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Leinster vs Connacht

Leinster | Official Matchday Programme of Leinster Rugby | Issue 11 Leinster vs Connacht | EPCR Heineken Champions Cup Friday 15th April, 2022 | KO 5.30pm | Aviva Stadium

Leinster | Official Matchday Programme of Leinster Rugby | Issue 11
Leinster vs Connacht | EPCR Heineken Champions Cup
Friday 15th April, 2022 | KO 5.30pm | Aviva Stadium

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ISSUE 11 | LEINSTER RUGBY OFFICIAL MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

LEINSTER

VS

connacht

FRI 15 th APR

AVIVA STADIUM

KO 5.30PM

FRONT PAGE


POWERED BY NATURE

CRAFTED FOR YOU

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Newstead Building A,

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Dublin 4

#LEIVCON

The Line up

Telephone:

012693224

Fax:

012693142

E-mail:

information@leinsterrugby.ie

www.leinsterrugby.ie

10

22

EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT

President: John Walsh

Chief Executive: Michael Dawson

Honorary Secretary: Stuart Bayley

Honorary Treasurer: Michael McGrail

RUGBY MANAGEMENT

Head Coach: Leo Cullen

Senior Coach: Stuart Lancaster

Head of Rugby Operations:

Guy Easterby

Assistant Coach: Robin McBryde

Backs Coach: Felipe Contepomi

Kicking Coach: Emmet Farrell

Contact Skills Coach: Denis Leamy

14

PROGRAMME CREDITS

Editorial Team: Marcus Ó Buachalla,

Ryan Corry & Paul Cahill

Advertising: Gary Nolan

Design: Julian Tredinnick,

Ignition Sports Media

Photography: Sportsfile

Chief Steward: Sword Security

Ambulance: St. John’s Ambulance

Medilink

Event Control & Safety Services:

Eamonn O’Boyle & Associates

76

88

STAY

CONNECTED

& KEEP

UP-TO-DATE

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 3


EPCR

WELCOME

MESSAGE

A warm welcome

to this Heineken

Champions Cup

Round of 16 match

as the competition

for a coveted

place in next

month’s Marseille

final really begins

to hot up.

The intensity and drama of the knockout

stage will increase this season with the

historic introduction of home and away

legs in the Round of 16, and aggregate

scores over the back-to-back fixtures will

decide which of the elite clubs – with

an impressive total of 28 European titles

between them - qualify for the last eight of

the tournament.

The innovative format will guarantee

two compelling, high-stakes matches

this month featuring stars of the global

game and we can then look forward to

traditional quarter-finals and semi-finals

culminating in the 2022 showpiece final

at the Stade Vélodrome on Saturday,

28 May.

In addition, following the conclusion

of the Heineken Champions Cup pool

stage, Cardiff Rugby, Wasps, Castres

Olympique, Glasgow Warriors,

FRONT PAGE

Northampton Saints and Bath Rugby will

continue their quest for silverware this

season having booked their places in the

knockout stage of the EPCR Challenge

Cup.

We are delighted to be joined on the

journey to Marseille by our long-standing

title partner, Heineken, as well as by our

newest official partner, DHL, who provide

customised logistics solutions for both

the Heineken Champions Cup and the

EPCR Challenge Cup, and we would also

like to thank Tissot, the Financial Times,

Gilbert and Kappa for their continuing

support.

We acknowledge the superb coverage

provided by our TV partners BT Sport,

beIN SPORTS, France Télévisions,

Channel 4, Virgin Media, S4C and Sky

Italia whose output is complemented

by the wide range of linear and OTT

platforms which broadcast the Heineken

Champions Cup globally.

We recognise that this season has been

particularly challenging for everyone

associated with the game, however,

it is now heartening to see fans back

at venues across Europe and we will

continue to work closely with the leagues

and unions to ensure that the high-profile

matches in the knockout stage of the

tournament can be played safely.

On behalf of all at EPCR, enjoy the match

and best wishes to you, the supporters,

as well as to your club’s players and staff

for what promises to be a riveting Round

of 16.

Yours in rugby,

Dominic McKay

EPCR Chairman


Every great match

starts with 0.0


HEINEKEN ireland

Welcome

A very warm

welcome to the

Round of 16 of

the 2021/2022

Heineken

Champions

Cup. After an

incredibly

challenging

two years,

it has been

truly heartwarming

to see

full capacity

crowds back in

stadia enjoying

sport, of all

codes, over

the past few

months. Huge

credit is due

to all sporting

organisations,

players, and

officials for

their collective

perseverance,

dedication,

and desire

to entertain

the Irish and

international

sporting

publics.

I wish all remaining 16 teams in the

Heineken Champions Cup the very best

of luck. We have some mouth-watering

games to look forward to, in what

promises to be a hugely exciting twolegged

Round of 16. It is testament to

the ever-increasing strength of Irish rugby

that all four Irish teams have advanced

to the business end of Europe’s leading

club rugby competition. It goes without

saying that we in HEINEKEN Ireland

will keep a particularly close eye on the

progress of the home teams. For Irish

fans, the standout tie must be the clash

of Connacht Rugby v Leinster Rugby in

what will be an epic encounter between

two fine teams. Munster Rugby face a

formidable opponent in Exeter Chiefs

and similarly, Ulster Rugby take on the

might of Stade Toulousain in what also

promises to be another very keenly

contested game.

This time of year, brings with it immense

excitement and anticipation, as hopes

and dreams of making the final of

the Heineken Champions Cup final in

Marseille at the end of May become

closer to realisation. We at HEINEKEN

Ireland are immensely proud to be title

sponsor of a tournament that continues to

deliver so many truly memorable sporting

occasions. I have no doubt, more

memories will be made in the coming

weeks.

Enjoy the games and as always please

do socialise responsibly.

Maarten Schuurman

Managing Director, HEINEKEN Ireland.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 7


john walsh welcome

sport should always keep to the forefront

of our minds.

PRESIDENT, LEINSTER RUGBY 2020/22

On behalf of Leinster

Rugby, we welcome

fans back to the Aviva

Stadium for the first

time this year that

Leinster will grace this

atmospheric home of

Irish Rugby.

This evening’s fixture in the

second leg of the Round of 16

stage of the Heineken Champions

Cup will mark the fourth occasion

this season that we have had a

local derby with our neighbours

Connacht. At stake tonight is a

place in the quarter-final so this

game is of vital importance to

both sides.

A slender five-point advantage for

Leinster from the first leg encounter at

the packed Sportsground in Galway

last Friday night separates the sides so

tonight’s encounter has all the ingredients

to make a classic encounter between

both these talented sides.

The local derbies between our provincial

sides, no matter at what level, are eagerly

awaited by all rugby fans and indeed all

players look forward to that extra spice

that these events generate.

The post-match changing rooms

following a local derby reflects the extra

exhilaration that the winners achieve from

their win while the faces of the defeated

side tell their own story without a word

needing to be said.

Leinster will be aware that Connacht are

a threat to any side as they play with skill,

passion, heart and commitment until the

final whistle. It’s not that long ago since

they defeated Leinster in the Grand Final

of the League in 2016 and have beaten

8 | www.leinsterrugby.ie

Leinster in Galway and Dublin in recent

years.

On behalf of the Leinster Management

and Executive Committee we welcome

our counterparts from Connach Rugby

led by Ann Henegan (President and an

outstanding ambassador for her province

and clubs), Willie Ruane (CEO) and of

course Andy Friend (head coach) and

Jarrad Butler and Jack Carty (captains).

Connacht are a proud province with

victories over 53 clubs in European

competitions including over top teams

like Toulon and have contributed over 70

players to the Irish side including the likes

of Lions players Ray McLoughlin, Ciaran

Fitzgerald and John O’Driscoll.

While we may be rivals on the pitch we,

at Leinster Rugby, continue to work with

our colleagues in Connacht, Munster

and Ulster for the sustained development

of the game at all levels on this island

and share many common goals and

objectives and long may that be so.

