martin Moloney on<br />

making his first start for <strong>Leinster</strong>. Martin<br />

has come through the club system and<br />

the Shane Horgan Cup competition<br />

representing his area before pulling on a<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby jersey and he has proven<br />

to be such a great character in the group.<br />

We say it to the players all the time, be<br />

ready for when the chance comes your<br />

way, and Martin certainly grabbed his<br />

opportunity with both hands after Rhys<br />

Ruddock unfortunately had to pull out of<br />

the team on game day.<br />

It was great to see the Bank of Ireland<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby Schools Senior Cup<br />

competition kick-off last week, with<br />

some fantastic games fought out in<br />

the very best spirit of the game.<br />

Good luck to all participating<br />

teams over the next few weeks,<br />

and for those teams and<br />

players who have suffered<br />

early exits, I hope you learn<br />

the painful lessons and go<br />

on to enjoy many more<br />

good days playing in the<br />

future with your clubs. The club is where<br />

it all begins for all of us and I would<br />

encourage all of you to re-engage with<br />

your clubs when the studies are to one<br />

side and time allows.<br />

We’ve all been pleased to see the return<br />

of the ‘minis’ at half-time here at the RDS.<br />

On which note, I have to wish Railway<br />

Union the very best of luck today as I’ve<br />

been lucky enough to see them train on<br />

Wednesday nights in recent months!<br />

Many thanks to all the team’s sponsors,<br />

in particular Bank of Ireland, for your<br />

continued support. It looks as though life<br />

is finally starting to get back to the way<br />

we used to know it and we look forward<br />

to hopefully sharing some special days in<br />

the months ahead.<br />

From a personal point of view, my<br />

contract extension was announced this<br />

week and I want to say a big thanks to<br />

the powers that be in <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby for<br />

their continued support.<br />

A special mention to <strong>Leinster</strong>’s Mick<br />

Dawson, Guy Easterby and Frank<br />

Doherty for all their backing, and to<br />

David Nucifora at the IRFU.<br />

It is a great honour for me and my family<br />

to continue to serve such a special group<br />

of people, including players, coaches<br />

and backroom staff. The great teams in<br />

sport are never about one person and<br />

we are lucky to have a special group<br />

that pushes one another to achieve the<br />

highest standards, day in and day out.<br />

Back to this evening!<br />

We have a really important and<br />

exciting run of games coming<br />

up, starting with <strong>Ospreys</strong><br />

tonight, and we’re going to<br />

need every ounce of your<br />

support as we push to<br />

go as far as possible<br />

this season.<br />

Leo<br />

Enjoy the game,


It looks as though life is<br />

finally starting to get back to<br />

the way we used to know it and<br />

we look forward to hopefully<br />

sharing some special days in the<br />

months ahead.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 7


8 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


carla<br />

delaney<br />

DIRECTOR, BANK OF IRELAND AREA EAST<br />

Welcome back to the RDS Arena for another<br />

home fixture, this time against <strong>Ospreys</strong>, in<br />

the United Rugby Championship.<br />

It was brilliant to be back at the<br />

home of <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby last week<br />

for the Edinburgh game after<br />

so long away and everyone is<br />

looking forward to another tough<br />

battle against Welsh opponents<br />

that recorded a victory at the RDS<br />

Arena as recently as March of<br />

2021. The memory of defeat that<br />

is sure to be fresh in the minds of<br />

Leo Cullen and his players as they<br />

prepare for this clash.<br />

Over the last week we have seen the<br />

Bank of Ireland <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby Schools<br />

Senior Cup return after a two-season<br />

hiatus. This followed on from the recent<br />

return of the Shane Horgan Cup, and it is<br />

great to have a sense of normality back<br />

now for the boys in our schools and our<br />

clubs as they’re able to compete on the<br />

rugby fields once more.<br />

As sponsors of the wider <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby<br />

domestic rugby programme we very<br />

much look forward to following all their<br />

journeys in the coming weeks and months<br />

in Energia Park, at the RDS Arena and<br />

indeed in venues across the province.<br />

Chances are that the next rising star to<br />

emerge from the <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby player<br />

pathway, which is built on a strong club<br />

and school scene, will soon be on show.<br />

I also want to wish the very best of luck to<br />

the four teams taking part in the Bank of<br />

Ireland half-time minis this evening. These<br />

will be special moments for the young<br />

players selected, not to mention their<br />

coaches, and we hope they all enjoy the<br />

occasion.<br />

Finally, to you the supporters. The noise<br />

and the passion that was on display last<br />

weekend for the Edinburgh match was<br />

a joy to behold, and as fan-zones and<br />

match-day activity gets back into full<br />

swing each week we hope that you all<br />

enjoy the games and enjoy being back as<br />

part of that Sea of Blue once more.<br />

There is a fantastic group of volunteers<br />

in the OLSC, and their committee, led by<br />

President Bebhinn Dunne, do a fantastic<br />

job at every home game turning the place<br />

blue! And that is before we talk about<br />

their work away from home! If you are in<br />

the RDS this evening and have some time<br />

to spare, calling up to the Laighin Out<br />

Bar never fails to disappoint and you are<br />

guaranteed a warm welcome.<br />

Bank of Ireland is delighted to support<br />

the work of the OLSC and look forward<br />

to big days out together at home and<br />

abroad before the end of the season.<br />

Enjoy the game,<br />

CD<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 9


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16 TEAMS,<br />

2 HEMISPHERES,<br />

1 LEAGUE


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The oval trim design is a registered trademark of Gilbert Rugby.


Did you<br />

know?<br />

• <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby’s record in<br />

their last four United Rugby<br />

Championship matches is won<br />

two, lost two, but at the RDS<br />

Arena their only defeat in any<br />

competition since April 2021<br />

was 10-20 to Ulster in Round 6<br />

of this season’s United Rugby<br />

Championship.<br />

• <strong>Leinster</strong> lost their most<br />

recent match to a Welsh<br />

region, 27-29 to the Blues<br />

at the Arms Park at the end<br />

of January and have not lost<br />

successive matches against<br />

Welsh opponents since 2015.<br />

• <strong>Ospreys</strong> 23-19 victory at<br />

home to Edinburgh last time<br />

out ended a two-game losing<br />

run in the United Rugby<br />

Championship.<br />

• <strong>Ospreys</strong> have lost their<br />

last three away matches in<br />

the Championship since their<br />

29-26 victory in Treviso on 16<br />

October.<br />

• <strong>Ospreys</strong> have already beaten<br />

two Irish provinces this<br />

season, lowering the colours<br />

of Munster in Round 5 and<br />

Ulster in Round 7 both at the<br />

Swansea.com Stadium.<br />

• <strong>Ospreys</strong> beat <strong>Leinster</strong> the<br />

last time the two sides met,<br />

at the RDS Arena in March<br />

2021, whilst <strong>Ospreys</strong> have not<br />

won back-to-back matches at<br />

the venue since they took the<br />

title in 2012.<br />

COMPARISON<br />

Overall URC head-to-head record:<br />

Played 36, <strong>Leinster</strong> won 20, <strong>Ospreys</strong> won 13 with 3 matches drawn.<br />

Last 3 URC results<br />

3 Dec - Connacht (H) W 47-19 1 Jan - Scarlets (A) L 19-22<br />

29 Jan - Cardiff Rugby (A) L 27-29 8 Jan - Glasgow (A) L 19-38<br />

11 Feb - Edinburgh (H) W 26-7 29 Jan - Edinburgh (H) W 23-19<br />

2nd - W7 D0 L2 - 35PTS<br />

WWLWLW (21pts)<br />

URC 2021/22<br />

URC form<br />

Top try scorer<br />

6th - W6 D0 L4 - 26PTS<br />

WLWLLW (13pts)<br />

4 - Adam Byrne, Dan Sheehan 4 - Rhys Webb<br />

Top points scorer<br />

51 - Ross Byrne 64 - Stephen Myler<br />

Date Venue L O <strong>Leinster</strong> scorers <strong>Ospreys</strong> scorers<br />

Sat 24 Mar<br />

18<br />

Swansea.com Stadium 18 32 Ross Byrne(P) Barry Daly(T) Joey<br />

Carbery(C/P) Rory O’Loughlin(T)<br />

Dan Biggar(3C/2P) Tom Habberfield(T)<br />

Justin Tipuric(T) Dan Evans(2T)<br />

Fri 23 Nov 18 RDS Arena 52 7 Max Deegan(T) Ciaran Frawley(7C/P)<br />

Scott Penny(T) Scott Fardy(T) Bryan Byrne(T)<br />

Ed Byrne(T) Nick McCarthy(T) Conor<br />

O’Brien(T)<br />

Fri 4 Oct 19 RDS Arena 53 5 Ross Byrne(4C/P) Max Deegan(T)<br />

Harry Byrne(T/C) Joe Tomane(T) Ronan<br />

Kelleher(3T) Fergus McFadden(T) Michael<br />

Milne(T)<br />

Fri 21 Feb 20 The Gnoll 21 13 Ciaran Frawley(2C) Harry Byrne(C)<br />

Cian Kelleher(T) Josh Murphy(T) Tommy<br />

O’Brien(T)<br />

Sun 8 Nov 20 Swansea.com Stadium 26 7 Harry Byrne(3C) James Tracy(T) Peter<br />

Dooley(T) Scott Penny(T) Dave Kearney(T)<br />

Fri 19 Mar 21 RDS Arena 19 24 Ciaran Frawley(2C) Harry Byrne(2T) Jamie<br />

Osborne(T)<br />

Sam Davies(C) Hanno Dirksen(T)<br />

Luke Morgan(T)<br />

Luke Morgan(T) Luke Price(C/2P)<br />

Penalty Try(T)<br />

Olly Cracknell(T) Luke Price(P) Josh<br />

Thomas(T/2C) Owen Watkin(T) Shaun<br />

Venter(C)<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 13


14 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


james<br />

tracy<br />

the big interview<br />

BY RYAN CORRY<br />

James Tracy<br />

has been<br />

around the<br />

fold of the<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong><br />

Rugby senior<br />

team for<br />

almost 10<br />

years, making<br />

his debut in<br />

November 2012.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 15


A very recognisable face in the<br />

dressing room, Tracy has devoted<br />

a lot of himself to charity during<br />

that stint in the first team.<br />

Most recently, for those of you who aren’t<br />

following the progress on his Instagram<br />

account, Tracy has undertaken the<br />

‘Freezbruary’ challenge set by a former<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> player in Damien Browne.<br />

It’s simple in theory but difficult in<br />

practice. For each day of this month, the<br />

hooker is heading off to the coast for<br />

a dip in the Irish sea with the length of<br />

time spent in the less than comfortable<br />

temperatures of the water decided by<br />

the date.<br />

Starting with a one-minute swim for the<br />

first of the month, a minute will be added<br />

each day until the final dive for 28<br />

minutes on the 28th.<br />

The why makes it all seem a lot more<br />

understandable – Tracy is using the<br />

challenge to raise money for the<br />

Punchestown Kidney Foundation.<br />

“My sister was diagnosed with Multiple<br />

Sclerosis six years ago and that kind of<br />

started a sequence of unfortunate events.<br />

She took a drug to suppress the MS and<br />

it gave her a rare disease which caused<br />

kidney failure,” he explains.<br />

“It’s been a tough time for her but<br />

through different treatments and chemo<br />

16 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


and stuff now she seems to be on the<br />

other side of it. Her godfather Al Tracy,<br />

who is up for uncle of the year, gave her<br />

one of his kidneys about three months<br />

ago.<br />

“James Nolan, who got a kidney off of<br />

his sister Kathrine, who is married to a<br />

relation of mine, runs the charity and<br />

not a cent from it is used for anything<br />

apart from kidney research, looking after<br />

people, buying dialysis machines for<br />

people who need them so they can have<br />

a better quality of life. And then looking<br />

after people who are going through the<br />

transplant or kidney failure or anything to<br />

do with kidney problems.<br />

“It’s the Punchestown Kidney Foundation<br />

and they actually run a charity race every<br />

year in Punchestown to raise money…<br />

so it’s a charity close to home and it’s a<br />

direct connection with what Sara-Jane<br />

went through. I’ve raised about €7,500<br />

so far so hopefully we can keep going.”<br />

As well as the financial support shown for<br />

the initiative so far, Tracy is lucky to have<br />

had a few guests with him on individual<br />

days to join him in the water.<br />

It’s nice to sink the teeth<br />

into something outside of rugby<br />

but I’m still just as hungry for<br />

rugby as I am with the job.<br />

While you might think that those guests<br />

would take a bit of convincing, he’s<br />

quick to point out that all those who have<br />

accepted the challenge, if even for a day,<br />

have all approached him with the offer<br />

to join.<br />

Teammates such as Ryan Baird, Dan<br />

Leavy, Ferg McFadden, Scott Penny, Josh<br />

Murphy and James Lowe have been a<br />

part of the challenge while friends and<br />

family have joined in on alternating days<br />

too – all making it much more bearable.<br />

“It’s a mental and physical challenge but<br />

it’s been good so far! I still have a long<br />

way to go.<br />

“The funny thing is everyone who has<br />

come with me has offered. I think the<br />

challenge would be a lot harder on your<br />

own, I have done a few days on my own<br />

but it’s really been an eye-opener of<br />

how supportive and lucky I am to have<br />

friends, family and teammates who are<br />

all reaching out to me and asking to hop<br />

in and support along the way. It’ll all help<br />

to raise awareness one and help me get<br />

through it two, so it’s been great.”<br />

It’s become another date in the diary,<br />

albeit a short-term one, for one of the<br />

busiest players in the <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby<br />

dressing room.<br />

Last year, Tracy and wife Ashley<br />

welcomed their first child, Bay, into the<br />

world while he’s also now working as<br />

Business Development Manager for<br />

Clear Strategy, a Dublin-based Data and<br />

Analytics Consultancy company.<br />

Family will always come first but these<br />

changes have given Tracy a better grasp<br />

of time management.<br />

“The new baby has been amazing,<br />

adjusting to fatherhood and everything<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 17


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that comes along with it. I’d never held a<br />

baby before until my own so there was<br />

an adjustment period there. It’s the most<br />

amazing thing ever, we’re very lucky to<br />

have a healthy little boy. We live for the<br />

smiles, the smiles make it all worth it,” he<br />

says proudly.<br />

“Your day doesn’t revolve around you<br />

anymore. Now, you’re providing for a<br />

little human and your world revolves<br />

around them. But it’s great, I wouldn’t<br />

change it for the world, we’re so lucky<br />

to have him.<br />

“The job with Clear Strategy was<br />

something that just came to me<br />

through meeting people for coffees<br />

through that journey. I’ve always<br />

been interested and curious,<br />

asking for advice and I was<br />

referred to this job. Once they<br />

reached out to me, I realised<br />

that it was a really good fit<br />

for who I am and what they<br />

stood for. It’s been a great<br />

challenge managing my time<br />

but I’m really enjoying it,”<br />

he adds.<br />

“It’s nice to sink the teeth<br />

into something outside<br />

of rugby but I’m still just<br />

as hungry for rugby<br />

as I am with the job.<br />

There’s a lot of things I<br />

can transfer over but it’s<br />

really helped me to focus<br />

on my time, even when I’m in<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> as well.<br />

“BearingPoint are the innovation partners<br />

of <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby. Eric Conway, who is<br />

a global partner in there now, is a big<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 19