For Irish Rugby to prosper we need

all our provincial teams to continue to

develop and to have a strong presence in

our European competitions. The US Dime

may well be regarded as an insignificant

coin but it bears the significant inscription

of ‘E Pluribus Unum’ (out of many one)

and it’s a message that all involved in our

Connacht, like Leinster, are building

for the future and both provinces will

shortly embark on major multi-million

Euro development projects at the

Sportsgrounds and RDS Arena which

will significantly increase the quality of

facilities for our fans and players. We are

very appreciative of the support and vote

of confidence that our sport has received

from Government.

A heartfelt thank you to all our Leinster

Rugby supporting partners and sponsors

for standing shoulder to shoulder with

us during this difficult period of the

pandemic.

A special acknowledgement to thank the

Bank of Ireland for their valued support

of Irish rugby.

Leinster Rugby are proud to be

associated with them and with the vision

and participation that they bring to every

aspect of our structures at Leinster youth,

schools, girls and women’s rugby, clubs

and Leinster representative sides. We

look forward to our continued successful

association.

The Leinster domestic season is reaching

its final competition stages. The 75th

Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup

Final will feature Kilkenny and Ashbourne

in what is a repeat of their 2014 final in

which Ashbourne emerged winners to

record their first title win. Cill Dara RFC

will host the final on Easter Sunday in

what promises to be a thrilling final with

two sides in top form of late.

The 100th Bank of Ireland Metropolitan

Cup will take place on Friday, 22 April,

at Energia Park with a 7.30pm kick-off

and will feature Terenure College (10

wins) against Clontarf (six wins). The last

time these teams met in the final was in

2002 when Clontarf won.

The Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby

Schools programme has been severely

impacted due to the pandemic and there

was great delight amongst all involved in

our 73 Leinster-affiliated schools that we

have succeeded in completing our cup

competitions this season.


Leinster Rugby annually stages 73

competitions but we couldn’t play

these games without the hard work

and cooperation of our clubs. We

thank all those clubs who made their

facilities available for the competitions.

Congratulations to all those players who

participated in the competitions and the

best of luck in your future journeys in

rugby.

Irish and Leinster fans will have been

disappointed to learn that Dan Leavy

has had to retire on medical advice at

the age of 27 following a knee injury

sustained against Ulster three years ago

now.

His glittering career saw him establish

himself as one of the top emerging

international players.

His career with Leinster saw him make 79

appearances and play a leading role in

our Heineken Cup win in Bilbao in 2018.

Capped seven times for Ireland at U-20

level, he graduated to the full Irish side

and in 11 appearances for Ireland (never

on a losing side) he was a member of the

Six Nations Grand Slam winning Irish

side of 2018. Leinster Rugby wish him the

very best for the future and thank him for

his commitment to the club.

The 2011 European Player of the Year

Seán O’Brien has also announced that

he will retire from professional rugby at

the end of the current season.

In a 14-year professional career his status

with fans of Leinster, Ireland and the Lions

is iconic.

The ‘Tullow Tank’s’ glittering career

yielded four Heineken Champions Cup

wins with Leinster (126 appearances,

20 tries), 56 Irish Caps and two Lions

tours in 2013 and 2017 that yielded 11

appearances and five Test caps.

A passionate supporter of his local club

Tullow RFC he was an example of just

one of the many Irish Internationals to

emerge as a result of the Leinster strategy

of building ‘From The Ground Up’ and

the creation of pathways for players to

progress their talents in rugby. Good luck

to Seán from all in Leinster Rugby for the

future.

Yours in sport,

John Walsh

President Leinster Rugby 2020-2022

Until we meet again “Keep The Faith”

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 9


Leo Cullen

head Coach Welcome

Good evening and a very warm welcome to

the Aviva for our fourth encounter with

Andy Friend’s Connacht team this season.

Last week in Galway, we

saw two fully committed Irish

provincial teams going at it from

first whistle to last and I’m sure

this evening’s game will be no

different.

We really appreciate your attendance

here today. The passionate support that

the Irish provinces enjoy has always been

a great strength when it comes to this

time of year, when so many of these big

European games come down to the finest

of margins.

Amazingly, this is the first knockout game

in Europe here at the Aviva Stadium

in front of supporters since 2019. That

game was against Ulster for anyone who

can remember that far back!

We definitely needed your support that

day and it’ll be the same today. We have

been away to Irish provinces for the last

four weekends in a row so it’s nice to be

back here for such a huge game.

Since our last home game, we have also

had a couple of players making their

Leinster debuts.

10 | www.leinsterrugby.ie

Congratulations to Temi Lasisi and

Chris Cosgrave on making their Leinster

bows against Ulster and Connacht

respectively. Temi has come through from

the clubs pathway where he represented

Enniscorthy before moving on to

Lansdowne.

Chris on the other hand came through as

a schoolboy with St Michael’s College.

I’m sure both lads have had lots of help

along the way to get to this point and we

are thankful for all the volunteer support,

coaching and mentoring that have

helped so many of our players to reach

their potential.

It’s great to welcome Rob Kearney back

‘home’ this weekend. Rob was one of

the unlucky players who had to finish

his Leinster career with no supporters

present. On the plus side, he did get to

finish his time here by raising a trophy

with Fergus McFadden at this very

ground.

I’m sure all our supporters will have fond

memories of Rob and some of the huge

performances that he delivered for both

Leinster and Ireland over a long and

successful career. We hope to draw

on Rob’s vast experience and rugby

knowledge in some way over the coming

years but in the meantime, we wish him

every success whatever path he chooses.

A big welcome to the Leinster contingent

who represented Ireland during the

successful Grand Slam winning U-20s

campaign. The lads were simply brilliant

so well done to them and also to Richie

Murphy and his coaching group on a

great campaign.

On a sadder note, we were all very sorry

to hear of the passing of Don Reddan,

father of former Connacht and Leinster

player Eoin, and of course Eoin’s brother,

Alan, who played for both Connacht and

Lansdowne.

Don was such a great supporter of

Leinster, even though, by his own

admission he was a late convert! He was

also an ever-present at home and away

matches, part of that special connection

with family and friends that means so

much to the team.

We will all miss Don but remember some

great times and special memories on the

road.

Our aim is now to push on and try our

best to experience more of those special

memories, starting this evening. We

realise however that Connacht and all

the other teams that lie in wait have their

own aspirations to go on and achieve

success on the biggest stage. That fierce

competition is what makes this tournament

so special and we hope you will stick

with us for the twists and turns ahead.

Many thanks again to all of you and that

includes our loyal sponsors, particularly

Bank of Ireland, for your continued

support. We couldn’t do what we do

without you.

Leo

Enjoy the game and Happy Easter!


www.leinsterrugby.ie | 11


12 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


carla

delaney

DIRECTOR, BANK OF IRELAND AREA EAST

After five away games in a row it’s great to be back enjoying

home comforts in the Aviva Stadium for the second leg of the

Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 clash against Connacht Rugby.

Bank of Ireland is a proud

sponsor of all four provinces,

so interprovincial derbies are a

tricky affair at the best of times!

But there is no doubting that

these games bring out the best

in each and every player, and

we certainly saw that on display

in the first leg last weekend in

Galway.

The game was on the line until the very

end, and it was a testament to both teams

that fans on both sides of the divide left

feeling confident of progression ahead of

this evening’s clash. It promises to be an

intriguing game and we wish both teams

the very best of luck.

Over the last few weeks, it has been

great to see Tania Rosser and her

women’s squad assemble for the first time.

Competitive action is some way away yet,

but they will start to build over the coming

months down in Energia Park.

It was brilliant to hear Tania’s thoughts

recently – together with Leo Cullen and

Mick Dawson – when speaking to the

OLSC and Season Ticket Holders about

the future of the game and the future of

women’s rugby. With the Irish women’s

team under a new coaching ticket, and

picking up their first points of the Six

Nations at the weekend against Italy,

there is plenty to be optimistic about. We

in Bank of Ireland can’t wait to get behind

Tania and her team as they take to the

field again in the coming months for the

Interprovincial Championship.