<strong>Leinster</strong> supporter, a big rugby man and<br />

a fellow Kildare man, he took myself and<br />

Peter Dooley for a bit of work experience.<br />

And again, that helped me along the<br />

journey as well to where I’m at. That was<br />

a brilliant chapter and we’re very grateful<br />

for him for giving us that opportunity.”<br />

Now back to matters on the field and the<br />

season so far.<br />

The emergence of both Rónan Kelleher<br />

and Dan Sheehan has seen Tracy<br />

sometimes on the fringes for games this<br />

season that every player wants to be<br />

involved in, something that he has been<br />

unfamiliar with over the last couple of<br />

years.<br />

In the five seasons before this one, Tracy<br />

has played in 19, 18, 26, 24 and 26<br />

games while so far this year, he’s been<br />

limited to just five appearances, two of<br />

those from the start.<br />

This year’s calendar changes haven’t<br />

helped but the 30-year-old says the<br />

competition has fuelled a fire in him once<br />

again.<br />

“This season has been quite frustrating.<br />

I’ve been fortunate over the last few years<br />

where I’ve been involved in every game<br />

for probably four or five seasons. It’s hard<br />

to sit back and not be involved in the<br />

big games but, if anything, it’s probably<br />

ignited a fire in me again in terms of my<br />

competitiveness and kicking into another<br />

gear because the two boys are excellent<br />

rugby players and I have to be better,”<br />

he admits.<br />

“I get up every day and know I have<br />

to improve and keep fighting to be in<br />

the matchday 23. It’s not easy, it’s so<br />

competitive but it’s good. It gets the juices<br />

flowing knowing that you have to be at<br />

the top of your game just to get in the<br />

squad.<br />

“We’ve been a bit fortunate now with the<br />

games that were postponed with Covid,<br />

that they’ve fallen now in this period. It’s<br />

a bit of a blessing for anyone who hasn’t<br />

had too much game time. I’m raring to<br />

get a few games under my belt.”<br />

Today presents one of those opportunities<br />

and regardless of personnel, Tracy says<br />

that the team’s mentality, goals and set<br />

up will always be the same.<br />

<strong>Ospreys</strong> came to the RDS at this time<br />

last year and escaped with a late victory<br />

so motivation, as ever, won’t be lacking<br />

among the selected <strong>Leinster</strong> squad.<br />

Last week’s win against Edinburgh saw<br />

the boys in blue leapfrog a couple of<br />

sides up to second in the URC standings,<br />

now a point off leaders Ulster but with a<br />

game in hand.<br />

After the blip against Cardiff, it looks as<br />

though the train has been set on the right<br />

track again.<br />

“We wouldn’t be dwelling too much on<br />

different parts. We’re very motivated as a<br />

group. We want silverware and anything<br />

but silverware is a failure. That’s just<br />

where our heads are at and that comes<br />

from chipping away week-on-week and<br />

building towards the business end of the<br />

season. We’re very focused on bringing<br />

home silverware this year.<br />

“They’re going to fly out of the blocks<br />

and be hungry. But, I think the great<br />

thing is that so are we. Like I said, the<br />

lads who are getting opportunities,<br />

our motivation is always going to<br />

be there so it’ll be interesting<br />

to see who comes out<br />

better. They play a good<br />

brand and they’re a<br />

physical side like all of<br />

the Welsh regions so it’s<br />

going to be a great game<br />

20 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


and hopefully we can put on a good<br />

show.”<br />

This evening’s game will be even more<br />

notable for one of Tracy’s teammates, the<br />

man he will share duties with front and<br />

centre of the <strong>Leinster</strong> pack.<br />

Seán Cronin, if he replaces Tracy, will<br />

make his 200th appearance for the<br />

province, on top of almost 70 for Munster<br />

and Connacht combined.<br />

“It’s incredible. Two hundred caps is an<br />

unbelievable achievement and he’s had<br />

an amazing career. He’s won so much<br />

and been so consistently good for so<br />

long. I was joking with him, I don’t know<br />

how he’s done, what is it, 16 years. I’ve<br />

done six and I’m falling apart, he’s done<br />

10 more and he’s still going strong,”<br />

Tracy laughs.<br />

“It’s incredible really. He’s a great<br />

character, I’ve learned a lot off him and<br />

he’s probably the first kind of explosive,<br />

rapidly fast hooker in the world. He’s kind<br />

of changed the profile of what a hooker<br />

should be. He’s a great lad and definitely<br />

well-deserving of his 200 caps.”<br />

With 134 appearances and counting<br />

to his own name, it’s an understatement<br />

to say the front row won’t lack for<br />

experience throughout the 80 minutes<br />

today.<br />

We’re very motivated as a<br />

group. We want silverware<br />

and anything but silverware<br />

is a failure.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 21


Action<br />

replay 26 7<br />

LEINSTER RUGBY<br />

Jamie Osborne (Rob Russell 73); Tommy<br />

O’Brien, Rory O’Loughlin, Ciarán<br />

Frawley (Harry Byrne 19), Dave Kearney;<br />

Ross Byrne, Nick McCarthy (Luke<br />

McGrath 55); Ed Byrne (Peter Dooley<br />

55), James Tracy (Seán Cronin 55),<br />

Michael Ala’alatoa (Vakh Abdaladze<br />

55); Ross Molony, Josh Murphy (Devin<br />

Toner 56); Martin Moloney (Alex Soroka<br />

73), Scott Penny, Max Deegan.<br />

SCORERS<br />

Tries: Scott Penny, Nick McCarthy, Vakh<br />

Abdaladze, Max Deegan.<br />

Cons: Ross Byrne (3).<br />

FRIDAY, 11 FEBRUARY<br />

RDS ARENA<br />

ATTENDANCE: 8,559<br />

UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP<br />

EDINBURGH RUGBY<br />

Henry Immelman; Matt Currie, James<br />

Lang (Cameron Hutchison 61), Emiliano<br />

Boffelli; Charlie Savala (Jaco van der<br />

Walt 72), Henry Pyrgos (Charlie Shiel<br />

56); Boan Venter (Sam Grahamslaw<br />

68), Adam McBurney (David Cherry<br />

53), Lee-Roy Atalifo (Jake Armstrong<br />

53); Marshall Sykes, Glen Young (Pierce<br />

Phillips 62); Ben Muncaster, Connor<br />

Boyle (Kwagga van Niekerk 72),<br />

Mesulame Kunavula.<br />

SCORERS<br />

Trie: Emiliano Boffelli<br />

Con: Emiliano Boffelli<br />

22 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


We’ve a group<br />

here that are<br />

working away<br />

with limited<br />

numbers and<br />

young guys<br />

coming in who<br />

did really well.<br />

The effort was<br />

outstanding.<br />

Head coach Leo Cullen<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 23


Energia Women’s All-Ireland League:<br />

Top Four and Conference<br />

Round 4 Review<br />

Blackrock College and Railway<br />

Union have booked their places in<br />

the Energia Women’s All-Ireland<br />

League final, while Suttonians<br />

will face either Galwegians or<br />

Ballincollig in the Conference<br />

decider.<br />

Blackrock College secured their spot in<br />

the final after a 44-point haul away to<br />

local rivals Old Belvedere RFC. With the<br />

half time score 5-10 to the visitors<br />

Tries from Maeve Liston, Maggie Boylan<br />

(2), Michelle Claffey (2), Katie Fitzhenry,<br />

Dorothy Wall and Aoibheann Reilly saw<br />

Blackrock come away from the Top Four<br />

conference with four wins from four.<br />

A five-try first half salvo got the job<br />

done for Railway Union away to UL<br />

Bohemians, with winger Aoife Doyle<br />

touching down twice in a 31-14 win. With<br />

the wind behind them, Railway quickly<br />

got on the scoreboard through captain<br />

Niamh Byrne and Doyle. Byrne’s classy<br />

break and pass led to a 15th-minute try<br />

for Lindsay Peat under the posts.<br />

Bohs were unable to get their hands<br />

on the ball, and taking a nice line off a<br />

scrum, Limerick woman Doyle broke past<br />

Enya Breen to scamper in for the bonuspoint<br />

try. Muirne Wall used a quick tap<br />

penalty to get UL off the mark, but Ireland<br />

sevens star Eve Higgins replied for<br />

Railway before the interval, leaving four<br />

defenders for dead with a brilliant burst<br />

of pace and deft sidestepping.<br />

A sustained spell of pressure saw UL<br />

captain Chloe Pearse power over in the<br />

50th minute, closing the gap to 17 points,<br />

but Railway’s strong defence frustrated<br />

the Red Robins for the remainder of the<br />

game.<br />

Suttonians sealed their place in the<br />

Conference final with young centre Kate<br />

Farrell-McCabe, who returned from<br />

Ireland sevens duty, starring with four tries<br />

in their 34-22 triumph over Ballincollig.<br />

Galwegians captain Mairéad Coyne<br />

claimed a brace of tries in a runaway<br />

41-0 victory over Malone, while Ireland<br />

sevens captain Lucy Mulhall had a<br />

successful debut with Wicklow, who<br />

edged out Cooke 22-17.<br />

Quick ball from a scrum was fed into<br />

midfield where Coyne burst through<br />

for the opening score at Crowley Park,<br />

before Ursula Sammon thundered clear<br />

of three defenders for a fine individual<br />

try, also converted by Emma Keane. After<br />

‘Wegians won a scrum against the head,<br />

Coyne tied in two defenders and flicked a<br />

pass away for Saskia Morrissey to score.<br />

Centre Megan Walsh was the fourth<br />

member of the hosts’ back-line to get<br />

over the whitewash, charging through<br />

following a turnover on the edge of<br />

the Malone 22. The rain made for a<br />

tighter second half, but Niamh O’Grady<br />

crashed over from close range, Coyne<br />

crossed again from her own kick through<br />

and second row Grace Browne Moran<br />

24 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Energia Women’s AIL Conference<br />

POS TEAM PL W D L PF PA DIFF TB LB PTS<br />

1 Suttonians 4 4 0 0 143 59 84 4 0 20<br />

2 Galwegians 4 3 0 1 123 36 87 3 1 16<br />

3 Ballincollig 4 3 0 1 78 73 5 2 0 14<br />

4 Wicklow RFC 4 2 0 2 52 82 -30 1 1 10<br />

5 Malone 4 0 0 4 32 117 -85 0 2 2<br />

6 Cooke 4 0 0 4 47 108 -61 0 1 1<br />

Energia Women’s AIL Top 4<br />

POS TEAM PL W D L PF PA DIFF TB LB PTS<br />

1 Blackrock College 4 4 0 0 107 40 67 2 0 18<br />

2 Railway Union RFC 4 3 0 1 69 50 19 1 1 14<br />

3 UL Bohemian 4 1 0 3 87 83 4 2 1 7<br />

4 Old Belvedere 4 0 0 4 22 112 -90 0 1 1<br />

rounded off the scoring from a crisp line<br />

of passes.<br />

Meanwhile, it was celebration time again<br />

for Wicklow in Belfast – they overcame<br />

Malone recently for their first ever away<br />

AIL win – as Ella Roberts’ bonus-point<br />

try in the final play saw them prevail at<br />

Shaw’s Bridge<br />

Broadcast and Venue Details Confirmed<br />

for Energia Women’s All-Ireland League<br />

Finals<br />

Broadcast and venue details have been<br />

confirmed for the upcoming Energia<br />

Women’s All-Ireland League finals on<br />

Saturday, 26 February.<br />

This year will see the Energia Women’s<br />

All-Ireland League final broadcast live<br />

on television for the first time in the<br />

competition’s history.<br />

The Women’s Conference final will also<br />

be televised live as part of a unique<br />

double header on TG4.<br />

Energia Park will once again stage the<br />

finals with the 3rd-4th place play-off<br />

giving attending fans the chance to enjoy<br />

three games for the price of one entry.<br />

Tickets will be available via Ticketmaster,<br />

with details to be announced in due<br />

course.<br />

Saturday, 26 February<br />

Energia Women’s All-<br />

Ireland League Final<br />

Energia Park, 7.30pm (live on TG4)<br />

Energia Women’s All-<br />

Ireland League<br />

Conference Final<br />

Energia Park, 4.45pm (live on TG4)<br />

Energia Women’s All-<br />

Ireland League<br />

3rd-4th Place Play-Off<br />

Energia Park, 2pm (deferred<br />

coverage on IrishRugby.ie)<br />

Energia Women’s All-<br />

Ireland League<br />

7th-8th Place Play-Off<br />

Home venue of third-placed<br />

Conference team, kick-off tbc<br />

(highlights on IrishRugby.ie)<br />

Energia Women’s All-<br />

Ireland League<br />

9th-10th Place Play-Off<br />

Home venue of fifth-placed<br />

Conference team, kick-off tbc<br />

(highlights on IrishRugby.ie)<br />

If you are<br />

interested in<br />

taking up rugby<br />

or you would like<br />

to follow our<br />

updates, check out<br />

our social media<br />

channels:<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Women’s Rugby<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong>WomensRugby<br />

@<strong>Leinster</strong>Women<br />

womenspro@leinsterrugby.ie<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 25


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www.leinsterrugby.ie | 27


leo<br />

the lion’s<br />

kids<br />

corner<br />

IN A BLUR!<br />

Can you name this<br />

leinster player?<br />

spot the difference!<br />

Can you find all six?<br />

ANAGRAMS<br />

Can you un-jumble the names of these players?<br />

DEPORT<br />

WARREN<br />

HAND SEA<br />

HEN<br />

how did you do?<br />

IN A BLUR?<br />

SEÁN CRONIN<br />

ANAGRAMS<br />

ANDREW PORTER<br />

DAN SHEEHAN<br />

ZOOMED IN!<br />

CONOR O’BRIEN<br />

zoomed in!<br />

WHo is this leinster<br />

player having an<br />

extreme close-up?<br />

28 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


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AZTO<br />

with<br />

Martin Moloney<br />

A – Action: If you could be a superhero,<br />

which would you be?<br />

Dash from The Incredibles<br />

B – Boyhood: Who was your favourite<br />

sporting idol growing up?<br />

Johnny Doyle<br />

C – Childhood: What is your favourite<br />

childhood memory?<br />

Long puck, All-Ireland Community<br />

Games<br />

D – Dish: What’s your go-to pre-match<br />

meal?<br />

Pasta pesto with chicken<br />

E – Education: What was your favourite<br />

subject in school?<br />

Ag. Science<br />

F – Film buff: What’s your favourite film?<br />

Sounder<br />

G – Groove: Who is the best dancer in<br />

the squad?<br />

Max O’Reilly<br />

H – Holiday: What’s your favourite<br />

holiday destination?<br />

Malta<br />

I – Inside: Who is the worst to sit beside<br />

in the dressing room?<br />

Cormac Foley, always grumpy!<br />

J – Joker: Who is the funniest in the<br />

squad?<br />

Joe McCarthy<br />

K – Kick-off: What’s your favourite time<br />

of the day to play a match?<br />

Evening<br />

L – Languages: How many languages<br />

can you speak?<br />

Two<br />

M – Music: Your favourite artist and<br />

song right now?<br />

Going Up The Country – Canned Heat<br />

N – Number: Do you have a lucky<br />

number?<br />

Yes – Seven!<br />

30 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


O – Others: What’s your<br />

favourite sport outside of rugby?<br />

Hurling<br />

P – Pal: Who is your best mate in<br />

the squad?<br />

Jamie Osborne<br />

Q – Quirky: Who has the most<br />

interesting fashion sense?<br />

Charlie Ryan<br />

R – Red Carpet: Who is the most<br />

famous contact in your phone?<br />

Jamie Osborne<br />

S – Superstitions: Do you have<br />

any matchday routines?<br />

I listen to music on the bus!<br />

T – Trim: What’s the worst<br />

haircut you’ve ever had?<br />

Mullet by Marcus Hanan,<br />

thankfully fixed by Ciarán<br />

Frawley!<br />

U: Under pressure: Who in the<br />

squad would be the best in a<br />

bad situation?<br />

Charlie Ryan<br />

V – Verified: How often do<br />

you use social media?<br />

Everyday<br />

W – Worst fear: What are<br />

you most scared of?<br />

David Hawkshaw<br />

X – X-ray: Have you ever<br />

broken any bones?<br />

Yes – My heel and jaw!<br />

Y – Youth: Where did you<br />

grow up?<br />

Athy<br />

Z – Zoo: What’s your<br />

favourite animal?<br />

Dogs<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 31


THE SPIRIT OF<br />

UNITED RUGBY<br />

CHAMPIONSHIP.<br />

Enjoy responsibly<br />

DISCOVER THE SPIRIT WITHIN |<br />

#SAVOURTHEMOMENT


IRFU AND LEINSTER RUGBY CONFIRM<br />

CULLEN CONTRACT<br />

EXTENSION<br />

The IRFU and<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong><br />

Rugby have<br />

confirmed<br />

a one-year<br />

contract<br />

extension<br />

for <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

Rugby Head<br />

Coach Leo<br />

Cullen.<br />

In May last year, Cullen signed<br />

a rolling one-year contract<br />

extension with the IRFU and<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby, with the option to<br />

extend for a further season at the<br />

end of 2021/22.<br />

That extension has now been agreed up<br />

to the end of the 2022/23 season.<br />

Speaking to leinsterrugby.ie, <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

Rugby CEO Mick Dawson said, “We<br />

offered Leo a two-year contract last year<br />

but were very happy to work with Leo to<br />

make the situation work for him. It was<br />

always our intention, all going well, that<br />

we would sit down again and agree to<br />

the second year and that has been the<br />

case. It has been very straight forward<br />

thankfully.<br />

“I’d like to thank Leo for his work and<br />

his dedication and indeed thank his wife<br />

Dairine, and his wider family, for the<br />

support they give to him in allowing him<br />

to be the coach that he is.<br />

“The job that Leo has done in his time<br />

as Head Coach has been excellent and<br />

he has with him, a group of coaches<br />

and staff, that contribute and drive the<br />

standards that we have here today<br />

at <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby. They have created<br />

a hugely positive environment for the<br />

players over the last few years to perform<br />

to the best of their abilities.<br />

“That continuity in our coaching team<br />

is a vital piece of the puzzle for us, as<br />

well as having someone like Leo who<br />

understands the system, our pathway<br />

and the importance of the clubs and the<br />

schools to the future success of <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

Rugby.<br />

“I wish Leo every success for the rest of<br />

this season and indeed the season to<br />

come.”<br />

Cullen, who won 221 caps for <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

and was captain of three Heineken Cupwinning<br />

squads, was appointed Head<br />

Coach at the start of the 2015/16 season<br />

and has led the team to a Champions<br />

Cup and four PRO14/URC titles in his<br />

time in charge.<br />

IRFU Performance Director, David<br />

Nucifora, commented, “It’s great that<br />

Leo has again extended his contract to<br />

remain in his role with <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby.<br />

“The combined strength of Irish Rugby<br />

lies in the cohesion and alignment we<br />

have with our provinces and with our<br />

pathways. Stability in our coaching ranks<br />

is a key part of what underpins Irish<br />

Rugby.”<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 35


leinster<br />

squad<br />

2021/22 season<br />

Vakh Abdaladze #1263<br />

PROP<br />

DOB: 06/02/1996<br />

HEIGHT: 1.88m<br />

WEIGHT: 121kg<br />

Michael Ala’alatoa #1301<br />

prop<br />

DOB: 28/08/1991<br />

HEIGHT: 1.91m<br />

WEIGHT: 127kg<br />

7<br />

CAPS<br />

Ryan Baird #1278<br />

LOCK<br />

DOB: 26/07/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.98m<br />

WEIGHT: 113kg<br />

7<br />

CAPS<br />

Adam Byrne #1213<br />

WING / FULL BACK<br />

DOB: 10/04/1994<br />

HEIGHT: 1.91m<br />

WEIGHT: 98.18kg<br />

1<br />

CAP<br />

Ed Byrne #1222<br />

6<br />

CAPS<br />

Harry Byrne #1280<br />

2<br />

CAPS<br />

Ross Byrne #1236<br />

13<br />

CAPS<br />

Thomas Clarkson #1285<br />

PROP<br />

DOB: 09/09/1993<br />

HEIGHT: 1.8m<br />

WEIGHT: 114.09kg<br />

FLY HALF<br />

DOB: 22/04/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.9m<br />

WEIGHT: 95kg<br />

FLY HALF<br />

DOB: 08/04/1995<br />

HEIGHT: 1.9m<br />

WEIGHT: 92kg<br />

PROP<br />

DOB: 22/02/2000<br />

HEIGHT: 1.85m<br />

WEIGHT: 118kg<br />

36 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Jack Conan #1223<br />

24<br />

CAPS<br />

7<br />

CAPS<br />

Will Connors #1264<br />

9<br />

CAPS<br />

Sean Cronin #1202<br />

72<br />

CAPS<br />

Max Deegan #1256<br />

1<br />

CAP<br />

NO. 8<br />

DOB: 29/07/1992<br />

HEIGHT: 1.93m<br />

WEIGHT: 114.09kg<br />

BACK ROW<br />

DOB: 04/04/1996<br />

HEIGHT: 1.96m<br />

WEIGHT: 100kg<br />

HOOKER<br />

DOB: 06/05/1986<br />

HEIGHT: 1.78m<br />

WEIGHT: 103.18kg<br />

NO. 8<br />

DOB: 01/10/1996<br />

HEIGHT: 1.93m<br />

WEIGHT: 110kg<br />

Peter Dooley #1230<br />

Caelan Doris #1268<br />

14<br />

CAPS<br />

Jack Dunne #1276<br />

Ciaran Frawley #1265<br />

PROP<br />

DOB: 04/08/1994<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 117kg<br />

BACK ROW<br />

DOB: 02/04/1998<br />

HEIGHT: 1.93m<br />

WEIGHT: 107kg<br />

LOCK<br />

DOB: 21/11/1998<br />

HEIGHT: 2.03m<br />

WEIGHT: 120kg<br />

FLY HALF<br />

DOB: 04/12/1997<br />

HEIGHT: 1.91m<br />

WEIGHT: 98kg<br />

Tadhg Furlong #1220<br />

PROP<br />

DOB: 14/11/1992<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 125kg<br />

54<br />

CAPS<br />

13<br />

CAPS<br />

Jamison Gibson-Park #1247<br />

SCRUM HALF<br />

DOB: 23/02/1992<br />

HEIGHT: 1.75m<br />

WEIGHT: 80kg<br />

14<br />

CAPS<br />

David Hawkshaw #1290<br />

FLY HALF / Centre<br />

DOB: 03/07/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.75m )<br />

WEIGHT: 85.91kg<br />

Cian Healy #1142<br />

PROP<br />

DOB: 07/10/1987<br />

HEIGHT: 1.85m<br />

WEIGHT: 116.82kg<br />

114<br />

CAPS<br />

2<br />

CAPS<br />

Robbie Henshaw #1251<br />

54<br />

CAPS<br />

9<br />

CAPS<br />

Dave Kearney #1158<br />

19<br />

CAPS<br />

Hugo Keenan #1253<br />

18<br />

CAPS<br />

Ronan Kelleher #1277<br />

18<br />

CAPS<br />

CENTRE<br />

DOB: 12/06/1993<br />

HEIGHT: 1.9m<br />

WEIGHT: 99.09kg<br />

WING / FULL BACK<br />

DOB: 19/06/1989<br />

HEIGHT: 1.8m<br />

WEIGHT: 90kg<br />

FULL BACK<br />

DOB: 18/06/1996<br />

HEIGHT: 1.85m<br />

WEIGHT: 91.82kg<br />

HOOKER<br />

DOB: 24/01/1998<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 105kg<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 37


Jordan Larmour #1258<br />

30<br />

CAPS<br />

Dan Leavy #1231<br />

11<br />

CAPS<br />

WING<br />

DOB: 10/06/1997<br />

HEIGHT: 1.78m<br />

WEIGHT: 90kg<br />

FLANKER<br />

DOB: 23/05/1994<br />

HEIGHT: 1.91m<br />

WEIGHT: 105.91kg<br />

for full squad profiles<br />

please click here<br />

James Lowe #1262<br />

9<br />

CAPS<br />

Nick McCarthy #1241<br />

Luke McGrath #1206<br />

19<br />

CAPS<br />

Michael Milne #1279<br />

WING / FULL BACK<br />

DOB: 08/07/1992<br />

HEIGHT: 1.88m<br />

WEIGHT: 105kg<br />

SCRUM HALF<br />

DOB: 25/03/1995<br />

HEIGHT: 1.8m<br />

WEIGHT: 84.09kg<br />

SCRUM HALF<br />

DOB: 03/02/1993<br />

HEIGHT: 1.75m<br />

WEIGHT: 84.09kg<br />

PROP<br />

DOB: 05/02/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 115kg<br />

Jimmy O’Brien #1272<br />

Conor O’Brien #1260<br />

Josh Murphy #1261<br />

Ross Molony #1233<br />

LOCK<br />

DOB: 11/05/1994<br />

HEIGHT: 1.96m<br />

WEIGHT: 113kg<br />

FLANKER<br />

DOB: 17/02/1995<br />

HEIGHT: 1.98m<br />

WEIGHT: 110kg<br />

CENTRE<br />

DOB: 06/02/1996<br />

HEIGHT: 1.91m<br />

WEIGHT: 100kg<br />

CENTRE<br />

DOB: 27/11/1996<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 88kg<br />

Tommy O’Brien #1283<br />

Rory O’Loughlin #1248<br />

1<br />

CAP<br />

Scott Penny #1271<br />

Andrew Porter #1246<br />

42<br />

CAPS<br />

CENTRE<br />

DOB: 28/05/1998<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 95kg<br />

CENTRE<br />

DOB: 21/01/1994<br />

HEIGHT: 1.88m<br />

WEIGHT: 94.09kg<br />

FLANKER<br />

DOB: 22/09/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 104kg<br />

PROP<br />

DOB: 16/01/1996<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 114.09kg<br />

38 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Garry Ringrose #1237<br />

39<br />

CAPS<br />

Rhys Ruddock #1167<br />

27<br />

CAPS<br />

James Ryan #1259<br />

42<br />

CAPS<br />

Johnny Sexton #1127<br />

102<br />

CAPS<br />

14<br />

CAPS<br />

CENTRE<br />

DOB: 26/01/1995<br />

HEIGHT: 1.85m<br />

WEIGHT: 96kg<br />

BACK ROW<br />

DOB: 13/11/1990<br />

HEIGHT: 1.91m<br />

WEIGHT: 113.18kg<br />

LOCK<br />

DOB: 24/07/1996<br />

HEIGHT: 2.03m<br />

WEIGHT: 115kg<br />

FLY HALF<br />

DOB: 11/07/1985<br />

HEIGHT: 1.88m<br />

WEIGHT: 90kg<br />

Dan Sheehan #1286<br />

HOOKER<br />

DOB: 17/09/1998<br />

HEIGHT: 1.91m<br />

WEIGHT: 110.91kg<br />

4<br />

CAPS<br />

Devin Toner #1128<br />

LOCK<br />

DOB: 29/06/1986<br />

HEIGHT: 2.11m<br />

WEIGHT: 127kg<br />

70<br />

CAPS<br />

James Tracy #1211<br />

HOOKER<br />

DOB: 02/04/1991<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 106kg<br />

6<br />

CAPS<br />

Josh van der Flier #1228<br />

FLANKER<br />

DOB: 25/04/1993<br />

HEIGHT: 1.85m<br />

WEIGHT: 103kg<br />

37<br />

CAPS<br />

Coaching<br />

Staff<br />

2021/22 season<br />

LEO CULLEN<br />

HEAD COACH<br />

STUART LANCASTER<br />

SENIOR COACH<br />

ROBIN MCBRYDE<br />

ASSISTANT COACH<br />

FELIPE CONTEPOMI<br />

BACKS COACH<br />

EMMET FARRELL<br />

KICKING COACH AND<br />

LEAD PERFORMANCE ANALYST<br />

GUY EASTERBY<br />

HEAD OF RUGBY OPERATIONS<br />

DENIS LEAMY<br />

CONTACT SKILLS COACH<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 39


Official Health<br />

and Wellbeing<br />

Partner to<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby<br />

Always a beat ahead


Your best support every season<br />

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BECAUSE YOU GET<br />

Official Media Partner of <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby


INCLUSION TAG RUGBY<br />

AT RAILWAY UNION RFC<br />

The Railway<br />

Union RFC<br />

Inclusion<br />

Tag team<br />

was setup in<br />

September<br />

2021 and now<br />

train every<br />

Wednesday<br />

night at 6pm.<br />

New members<br />

are always<br />

welcome.<br />

It was important to the club to have<br />

trainings on at times that the club was<br />

busy so it was all inclusive.<br />

They have engaged with local sports<br />

partnership, local schools, disability<br />

services and other inclusive teams to<br />

encourage participation. This was done<br />

through fliers, email invites and phone<br />

calls to encourage kids to give tag a try.<br />

They had fantastic numbers and kids<br />

During the training sessions children with<br />

special needs learn new skills such as<br />

catching, passing, running and tagging<br />

as well as a new sport, all while having<br />

fun.<br />

Often you will see the younger group of<br />

girls mixing in for skills and drills before<br />

breaking away to practice in a tag game,<br />

all of which encourage peer-to-peer<br />

mentorship and neurodiversity from an<br />

early age.<br />

Railway Union offers tag rugby<br />

to children 5-15 years with special<br />

needs, providing an inclusive and<br />

supportive environment in a social<br />

and sporting setting.<br />

Planning for the team began prepandemic<br />

to make Railway Union an<br />

even more inclusive club. Thanks to the<br />

support of David McKay from the IRFU<br />

and the <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby branch, our<br />

coaches were trained up once restrictions<br />

were lifted.<br />

Recruitment began with taster sessions on<br />

Sundays in September 2021, allowing<br />

coaches to get an understanding of how<br />

the sessions would run and for children<br />

to familiarise themselves with Railway<br />

Union.<br />

brought their siblings and parents to join<br />

in too.<br />

Many of the children have said they had<br />

never tried tag before and were eager to<br />

get stuck in.<br />

The IRFU and <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby have been<br />

fantastic in introducing clubs around<br />

Dublin for Railway Union to meet, mix<br />

with and play against. While they have<br />

only been established for five months,<br />

they want to continue to grow their<br />

numbers and play against teams all<br />

around the county.<br />

Railway Union would love to have you<br />

and your friends down. If you want to<br />

get involved in a coaching or playing<br />

perspective, please contact Dee<br />

Roberts on 0892730992.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 43


North-East Area U-18 Girls<br />

play first competitive game<br />

On a crisp cold Monday evening<br />

in January, the U-18 <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

North-East Girls team made a little<br />

piece of history at Balbriggan RFC,<br />

as they took to the pitch for their<br />

first ever competitive match. This<br />

historic night was five years in<br />

the making, with the Area squads<br />

slowly developing and building<br />

over those years. The competition<br />

is the newly established Sarah<br />

Robinson Cup, named in memory<br />

of Sarah, a youth player with<br />

Gorey RFC, who sadly passed<br />

away in 2019.<br />

The inter-area competition kicked off in<br />

October, but as the North-East had a bye<br />

in the first round, the squad had to wait<br />

a little longer to finally take to the pitch.<br />

The cancellation of round two matches<br />

because of Covid and which were<br />

due to take place over Christmas was<br />

disappointing for the team. But it made<br />

the occasion all the sweeter when they<br />

finally took to the pitch at Balbriggan on<br />

January 17 to play their match against<br />

Metro.<br />

The extended North-East squad come<br />

together each week, from their respective<br />

clubs, to train as one. Under the guidance<br />

of manager John Fitzgerald and the<br />

team of dedicated coaches from around<br />

the North-East, the girls have worked<br />

hard to develop their rugby skills. Their<br />

commitment to the North-East squad has<br />

been inspiring and it has been a joy to<br />

see girls rugby in the area develop and<br />

grow as it has.<br />

The girls were asked what it means to<br />

them to be part of the North-East U-18<br />

Girls squad. Here is what some of them<br />

had to say:<br />

“Being part of this rugby team is a<br />

privilege. It is a great honour to be<br />

selected amongst such a talented group<br />

of girls. Rugby is hugely important to me;<br />

there is no better feeling than walking<br />

off a pitch arm in arm with team-mates<br />

knowing you played for yourself and<br />

these other girls.<br />

“I find North-East U-18 girls is a very<br />

special team, so many friendships have<br />

been built with people I would have<br />

never met otherwise. I now look forward<br />

to playing teams like Navan, Ashbourne-<br />

Balbriggan, Skerries and Ardee as there<br />

is such a friendly rivalry amongst us, but,<br />

on the pitch with the North-East, club<br />

teams don’t matter.<br />

“We all play as a team, for the North-<br />

East of <strong>Leinster</strong>. I look forward to training,<br />

to improve and develop my skills. To have<br />

coaches and a team as interested and<br />

dedicated to rugby really inspires me to<br />

push myself more than I thought I could.<br />

For this, I thank the coaches and the<br />

team, it is such an honour to represent the<br />

North-East alongside such a talented and<br />

hardworking group of players.” - Aoife<br />

Purcell, Dundalk RFC<br />

“I really enjoy being on the North-East<br />

team, there’s always a great atmosphere<br />

within the team when we train, even<br />

though we might have played against<br />

each other a few days before. Girls<br />

rugby is growing across the country and<br />

having this cup and the opportunity to<br />

play at this level is a huge achievement<br />

for me and I love every second of<br />

it.” - Shannon Campbell, Ashbourne-<br />

Balbriggan Team<br />

“I love playing rugby. This sport<br />

relies massively on teamwork and<br />

competitiveness, while having good<br />

sportsmanship and professionalism. I<br />

have been playing rugby since I was an<br />

11-year-old and love it. It has taught me<br />

how to work well with others. I, along<br />

with my club team, currently hold two<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> titles. Through this amazing<br />

journey I have made lifelong friendships.<br />

I was blessed to be awarded Player of<br />

44 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


the Year in 2019. I am off to college<br />

this September and will continue to play<br />

rugby as long as l can.” - Ava Galvin,<br />

Navan RFC<br />

“A few months ago, just after Ashbourne-<br />

Balbriggan U-18 girls played against<br />

Navan U-18 girls, a text was sent into the<br />

North-East group chat asking us players<br />

what being part of the squad meant to<br />

us in one word. So many words filled<br />

the group chat, but two words that really<br />

encapsulate this wonderful group of<br />

players were ‘unity’ and ‘dedication’.<br />

“While all the players on the team come<br />

from different clubs across North-East<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> and are rivals during the league,<br />

once those red and black jerseys are on<br />

our backs we play as one, as a family.<br />

I am extremely grateful to be part of<br />

such an amazing squad with dedicated<br />

players, managers and coaches, and I<br />

cannot wait to see what the future has<br />

in store for all of us.” - Naoise Smith,<br />

Ashbourne-Balbriggan Team<br />

“Playing for the North-East for us in<br />

Ardee Rugby Club means forming lifelong<br />

friendships while gaining experience<br />

and knowledge of the game. It also<br />

means being a well-respected player and<br />

learning that there are pathways in rugby<br />

for girls at all clubs.” - Caoimhe Stewart,<br />

Ardee RFC<br />

“Being part of the North-East team<br />

will forever be one of my greatest<br />

accomplishments. Not only for the fact<br />

that I was chosen to play at such a<br />

high level, but because I was given the<br />

opportunity to play alongside some of<br />

the most talented people I have ever met.<br />

Despite every girl coming from a different<br />

club and background, the minute we put<br />

on the North-East jerseys we become<br />

united as a team.<br />

“We play together, not as individuals.<br />

We work hard, train hard and play<br />

hard not only for ourselves but for our<br />

team-mates, our coaches and our parents<br />

who make the long journeys every week<br />

to bring us to training and matches.<br />

Working with people who have the<br />

same passion for rugby as you do is an<br />

incredible feeling and opportunity, and I<br />

am so grateful to have experienced the<br />

highs and lows of it all alongside a group<br />

of girls I can proudly call my family.<br />

“This is my third, and sadly my final<br />

season playing for the North-East and I<br />

have enjoyed every single moment of it,<br />

from the freezing cold Monday training<br />

sessions to all the celebrations after<br />

matches, I’ve loved and will cherish it all.”<br />

- Ally Cullivan, Navan RFC<br />

‘Is mór an onóir dom a bheith páirteach<br />

ar an bhfoireann ‘North-East <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

U-18.’ Seachtain i ndiadh seachtaine,<br />

táimid ag fás agus ag forbairt le chéile<br />

mar fhoireann. Táimid an-tógtha leis<br />

an spórt. Is clann mhór í an fhoireann.’<br />

Clíodhna Ní Chonchobhair, Ashbourne-<br />

Balbriggan Team<br />

The parents are also an integral part of<br />

the team, supporting the girls by bringing<br />

them to training each week, standing on<br />

the sidelines in support, getting involved<br />

in helping the team, and lots more<br />

besides.<br />

‘What are the benefits about rugby or<br />

in particular girls playing rugby with<br />

North-East?<br />

“There are lots, I like that the sport is<br />

inclusive; that there is a place for every<br />

girl on the team regardless of body type.<br />

I like that it’s a team sport and that ethos<br />

has been ingrained. No one player can<br />

win on their own; they need the support<br />

and skills of each other to succeed. I<br />

admire the coaches who invest so much<br />

of themselves, to provide opportunities for<br />

player development.<br />

“I admire the passion for the game and<br />

the commitment to train on cold winter<br />

nights! I like the respect that’s shown to<br />

each other as players, to the coaches<br />

and in particular, to the referee. I like<br />

that a win is celebrated with humility and<br />

empathy for the losing side. I like that, as<br />

in life, there are highs and lows that come<br />

with playing competitive sport and that<br />

life skills are being developed to deal<br />

with both. I like that it’s a sport that is<br />

challenging but smart and rewarding and<br />

most importantly, when played well, it’s a<br />

joy to watch!” - Deirdre Cullivan, Parent<br />

It may have taken five years to get to this<br />

point, but the journey is just beginning for<br />

girl’s rugby in the North-East and indeed<br />

all the other areas.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 45


compiled by stuart farmer<br />

media services limited<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Player<br />