Congratulations to all the clubs and

schools sides who won their respective

competitions over the last few weeks.

To St Michael’s College and Blackrock

College for their respective Junior and

Senior Cup wins, and of course hard

luck to Cistercian College, Roscrea and

Gonzaga College, who both had brilliant

campaigns coming up just short in their

respective finals.

Congratulations also go to St Fintan’s

High School on winning the Bank

of Ireland Leinster Rugby Schools Fr

Godfrey Cup, and to CUS who won the

Vinnie Murray Cup. There are still games

and finals to be played though, and best

of luck to Ashbourne and Kilkenny as they

prepare for the Bank of Ireland Provincial

Towns Cup, the most prestigious of the

club competitions in the 12 counties of

Leinster Rugby.

Finally, to a good friend of Bank of

Ireland’s - Seán O’Brien, who last week

announced his retirement from rugby at

the end of the season. Seán has been

a phenomenal servant to the game in

Leinster and certainly put Tullow on the

rugby map. There have been some great

days following him in blue and in green

– and indeed in Lions red! We wish him

well in his retirement.

Enjoy the game and may the best team

win.

CD

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 13


14 | www.leinsterrugby.ie

m


oss

olony

the big interview

BY MARCUS Ó BUACHALLA

Second row Ross

Molony made

his Leinster

Rugby debut as

a 20-year-old

against Zebre in

February 2015.

Since then, he

has amassed

an impressive

total of 133

appearances

for Leinster

Rugby with four

United Rugby

Championships

and a Heineken

Champions Cup

medal to his

name.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 15


It’s fair to say that there isn’t

much he hasn’t seen in a blue

jersey.

This two-week window, however, is one

that neither Molony or his team-mates

will have experienced in their careers – a

back-to-back aggregate tie.

While the same opposition have regularly

popped up in European competition

in successive weekends in the pool,

the combined scorelines add a new

dimension to the fixtures and give players

an extra element to work into decisionmaking

during the week, and most

importantly, on the field throughout the

80 minutes.

“It’s different,” Molony says. “The

concentration for these knockout games is

at a high over the two-week period where

every point matters.

“You can see some of the other games

over the weekend where a team had a

decent lead but then there was a chance

for the other team to put up a few points

and, again, it’s all to play for.

“It doesn’t allow anyone to run away with

it and for us, getting ahead by five points

was important. But, it keeps us focused

and ready for this week.”

This evening’s meeting at Aviva Stadium

is very much in the bracket of ‘all to play

for’ as Leinster come back from Galway

with a five-point advantage.

Head coach Leo Cullen referenced in his

post-match media duties following that

game that it was ‘two good Irish sides

going hard at it’.

And, for Molony, the sentiment is the

same, with both sets of supporters adding

extra edge at The Sportsground.

“It always is down there (a battle). I think

we expected exactly what they came out

with, they were quick out of the blocks,

they were on top of us with ball in hand,”

he explains.

“Obviously, the crowd factor, the pitch

factor are big things playing there.

Having played there the two weeks

previous in the league match, we had an

idea of what was coming.

“There’s a bit of a different group going

down in the European game but, yeah,

it was a battle. It was good. It was a

really enjoyable game from a neutral’s

spectating point of view.

“We had a big number of supporters

buses that went down from the OLSC

and we had a serious contingent of fans

behind the goal where we were attacking

in the second half.

“And, especially in away games, that

makes a huge difference when you

can see the flags and hear the Leinster

chants, the blue in the crowd. So, now

we’re looking forward to tonight where,

hopefully, we’ll have a lot more.”

Last Friday was Molony’s 17th

appearance of the season for the

16 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


When you’re

in camp, you’re

living in there and

there’s a lot of

things I’ve taken

away from that

in terms of doing

your extras, more

recovery stuff

that I’ve added

to my game this

season.

province, 11 of which have lasted the full

80 minutes.

The former St Michael’s College man

has rightly been earning plaudits for

his performances and how he has

established himself over the last number

of years as a mainstay in the side.

The most notable of those

acknowledgements came from Ireland

head coach, Andy Farrell, who included

Molony in international camps last

summer and during the 2022 Six

Nations.

While he’s yet to get that coveted green

cap, the benefit of being included in that

environment, listening to new voices and

training with new faces has not been lost

on him.

“Firstly, it’s great to be involved in that setup,

with that group of players. They had

a very successful tournament and a very

successful autumn series and even before

that, the summer series,” he adds.

“I feel I’m playing good rugby with the

club so getting rewarded from that is

great but now it’s to the next step and

going on and getting the cap.

“I think it’s driven my game on a bit

because there’s a lot of, not detail, but

you’re under the eye a little bit more.

When you’re in camp, you’re living

in there and there’s a lot of things I’ve

taken away from that in terms of doing

your extras, more recovery stuff that I’ve

added to my game this season.”

“It’s refreshing to experience, and be

under, a different coaching staff. I’d be

familiar with Fogs (John Fogarty) in

there but the other lads, I’d never

worked under before.

“It’s great because coaches

pick up cues that they give their

players that they can always go

back to so you get a refreshed

view on parts of your game that

you may not have thought were

an issue before. But now you have

someone else shining a light on it, I think

it’s great for the players to get better but

also for the team to improve.”

For now though, the focus has turned

back to Leinster and, having welcomed

back all of the internationals from Six

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 17


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Nations duty ahead of the Munster clash,

Molony is now familiar with being both

one of the returning contingent as well as

being in the core group still grinding in

UCD or Energia Park during that block

of games.

He does outline, however, that with

the team being as close at it is, the ‘reintegrating’

is limited to the vocabulary

around set-pieces and planning.

“I think it’s more to do with the language

around calls and slotting into different

schedules in here to what they’ve been

used to for eight or nine weeks during the

Six Nations.

“It’s a boost for the group here to have

such quality coming back in to drive

the standards in our training. In terms

of the integration, our group here is

pretty tight knit so it’s seamless enough.”

While Molony’s career continues on an

upward trajectory, sadly the opposite

has to be said for his former schools

teammate, Dan Leavy.

The flanker sadly announced last week

that he was being forced to retire from

the game due to that horrific injury

picked up against Ulster in the 2019

Champions Cup quarter-final against

Ulster.

Despite fighting his way back and

making a further 17 appearances, the

flanker was advised not to continue

on medical grounds, saying in his

announcement that “I can’t do any

more or ask any more of my body”.

Having played through school, agegrade

teams and then for Leinster

together, he’s someone that Molony

has aligned with all of the highlights

he has in the game.

“He announced it to us on the

Monday last week and it was

announced then in public on the

Tuesday. It’s such a tough one on Dan.

“The resilience he’s shown over the past

few years just shows the character of

who he is. Dan was the year ahead of

me in school so I would have played

all of my rugby growing up with

him. I would have seen him as an

inspiration and a leader, he would

have often captained sides that I

was on in school or underage.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 19


“Any of the big moments in my career, I

can remember enjoying them with Dan.

If I was to ever think of a Dream Team

to play a game with, he’s the first name

on that team sheet. I just think the

way he played the game and

the impact he could have as a

single player on a game was

incredible. I’m gutted for him

but I also know the type

of person he is and what

he’s been through,

anything he does next

will be a success.”

Leavy’s retirement,

along with that of Devin

Toner, and a number of

departing players, many of

whom fit the same age profile

as Molony, coming through

the ranks at the same time as him,

provide just another motivating factor to

finish the season on a high.

And, as always, at this stage of the

season, the lock is steadfast in his

assessment that only silverware will do.

“There’s a lot of lads moving on to

exciting challenges. Again, a lot of

my era. I played a lot of underage

rugby with Dools (Peter Dooley), Adam

(Byrne), Josh (Murphy) and Locko (Rory

O’Loughlin).