Statistics<br />

SQUAD<br />

CAP<br />

NO<br />

DEBUT<br />

2021/22 SEASON FOR LEINSTER LEINSTER CAREER<br />

ALL GAMES URC EPCR ALL GAMES PRO14/URC EPCR<br />

App Try Pts App Try Pts App Try Pts App Try Pts App Try Pts App Try Pts<br />

SINCE LAST TRY<br />

CAPS<br />

VAKH ABDALADZE 1263 2 DEC 17 0+4 1 5 0+3 1 5 0+1 - - 0+16 2 10 0+15 2 10 0+1 - - 1 -<br />

MICHAEL ALA'ALATOA 1301 25 SEP 21 7+4 1 5 6+2 - - 1+2 1 5 7+4 1 5 6+2 - - 1+2 1 5 4 WS 7<br />

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<br />

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<br />

ED BYRNE 1222 9 FEB 14 4+3 1 5 4+3 1 5 - - - 23+54 11 55 23+43 10 50 0+11 1 5 5 IR 6<br />

HARRY BYRNE 1280 28 SEP 19 2+3 - 10 2+3 - 10 - - - 16+13 6 164 16+12 6 159 0+1 - 5 8 IR 2<br />

ROSS BYRNE 1236 4 SEP 15 7+4 2 84 5+3 1 51 2+1 1 33 77+38 8 734 63+21 3 522 14+17 5 212 4 IR 13<br />

THOMAS CLARK-<br />

1285 29 AUG 20 - - - - - - - - - 2+8 - - 2+8 - - - - - - -<br />

SON<br />

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 24<br />

WILL CONNORS 1264 9 FEB 18 1+1 - - 1+1 - - - - - 18+7 2 10 17+7 2 10 1 - - 12 IR 9<br />

TIM CORKERY 1298 12 MAR 21 - - - - - - - - - 0+2 - - 0+2 - - - - - - -<br />

SEAN CRONIN 1202 28 OCT 11 2+2 1 5 2+2 1 5 - - - 122+77 43 215 78+56 26 130 43+19 16 80 4 IR 72<br />

MAX DEEGAN 1256 3 DEC 16 2+8 3 15 2+5 3 15 0+3 - - 37+38 21 105 34+27 19 95 3+11 2 10 1 IR 1<br />

PETER DOOLEY 1230 31 OCT 14 0+4 - - 0+4 - - - - - 40+57 5 25 38+51 5 25 2+6 - - 12 -<br />

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 14<br />

JACK DUNNE 1276 16 FEB 19 - - - - - - - - - 2+13 - - 2+13 - - - - - - -<br />

CORMAC FOLEY 1299 24 APR 21 - - - - - - - - - 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - - -<br />

CIARAN FRAWLEY 1265 17 FEB 18 9+2 1 7 7+1 - 2 2+1 1 5 26+20 5 150 23+15 3 134 3+5 2 16 3 -<br />

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 54<br />

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 14<br />

MARCUS HANAN 1295 19 FEB 21 - - - - - - - - - 0+3 - - 0+3 - - - - - - -<br />

DAVID HAWKSHAW 1290 2 NOV 20 - - - - - - - - - 0+8 1 14 0+8 1 14 - - - 4 -<br />

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 114<br />

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 54<br />

DAVE KEARNEY 1158 16 MAY 09 1 - - 1 - - - - - 148+22 51 255 122+15 44 220 25+6 7 35 8 IR 19<br />

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 18<br />

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 18<br />

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<br />

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<br />

46 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


SQUAD<br />

CAP<br />

NO<br />

DEBUT<br />

2021/22 SEASON FOR LEINSTER LEINSTER CAREER<br />

ALL GAMES URC EPCR ALL GAMES PRO14/URC EPCR<br />

App Try Pts App Try Pts App Try Pts App Try Pts App Try Pts App Try Pts<br />

SINCE LAST TRY<br />

CAPS<br />

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<br />

JOE MCCARTHY 1303 29 JAN 22 1 - - 1 - - - - - 1 - - 1 - - - - - - -<br />

NICK MCCARTHY 1241 19 DEC 15 1+4 1 5 1+4 1 5 - - - 7+34 5 25 7+28 5 25 0+6 - - 1 -<br />

LUKE MCGRATH 1206 5 MAY 12 7+4 - - 6+2 - - 1+2 - - 109+53 39 195 75+45 31 155 34+8 8 40 13 IR 19<br />

MICHAEL MILNE 1279 28 SEP 19 - - - - - - - - - 1+15 2 10 1+15 2 10 - - - 14 -<br />

MARTIN MOLONEY 1300 24 APR 21 1 - - 1 - - - - - 1+1 - - 1+1 - - - - - - -<br />

ROSS MOLONY 1233 20 FEB 15 9+2 1 5 6+2 - - 3 1 5 73+54 5 25 68+39 4 20 5+15 1 5 4 -<br />

JOSH MURPHY 1261 3 NOV 17 3+1 - - 1+1 - - 2 - - 45+8 5 25 42+7 4 20 3+1 1 5 13 -<br />

JAMIE OSBORNE 1294 30 JAN 21 3+2 - - 3+2 - - - - - 5+6 1 5 5+6 1 5 - - - 6 -<br />

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

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 -<br />

SEAN O'BRIEN 1297 12 MAR 21 - - - - - - - - - 0+2 - - 0+2 - - - - - - -<br />

TOMMY O'BRIEN 1283 20 DEC 19 1+5 - - 1+4 - - 0+1 - - 5+10 3 15 5+9 3 15 0+1 - - 11 -<br />

RORY O'LOUGHLIN 1248 2 SEP 16 4 - - 4 - - - - - 68+23 21 105 61+15 18 90 7+8 3 15 34 IR 1<br />

MAX O'REILLY 1291 2 JAN 21 - - - - - - - - - 6+1 1 5 6+1 1 5 - - - 6 -<br />

SCOTT PENNY 1271 23 NOV 18 4 3 15 4 3 15 - - - 27+6 19 95 27+6 19 95 - - - 1 -<br />

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 42<br />

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 39<br />

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<br />

ROB RUSSELL 1302 3 OCT 21 1+2 - - 1+2 - - - - - 1+2 - - 1+2 - - - - - - -<br />

JAMES RYAN 1259 2 SEP 17 3 - - 3 - - - - - 47+6 3 15 25+1 1 5 22+5 2 10 13 IR 42<br />

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<br />

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 4<br />

ANDREW SMITH 1292 2 JAN 21 - - - - - - - - - 1+1 - - 1+1 - - - - - - -<br />

ALEX SOROKA 1296 28 FEB 21 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - 1+2 - - 1+2 - - - - - - -<br />

DEVIN TONER 1128 27 JAN 06 4+3 - - 4+2 - - 0+1 - - 210+63 4 20 144+44 4 20 63+19 - - 56 IR 70<br />

JAMES TRACY 1211 4 NOV 12 2+3 2 10 2+3 2 10 - - - 59+75 16 80 52+47 15 75 7+28 1 5 2 IR 6<br />

LIAM TURNER 1287 23 OCT 20 - - - - - - - - - 4+2 - - 4+2 - - - - - - -<br />

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 37<br />

2021/22 SEASON FOR LEINSTER LEINSTER CAREER<br />

ALL GAMES URC EPCR ALL GAMES PRO14/URC EPCR OVERALL<br />

KICKING<br />

SUCCESS<br />

RATE<br />

C PG DG C PG DG C PG DG C PG DG C PG DG C PG DG ATT Career<br />

%<br />

- - - HARRY BYRNE 62.50% 5 - - 5 - - - - - 58 6 57 5 1 1 82 78.05%<br />

ROSS BYRNE 87.50% 31 4 - 17 4 - 14 - - 227 79 1 171 54 1 56 25 - 394 77.66%<br />

CIARAN FRAWLEY 100.00% 1 - - 1 - - - - - 52 7 - 49 7 - 3 - - 73 80.82%<br />

DAVID HAWKSHAW - - - - - - - - - - 3 1 - 3 1 - - - - 6 66.67%<br />

JIMMY O'BRIEN - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - 1 - - - - - 3 33.33%<br />

GARRY RINGROSE - - - - - - - - - - 4 - - 4 - - - - - 6 66.67%<br />

JOHNNY SEXTON 80.00% 18 2 - 8 2 - 10 - - 252 294 11 128 171 7 117 119 4 685 79.71%<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 47


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Offices in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Mullingar<br />

Tel: +353 (0)1 266 6000<br />

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in pictures<br />

11 February 2022<br />

Action from the Bank of Ireland<br />

Half-Time Minis matches between<br />

Portarlington RFC and Birr RFC<br />

and Tullow RFC and Naas RFC<br />

at half-time of the United Rugby<br />

Championship match between<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> and Edinburgh at the RDS<br />

Arena in Dublin.<br />

50 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Photos by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 51


www.leinsterrugby.ie | 53


offical leinster<br />

supporters club<br />

Friday Night<br />

Lights had it all<br />

last week, the<br />

return to action<br />

in the RDS, a<br />

raucous crowd, a<br />

cold biting wind,<br />

thankfully no<br />

rain and a bonuspoint<br />

win to send<br />

the majority of<br />

the 8,559 crowd<br />

who were in<br />

attendance home<br />

happy.<br />

Tries from Scott Penny, Nick<br />

McCarthy, Vakh Abdaladze<br />

and Max Deegan ensured that<br />

the bitter last minute, one point<br />

defeat away to Cardiff a few<br />

weeks back was put behind us<br />

as we make a massive leap from<br />

fourth to second in the URC table,<br />

just a single point behind leaders<br />

Ulster, but with a game in hand.<br />

We’re back in action again this weekend<br />

where we welcome <strong>Ospreys</strong> to the RDS<br />

for what is sure to be another exciting<br />

evening of rugby, but hopefully not too<br />

much nail-biting as we look to continue<br />

our ascent back to the top of both the<br />

URC and Irish Shield tables.<br />

On behalf of the OLSC Committee we<br />

would like to extend a warm welcome<br />

to Toby Booth and the <strong>Ospreys</strong> team as<br />

well as all management and backroom<br />

staff. A big welcome too to the <strong>Ospreys</strong><br />

travelling faithful who will no doubt be in<br />

full voice as they look to cheer their team<br />

to victory and so we reckon we’re in for<br />

an exciting evening of rugby!<br />

Our form coming into this game as<br />

we know is having lost two of our last<br />

five URC games, whilst our visitors are<br />

currently sitting sixth in the URC table and<br />

first in the Welsh Shield, having lost three<br />

of their last five URC games.<br />

LEINSTER<br />

Played 9 Won 7 Drawn 0 Lost 2<br />

For 272 Against 121<br />

Bonus 6 Points 35<br />

OSPREYS<br />

Played 10 Won 6 Drawn 0 Lost 4<br />

For 203 Against 238<br />

Bonus 1 Points 26<br />

We must not overlook the fact however<br />

that the last time these two sides faced<br />

off, it was here in the RDS back on 19<br />

March, 2021, and it was <strong>Ospreys</strong> that<br />

day who secured victory on a scoreline<br />

of 24-19 for what was their first victory<br />

in the RDS since 2012 and so that<br />

incredible victory for them is sure to give<br />

them a spring in their step as they take to<br />

the RDS turf for kick-off this evening.<br />

On that evening back in 2021, Player<br />

of the Match was <strong>Ospreys</strong> backrow<br />

Morgan Morris who went home happy<br />

with a return of:<br />

Points 0<br />

Metres Gained 42<br />

Carries 13<br />

Tackles Made 16<br />

Last weekend our own backrow supremo<br />

Scott Penny left the RDS with his tally<br />

below and so if these two are on form<br />

this evening, it’ll be another fascinating<br />

contest of the back rows!<br />

Points 5<br />

Metres Gained 35<br />

Carries 7<br />

Tackles Made 20<br />

As stated so often, but so true, this is<br />

a game neither side will want to lose<br />

as both look to build on recent form.<br />

Ironically both recent victories for us and<br />

<strong>Ospreys</strong> were against Edinburgh and<br />

they’ll be buoyed at displacing them from<br />

first and their last outing here, whilst we<br />

wish to return to first so a game neither<br />

can afford to lose!<br />

As always we’re thankful for the support<br />

we as a committee get from <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

Rugby, as well as you the supporters, and<br />

we encourage you to continue to show<br />

your support for the team through our<br />

social media channels.<br />

Yours in Rugby,<br />

Your OLSC Committee<br />

54 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


OFFICIAL<br />

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SUPPORTERS<br />

CLUB<br />

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Join our FRIENDS<br />

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and help support<br />

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For more details,<br />

click here<br />

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As Official Clean Air Partner to <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

Rugby we are delighted to support the<br />

team in their pursuit of excellence by<br />

adding Novaerus Air Disinfection to their<br />

winning formula.<br />

Irish-designed and patented Novaerus<br />

NanoStrike technology strives to give<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> the physical and competitive edge<br />

by disinfecting the squad and<br />

management team’s indoor<br />

air safely, 24/7.


GETTING<br />

We check social media<br />

for the latest views<br />

and thoughts across<br />

SOCIAL<br />

the 12 counties<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 59


Virtual Mascot<br />

Keelan<br />

McCarthy<br />

Age: 10<br />

School: Willow Park, Blackrock<br />

Hobbies: Rugby, Hurling , Gaelic Football,<br />

Swimming and Gaming<br />

Favourite Player: Johnny Sexton<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 61


WHERE ARE<br />

THEY NOW?<br />

sean brophy<br />

THEN: Sean<br />

Brophy earned<br />

seven caps for<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> in<br />

2004.<br />

NOW: He lives<br />

in Surrey<br />

with his<br />

Liverpudlian<br />

wife Hannah<br />

and children<br />

Aoife (5) and<br />

Conor (3),<br />

working as<br />

Head of Direct<br />

Lending at<br />

TriplePoint, a<br />

London-based<br />

investment<br />

firm.<br />

62 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


© Inpho.ie<br />

Sean Brophy is a runner now.<br />

He is not running away from anyone<br />

or even towards anything, more so for<br />

something.<br />

The ex-Belvedere College, Clontarf,<br />

Oxford University and <strong>Leinster</strong> prop has<br />

shed many of the kilos needed to put his<br />

best foot forward in rugby.<br />

He has completed nine marathons in a<br />

journey that is just beginning, reserving<br />

time in his busy life to sweat out the<br />

demons, preserving his mental health and<br />

raising money for that of others.<br />

Pieta House. The Samaritans. Suicide<br />

prevention charities.<br />

********<br />

The memory is still there.<br />

As lucid and stinging as the moment,<br />

five minutes into injury time, when St<br />

Mary’s College’s Shane Jennings ended<br />

Belvedere College’s dream of a <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

Schools Senior Cup medal in 1999.<br />

“I vividly remember the time after that. It<br />

was like a death in the family, a very big<br />

family,” says Sean.<br />

He went on to study economics at Trinity<br />

College, play for Tony Smeeth and play<br />

with Kieran Lewis, Trevor Hogan, Roger<br />

Wilson, Matt McCullough and Jamie<br />

Heaslip.<br />

“I played <strong>Leinster</strong> Schools and, in 2001,<br />

for <strong>Leinster</strong> U-21s in the front row with<br />

Gavin Hickie and Niall Treston,” he says.<br />

“In 2002, I remember looking at the<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> senior front row and seeing Gav<br />

and Trezzy. There I was playing against,<br />

say, Thomond in Division Three of the AIL,<br />

down in Limerick.<br />

“I thought: ‘I should be there. I should, at<br />

least, be in that conversation.’”<br />

It seems Sean was always a step behind<br />

and there was a reason for that.<br />

“It was never a big dream for me to<br />

play professional rugby. That was the<br />

difference,” he states.<br />

“There was the risk of putting all the<br />

rugby eggs in one basket weighed<br />

against the reward. Maybe, I was being<br />

too analytical about it.<br />

“My concern would have been joining<br />

the workforce at 30, starting out 10 years<br />

behind where you think you should have<br />

been. That was my overarching thought<br />

process.”<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 63


After Trinity, he went back to play for his<br />

local club Clontarf, where he had started<br />

out as a seven-year-old.<br />

“That was the season I played for<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong>,” he says.<br />