20 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


“The years that standout to me, like when

the 2015 World Cup was on, I would

have played a lot at the start of the

season and it was with those lads.

“And then the seasons after that if the

internationals were away, it was that

core group that would stay here. There’s

a good group of players moving on and

their new clubs are very lucky to get

them.

“There’s an opportunity for the group to

do something special. We talked about

the lads moving on, the boys retiring,

others moving on to different clubs.

“We talked about there being a good

group here and we want to do something

special on the pitch but there is that

smaller group that we can play for. The

two trophies have to be the goals for

that,” he states.

The next step in that process can only

begin with a win against Connacht.

And having seen them up close and

personal last week, Molony believes that

a promising start is important. It’s also

a help to have been able to add some

more faces back to the fold this week.

“It’s going to be about how quickly we

can get ourselves into the game, get

going. As I said, they got out of the

blocks well last week, which we knew

they would do.

“So, for us, being at home, we need to

win the crowd over by getting into our

game quick and putting out our intent

early.

“We have the ability but it doesn’t just

happen, we have to go and make it

happen.

“It’s a good lift for us that we have Ports

(Andrew Porter) and Rónan (Kelleher)

coming back in. The quality that they’ve

shown over the years means they’ll be a

big boost to the wider group. It pushes

lads on even more.”

That push starts at 5.30pm this evening at

Aviva Stadium.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 21


Action

replay 21 26

CONNACHT RUGBY

Tiernan O’Halloran (Conor Fitzgerald

41); John Porch, Tom Farrell (Sammy

Arnold 77), Bundee Aki, Mack Hansen;

Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion (Caolin

Blade 61); Matthew Burke (Tietie

Tuimauga 56), Dave Heffernan (Dylan

Tierney-Martin 70), Finlay Bealham

(Jack Aungier 70); Gavin Thornbury

(Oisin Dowling 52), Leva Fifita; Cian

Prendergast, Conor Oliver, Jarrad Butler

(Abraham Papali’I 61).

SCORERS

Tries: John Porch, Leva Fifita.

Con: Jack Carty.

Pens: Jack Carty (3).

FRIDAY APRIL 8, 2022

THE SPORTSGROUND

ATTENDANCE: 8,129

HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP

LEINSTER RUGBY

Hugo Keenan; Jimmy O’Brien, Garry

Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw (Ciarán

Frawley 73), James Lowe; Johnny Sexton

(Ross Byrne 68), Luke McGrath (Jamison

Gibson-Park 50); Cian Healy (Ed Byrne

50), Dan Sheehan (James Tracy 62),

Tadhg Furlong (Michael Ala’alatoa 62);

Ross Molony, Josh Murphy (Devin Toner

70); Caelan Doris (Max Deegan 78),

Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.

SCORERS

Tries: James Lowe (2), Hugo Keenan.

Con: Johnny Sexton.

Pens: Johnny Sexton (2), Ross Byrne.

22 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Two Irish teams

going hard at

it. That’s what

you want to see.

There was good

intent to play

from both teams.

Leo Cullen

It’s a tough

place to come.

We were here

two weeks

ago in the URC

but this was

a different

animal. It was a

big occasion for

both teams and

we’re looking

forward to

going up against

them again.

Caelan Doris,

Heineken Star of the Match

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 23


NORTH-EAST CLINCH

U-16 SHANE HORGAN CUP

The fourth

round of

matches in

the Bank

of Ireland

U-16 Shane

Horgan Cup

took place at

Energia Park

on Wednesday

afternoon.

They resulted in wins for North-

East, who also claimed this year’s

title, and North Midlands.

North-East 60

Midlands 20

An impressive North-East

completed a clean sweep to

become champions when posting

10 tries against Midlands.

They blasted out of the blocks with an

opening statement of intent that included

a blistering break and offload by fullback

Delcan O’Connor for loosehead

Griffin Carrick to speed over, Jack

Litchfield converting in the first minute.

Midlands did not stand on ceremony,

flanker Callum Mulligan showing good

footwork and No 8 John Casey getting

on the ball.

Front-rowers Carrick and Max Ward

looked comfortable moving the ball

before lock Chuck Ohawaga and centre

Harley Harold both got to within five

metres of the second try.

Midlands couldn’t afford to go on in

defensive mode. Centre Eoin Conlon and

the big left boot of Oisin O’Hara gave

them room to breathe.

24 | www.leinsterrugby.ie

The dam had to burst when hooker Ward

was given too much room by accurate

passing on the inside for 12-0 in the 15th

minute.

North-East were on the move again

when a pass went astray and Midlands

centre Cody Broderick snapped up the

half-chance to stay ahead of the posse

for an opportunist try.

The long kicking of out-half O’Hara

led to another impressive cameo from

Mulligan, adding pace to a nice move

for a superb try, for 12-10 in the 23rd

minute.

A sustained attack from North-East

ripped through phases as backs and

forwards handled easily for Ward to

punch in his second try, Litchfield’s

conversion making it 19-10 at the

interval.

It was the Midlands who started the

better in the new half, Mulligan to the

fore in creating the front foot for centre

Broderick to go close and replacement

James Grehan to be stopped in his tracks

by Seamus Evans.

In a flash, the North-East were breaking

upfield for Carrick to shoot through a

small gap, having the pace to resist

O’Hara for 24-10 in the 35th minute.

When suffocating defence forced an

error in handling, a Harold hack ahead

put North-East in position to strike again,

tighthead Ciaran Scott bouncing out of a

tackle to ground the ball.

It went from bad to worse for Midlands

when a raid down the right enabled

Litchfield to come on to the ball at pace

to ghost home

Suddenly, North-East were in overdrive,

turning possession into points in a

hurry, Aidan Rennie streaking down the

left before replacement Hugh Keogh

followed suit from distance for converted

tries.

Midlands did find a response from

second row Jake Kenny’s barrelling run

before Luke Fagan barged over for Philip

Smyth to convert for North-East.

Tiring limbs made for leaky defences and

Midlands full-back Andrew Hill was next

to take advantage on the right before

Evan Shelly answered from a quickstriking

attack.

Scorers – North-East: M Ward, G

Carrick two tries each; C Scott, H Keogh,

L Fagan, E Shelly try each; J Litchfield try,

four cons; P Smyth try, con. Midlands: C

Mulligan, C Broderick, J Kenny, A Hill

try each.


North-East – Declan O’Connor (Navan);

Seamus Evans (Navan), Shaun O’Reilly

(Navan), Harley Harold (Balbriggan),

Dara McFadden (Balbriggan); Jack

Litchfield (Skerries), Oisin McEneany

(Skerries); Griffin Carrick (Skerries), Max

Ward (Dundalk), Ciaran Scott (Navan),

Chuck Ohawaga (Navan), Tadgh

Flanagan (Navan), Luke Fagan (Skerries),

Mike Brannigan (Skerries), Evan Shelly

(Skerries).

Replacements: Colin Jordan (Navan),

Hugh Keogh (Ratoath), Luis Hodson

(Balbriggan), Philip Smyth (Navan),

Aidan Rennie (Navan), Adam Dooley

(Boyne), Liam Philips-O’Brien (Skerries),

Lee Bennett (Ratoath).

Midlands – Andrew Hill (Edenderry);

Cian Lynam (Tullamore), Cody Broderick

(Midland Warriors), Eoin Conlon

(Mullingar), Killian Bennett (Wilson’s

Hospital); Oisin O’Hara (Mullingar),

Paidi Gorman (Edenderry); Yaw Appiah

(Longford), Ciaran Heffernan (Longford),

James Ryan (Roscrea), Jake Kenny

(Tullamore), Artur Lazor (Mullingar),

Tadhg Clear (Tullamore), Callum

Mulligan (Wilson’s Hospital), John Casey

(Mullingar).

Replacements: Finbar Kelly (Mullingar),

James Grehan (Longford), Adam

Meehan (Mullingar), Cillian Bourke

(Tullamore).