In January 2004, Reggie Corrigan was<br />

with Ireland, Emmet Byrne was injured<br />

and Treston had broken his leg. There<br />

was a hole to be filled.<br />

Sean’s debut came against Dragons,<br />

coming off the bench when the scrum<br />

was being demolished.<br />

“It was certainly a very different<br />

experience to playing for Clontarf.<br />

The scrum was in trouble. But, I was<br />

surrounded by guys I knew well because<br />

we had played together in the age<br />

grades.<br />

“From a personnel perspective, it was<br />

fine. From a rugby standard perspective,<br />

it was a big step-up, very big.”<br />

Standing on the touchline at Rodney<br />

Parade, there was a mix of feelings<br />

coursing through his body and mind.<br />

“I am generally, calm. This was different.<br />

I was very nervous at that moment. It was<br />

a lot to wrap your head around.<br />

“You absolutely want to get into the<br />

game. There was no point in going over<br />

there, putting a jersey on your back just to<br />

sit on the bench.<br />

“But, when you see the scrum going<br />

backwards and it is your job to go in<br />

there and do something about it, that is a<br />

different feeling.<br />

“As you stand there on the sideline,<br />

waiting to come on, you don’t doubt<br />

yourself in that moment. Too much time<br />

has passed. It is all adrenalin.<br />

“Equally, as soon as I involved which, for<br />

a prop, means getting into a scrum, it felt<br />

so much better.”<br />

One moment stands out above the rest:<br />

“I don’t even know how this would<br />

happen. But, I remember tackling Percy<br />

Montgomery, prop on full-back, and<br />

thinking, not that I had made it, but that I<br />

could live here for a while,” he smiles.<br />

That wasn’t a good season at <strong>Leinster</strong> for<br />

a number of reasons. But, he loved all<br />

seven games.<br />

“The last scrum I got into for <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

was the last game of the season, again<br />

against Dragons.<br />

“I was the only uncapped player in that<br />

pack. There was Reggie Corrigan, Shane<br />

Byrne, Malcolm O’Kelly, Victor Costello,<br />

Eric Miller, Aidan McCullen.<br />

“I was left with the thought that I was the<br />

only uncapped player in that scrum and<br />

that I wasn’t a million miles away from<br />

holding my own.<br />

“In the end, that gave me a massive<br />

amount of pride and it is something that<br />

stays with me, to look back and know I<br />

was part of that, even if it was only for a<br />

matter of months.<br />

“That pride is definitely still there today<br />

– my kids Aoife and Conor have always<br />

had <strong>Leinster</strong> jerseys ready to go, despite<br />

being born in London.”<br />

In May 2004, Sean finished playing<br />

for <strong>Leinster</strong> and Clontarf coach Phil<br />

Werahiko organised a move to New<br />

Zealand to play in Waikato before going<br />

to Oxford.<br />

“I got the call on a Tuesday and was on<br />

a flight on a Friday. That was magic, just<br />

magic.<br />

“I was taken completely out of my<br />

comfort zone, playing with Marty Holah<br />

and Rua Tipoki. In a very Kiwi way, they<br />

took care of you, only when you proved<br />

you could mix it on the pitch.”<br />

Even when Sean was a kid, he used to<br />

watch the Varsity match.<br />

For whatever reason, he always wanted<br />

Oxford to win, perhaps because his first<br />

memory was of Ulster and Ireland outhalf<br />

David Humphreys playing for them.<br />

Later, Sean discovered strong ties<br />

between Trinity and Oxford, including<br />

their annual match, and coach Steve Hill<br />

made an offer he couldn’t refuse.<br />

Oxford became Sean’s focus. <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

and Waikato are just what happened in<br />

between Trinity and his main aim.<br />

A call came from Connacht with the offer<br />

of a two-year contract just after Sean had<br />

accepted a place to study for a masters<br />

in geography at Oxford University.<br />

The analytical mind favoured education,<br />

knowing the opportunity to play might<br />

still be there two years later.<br />

“In my head, that was always my path. If<br />

professional rugby came before or after<br />

it, so be it.”<br />

In August 2004, he made his way to<br />

Oxford, winning one (2004) and l<br />

osing one (2005) of the Varsity<br />

matches.<br />

“We won one and we don’t talk about<br />

the other one. In the second one, I was<br />

sin-binned and Cambridge scored 14<br />

points in that time. That was the game.”<br />

In 2006, Sean moved into banking,<br />

played for Westcombe Park on the<br />

outskirts of London for a couple of<br />

seasons, a shoulder dislocation hastening<br />

the end of his playing career in 2010.<br />

He quickly learned how transferable<br />

some of the skills were from the pitch to<br />

the office.<br />

“In rugby, you have to have a meticulous<br />

nature about what you do. You don’t<br />

even know you have it when you are<br />

doing it.<br />

64 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


© Inpho.ie<br />

“I am talking about the finer details, like<br />

body position, the timing of runs, decoy<br />

runs, all this stuff you do on a rugby pitch<br />

that you don’t think twice about because<br />

you acquire it through muscle memory.<br />

“When you are in the workplace, that<br />

doesn’t go away, wanting to do things in<br />

a meticulous, attention to detail way.”<br />

It was whilst completing his MBA in<br />

Imperial College, London, when Sean<br />

could see the benefit of teamwork in<br />

rugby, in how different people from<br />

all over the world with different belief<br />

systems had to come together in cooperation<br />

just to get through the course.<br />

“You also don’t lose that discipline you<br />

have to have in rugby to get things done.<br />

You take that with you and the absolute<br />

requirement to rely on other people.”<br />

*****<br />

Now 41, the competitive fire still burns<br />

brightly enough for Sean to express that<br />

part of himself through running.<br />

“When I stopped playing rugby, it did<br />

leave a hole, in terms of fitness,” he<br />

states.<br />

“The running is principally driven by<br />

mental health, getting really fit and<br />

having that mental space to clear my<br />

mind. That is what it is all about.”<br />

This is when Sean’s rosy remembrance<br />

gives way to a deeper, more meaningful<br />

window into the life of a man who sees<br />

beyond the material.<br />

“Irish men of my generation all know<br />

someone who has died by suicide. A<br />

relative of a very close friend of mine<br />

was the first time it happened.<br />

“I am talking about men like Conrad<br />

O’Sullivan, with whom I played Ireland<br />

U-21s. It is mad how little everyone<br />

talks about it. Because of this, I have<br />

raised money for Pieta House, for the<br />

Samaritans, for Suicide Counselling<br />

Charities.<br />

“Mental health and physical health are<br />

inextricably related. I know it is not the<br />

magic cure for mental health issues.<br />

“But, I have absolutely no doubt that<br />

most of the running I have done is to<br />

make sure I am happy in myself, happy<br />

where I am.”<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 65


Referees<br />

Corner<br />

BY DAN WALLACE<br />

A warm welcome to this<br />

edition of Referees Corner.<br />

Today’s match referee is<br />

Gianluca Gnecchi from Italy.<br />

Gianluca hails from Brescia<br />

in Italy where he started<br />

his refereeing journey. He<br />

refereed the U-20 Six Nations<br />

Championship before making<br />

his PRO14 refereeing debut in<br />

the match between Zebre and<br />

Benetton in 2020, where he<br />

was assisted by fellow Brescian<br />

referee Andrea Piardi.<br />

Piardi himself was an assistant match<br />

referee for last year’s Six Nations game<br />

between Scotland and Wales and also<br />

refereed <strong>Leinster</strong> v Bath in January.<br />

Gnecchi refereed the 2023 Rugby<br />

World Cup qualifiers in South America,<br />

taking the match between Brazil and<br />

Want to get<br />

involved?<br />

Feel free to make contact with the <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby Referees<br />

at hayley.whyte@leinsterrugby.ie If you are interested<br />

in becoming a referee get in contact with us through our<br />

Facebook, our website www.leinsterrugbyreferees.ie or<br />

through twitter @leinsterreferee.<br />

66 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Chile last July. Gianluca will be assisted<br />

by Andrew Brace (MAR), Dan Carson<br />

(USRFR) and TMO Leo Colgan (MAR).<br />

We wish them all well.<br />

Our area meetings for February are in<br />

full swing. This month we look at two<br />

recent World Rugby Law Clarifications<br />

and discuss some current trends in the<br />

game – global law trials, materiality<br />

and advantage.<br />

The two law clarifications are: 1. The<br />

addition of cotton-blend long tights or<br />

leggings, with single inside leg seam<br />

under their shorts and socks to permitted<br />

players clothing. No mention of referees<br />

being allowed to don leggings on a<br />

cold day. Whilst women have been<br />

allowed to wear leggings for some time,<br />

this is now extended to men as well.<br />

The second clarification that we<br />

discussed was that recently there have<br />

been instances of rucks being extended<br />

sideways which gets the last player very<br />

close to the opposition nine when he/<br />

she is box kicking. This reduces space<br />

and the options available to players.<br />

The clarification states that: Adding<br />

players to your own side of the ruck,<br />

in order to advance closer to the<br />

opposition side of the ruck, as shown<br />

in the clips attached, squeezes the<br />

space available and compromises the<br />

clearance of the ball from the ruck.<br />

These actions should be discouraged.<br />

If a player is fully bound and they have<br />

moved beyond the offside line then they<br />

must return to be behind the hindmost<br />

foot before being able to be involved<br />

in play, once the ball is out or is played<br />

from the ruck.<br />

More information at:<br />

The discussion on advantage is always<br />

an interesting one. The advantage<br />

Law as designed allows the game to<br />

be more continuous and have fewer<br />

stoppages. Sometimes, during a game,<br />

an infringement of the Laws may be<br />

committed where a stoppage in play<br />

would deprive the non-offending team of<br />

an opportunity to score. Even though the<br />

Laws state that the non-offending team<br />

should be awarded a penalty, free-kick<br />

or scrum, they are given the opportunity<br />

to continue with open play and attempt<br />

to score a try. In this instance, the<br />

referee will allow play to continue rather<br />

than penalise the offence.<br />

Advantage can be applied to either<br />

minor infringements (e.g. knock-on), or<br />

offences which would result in a penalty<br />

(e.g. offside). The decision has to be<br />

made by the referee as to whether<br />

there may be more benefit to the nonoffending<br />

team if play continues. If no<br />

advantage occurs, the referee will blow<br />

the whistle and bring play back to the<br />

place of the original infringement which<br />

occurred prior to advantage being<br />

played.<br />

Sean Gallagher facilitated the<br />

discussion with some examples of recent<br />

clips where good and bad advantage<br />

was played. The key question is often<br />

- how much advantage should be<br />

played?<br />

Materiality is always an interesting<br />

discussion. Whilst we can see many<br />

infringements on a field, they do not<br />

all have consequences for the nonoffending<br />

team and we can move<br />

on with the game. Corris Thomas,<br />

the legendary Welsh referee of the<br />

1970s (Munster v All Blacks), uses a<br />

legal principle that is used in public<br />

law making, to explain the concept of<br />

materiality: ‘De minimis non curat lex.’<br />

This Latin phrase, which translates as<br />

‘The law does not concern itself with<br />

trivialities’, is a principle of Law which<br />

means that even if a technical violation<br />

of the Law appears to have occurred<br />

according to the letter of the Law, if the<br />

effect is too small to be of consequence,<br />

the violation of the law will not be<br />

considered as a sufficient cause for<br />

punitive action.<br />

This principle, taken from the world of<br />

law school, is indeed very applicable<br />

to refereeing a game of rugby. The<br />

principle does not mean a disregard<br />

for any Laws, but rather it is an<br />

encouragement to enforce the Laws,<br />

but only when the circumstances for<br />

which those Laws were created actually<br />

occurs. It is still necessary to accept that<br />

two criteria must apply to create the<br />

need to penalise a team in a game of<br />

rugby:<br />

• A Law has been infringed, and<br />

• There has been an effect, of either<br />

· One team has received an unfair<br />

advantage, or<br />

· One side has been denied a fair<br />

advantage.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 67


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Successful Your Club<br />

Your Country draw<br />

for <strong>Leinster</strong> clubs<br />

The Your Club Your Country<br />

(YCYC) Draw has become a major<br />

annual fundraising event for<br />

clubs, organised by the IRFU in<br />

association with Energia.<br />

The December 2021 draw was the<br />

11th Annual Draw in an IRFU initiative<br />

created to help our rugby clubs. Every<br />

single cent raised by clubs stays in<br />

the clubs, one of the key elements<br />

contributing to its success. It raised over<br />

€600,000 for club rugby throughout<br />

Ireland, with a great effort being made<br />

by many clubs.<br />

Throughout the pandemic, clubs around<br />

Ireland have struggled with funding, but<br />

we are thankful for the support of Sports<br />

Ireland and the Government along with<br />

the IRFU. But it is also up to our clubs to<br />

try and raise funds in these challenging<br />

times and the YCYC draw offers a<br />

welcomed opportunity to do this.<br />

Jane Gilsenan in the IRFU head office<br />

led the campaign, and in <strong>Leinster</strong>, this<br />

season, some extra efforts were made.<br />

The <strong>Leinster</strong> Junior Committee was asked<br />

to drive this initiative and it formed a subcommittee<br />

lead by Enniscorthy’s Rory<br />

Fanning.<br />

This <strong>Leinster</strong> sub-committee<br />

enthusiastically went about its work,<br />

and in particular it was heartened by<br />

the reaction and support of the very<br />

hardworking club volunteers throughout<br />

the 12 counties.<br />

The sub-committee was drawn from<br />

clubs across the province with Mark<br />

Bergin (Athy), Tony Walshe (Wexford<br />

Wanderers), Shane Delaney (Coolmine),<br />

Fergus Flanagan (Bective) and Bill<br />

Duggan (Ashbourne) all joining, and<br />

they were hugely appreciative for the<br />

support they got from clubs to drive this<br />

opportunity forward.<br />

There were lots of novel ideas to<br />

encourage support for the draw. It was<br />

not easy in the middle of the Covid<br />

pandemic. Clubs got excellent leverage<br />

in a win-win combination of this draw<br />

and membership recruitment.<br />

Use of social media by clubs was also<br />

key. One club even resorted to recruiting<br />

the legendary Mrs Doyle from Father<br />

Ted, urging on ticket buyers with the<br />

rallying cry: “Go on, go on, go on…”<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> platforms were also used as the<br />

province rowed in behind this positive<br />

initiative by the IRFU.<br />

Sixty-three participating <strong>Leinster</strong> clubs<br />

raised just under €400,000 for the<br />

second year in succession. These funds<br />

will be used by the clubs to support the<br />

development of the club and domestic<br />

game, which is the foundation of rugby<br />

within the <strong>Leinster</strong> model.<br />

With 10 incredible prizes, generously<br />

donated by the Irish Rugby family of<br />

sponsors, the draw has continued to<br />

raise vital funds for clubs during a<br />

challenging season. The hard work of<br />

volunteers and the unwavering support<br />

of club members has given the club<br />

game a real boost halfway through the<br />

season.<br />

The winning tickets of first prize, a trip<br />

to New Zealand for Ireland’s 2022<br />

Summer Tour, was sold by Lansdowne<br />

FC. Second prize went to Roscrea RFC<br />

and third prize to County Carlow FC.<br />

Seven of the 10 lucky winners were from<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> clubs.<br />

Twenty-one clubs sold 1,000 or more<br />

tickets, raising more than €10,000 each.<br />

Coolmine RFC sold the most tickets,<br />

followed by Ashbourne RFC, Suttonians<br />

RFC and Railway Union RFC.<br />

If you missed your opportunity to support<br />

your own local club this season, don’t<br />

worry. We look forward to an even more<br />

successful draw next year. Watch out<br />

for the messaging, support your local<br />

rugby club, and maybe win an exciting<br />

top prize.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 69


ank of ireland<br />

MATCHDAY MINIS<br />

Gorey RFC<br />

Players: Darcie Bailey, Kai Hulin, Rosie Cooper,<br />

Ava Johnson, Zoe Darcy, Sara Kruczek, Amelia Doherty,<br />

Isabelle Maher, Mia Doherty, Isabelle Rolland,<br />

Robyn Fitzgerald, Aisling Rooney, Liliana Gawronska,<br />

Elly Ryanhart-Kenny, Zara Grouse, Mollie Sheridan, Kate<br />

van Heerden, Sofia Thompson, Kate Hendy,<br />

Daisy Vreenegoor<br />

Coaches: Johan van Heerden, Eric Hendy, Yvonne Howard,<br />

Kasia Gawronska, Gareth Noctor, Mervyn Bailey<br />

Balbriggan RFC<br />

Players Front Row L to R: Nicole O’Reilly Rogers,<br />

Kathleen O’Donnell, Tara Eason, Chloe McGillivray,<br />

Jessica Covey<br />

Players Back Row L to R: Lily Carew, Fiah Magee,<br />

Lara Nolan, Amelia LeSclotour, Keira Lynch, Aobha Beirne<br />

Missing from photo: Ava Collins, Aisling Teeling<br />

Coaches: Mark Lynch, Naoise Howley, Kate McFadden<br />

Athy RFC<br />

Players: Chloe Bell, Clara O’Keefe, Claudia Treacy,<br />

Dearbhla McHugh, Deirbhile Coughlan, Eabha Flynn,<br />

Elva Mai Greene, Emily Brennan, Emily Howe, Emily Julian,<br />

Eryka Owens, Eva Harris, Heidi Dowling, Katie Farrell,<br />

Kate Watchorn, Katie Nolan, Loretta Lawlor, Lucy Whelan,<br />

Sarah Brennan, Vivienne Lawlor<br />

Coaches: Lar Nolan, Alicia Whelan<br />

Railway Union RFC/<br />

Lansdowne FC<br />

Players: Evie Reddan, Orla Rose Gilmore, Mea O’Donnell,<br />

Mila Williams, Pearl Deane, Amy Deane (Railway Union),<br />

Megan Dunne, Bronwyn Boyd, Lilah Maher, Edith Maher,<br />

Chloe Padioleau, Alexia Bouchery, Sophia Doyle, Anna<br />

Colton (Lansdowne FC)<br />

Coaches: Daisy Earle, Claire Byrne<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 71


GIVE<br />

YOURSELF<br />

A FLOATING<br />

CHANCE<br />

If you’re in trouble<br />

in cold water:<br />

1 Fight your instinct to thrash around<br />

2 Lean back, extend<br />

IF<br />

your<br />

YOU<br />

arms<br />

GET<br />

and<br />

IN TROUBLE<br />

legs<br />

IN THE W<br />

3 If you need to, gently move your arms<br />

and legs to help you float<br />

4 Float until you can control your breathing<br />

5 Only then call for help or swim to safety<br />

Help save lives. Share our Float to Live advice.<br />

RNLI.org/RespectTheWater<br />

CHOOSE A<br />

LIFEGUARDED BEAC<br />

FLOAT TO LIVE<br />

LEAN BACK AND USE YOUR ARMS<br />

AND LEGS TO HELP YOU FLOAT<br />

IN AN EMERGENCY,<br />

CALL 999 FOR THE<br />

COASTGUARD<br />

JN22392770<br />

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea<br />

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution, registered charity number (CHY 2678 and 20003326)<br />

in the Republic of Ireland. Registered as a charity in England and Wales (209603), Scotland<br />

(SC037736) and the Bailiwick of Jersey (14), the Isle of Man (1308 and 006329F), the<br />