North Midlands 14

South-East 7

A late try by Sean Walsh

completed North-Midlands’

comeback win over South-East in

the opener.

The opening exchanges were dominated

by both defences as they applied

pressure on the ball handler and looked

to gain ground through the boots of

South-East’s Cathal Kehoe and North

Midlands’ Sean Behan.

The footballing skills of second row Tom

Hughes were on view in a slick one-two

with left-wing Luke Chatten for a fine try,

converted by Brian Johnston in the ninth

minute.

A burst up the left by North Midlands

hooker Josh Domican brought the

game to life and wing Daniel Thornton

threatened on the right.

North Midlands looked likely to deliver

until Sean Logue picked off a pass to pin

his ears back, full-back Killian O’Sullivan

producing the pace to catch the centre.

The support play of Daniel Ring and

Hugh Greaney led to a lineout from a

penalty which North Midlands defended

with aggression and discipline.

The more touches Daragh Farrell, Oran

Kelleher and O’Sullivan got for North

Midlands, the better they looked with

No 8 Walsh a danger on the ball too.

Another burst by Comican put them on

the front foot and Zach Kennedy’s hard

line was further reason for optimism.

South-East scrum-half Ring ripped away

a turnover and had to be vigilant to

deal with O’Sullivan in the outside

channel.

Greaney did well to keep Behan out

and a collective effort held prop Joshua

Apps off the ground over the line to keep

South-East 7-0 ahead at the break.

North Midlands centre Farrell pinched

a penalty on the floor and almost put

Kelleher into space from the first set

move of the second period.

A mazy break by full-back Kehoe put

Chatten on the ball and his delicate

grubber forced Colm Moran into

emergency action.

Once again, Farrell was the creator-inchief

for Behan before Hughes hauled

the out-half down.

The growing pressure led to a tap-andgo

for replacement Jack Kelly to crash

over for Farrell to make it 7-all in the

45th minute.

Sure hands along the line allowed North

Midlands to move out of trouble, wing

Elliot Walsh dinking a kick over the top

only for Kehoe to come to the rescue.

The momentum was swinging with North

Midlands replacement Sam Jordan

thundering through contact and Farrell

feeding Kelleher for what looked a

certain try until openside Hugh Roche

miraculously kept the centre off the

ground over the line.

The number of chances not taken by

North Midlands mounted up, making the

draw likely going into injury-time.

North Midlands came hunting the

winning points through their threequarters,

but second row Hughes was

waiting to force a penalty on the ground.

Finally, the impact of the bench did the

trick, creating the go-forward for Walsh

to duck inside for the decisive try

Scorers – North Midlands: J Kelly,

S Walsh try each; D Farrell two cons.

South-East: T Hughes try; B Johnston

con.

North Midlands – Killian O’Sullivan

(Clane); Daniel Thornton (Portlaoise),

Oran Kelleher (Athy), Darragh Farrell

(Athy), Elliot Walsh (Clondalkin); Sean

Behan (Cill Dara), Colm Moran (Athy);

Joshua Apps (Clondalkin), Josh Domican

(Clondalkin), Luke McTiernan (North

Kildare), Ryan McDonnell (Athy),

Darragh Townsend (Portlaoise), Jack

Dempsey (Naas), Zach Kennedy (Naas),

Sean Walsh (North Kildare).

Replacements: Jack Kelly (Clane),

Gavin Agar (Newbridge), Aran Coiley

(Portlaoise), Jack Osborne (Naas),

Daniel Steed (Clondalkin), Sam Jordan

(North Kildare), Rowan Finnegan

(Naas), Ruaidhri Lawlor (Athy), Oliver

Reilly (Clane), Conor Langabeer

(Clondalkin), Cian Crampton (Naas).

South-East – Cathal Kehoe (Enniscorthy);

William Fitzpatrick (Wicklow), Sean

Logue (Wexford Wanderers), Cathal

Gorman (Tullow), Luke Chatten (County

Carlow); Brian Johnston (Wicklow),

Daniel Ring (Kilkenny); Sean Carey

(Gorey), Hugh Greaney (Kilkenny),

Cormac Murphy (Wicklow), Tom Hughes

(Tullow), Ricardo Whelan (Wicklow),

Oren Cullen (Gorey), Hugh Roche

(Wexford Wanderers), Jamie O’Brien

(Kilkenny).

Replacements: TJ Kennedy (Wicklow),

Daragh McCormack (Wicklow),

Mark Power (Kilkenny), Michael Ryan

(Tullow), Marcas Bowen (Kilkenny),

Stephen Hendy (Gorey), Cian Bolger

(Enniscorthy), Joshua Rossiter (Wexford

Wanderers).

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 25


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www.leinsterrugby.ie | 27


leo

the lion’s

kids

corner

IN A BLUR!

Can you name this

leinster player?

spot the difference!

Can you find all six?

ANAGRAMS

Can you un-jumble the names of these players?

RABID

YARN

BERRY

SONS

how did you do?

IN A BLUR?

JONATHAN SEXTON

ANAGRAMS

RYAN BAIRD

ROSS BYRNE

ZOOMED IN!

JOSH MURPHY

zoomed in!

WHo is this leinster

player having an

extreme close-up?

28 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


AJ Products provides unique

solutions for office,

warehouse and

environment

www.ajproducts.ie


AZTO

with

Garry Ringrose

A – Action: If you could be a superhero,

which would you be?

Superman

B – Boyhood: Who was your favourite

sporting idol growing up?

Cristiano Ronaldo

C – Childhood: What is your favourite

childhood memory?

Summer holidays in France

D – Dish: What’s your go-to pre-match

meal?

Granola and honey

E – Education: What was your favourite

subject in school?

French

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

Catch Me If You Can

G – Groove: Who is the best dancer in

the squad?

Jordan Larmour

H – Holiday: What’s your favourite

holiday destination?

Marbella, Spain

I – Inside: Who is the worst to sit beside

in the dressing room?

Not who but where... the locker closest

to the toilets for obvious reasons!

J – Joker: Who is the funniest in the

squad?

Max Deegan

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

of the day to play a match?

5pm

L – Languages: How many languages

can you speak?

Three

M – Music: Your favourite artist and

song right now?

Somebody’s Child - Jungle

N – Number: Do you have a lucky

number?

24

30 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


O – Others: What’s your

favourite sport outside of rugby?

Golf

P – Pal: Who is your best mate in

the squad?

James Ryan

Q – Quirky: Who has the most

interesting fashion sense?

Marty Moloney

R – Red Carpet: Who is the most

famous contact in your phone?

Johnny Sexton

S – Superstitions: Do you have

any matchday routines?

Get a nap in pre kick-off

T – Trim: What’s the worst

haircut you’ve ever had?

Lockdown 1.0 home haircut

attempts!

U – Under pressure: Who in the

squad would be the best in a

bad situation?

Ross Byrne

V – Verified: How often do you

use social media?

A scroll or two a day

W – Worst fear: What are

you most scared of?

Spiders

X – X-ray: Have you ever

broken any bones?

Both sides of the Jaw in 2020

Y – Youth: Where did you

grow up?

Dublin

Z – Zoo: What’s your favourite

animal?

Dog

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 31


Did you know?

Leinster Rugby won 26-21 in their

Round of 16 - 1st Leg clash against

Connacht, their only previous

encounter in European competition;

each of Leinster’s last two games

against fellow Irish sides in the

Heineken Champions Cup have ended

with a margin of victory of five

points or fewer.

Leinster Rugby have won seven of

their last eight home matches in

the knockout stages of the Heineken

Champions Cup (L1); however, their

sole defeat during that period came

in their most recent such fixture

(17-25 v Saracens in the 2019/20

quarter-final).

Leinster Rugby have only lost one

of their last 20 home games in the

Heineken Champions Cup (17-25 v

Saracens), winning each of their

three home fixtures since the

beginning of last season by an

average margin of 41 points.