Bailiwick of Guernsey and Alderney, of West Quay Road, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1HZ<br />

#RESPECTTHEWATER


ANSWERING THE CALL<br />

As you read this article, hundreds<br />

of RNLI volunteers are on call,<br />

ready to rush to their lifeboat<br />

station at a moment’s notice and<br />

launch to the rescue. Of the 46<br />

lifeboat stations on the Island<br />

of Ireland, <strong>Leinster</strong> is home to a<br />

quarter of them, From the inland<br />

lifeboat station at Coosan Point<br />

on Lough Ree, down along the<br />

East Coast, from Clogher Head<br />

in Louth, through the counties of<br />

Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford,<br />

lifeboat crews stand with their<br />

colleagues around the country<br />

and across the water, waiting for<br />

the call from someone in trouble<br />

on the water, to go and save lives.<br />

Established in 1824, the RNLI (Royal<br />

National Lifeboat Institution) works to<br />

save lives and prevent drowning off the<br />

coast and on inland waters throughout<br />

Ireland and the UK. Every year in<br />

Ireland, RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews<br />

help rescue hundreds of people from<br />

drowning with the charity saving over<br />

143,000 lives since its foundation.<br />

From all-night rescues out to fishing<br />

vessels and cargo ships, to rescuing<br />

crews of sailing boats and cruisers,<br />

often in challenging conditions, RNLI<br />

lifesavers will always be there to help<br />

those in danger in the water. There are<br />

other callouts too, to incidents closer<br />

to shore involving swimmers, kayakers,<br />

coastal walkers and all types of water<br />

users. Anyone can get into difficulty on<br />

the water and may need help one day.<br />

Lifeboat crew make the commitment to<br />

be there to answer that call. Over the<br />

last five years, volunteer lifeboat crews<br />

in <strong>Leinster</strong> alone have rescued 1,702<br />

people.<br />

Over 95% of RNLI lifeboat crews are<br />

volunteers; men and women living and<br />

working in their local communities.<br />

They are fully trained and on-call. That<br />

training has never been more important.<br />

New crew members will need to know<br />

how to use hi-tech equipment and<br />

fast, sophisticated lifeboats, as well as<br />

providing care to injured or shocked<br />

casualties. As a result, the RNLI is<br />

committed to giving crews the highest<br />

standards of training available. Whether<br />

they operate on the inshore fleet, which<br />

carry out rescues closer to land and can<br />

reach speeds of up to 35 knots or on<br />

the All-Weather lifeboat fleet, which can<br />

launch in any weather and go out up<br />

to 100 nautical miles to sea, the crews<br />

train every week to be ready to face any<br />

incident on the water.<br />

This month, <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby have<br />

announced the RNLI as its latest charity<br />

partner of the 2021/22 season as part<br />

of the Charity Affiliate Programme, after<br />

being nominated by staff at Energia, one<br />

of <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby’s premium partners.<br />

As well as carrying out rescues, the RNLI<br />

also aims to save lives by preventing<br />

people from getting into difficulty on<br />

the water in the first place. The charity<br />

provides safety advice and resources for<br />

all sorts of sea users, from fishermen and<br />

sailors to motorboaters and beach users.<br />

The increased use of the sea for leisure<br />

activities is adding to the demands on<br />

the RNLI’s lifesaving service and for our<br />

colleagues in the other search and rescue<br />

agencies too. With continued support<br />

from the public, the charity can continue<br />

to meet that demand and save even more<br />

lives.<br />

This support from <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby allows<br />

the charity to reach more people with<br />

lifesaving messages and water safety<br />

advice. By sharing this advice with the<br />

supporters of <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby, the RNLI<br />

is looking to bring an awareness of the<br />

potential dangers of using the water for<br />

all types of activity and provide advice<br />

on what to do if you see someone in<br />

trouble on the water.<br />

Ireland is a small island with strong<br />

coastal and inland communities, many<br />

people live or holiday near the sea, a<br />

river or a lough. Every year, on average,<br />

127 people lose their lives to drowning.<br />

Simple advice could help save lives.<br />

The ‘Float To Live’ message is displayed<br />

beside this article. This one piece of<br />

safety advice could help someone save a<br />

life one day.<br />

For more information and life-saving<br />

water safety advice, to learn more about<br />

the work of the RNLI and get involved or<br />

to support the work of the RNLI in Ireland<br />

visit www.rnli.org. If you would like to<br />

donate, please use the link via the QR<br />

code.<br />

www.rnli.org<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 73


TO MAXIMISE YOUR SPORTS AND EXERCISE<br />

PERFORMANCE THROUGH NUTRITION<br />

Optimum Nutrition and <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby have partnered to help share good nutrition tips throughout<br />

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

remember to help maximise your performance and help you recover quickly to come back stronger.<br />

Protein Rich.<br />

Protein provides your muscles with<br />

the building blocks to repair & grow.<br />

Carb-Up.<br />

Carbohydrate foods are king as they<br />

power high intensity play.<br />

Fuel-Up.<br />

Consume the majority of your<br />

carbohydrates around training to<br />

support fuelling and recovery.<br />

Recover.<br />

Quality rest & nutrition between<br />

training sessions is the key to<br />

recovery. Remember to:<br />

Repair with protein,<br />

Refuel with carbohydrate,<br />

Rehydrate with fluid.<br />

Hydrate.<br />

Dehydration can lead to a drop in<br />

exercise intensity & can impact your<br />

decision making. Drink 2-3 litres of<br />

fluid each day to ensure hydration.<br />

Game Day.<br />

To fuel performance on the field,<br />

consume a large carbohydrate rich<br />

meal 2-3 hours before kick-off, i.e.<br />

chicken & pasta, turkey bolognaise<br />

wraps.<br />

Get 20% off all Optimum Nutrition products<br />

using code <strong>Leinster</strong>20 on optimumnutrition.ie


KNOWING WHAT ADVICE TO TAKE<br />

IS ESSENTIAL IN THIS GAME.<br />

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COUNTRY<br />

WALES<br />

HOME GROUND<br />

SWANSEA.COM STADIUM | THE GNOLL<br />

FOUNDED<br />

2003<br />

CHAMPIONS<br />

4 | 2011-2012, 2009-2010, 2006-2007, 2004-2005<br />

The <strong>Ospreys</strong> were without 20<br />

players for this URC tie, eight<br />

away on international duty and<br />

a further 12 absent through<br />

injury, including British and Irish<br />

Lions stars Justin Tipuric, Alun<br />

Wyn Jones, and George North.<br />

A shining opportunity then for<br />

the young <strong>Ospreys</strong> to raise their<br />

hands and catch the eye.<br />

It was a stalemate for the first quarter of<br />

the game, but two tries from loosehead<br />

prop Boan Venter, converted by<br />

Edinburgh outside half Jaco van der<br />

Walt, gave the visitors a 14-point lead<br />

with still plenty of the first half left to<br />

play.<br />

ospreys<br />

last time out<br />

<strong>Ospreys</strong> 23<br />

Edinburgh Rugby 19<br />

Saturday, 29 January | swansea.com Stadium | URC | words: ospreysrugby.com<br />

The rain kept away for the late afternoon kick-off, but<br />

it was still bitingly cold under the floodlights as the<br />

teams ran out, the <strong>Ospreys</strong> back in their familiar black<br />

kit and Edinburgh in a striking orange and navy kit.<br />

<strong>Ospreys</strong> battled their way back into<br />

the game, but only one Stephen Myler<br />

penalty on the scoreboard was the fruits<br />

of their labour, despite two close calls<br />

near the Edinburgh line.<br />

Eleven points separated the two at the<br />

interval, and Toby Booth would expect<br />

more accuracy from his side in the<br />

second half.<br />

It was the <strong>Ospreys</strong> that fired the first<br />

shot in the second half with full-back<br />

Mat Protheroe running clear over the<br />

line for the first <strong>Ospreys</strong> try; and hooker<br />

Sam Parry benefiting of some cunning<br />

lineout trickery to barrel over the line<br />

in the far corner for a try each while<br />

Edinburgh prop Venter got his hat-trick<br />

to give them the lead.<br />

76 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


However, a crucial charge-down of the<br />

conversion from winger Luke Morgan<br />

denied Edinburgh the extras and two<br />

calmly slotted penalties from the tee<br />

from Myler was enough to give the<br />

hosts a four-point lead in the final<br />

moments of the game.<br />

The squad stepped up to hold<br />

the visitors out and some heroic<br />

scrummaging and disruption work at the<br />

breakdown denied Edinburgh a steady<br />

platform. A final penalty in favour of the<br />

<strong>Ospreys</strong> ensured the home crowd had<br />

plenty to cheer about as the ball was<br />

kicked into touch to record an important<br />

victory.<br />

OSPREYS<br />

Matt Protheroe; Keelan Giles (Gareth<br />

Anscombe 51), Michael Giles, Kieran<br />

Williams (Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler 75),<br />

Luke Morgan; Stephen Myler, Rhys<br />

Webb; Nicky Smith (Rhodri Jones 63),<br />

Sam Parry (Elvis Taione 63), Tom Botha<br />

(Rhys Henry 63); Rhys Davies, Lloyd<br />

Ashley (Huw Owen-Sutton 78); William<br />

Griffiths, Harri Deaves (Morgan Morris<br />

51), Ethan Roots.<br />

EDINBURGH<br />

Henry Immelman; Darcy Graham, Matt<br />

Currie (Mark Bennett 61), Cameron<br />

Hutchison, Emiliano Boffelli; Jaco van<br />

der Walt, Henry Pyrgos (Ben Vellacott<br />

61); Boan Venter (Harrison Courtney<br />

73), David Cherry (Adam McBurney<br />

45), Angus Williams (Jamie Hodgson<br />

45); Marshall Sykes, Glen Young (Lee-<br />

Roy Atalifo 45-79); Magnus Bradbury,<br />

Connor Boyle, Mesulame Kunavula (Ben<br />

Muncaster 63).<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 77


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Head Coach<br />

Toby Booth<br />

Toby Booth joined <strong>Ospreys</strong> from<br />

Harlequins in 2020.<br />

He had joined Quins in November 2019<br />

as an assistant coach to Paul Gustard.<br />

He also previously led London Irish to<br />

the Premiership final in 2009 where<br />

they suffered a 10-9 defeat to Leicester<br />

Tigers. That had come after the coach<br />

had worked his way from an assistant<br />

academy coach position to the club’s<br />

top job.<br />

Captain<br />

Justin Tipuric<br />

Wales international Justin Tipuric<br />

is now into his fourth year as<br />

captain of the region.<br />

He was first handed the armband in<br />

2018/19, taking over from Alun Wyn<br />

Jones, and the 32-year-old has made<br />

almost 200 appearances since making<br />

his debut in 2009.<br />

He also played every minute of Wales’<br />

Grand Slam-winning campaign in 2019.<br />

He has amassed 85 caps for his country<br />

scoring 10 tries.<br />

ospreys squad<br />

FORWARDS<br />

ADAM BEARD<br />

LOCK<br />

TOM BOTHA<br />

PROP<br />

OLLY CRACKNELL<br />

FLANKER<br />

SAM CROSS<br />

FLANKER<br />

BRADLEY DAVIES<br />

LOCK<br />

RHYS DAVIES<br />

LOCK<br />

HARRI DEAVES<br />

BACK-ROW<br />

MA’AFU FIA<br />

PROP<br />

TOMAS FRANCIS<br />

PROP<br />

WILL GRIFFITHS<br />

FLANKER<br />

RHYS HENRY<br />

PROP<br />

WILL HICKEY<br />

FLANKER<br />

RHODRI JONES<br />

PROP<br />

DEWI LAKE<br />

HOOKER<br />

DAN LYDIATE<br />

FLANKER<br />

JAC MORGAN<br />

FLANKER<br />

MORGAN MORRIS<br />

NO. 8<br />

SAM PARRY<br />

HOOKER<br />

GARYN PHILLIPS<br />

PROP<br />

IFAN PHILLIPS<br />

HOOKER<br />

JACK REGAN<br />

LOCK<br />

ETHAN ROOTS<br />

FLANKER<br />

NICKY SMITH<br />

PROP<br />

HUW SUTTON<br />

LOCK<br />

ELVIS TAIONE<br />

HOOKER<br />

GARETH THOMAS<br />

PROP<br />

JUSTIN TIPURIC<br />

FLANKER<br />

BEN WARREN<br />

PROP<br />

ALUN WYN JONES<br />

LOCK<br />

BACKS<br />

GARETH ANSCOMBE<br />

FLY-HALF<br />

MATTHEW AUBREY<br />

SCRUM-HALF<br />

CALLUM CARSON<br />

FULLBACK<br />

MIKE COLLINS<br />

CENTRE<br />

DEWI CROSS<br />

WING<br />

ALEX CUTHBERT<br />

WING<br />

DAN EVANS<br />

FULLBACK<br />

CAI EVANS<br />

FLY-HALF<br />

KEELAN GILES<br />

WING<br />

JOE HAWKINS<br />

CENTRE<br />

LUKE MORGAN<br />

WING<br />

HARRI MORGAN<br />

SCRUM-HALF<br />

REUBEN MORGAN-WILLIAMS<br />

SCRUM-HALF<br />

STEPHEN MYLER<br />

FLY-HALF<br />

MAX NAGY<br />

FULLBACK<br />

GEORGE NORTH<br />

WING<br />

MAT PROTHEROE<br />

WING<br />

JOSH THOMAS<br />

SCRUM-HALF<br />

TIAAN THOMAS-WHEELER<br />

CENTRE<br />

OWEN WATKIN<br />

CENTRE<br />

RHYS WEBB<br />

SCRUM-HALF<br />

KEIRAN WILLIAMS<br />

CENTRE<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 79


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Club in Focus<br />

RATOATH<br />

Ratoath was not even two years<br />

old and nothing more than a<br />

bare field when David Rowland<br />

walked into the club around<br />

Christmas 2006.<br />

“I was brought down there by<br />

Tony Murphy, the then president<br />

of the club. He recognised me<br />

from our playing days and<br />

pestered me to come on down,”<br />

he says.<br />

“I landed down there to find out they<br />

were trying to push adult participation<br />

through tag rugby. Embarrassingly, I had<br />

no idea what tag was at the time.<br />

“Unfortunately, a gentleman ran down<br />

the pitch with the ball and I did what I<br />

was trained to do. I smashed him.<br />

“I could hear Maura Coulter, a former<br />

Ireland women’s international, cry out:<br />

‘Oh, Christ! No, it’s tag’.<br />

“That was my introduction to the club.”<br />

Speaking now as club President, David<br />

remarks: “We were very lucky from the<br />

start to have<br />

founding members like Dominic<br />

Kenna, Derek Gillen, Dave Marrinan,<br />

Tony Murphy, Richard Whitty, Mark<br />

Coatsworth, Maura Coulter and others.<br />

“They had the drive to go out to the<br />

schools and the community to recruit<br />

players, and the foresight to get two<br />

40-foot containers which are still there as<br />

office portakabins.<br />

“We converted one into a changing<br />

room and the other into a kitchen and<br />

social space, work done by the late Rob<br />

Kevelighan, who also cemented in our<br />

first set of goalposts.<br />

“Rob was a great man, who we sadly<br />

lost to cancer last spring, and he is very<br />

fondly remembered,” he notes.<br />

David began his coaching career with<br />

the Ratoath U-15s, helping out Dermot<br />

Doyle and Tony Grehan, quickly realising<br />

there was no adult team and no place for<br />

players to go once they graduated from<br />

age grade rugby.<br />

In 2008, he started a Veterans team,<br />

the Legends, which consisted of just<br />

six players who had played the game,<br />

Coulter, activated as scrum-half and head<br />

coach, and 11 who had only played tag.<br />

The first match was against Coolmine,<br />

82 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


who had agreed to play within the spirit<br />

of the game, rather than to the letter of<br />

the law, such was the disparity in basic<br />

skills.<br />

They played Coolmine twice, Navan<br />

twice, Suttonians and Ardee in that first<br />

season and had to take their lumps and<br />

bumps.<br />

The simple exercise of picking up the<br />

phone and calling anyone and everyone<br />

living in the area who had ever played<br />

rugby, David’s version of recruiting, led to<br />

more bodies and a first ever win for the<br />

club against Dundalk, three matches into<br />

the 2009/10 season.<br />

“I was lucky enough to be chosen as the<br />

first club captain, an honour I hold higher<br />

than the club<br />

presidency, quite simply because it is a<br />

role given to you by your peers,” says<br />

David.<br />

Labelled the fastest growing town in<br />

Ireland, Ratoath was a prime target for<br />

the big established<br />

sports clubs to thrive, with Ratoath GAA<br />

sprouting wings to win back-to-back<br />

Meath senior football crowns in 2019<br />

and 2020.<br />

Ratoath Harps is a strong force in<br />

underage soccer and the new rugby<br />

club improved the product on the field<br />

steadily, claiming the Magee Cup<br />

in 2016 with a memorable win over<br />

North Meath in the final under lights at<br />

Balbriggan.<br />

However, the new experience of winning<br />

and being promoted to a higher level<br />

was not conducive to progress with many<br />

veterans on an ageing team choosing to<br />

hang up their boots after that cup win.<br />

The younger players struggled to adapt<br />

to the extra demands that came with<br />

playing the game at a higher grade. By<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 83


the end of the 2016/17 season, David<br />

was left with no team to train, and it took<br />

some work to get the magic back, to hit<br />

that sweet spot between socialising and<br />

competing.<br />

In 2018, David had what he called<br />

“the good fortune” to connect with past<br />

Ratoath youth players<br />

Ross Gillian and Alex Coakley, who<br />

were playing for St Mary’s and Clontarf,<br />

respectively.<br />

A reformed senior team hit the ground<br />

running to win the Dunne Cup in 2019 in<br />

a nail-biter against County Carlow.<br />

Their return prompted a rise in interest,<br />

strong enough for David to retire from<br />

playing when a first experience at<br />

loosehead against Tallaght completed<br />

his representation in every position in the<br />

team for the club from the front row to<br />

full-back.<br />

“I thought I got away with it the Monday<br />

after the game. But, Tuesday and<br />

Wednesday reminded me that while the<br />

heart is willing, the body is unable to<br />

keep going,” muses the 43-year-old.<br />

But David’s influence at the club has<br />

not waned since hanging up his boots.<br />

Having a President<br />

heavily involved in the construction<br />

business was exactly what the club<br />

needed to drive their plans forward.<br />

He has been leaving his mark on the<br />

club’s facilities for current and future<br />

We’re a family club. We want<br />

family-friendly facilities and a<br />

clubhouse as the beating heart of<br />

the place.<br />

generations of rugby players in Ratoath<br />

to enjoy.<br />

Redeveloping the facilities is a huge focus<br />

for the club right now. When the land<br />

they had been renting for the previous<br />

10 years came onto the market a<br />

number of years back, the club set out a<br />

redevelopment plan and have not looked<br />

back.<br />

“Buying the land was a big step, it meant<br />

we could invest further. Our old pitch was<br />

little more than a pasture. It was never<br />

properly drained and was regularly<br />

unplayable in winter,” says Ratoath<br />

Chairman Conor Kiely.<br />

“We got a Sports Capital Grant to help<br />

with the build of a new pitch, and opened<br />

it up for play in 2018. It is an excellent<br />

sand-based pitch, and visitors have<br />

remarked that it is the finest surface in the<br />

north-east <strong>Leinster</strong> area.<br />

“We’ve recently done the groundwork<br />

on a second pitch. We brought in a lot of<br />

top-soil onto what was originally a flood<br />

plain, built it up and levelled it off.<br />

“We are hoping to receive a new Sports<br />

Capital Grant to assist in laying the<br />

second pitch to the same standard as the<br />

first. Fingers crossed,” adds Conor.<br />

But building a new clubhouse is the big<br />

challenge right now.<br />

“Our portakabins have served us well for<br />

changing rooms and a social space, but<br />

they’re no longer fit for purpose. They are<br />

dilapidated and have been vandalised<br />

through the years.<br />

“We’ve completed the core foundations<br />

and blockwork for the new clubhouse,<br />

with roof and windows next up. Then, we<br />

are into the internal fit-out as well as a car<br />

park during the summer.<br />

“Progress has been interrupted by Covid<br />

more than once, but we fully intend<br />

to be operational for the start of the<br />

2022/23 season. We anticipate a busy<br />

springtime.” says Conor.<br />

“People have been very good to us. The<br />

local community really rowed in behind<br />

a recent car draw, and businesses in the<br />

area have been supporting us with pitchside<br />

advertising.<br />

“We’re lucky to be getting great help<br />

from David and other friends of the club,<br />

who are in the construction industry.<br />

“We would be nowhere without this<br />

help. So, by the end of the summer, we<br />

will have a single-story building with<br />

84 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


changing-rooms, showers, and a goodsized<br />

social space which is probably the<br />

most important aspect for us.<br />

“It is just about having an area where<br />

parents and players can come together<br />

on busy weekend mornings to have a cup<br />

of tea and a chat and a few treats after<br />

a game.<br />

“We’re a family club. We want familyfriendly<br />

facilities and a clubhouse as<br />

the beating heart of the place,” he<br />

states.<br />

It doesn’t end there. There are goals to<br />

add-on to the facilities to make it more<br />

attractive to current and new players.<br />

“Beyond the clubhouse and the second<br />

pitch, we plan to have an astro training<br />

area and further developments down<br />

the road, including floodlighting and a<br />

biodiverse nature walkway.<br />

“We also plan to have a future phase of<br />

the clubhouse building. The foundations<br />

and build were designed to support<br />

a second storey and we have every<br />

intention of building upwards a couple of<br />

years down the road.<br />

“But, for this year, we just need to open<br />

it up and enjoy the new space that<br />

everyone has been eagerly waiting for.”<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 85


86 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


chris<br />

cosgrave<br />

THE ACADEMY<br />

INTERVIEW<br />

BY PAUL CAHILL<br />

Despite playing in the<br />

fixture just two years<br />

ago, last Sunday, in Energia<br />

Park, Chris Cosgrave<br />

blended seamlessly into<br />

the St Michael’s College<br />

supporters, as he kicked,<br />

caught and passed every<br />

ball and cheered on from<br />

the stands supporting<br />

his alma mater in the<br />

first round of the Bank of<br />

Ireland <strong>Leinster</strong> Schools<br />

Senior Cup.<br />

“I found it really hard to watch,”<br />

says Cosgrave.<br />

“It’s strange because I found it more<br />

nerve wracking watching a game with<br />

someone I know involved than actually<br />

playing in a game. I couldn’t control<br />

anything so I found it much harder to just<br />

sit there and watch it.”<br />

That ‘someone’ he refers to is his younger<br />

brother, Andy, who was a part of the St<br />

Michael’s Senior Cup team who were<br />

narrowly defeated by Blackrock College<br />

last weekend.<br />

“The atmosphere was great. It always is<br />

in the Schools Cup, but it was a shame St<br />

Michael’s couldn’t get over the line.”<br />

When Cosgrave was able to control the<br />

outcome of games with St Michael’s, he<br />

usually came out on top. The versatile<br />

back claimed a Junior Cup title in 2017<br />

and a Senior Cup title in 2019.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 87


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They are days he will never forget.<br />

“St Michael’s and rugby in the school<br />

means a lot to me. It definitely set me up<br />

for the environment in here at <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

Rugby.<br />

“The way they coach and analyse<br />

games there is quite professional. I really<br />

enjoyed all three years of Senior Cup<br />

and two years of Junior Cup rugby. They<br />

are really special memories.”<br />

To highlight how successful Chris’ school<br />

team was, he is currently joined in the<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Academy by classmates Mark<br />

Hernan, Jack Boyle, Andrew Smith<br />

and Lee Barron, while Will Hickey<br />

has already made his senior debut for<br />

tonight’s opponents, <strong>Ospreys</strong>.<br />

That’s quite a crop of players to come<br />

along at once.<br />

“It made it easier coming into the <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

Academy having played with a lot of the<br />

lads all the way up. The transition was<br />

made a lot easier. I also played with<br />

Alex Soroka and Jamie Osborne all the<br />

way through the age grade teams too.”<br />

After an impressive schools career, Chris<br />

made the jump to full-time rugby earlier<br />

this year as he began his first pre-season<br />

with the <strong>Leinster</strong> Academy.<br />

“I came up a little bit last year, but this<br />

has been my first full year training in<br />

UCD.<br />

“I came back from the U-20 Six Nations<br />

with Jamie Osborne and we did a<br />

couple of weeks with Gordon Brett, the<br />

Academy Athletic Development Coach<br />

while the others were on holidays.<br />

“That gave us a bit of a head start. We<br />

then started training with everyone when<br />

they came back, which was brilliant.”<br />

His first opportunity to impress the senior<br />

coaches didn’t take long to come as<br />

he was named in the squad to play the<br />

pre-season game against Harlequins at<br />

Aviva Stadium.<br />

Despite picking up an injury in the first<br />

half, Cosgrave learned a lot from his time<br />

in the senior matchday squad.<br />

“It was brilliant to be involved in that<br />

game. I had travelled as a reserve player<br />

before but that was the first game that<br />

I was in the named matchday squad.<br />

I didn’t last too long unfortunately, but<br />

it was great to see the work that goes<br />

into a match week, and the preparation<br />

around a match day. I learned a lot from<br />

that.”<br />

When the season began, opportunities<br />

to break into the match day<br />

squad were hard to come by<br />

as the Irish internationals and British and<br />

Irish Lions returned to the squad.<br />

Like so many other young, contracted<br />

players, Cosgrave has used another<br />

avenue to help showcase his talents: the<br />

Energia All-Ireland League.<br />

“I’ve been lucky enough to be playing<br />

senior rugby with UCD since the start of<br />

the year. It’s been really good. It’s a very<br />

good standard. It definitely gives you<br />

great exposure.<br />

“I think the competitive level of the<br />

All-Ireland League is so strong because<br />

there’s lads coming in with 20 or 30<br />

caps with their provinces playing for<br />

their clubs which is really driving the<br />

standards in the league.”<br />

UCD currently find themselves in midtable<br />

in Division 1A, but Chris believes<br />

the students can mount a serious push<br />

over the next few months.<br />

“UCD have nine players with the Irish<br />

U-20 squad at the moment. I think we’ll<br />

put a good run together after the Six<br />

Nations.<br />

“We’ve had a tough year so far<br />

with a few losses. It’s tough as the<br />

squad varies quite a lot. But, a<br />

lot of <strong>Leinster</strong> players have been<br />

available this season trying to get<br />

their minutes up.<br />

“For example, so far this season,<br />

we’ve had senior players like<br />

Josh Murphy, Scott Penny and<br />

Tommy O’Brien all line out for<br />

the team, so we have a lot of<br />

experience to draw on.”<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 89


A perfect example of the quality on show<br />

in the league this year is UCD’s recent<br />

32-27 victory over Lansdowne FC.<br />

O’Brien and Penny were instrumental<br />

in that victory and were then named<br />

in the <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby matchday 23 the<br />

following week for the trip to Cardiff,<br />

where the latter got on the scoresheet<br />

mid-way through the second half.<br />

Both then started in the following game<br />

as <strong>Leinster</strong> beat Edinburgh 26-7 with<br />

Penny named Player of the Match.<br />

If ever there was an incentive for<br />

any young player, there it is, good<br />

performances for their clubs won’t go<br />

unnoticed.<br />

“I think playing regular Division 1A<br />

rugby with UCD is a big step in the right<br />

direction.<br />

“This is a good window for young<br />

players in <strong>Leinster</strong> to show what they can<br />

do in front of the coaches with so many<br />

internationals away. But, there’s so much<br />

depth in every position, you might need<br />

a bit of luck to get that opportunity. I feel<br />

like I’m definitely pushing though, and<br />

that’s the main thing.”<br />

With so many players getting minutes<br />

with their clubs at the weekend,<br />

it means a lot of <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

players meet on a<br />

Monday morning having<br />

faced each other in the<br />

previous 48 hours.<br />

As you can imagine, those who come<br />

out on top are quick to let the rest of the<br />

dressing room know how the game went!<br />

90 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


The training<br />

here is great.<br />

The sessions<br />

we do with<br />

Stuart are<br />

really intense,<br />

but they really<br />

prepare you<br />

for going out<br />

to play for<br />

your club or<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> each<br />

week.<br />

“We definitely have a bit of craic on a<br />

Monday morning in the changing room.<br />

Lads are quick to start rubbing it in if you<br />

got a win over a few of the lads!”<br />

With six months under his belt as a<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Academy player, Cosgrave now<br />

feels at home in UCD.<br />

While the Academy players are always<br />

trying to impress and earn their stripes,<br />

he now knows the staff and other<br />

personnel around the <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby<br />

building, but he says that there is one<br />

person who helps everyone feel at ease,<br />

kitman Jim Bastick.<br />

The former Army Ranger is a popular<br />

figure in UCD, and it seems the Academy<br />

players have taken to him quickly.<br />

“Jim is a great man. He’s a good fella<br />

to have around UCD. He always gives<br />

the Academy boys plenty of time. He<br />

always has a birthday card ready and<br />

he makes sure we’re all kitted out too.<br />

He’s a legend.”<br />

While Jim can make sure the lads look<br />

the part, they have to do the business in<br />

front of the senior coaches.<br />

Moving into <strong>Leinster</strong> senior team training<br />

can be a step up, but Cosgrave believes<br />

it can only make you a better player.<br />

“The training here is great. The sessions<br />

we do with Stuart are really intense, but<br />

they really prepare you for going out to<br />

play for your club or <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

each week. They definitely get<br />

you to that match ready place,<br />

or even more so sometimes.<br />

“I think the coaches like to create chaos<br />

in training to help get us to think clearly<br />

in those situations. If you are training<br />

that hard and that fast, when it comes to<br />

matches you will have seen these pictures<br />

100 times before and you’ll be ready.”<br />

There is a lot of adjusting when it comes<br />

to training with seasoned professionals,<br />

and there are lots of times the younger<br />

players may need to ask exactly how it<br />

should be done, but he is quick to point<br />

out that every senior player is willing to<br />

help.<br />

“They are all very approachable. The<br />

former St Michael’s lads have all been<br />

really good with me. Ross Molony,<br />

Harry Byrne and Ross Byrne, but I think<br />

everyone is helpful.<br />

“Everyone is pulling in the same<br />

direction. They all want you to do well<br />

so if you went to anyone for advice, they<br />

would be more than happy to help.”<br />

Cosgrave has taken each step along the<br />

rugby ladder in his stride.<br />

He is clear in what he hopes will be his<br />

next step – putting on that famous blue<br />

jersey.<br />

“I want to keep training well and stay<br />

injury free. If you can do that, you are<br />

giving yourself a chance of earning that<br />

first cap.<br />

“The main goal of this year is trying to<br />

play senior rugby. Everything after that<br />

would be a bonus. Just trying to get your<br />

name onto that team sheet is the biggest<br />

thing.”<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 91


<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby Academy<br />

Year Three 2021/22:<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby Academy<br />

Year two 2021/22:<br />

Second Row<br />

Brian Deeny<br />

DOB: 02/03/2000<br />

HEIGHT: 1.99m WEIGHT: 121kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (8 caps)<br />

Did You Know: Brian played youth rugby with Wexford<br />

Wanderers RFC. He got his first Irish cap playing for<br />

Ireland Under-18 Sevens. Brian played midfield for<br />

his school St Peter’s College in Gaelic football and<br />

reached the All-Ireland Colleges Final in 2017. He is<br />

currently studying Science in Trinity and lives in Abbey<br />

House B&B, Wexford...if you are looking for a room?!<br />

Instagram: brian_deeny<br />

wing<br />

Niall Comerford<br />

DOB: 06/04/2000<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m WEIGHT: 86kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20<br />

Did You Know: Niall played both hurling and Gaelic<br />

football with Kilmacud Crokes for 14 years. He also<br />

represented Dublin in Gaelic football in the U17<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Championship. He is currently studying<br />

Commerce in UCD.<br />

Instagram: niall_c123<br />

Cormac Foley #1299<br />

DOB: 24/10/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.81m WEIGHT: 88kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (9 caps)<br />

& <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (1 cap)<br />

Marcus Hanan #1295<br />

DOB: 03/10/2000<br />

HEIGHT:1.8m WEIGHT:110.91kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (2 caps)<br />

& <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (3 caps)<br />

Scrum Half<br />

Did You Know: Started playing rugby with Greystones<br />

RFC when he was nine. Growing up, Cormac did a lot<br />

of show jumping and he is now studying Economics and<br />

Finance in UCD.<br />

Instagram: cormacfoley6<br />

prop<br />

Did You Know? Marcus is from Clane in Kildare and is the<br />

youngest of three. His dad went to the High School and then<br />

played rugby in Old Wesley before coaching back at Clane<br />

RFC. Marcus has Italian connections on his mother’s side with her<br />

father, Luigi Rea, being from Italy. Marcus is studying Business<br />

Management in Griffith College. Instagram: @marcus_hanan<br />

Back Row<br />

Martin Moloney #1300<br />

DOB: 19/10/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.88m WEIGHT: 99kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (5 caps) &<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (1 cap)<br />

Did You Know: Martin played hurling for Kildare and<br />

played GAA and basketball for his secondary school,<br />

Knockbeg College, and local GAA club, St Laurence’s.<br />

He played his youth rugby with Athy RFC. He is now<br />

studying Business and Law in UCD, He also enjoys<br />

working on the family farm. Instagram: martin_moloney<br />

Second Row<br />

Joe McCarthy #1303<br />

DOB: 26/03/2001<br />

HEIGHT: 1.95m WEIGHT: 119kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps) &<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (1 cap)<br />

Did You Know: Joe started playing rugby with Blackrock<br />

College RFC at the age of six before moving to<br />

Willow Park and then Blackrock College. He was also<br />

on the Blackrock swim team for five years. He’s currently<br />

studying Global Business in Trinity College Dublin.<br />

Instagram: joetmmcc<br />

Second Row<br />

Charlie Ryan<br />

DOB: 03/02/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 2.01m WEIGHT: 115kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (15 caps)<br />

Did You Know: Charlie played youth rugby at Blackrock<br />

College RFC while also attending the school since<br />

Senior Infants. He captained Ireland to the U20 Grand<br />

Slam in 2019 and again for the U20s World Cup. His<br />

friends call him Chuck! He is currently studying Business<br />

and Legal Studies in UCD.<br />

Instagram: chuck_ryan5<br />

hooker<br />

John McKee<br />

DOB: 15/02/2000<br />

HEIGHT: 1.82m WEIGHT: 105kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (12 caps)<br />

Did You Know: John grew up in Belfast going to school<br />

at Campbell College where he won a Senior Cup. He<br />

was involved with Ulster at age grade level until moving<br />

to Dublin after school. He also has multiple medals<br />

from Northern Irish Schools Judo competitions.<br />

Instagram: johnmckee_<br />

Centre<br />

Liam Turner #1287<br />

DOB: 14/07/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.73m WEIGHT: 91kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (10 caps)<br />