Connacht Rugby have lost their

last four games in the Heineken

Champions Cup, each by margins

of fewer than seven points;

only once before have they lost

more consecutive games in the

competition though, when they lost

their first five games during their

debut season in 2011/12.

Connacht Rugby have lost their

last eight matches away from home

in the Heineken Champions Cup;

this fixture will be the first time

that they have played a Heineken

Champions Cup knockout stage

match away from home, as well

as the first time that they have

visited a fellow Irish team in the

competition.

Connacht have conceded 22 scrum

penalties in the Heineken Champions

Cup this season, twice as many as

any other club; meanwhile, only

Leicester Tigers (17) have won

more penalties from scrums than

Leinster (12).

Leinster duo Hugo Keenan and

Jamison Gibson-Park have both

assisted six tries in the Heineken

Champions Cup this season, more

than any other player; Keenan made

two assists last weekend, as well

as scoring one try, while Gibson-

Park recorded one assist.

Leinster’s Garry Ringrose has made

six passes that have led directly

to a line break in the Heineken

Champions Cup this season, more

than any other player, while only

three players have made more

offloads than him this season (7,

behind Gregory Alldritt - 11, Thomas

Ramos - 10 and James Hume - 9).

• Jack Carty (Connacht Rugby) has

scored 54 points in the Heineken

Champions Cup this season, the most

of any player; he has also made the

most kicks in play (70) and gained

the most kicking metres (2549).

COMPARISON

PLAYED

184

(95 home, 89 away)

WINS

126

(77 home, 49 away)

LOSSES

53

(17 home, 36 away)

DRAWS

5

(1 home, 4 away)

AVERAGE POINTS

27

BIGGEST WIN

89 - 7

HEAVIEST DEFEAT

10 - 51

TOTAL TRIES

33

METRES GAINED

4377

PASSES

812

PLAYED

37

(19 home, 18 away)

WINS

14

(10 home, 4 away)

LOSSES

23

(9 home, 14 away)

DRAWS

0

(0 home, 0 away)

AVERAGE POINTS

20

BIGGEST WIN

66 - 21

HEAVIEST DEFEAT

6 - 64

TOTAL TRIES

18

METRES GAINED

3141

PASSES

748

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 35


leinster

squad

2021/22 season

Vakh Abdaladze #1263

PROP

DOB: 06/02/1996

HEIGHT: 1.88m

WEIGHT: 121kg

Michael Ala’alatoa #1301

prop

DOB: 28/08/1991

HEIGHT: 1.91m

WEIGHT: 127kg

7

CAPS

Ryan Baird #1278

LOCK

DOB: 26/07/1999

HEIGHT: 1.98m

WEIGHT: 113kg

8

CAPS

Adam Byrne #1213

WING / FULL BACK

DOB: 10/04/1994

HEIGHT: 1.91m

WEIGHT: 98.18kg

1

CAP

Ed Byrne #1222

6

CAPS

Harry Byrne #1280

2

CAPS

Ross Byrne #1236

13

CAPS

Thomas Clarkson #1285

PROP

DOB: 09/09/1993

HEIGHT: 1.8m

WEIGHT: 114.09kg

FLY HALF

DOB: 22/04/1999

HEIGHT: 1.9m

WEIGHT: 95kg

FLY HALF

DOB: 08/04/1995

HEIGHT: 1.9m

WEIGHT: 92kg

PROP

DOB: 22/02/2000

HEIGHT: 1.85m

WEIGHT: 118kg

36 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Jack Conan #1223

27

CAPS

7

CAPS

Will Connors #1264

9

CAPS

Sean Cronin #1202

72

CAPS

Max Deegan #1256

1

CAP

NO. 8

DOB: 29/07/1992

HEIGHT: 1.93m

WEIGHT: 114.09kg

BACK ROW

DOB: 04/04/1996

HEIGHT: 1.96m

WEIGHT: 100kg

HOOKER

DOB: 06/05/1986

HEIGHT: 1.78m

WEIGHT: 103.18kg

NO. 8

DOB: 01/10/1996

HEIGHT: 1.93m

WEIGHT: 110kg

Peter Dooley #1230

Caelan Doris #1268

17

CAPS

Jack Dunne #1276

Ciaran Frawley #1265

PROP

DOB: 04/08/1994

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 117kg

BACK ROW

DOB: 02/04/1998

HEIGHT: 1.93m

WEIGHT: 107kg

LOCK

DOB: 21/11/1998

HEIGHT: 2.03m

WEIGHT: 120kg

FLY HALF

DOB: 04/12/1997

HEIGHT: 1.91m

WEIGHT: 98kg

Tadhg Furlong #1220

PROP

DOB: 14/11/1992

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 125kg

57

CAPS

13

CAPS

Jamison Gibson-Park #1247

SCRUM HALF

DOB: 23/02/1992

HEIGHT: 1.75m

WEIGHT: 80kg

17

CAPS

David Hawkshaw #1290

FLY HALF / Centre

DOB: 03/07/1999

HEIGHT: 1.75m )

WEIGHT: 85.91kg

Cian Healy #1142

PROP

DOB: 07/10/1987

HEIGHT: 1.85m

WEIGHT: 116.82kg

116

CAPS

2

CAPS

Robbie Henshaw #1251

57

CAPS

9

CAPS

Dave Kearney #1158

19

CAPS

Hugo Keenan #1253

20

CAPS

Ronan Kelleher #1277

18

CAPS

CENTRE

DOB: 12/06/1993

HEIGHT: 1.9m

WEIGHT: 99.09kg

WING / FULL BACK

DOB: 19/06/1989

HEIGHT: 1.8m

WEIGHT: 90kg

FULL BACK

DOB: 18/06/1996

HEIGHT: 1.85m

WEIGHT: 91.82kg

HOOKER

DOB: 24/01/1998

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 105kg

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 37


Jordan Larmour #1258

30

CAPS

Dan Leavy #1231

11

CAPS

WING

DOB: 10/06/1997

HEIGHT: 1.78m

WEIGHT: 90kg

FLANKER

DOB: 23/05/1994

HEIGHT: 1.91m

WEIGHT: 105.91kg

for full squad profiles

please click here

James Lowe #1262

12

CAPS

Nick McCarthy #1241

Luke McGrath #1206

19

CAPS

Michael Milne #1279

WING / FULL BACK

DOB: 08/07/1992

HEIGHT: 1.88m

WEIGHT: 105kg

SCRUM HALF

DOB: 25/03/1995

HEIGHT: 1.8m

WEIGHT: 84.09kg

SCRUM HALF

DOB: 03/02/1993

HEIGHT: 1.75m

WEIGHT: 84.09kg

PROP

DOB: 05/02/1999

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 115kg

Jimmy O’Brien #1272

Conor O’Brien #1260

Josh Murphy #1261

Ross Molony #1233

LOCK

DOB: 11/05/1994

HEIGHT: 1.96m

WEIGHT: 113kg

FLANKER

DOB: 17/02/1995

HEIGHT: 1.98m

WEIGHT: 110kg

CENTRE

DOB: 06/02/1996

HEIGHT: 1.91m

WEIGHT: 100kg

CENTRE

DOB: 27/11/1996

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 88kg

Tommy O’Brien #1283

Rory O’Loughlin #1248

1

CAP

Scott Penny #1271

Andrew Porter #1246

43

CAPS

CENTRE

DOB: 28/05/1998

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 95kg

CENTRE

DOB: 21/01/1994

HEIGHT: 1.88m

WEIGHT: 94.09kg

FLANKER

DOB: 22/09/1999

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 104kg

PROP

DOB: 16/01/1996

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 114.09kg

38 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Garry Ringrose #1237

42

CAPS

Rhys Ruddock #1167

27

CAPS

James Ryan #1259

43

CAPS

Johnny Sexton #1127

105

CAPS

14

CAPS

CENTRE

DOB: 26/01/1995

HEIGHT: 1.85m

WEIGHT: 96kg

BACK ROW

DOB: 13/11/1990

HEIGHT: 1.91m

WEIGHT: 113.18kg

LOCK

DOB: 24/07/1996

HEIGHT: 2.03m

WEIGHT: 115kg

FLY HALF

DOB: 11/07/1985

HEIGHT: 1.88m

WEIGHT: 90kg

Dan Sheehan #1286

HOOKER

DOB: 17/09/1998

HEIGHT: 1.91m

WEIGHT: 110.91kg

7

CAPS

Devin Toner #1128

LOCK

DOB: 29/06/1986

HEIGHT: 2.11m

WEIGHT: 127kg

70

CAPS

James Tracy #1211

HOOKER

DOB: 02/04/1991

HEIGHT: 1.83m

WEIGHT: 106kg

6

CAPS

Josh van der Flier #1228

FLANKER

DOB: 25/04/1993

HEIGHT: 1.85m

WEIGHT: 103kg

40

CAPS

Coaching

Staff

2021/22 season

LEO CULLEN

HEAD COACH

STUART LANCASTER

SENIOR COACH

ROBIN MCBRYDE

ASSISTANT COACH

FELIPE CONTEPOMI

BACKS COACH

EMMET FARRELL

KICKING COACH AND

LEAD PERFORMANCE ANALYST

GUY EASTERBY

HEAD OF RUGBY OPERATIONS

DENIS LEAMY

CONTACT SKILLS COACH

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 39


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Swords RFC

Swords RFC was previously

known as Aer Lingus, and later

ALSAA RFC, but changed to

the current name in 2005 for

several reasons. The club had

stopped representing the airline

or the sports complex and as a

result had decided to affiliate

themselves with the growing

town of Swords.

The women’s team was established in

2017 after a recruitment drive from tag

rugby and the local area.

Under the helm of head coach Robert

Gilshenan, the senior men’s and women’s

teams have gone from strength to strength

this season.

The women’s team, playing in Division

5 of the Leinster League, have had 15

women make their Swords debut this

season. Most of these women had never

played rugby before but ably stepped up

to the task.

The recruitment for the women’s team

remains strong and Swords welcome

all levels of players with a strong goal

to remove or overcome the barriers that

women often experience when it comes

to playing sports. After narrow losses at

the start of the season, the side won their

first game of the season before Christmas.

The home team put in a serious defensive

effort in front of an energising crowd to

see out the victory. “I was so delighted

I can’t explain!” women’s co-captain

Lauren Heffernan said of the win, “The

girls have played their hearts out all

season and we finally got the result we all

were waiting for and working towards.”

Fellow co-captain Kate Seery attributes

the growth of Swords women’s rugby to

the progress made in Ireland and Leinster

Women’s rugby: “Every player that has

joined the team since our establishment

in 2017, whether they have stayed on in

rugby or not have contributed to the team

we have today. I couldn’t be prouder of

how far we have come.”

The team’s progression this season gives

plenty of encouragement for the next

campaign.

Playing in Division 7 of the Leinster Metro

league, the men’s finished fourth with a

record of seven wins and seven losses

from their 14 games.

The men’s captain, Emmet O’Donnell,

commented: “I think it’s been a season of

rebirth and constant improvement for the

men’s team. Despite a disappointing start

to the season results wise, our players

have consistently worked hard all season

and we are now seeing the results of our

hard work.”

Emmet added: “For such a small club

as ourselves, it isn’t often we challenge

for play-offs. It means a lot to the senior

players like myself who might not have

experienced this level of success too

regularly. Hopefully it’s bringing a lot of

enjoyment to our other club members and

the wider community of Swords.”

Recently, the club have had

representation at various representative

rugby trials, a testimony to the ‘Why

not us?’ mantra of the club. Men’s team

member, Sean Ryan, impressed at the

Irish rugby league trials. Anyone at

Swords would tell you that Sean would

be well deserving of the green jersey.

Additionally, for the first time in the club’s

history, six women attended Leinster trials:

Caitriona Murphy, Beth Hassan, Amy

Coll, Lana McDonald, Ciara Spencer

and Maeve Moran.

While only Ciara progressed to the

second round of trials, these women

returned to training, inspired to drive

Swords women’s rugby on to future

success.

Swords RFC are striving to cultivate

a community spirit within the club.

Instrumental in forming a connection

between the men and women’s teams,

was commencing each training session

as a combined group. From this stemmed

post training swims together in the

summer, post-match barbecues and, most

meaningfully, a home away from home

for club members who hail from Brazil,

South Africa, the UK and Spain, among

other places.

Head coach Gilshenan is particularly

proud of the growth of the club: “Not

only are Swords flying their own town

banner but they are bringing other

communities together. There is an

amazing vibe in the club and it’s all down

to the lads and ladies from Swords and

the surrounding towns making the effort

on and off the pitch.”

Swords RFC train every Tuesday and

Thursday in the ALSAA Sports Complex,

all are welcome!

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 43


25 years of

Boyne RFC

Delvin RFC 1983 Drogheda RFC PTC Semi Finalists 1961

While the success of Leinster

Rugby is truly enormous and

there for all to enjoy it is also

true to say that this success has

filtered down through the clubs in

Leinster and none more so than in

Boyne Rugby Club in the town of

Drogheda.

In 1997, a decision was taken by Delvin

Rugby Club and Drogheda Rugby Club

to pool their resources and amalgamate

both clubs into one, a decision that some

people thought might not work. Youth

rugby was strong in both clubs and this

was a factor in prompting them to take

this decision.

A series of meetings took place between

both clubs to discuss the benefits and

problems of taking this step. In June 1997,

both clubs held their respective AGMs on

the same night and passed a motion to

join forces and become one club.

The river Boyne divides the town and with

one club situated on either side it was

decided to call the club Boyne RFC. In

choosing the club colors a decision was

taken to adopt the colors of the world

champions at the time. Hence, the green

and gold of South Africa.

A committee of 18 was elected to sit

for three years in order to consolidate

the amalgamation, 10 from Delvin and

eight from Drogheda. The names of the

original committee were Seamie Davis,

Jack Doran, Oliver Walsh, Leo Monahan,

Noel Carr, Billy Gavin, Conor Taaffe,

Donal Grennan (Drogheda) and Johnny

Sheridan, Seamie Briscoe, Eugene

Winters, Michael Dunne, Ron Eustace,

Declan McCullen, John Dillon, Marty

Reilly, Neil Bailey and Bernard Gogarty

(Delvin). Their shoes have been filled

many times by equally good people.

The administration of the club’s affairs

took off immediately under a very

organised and energetic committee.

While on the playing side of things it

took a little longer than some would have

expected. However, the club was able to

field three full teams each week. The first

elected captain of Boyne RFC was Gary

Downey. When it did take off it grew in

strength year after year in both youth and

adult sections.

It was the youth section that showed the

most progression in the early years. The

club had teams in all the age groups

from U-8 to U-18 and they began to win

Leinster competitions at all age groups.

After a couple of seasons, the adult

section began to improve greatly to the

point where they won the Provincial

Towns Cup in 2009 and again in 2010.

The following year the club won the

Leinster Junior 1 League and gained

entry into the AIL. While it was hard to

maintain this level, the club did manage

to retain its AIL status for a further six

years. As we speak, the club is currently

playing Junior 1 rugby and almost all

of its adult players came up through the

youth section and continue to do so.

Many players from the club were

selected to represent Leinster at youth

level, they are too numerous to name on

this report but, a number of them were

selected to represent Ireland at youth

level, Conor Maguire, Jeffrey Finnegan,

Colm Joyce-Ahearne, Robbie Vallejo,

Brian Davis, Oisin Lynch and Karl Martin

(currently playing with Montpellier in

France).

The club also produced three players to

play full senior international for Ireland.

They were Shane Horgan, Niall Ronan

and Mark McHugh. Shane Horgan also

went on to play with the British and Irish

Lions.