& <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (6 caps)<br />

Did You Know: Liam started to play rugby at the age<br />

of six at Blackrock College RFC. He later joined<br />

Blackrock College and was part of the 2018 Senior Cup<br />

winning team. He was also part of the Ireland U20 team<br />

that went on to win the 2019 Grand Slam. Liam currently<br />

studys BESS in Trinity College. Instagram: liamtn123<br />

Centre / Full Back<br />

Jamie Osborne #1294<br />

DOB: 16/11/2001<br />

HEIGHT:1.93m WEIGHT:96.82kg<br />

HONOURS: <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (11 caps)<br />

Did you know? Jamie is studying commerce in UCD. His<br />

grandad, Paddy Osborne, was a horse trainer in Naas,<br />

while his dad played rugby all throughout his life and<br />

his mum played hockey. Other than rugby, Jamie loves<br />

all sports especially soccer, GAA and NFL. Jamie is<br />

currently in a house with fellow <strong>Leinster</strong> Academy players<br />

Brian Deeny, Martin Moloney and Max O’Reilly.<br />

Instagram: @jamieosborne01<br />

92 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Seán O’Brien #1297<br />

Lee Barron<br />

Back Row<br />

DOB: 31/07/2000<br />

HEIGHT: 1.90m WEIGHT: 103kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps)<br />

& <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (2 caps)<br />

Did You Know: Seán started playing rugby at age<br />

six with Greystones RFC where he played up until Under-13.<br />

He then played on the Junior and Senior Cup<br />

teams in Blackrock College. He is currently studying<br />

Economics and Finance in UCD<br />

Instagram: seanobrien456<br />

Hooker<br />

DOB: 15/02/2001<br />

HEIGHT: 1.91m WEIGHT: 108kg<br />

Did You Know: Lee played golf growing up in the<br />

Castle Golf Club and in the end was playing off a<br />

handicap of eight. He has family roots in Carlow but<br />

went to school in Dublin and attended St Michael’s College.<br />

As well as rugby with his school, he also played<br />

GAA and even lined out in Croke Park.<br />

Instagram: @lleebarron<br />

Max O’Reilly #1291<br />

Chris Cosgrave<br />

Full Back<br />

DOB: 26/02/2000<br />

HEIGHT: 1.85m WEIGHT: 86kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps) &<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (7 caps)<br />

Did You Know: Max is currently in his third year of<br />

Business and Management in DIT. His preferred sport<br />

was soccer until about the age of 15, which he had<br />

played at centre midfield with Enniskerry FC for over 10<br />

years and also for Wicklow.<br />

Instagram: max_oreilly<br />

full back<br />

DOB: 24/07/2001<br />

HEIGHT:1.83m WEIGHT:85kg<br />

Did You Know: Chris is a member of UCD RFC, where<br />

he is also an Ad Astra scholar studying Agricultural<br />

Science. His athleticism is best highlighted by his feats<br />

in the field of Athletics with All-Ireland honours to his<br />

name in both the 4x100m relay and the Discus. Before<br />

the UCD and St Michael’s College days, he played at<br />

a young age with Old Belvedere RFC.<br />

Instagram: @chriscosgrave1<br />

Andrew Smith #1292<br />

Mark Hernan<br />

DOB: 21/07/2000<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m WEIGHT: 91kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps) &<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (2 caps)<br />

DOB: 04/07/2000<br />

HEIGHT: 1.88m WEIGHT: 99kg<br />

Back Three<br />

Did You Know: Andrew is currently studying Quantity<br />

Surveying and Construction Economics in TUD. In<br />

2019, he won the <strong>Leinster</strong> Schools Senior Cup with St<br />

Michael’s College. Andrew also played Gaelic football<br />

with his local club - Clanna Gael Fontenoy GAA Club.<br />

Instagram: andrew.sm1th<br />

Flanker<br />

Did You Know: Mark was coached by Ross Molony,<br />

Josh Murphy, Ross Byrne and Nick McCarthy when in<br />

St. Michael’s College. His grandfather Fergus O’Brien<br />

was Lord Mayor of Dublin and his father, Ray, played<br />

for Connacht seniors and Ireland u25s.<br />

Instagram: @mark_hernani<br />

Alex Soroka #1296<br />

Temi Lasisi<br />

Back Row<br />

DOB: 19/02/2001<br />

HEIGHT: 1.95m WEIGHT: 104.5kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (7 caps)<br />

& <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (3 caps)<br />

Did You Know: Alex’s family moved to Ireland from<br />

Ukraine shortly before his birth. He was born in Cork<br />

before moving to Dublin.<br />

Instagram: alex._.soroka<br />

prop<br />

DOB: 09/05/2001<br />

HEIGHT: 1.78m WEIGHT: 115.8kg<br />

Did You Know: The TUD Mechanical Engineering<br />

student originally picked up the oval ball in Enniscorthy<br />

before later moving to Lansdowne FC. Temi rose<br />

through the ranks in the Youths system, his first outing<br />

with the province came at U-18 level against Northampton.<br />

He also describes himself as a ‘competent<br />

pianist’.<br />

Instagram: @lasisi.temi<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby Academy<br />

Year one 2021/22:<br />

Scrum half<br />

Ben Murphy<br />

DOB: 23/04/2001<br />

HEIGHT: 1.75m WEIGHT: 80kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps)<br />

& <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (1 cap)<br />

Did You Know: Ben played all different sports growing<br />

up including football, GAA and golf and won an 800m<br />

gold in the U-14 East <strong>Leinster</strong>s. He is studying economics<br />

in UCD. Ben’s father Richie played for <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

Rugby and has coached at all levels of the game and is<br />

the current Ireland U-20s head coach. I<br />

nstagram: @ben._murphy01<br />

Jack Boyle<br />

DOB: 10/03/2002<br />

HEIGHT: 1.85m WEIGHT: 106kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (6 caps)<br />

Rob Russell #1302<br />

DOB: 13/01/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m WEIGHT: 90kg<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (2 caps)<br />

Prop<br />

Did You Know: Jack’s father, Herbie, and uncles, Colon<br />

and Eric, all represented Old Wesley rugby club for<br />

years. His cousin Stephen Boyle also represented the<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby youths. Jack is currently studying for a<br />

Commerce Degree in UCD.<br />

Instagram: @jackboyle1<br />

Full Back / Wing<br />

Did You Know: Rob is currently in his final year of<br />

Business and Management in DIT. He started playing<br />

rugby at the age of five with Wanderers RFC. He also<br />

played football up to minor level with Kilmacud Crokes<br />

and it took priority over rugby until he left school.<br />

Instagram: @robrussell7<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 93


fixtures and<br />

results 2021/22<br />

Date<br />

25/09<br />

03/10<br />

09/10<br />

16/10<br />

22/10<br />

27/11<br />

03/12<br />

11/12<br />

1/12<br />

1/01<br />

22/01<br />

29/01<br />

11/02<br />

KO/<br />

Result<br />

W<br />

31-3<br />

W<br />

7-6<br />

W<br />

43-7<br />

Opposiotion Venue 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 1 2<br />

URC VODACOM<br />

BULLS<br />

URC DRAGONS<br />

Aviva<br />

Stadium<br />

Rodney<br />

Parade<br />

URC ZEBRE RDS Arena J O’BRIEN<br />

KEENAN O’LOUGHLIN RINGROSE FRAWLEY LOWE<br />

SEXTON<br />

3C 1P<br />

MCGRATH<br />

PORTER<br />

1T<br />

SHEEHAN<br />

KEENAN RUSSELL RINGROSE C O’BRIEN O’LOUGHLIN R BYRNE GIBSON-PARK PORTER SHEEHAN<br />

A BYRNE<br />

2T<br />

OSBORNE<br />

FRAWLEY<br />

W<br />

50-15 URC SCARLETS RDS Arena KEENAN LARMOUR RINGROSE FRAWLEY<br />

1C<br />

W<br />

31-15<br />

URC GLASGOW<br />

Scotstoun<br />

Stadium<br />

KEENAN<br />

1T<br />

A BYRNE<br />

1T<br />

L<br />

10-20 URC ULSTER RDS Arena J O’BRIEN A BYRNE HENSHAW<br />

1T<br />

W<br />

47-19 URC CONNACHT RDS Arena KEENAN LARMOUR 1T RINGROSE<br />

1T<br />

W<br />

45-20 HCC BATH Aviva<br />

Stadium<br />

L<br />

0-28<br />

W<br />

89-7<br />

W<br />

64-7<br />

L<br />

29-27<br />

W<br />

26-7<br />

HCC MONTPELLIER<br />

GGL (Altrad)<br />

Stadium<br />

KEENAN<br />

1T<br />

HCC MONTPELLIER RDS Arena KEENAN<br />

HCC BATH<br />

URC<br />

CARDIFF<br />

RUGBY<br />

Recreation<br />

Ground<br />

Cardiff Arms<br />

Park<br />

LARMOUR<br />

1T<br />

LOWE<br />

RINGROSE FRAWLEY LOWE<br />

FRAWLEY<br />

HENSHAW<br />

LARMOUR RINGROSE FRAWLEY<br />

LARMOUR<br />

LOWE<br />

LOWE<br />

1T<br />

H BYRNE<br />

SEXTON<br />

1C 1P<br />

R BYRNE<br />

4C 1P<br />

R BYRNE<br />

1C 1P<br />

H BYRNE<br />

5C<br />

R BYRNE<br />

5C<br />

MCGRATH<br />

GIBSON-PARK<br />

MCGRATH<br />

E BYRNE<br />

1T<br />

PORTER<br />

1T<br />

HEALY<br />

CRONIN<br />

1T<br />

KELLEHER<br />

1T<br />

KELLEHER<br />

1T<br />

MCGRATH E BYRNE TRACY<br />

MCGRATH<br />

GIBSON-PARK<br />

2T<br />

HEALY<br />

PORTER<br />

- - - - - - - - -<br />

KEENAN<br />

1T<br />

LARMOUR<br />

1T<br />

LARMOUR<br />

1T<br />

RINGROSE<br />

RINGROSE<br />

FRAWLEY<br />

HENSHAW<br />

J O’BRIEN<br />

1T<br />

J O’BRIEN<br />

4T<br />

J O’BRIEN A BYRNE 1T OSBORNE FRAWLEY O’LOUGHLIN<br />

URC EDINBURGH RDS Arena OSBORNE T O’BRIEN O’LOUGHLIN FRAWLEY KEARNEY<br />

R BYRNE<br />

1T 7C<br />

SEXTON<br />

5C<br />

R BYRNE<br />

3C 2P<br />

R BYRNE<br />

3C<br />

GIBSON-PARK<br />

1T<br />

MCGRATH<br />

PORTER<br />

PORTER<br />

1T<br />

SHEEHAN<br />

1T<br />

KELLEHER<br />

1T<br />

KELLEHER<br />

KELLEHER<br />

MCGRATH E BYRNE CRONIN<br />

N MCCARTHY<br />

1T<br />

E BYRNE<br />

TRACY<br />

19/02 17:00 URC OSPREYS RDS Arena<br />

25/02 19:35 URC EMIRATES<br />

LIONS<br />

05/03 12:55 URC BENETTON<br />

12/03 19:35 URC ULSTER<br />

RDS Arena<br />

Stadio<br />

Monigo<br />

Kingspan<br />

Stadium<br />

26/03 19:35 URC CONNACHT Sportsground<br />

02/04 19:00 URC MUNSTER<br />

Aviva<br />

Stadium<br />

08/04 20:00 HCC CONNACHT Sportsground<br />

15/04 17:30 HCC CONNACHT<br />

23/04 17:15 URC CELL C<br />

SHARKS<br />

30/04 16:15 URC DHL<br />

STORMERS<br />

Aviva<br />

Stadium<br />

Jonsson<br />

Kings Park<br />

Green Point<br />

Stadium<br />

20|21/05 TBC URC MUNSTER TBC<br />

94 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


3 4 5 6 7 8 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23<br />

ALAALATOA MOLONY J RYAN RUDDOCK<br />

VAN DER FLIER<br />

1T<br />

ALAALATOA MOLONY RYAN RUDDOCK VAN DER FLIER<br />

ALAALATOA BAIRD TONER LEAVY<br />

FURLONG MOLONY RYAN<br />

DORIS<br />

2T<br />

PENNY<br />

1T<br />

VAN DER FLIER<br />

DORIS<br />

DEEGAN<br />

1T<br />

RUDDOCK<br />

CONAN<br />

FURLONG MOLONY BAIRD DORIS LEAVY CONAN<br />

TRACY<br />

1T<br />

E BYRNE HEALY BAIRD DEEGAN GIBSON-PARK<br />

R BYRNE<br />

1T 1C<br />

TRACY E BYRNE HEALY BAIRD LEAVY N MCCARTHY C FRAWLEY<br />

KELLEHER<br />

1T<br />

SHEEHAN<br />

2T<br />

SHEEHAN<br />

1T<br />

DOOLEY HEALY MOLONY DEEGAN N MCCARTHY<br />

HEALY<br />

1T<br />

ALAALATOA BAIRD RUDDOCK MCGRATH<br />

SEXTON<br />

4C<br />

R BYRNE<br />

3C<br />

OSBORNE<br />

S PENNY<br />

[UNUSED]<br />

RUSSELL<br />

T O’BRIEN<br />

E BYRNE ALAALATOA TONER RUDDOCK GIBSON-PARK OSBORNE VAN DER FLIER<br />

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

ALA’ALATOA<br />

BAIRD<br />

1T<br />

TONER<br />

RUDDOCK<br />

1T<br />

VAN DER FLIER<br />

DORIS<br />

1T<br />

KELLEHER PORTER ABDALADZE J MURPHY<br />

DEEGAN<br />

1T<br />

N MCCARTHY<br />

R BYRNE<br />

1C<br />

T O’BRIEN<br />

FURLONG<br />

1T<br />

MOLONY BAIRD RUDDOCK<br />

VAN DER FLIER<br />

1T<br />

DORIS SHEEHAN HEALY ALAALATOA TONER DEEGAN MCGRATH J O’BRIEN T O’BRIEN<br />

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -<br />

FURLONG<br />

MOLONY<br />

1T<br />

J MURPHY<br />

DORIS<br />

VAN DER FLIER<br />

2T<br />

CONAN<br />

2T<br />

SHEEHAN<br />

2T<br />

HEALY<br />

ALAALATOA<br />

1T<br />

RUDDOCK DEEGAN MCGRATH<br />

SEXTON<br />

5C<br />

LOWE<br />

1T<br />

ALAALATOA MOLONY MURPHY DORIS<br />

VAN DER FLIER<br />

1T<br />

CONAN<br />

SHEEHAN<br />

1T<br />

HEALY ABDALADZE BAIRD DEEGAN GIBSON-PARK<br />

R BYRNE<br />

2C<br />

FRAWLEY<br />

1T<br />

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

ALAALATOA MOLONY J MURPHY MOLONEY<br />

PENNY<br />

1T<br />

DEEGAN<br />

1T<br />

CRONIN<br />

DOOLEY<br />

ABDALADZE<br />

1T<br />

TONER SOROKA MCGRATH H BYRNE RUSSELL<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 95


matchday<br />

Squads<br />

officials<br />

Jimmy O’Brien<br />

Jordan Larmour<br />

Jamie Osborne<br />

Harry Byrne<br />

Dave Kearney<br />

Ross Byrne<br />

Luke McGrath [C]<br />

15<br />

14<br />

13<br />

12<br />

11<br />

10<br />

9<br />

FULL BACK<br />

RIGHT WING<br />

OUTSIDE CENTRE<br />

INSIDE CENTRE<br />

LEFT WING<br />

FLY HALF<br />

SCRUM HALF<br />

Dan Evans<br />

Keelan Giles<br />

Michael Collins<br />

Keiran Williams<br />

Luke Morgan<br />

Stephen Myler<br />

Rhys Webb [C]<br />

REFEREE<br />

GIANLUCA GNECCHI<br />

(FIR, 13TH LEAGUE GAME)<br />

ASSISTANT REFEREE<br />

ANDREW BRACE (IRFU)<br />

ASSISTANT REFEREE<br />

DAN CARSON (IRFU)<br />

TMO<br />

LEO COLGAN (IRFU)<br />

Cian Healy<br />

James Tracy<br />

Michael Ala’alatoa<br />

Ross Molony<br />

Ryan Baird<br />

Martin Moloney<br />

Scott Penny<br />

Max Deegan<br />

1<br />

2<br />

3<br />

4<br />

5<br />

6<br />

7<br />

8<br />

LOOSE HEAD PROP<br />

HOOKER<br />

TIGHT HEAD PROP<br />

SECOND ROW<br />

SECOND ROW<br />

BLINDSIDE FLANKER<br />

OPENSIDE FLANKER<br />

NUMBER 8<br />

Nicky Smith<br />

Sam Parry<br />

Tom Botha<br />

Bradley Davies<br />

Will Griffiths<br />

Ethan Roots<br />

Harri Deaves<br />

Morgan Morris<br />

Seán Cronin<br />

Peter Dooley<br />

Thomas Clarkson<br />

Jack Dunne<br />

Rhys Ruddock<br />

Nick McCarthy<br />

Rory O’Loughlin<br />

James Lowe<br />

16<br />

17<br />

18<br />

19<br />

20<br />

21<br />

22<br />

23<br />

REPLACEMENT<br />

REPLACEMENT<br />

REPLACEMENT<br />

REPLACEMENT<br />

REPLACEMENT<br />

REPLACEMENT<br />

REPLACEMENT<br />

REPLACEMENT<br />

Elvis Taione<br />

Rhodri Jones<br />

Rhys Henry<br />

Lloyd Ashley<br />

Dan Lydiate<br />

Reuben Morgan-Williams<br />

Gareth Anscombe<br />

Tiaan Thomas Wheeler


At Sword we know how important the Game is.<br />

We know how important your memories are ....so relax<br />

and enjoy yourself, you're in safe hands.<br />

LEINSTER RUGBY FANS .... Secured by the team at Sword<br />

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Parting Shot<br />

7 February 2022<br />

Wesley College players, from left,<br />

Shane Pedlow, Tom Geoghegan<br />

and Liam O’Neill celebrate after<br />

the Bank of Ireland <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby<br />

Schools Senior Cup 1st Round<br />

match between Cistercian College,<br />

Roscrea and Wesley College at<br />

Energia Park in Dublin.<br />

98 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 99

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