Robbie McGrath, who also played scrum

half for Ireland, was club president for a

spell in recent years.

For any club to be successful it depends

on the number of willing workers involved

plus a succession of young people

coming through. Boyne RFC is happy

they have both in abundance.

There was also a successful ladies team

in the club for a number of years. The

first ladies team was formed in 1997 by

Sandra McAleer and Mick and Vivienne

Quinn. Quite a few of them made it to the

Leinster Ladies and three, Vikki McGinn,

Grace Davitt and Maura Coulter, played

full International for Ireland.

Boyne also supplied a number of referees

to the ARLB and continues to do so.

To summarise, Boyne were two clubs with

great rivalry that became one club with

great unity. They will celebrate 25 years

in June 2022.

Jim Walker | Boyne RFC

44 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Men’s Energia All-Ireland

League

League roundup

BY ROBERT DEACON

The men’s Energia All-Ireland

League campaign reached its

climax last weekend where the

final round of this season’s league

matches took place across the

four provinces. It proved to be

a defining series of games for a

number of the 18 Leinster clubs

involved across all five divisions

of 10 teams.

The top four teams in each division

have qualified for a semi-final with the

two winners playing in a final game to

determine who will be crowned overall

champions in Division 1A and who wins

the one promotion spot in the other four

divisions. The format is that the team

who finished top of each division will

have home advantage against the fourth

placed team and the team in second

place, also with home advantage, plays

the third placed team.

To determine relegation the bottom two

clubs in each division will play each other

home and away where the team with the

better aggregate score will remain with

the losers dropping down.

In general, it has been an excellent

season for the participating Leinster

clubs with 10 of the 18 Leinster clubs

competing qualifying for play-off places

in four of the five divisions.

In Division 1A, Clontarf after an

excellent season, finish top of the league

after only tasting defeat once during the

course of the 18-match campaign, and

as a result will face Cork Constitution at

home in the semi-final. Terenure with a

great second half to the season pipped

Lansdowne for second place which sets

up what promises to be an epic semi-final

encounter at home in Lakelands Park

against the Lansdowne men.

Dublin University finished in a creditable

fifth, just losing out on a play-off spot,

while UCD can look forward to another

season in division 1A after ending the

season in eighth position.

Division 1B saw Old Wesley runout

clearcut winners after winning 16 of

their 18 starts during the campaign. The

Donnybrook side finished 10 points clear

of second-placed Highfield who will play

their fellow Munster side Shannon in the

second semi-final. Old Wesley will face

Naas at home, after the Kildare team

secured fourth place in the final round

of matches last weekend. St Mary’s who

had challenged all season for a top four

spot just missed out and finished in fifth

position.

Old Belvedere retain their division 1B

status with a seventh-place finish, while

Navan will face Ulster side Banbridge in

a two-way playoff to decide which club

avoids relegation.

MU Barnhall, were the sole Leinster club

in Division 2A and challenged for a top

four spot right up until the last round of

matches. However, results did not go their

way and ended up with a sixth-place

finish.

Queens University were the runaway

winners of this division.

Division 2B saw Greystones hold

top spot from start to finish with 14

victories from their 18 starts, and they

will entertain Galway Corinthians in

Doctor Hickey Park in the semi-final.

Blackrock just lost out on second place

in the final round of games and as a

result of finishing third are on the road

to play Belfast Harlequins in the second

semi-final.

Wanderers, who were in contention all

season for a top four position, finished up

in fifth, while Malahide held down eighth

place.

In Division 2C, the three Leinster clubs

competing, Enniscorthy, Skerries and

Tullamore, all made the play-offs. After

an excellent season Enniscorthy topped

the table and will host Tullamore in

the semi-final, the Offaly men finishing

fourth. Skerries, who finished second will

entertain fellow seasiders Bangor in the

second semi-final.

So, a strong showing from our Leinster

clubs in this season’s men’s Energia All-

Ireland League and good luck to all still

involved over the next two weekends.

In a campaign of 450 matches, only

eight fell victim to Covid mainly in the first

half of the season.

All clubs are to be commended for

adhering to both the HSE and the IRFU’s

protocols and as a result a great season

of club rugby took place enjoyed by

players and supporters alike.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 45


compiled by stuart farmer

media services limited

Leinster Player

Statistics

SQUAD

CAP

NO

DEBUT

2021/22 SEASON FOR LEINSTER LEINSTER CAREER

ALL GAMES URC EPCR ALL GAMES PRO14/URC EPCR

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

SINCE LAST TRY

CAPS

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

MICHAEL ALA'ALATOA 1301 25 SEPT 21 12+6 2 10 11+3 1 5 1+3 1 5 12+6 2 10 11+3 1 5 1+3 1 5 6 WS 7

RYAN BAIRD 1278 27 APR 19 5+4 1 5 4+3 1 5 1+1 - - 17+19 7 35 15+14 7 35 2+5 - - 4 IR 8

ADAM BYRNE 1213 29 DEC 12 5+2 4 20 5+2 4 20 - - - 54+10 24 120 44+10 18 90 10 6 30 4 IR 1

ED BYRNE 1222 9 FEB 14 6+6 1 5 6+5 1 5 0+1 - - 25+57 11 55 25+45 10 50 0+12 1 5 10 IR 6

HARRY BYRNE 1280 28 SEPT 19 5+3 - 10 5+3 - 10 - - - 19+13 6 164 19+12 6 159 0+1 - 5 11 IR 2

ROSS BYRNE 1236 4 SEPT 15 13+5 3 145 11+3 2 109 2+2 1 36 83+39 9 795 69+21 4 580 14+18 5 215 5 IR 13

THOMAS CLARKSON 1285 29 AUG 20 1+4 - - 1+4 - - - - - 3+12 - - 3+12 - - - - - - -

JACK CONAN 1223 20 FEB 14 6 2 10 3 - - 3 2 10 86+25 25 125 62+15 16 80 24+10 9 45 4 IR 27

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

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

CHRIS COSGRAVE 1305 26 MAR 22 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - - -

SEAN CRONIN 1202 28 OCT 11 3+6 3 15 3+6 3 15 - - - 123+81 45 225 79+60 28 140 43+19 16 80 3 IR 72

MAX DEEGAN 1256 3 DEC 16 6+11 6 30 6+7 6 30 0+4 - - 41+41 24 120 38+29 22 110 3+12 2 10 3 IR 1

PETER DOOLEY 1230 31 OCT 14 3+6 - - 3+6 - - - - - 43+59 5 25 41+53 5 25 2+6 - - 17 -

CAELAN DORIS 1268 28 APR 18 9 2 10 5 2 10 4 - - 41+8 7 35 31+6 5 25 10+2 2 10 6 IR 17

JACK DUNNE 1276 16 FEB 19 1+2 - - 1+2 - - - - - 3+15 - - 3+15 - - - - - - -

CORMAC FOLEY 1299 24 APR 21 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - 0+2 - - 0+2 - - - - - - -

CIARAN FRAWLEY 1265 17 FEB 18 10+4 2 12 8+2 1 7 2+2 1 5 27+22 6 155 24+16 4 139 3+6 2 16 3 -

TADHG FURLONG 1220 1 NOV 13 6+1 1 5 3+1 - - 3 1 5 79+42 9 45 45+34 3 15 34+8 6 30 4 IR 57

JAMISON GIB-

1247 2 SEPT 16 5+4 3 15 3+2 - - 2+2 3 15 54+56 20 100 47+30 14 70 7+26 6 30 4 IR 17

SON-PARK

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

DAVID HAWKSHAW 1290 2 NOV 20 0+2 1 13 0+2 1 13 - - - 0+10 2 27 0+10 2 27 - - - 1 -

CIAN HEALY 1142 5 MAY 07 4+8 2 10 3+5 2 10 1+3 - - 160+83 29 145 93+53 15 75 65+29 13 65 3 IR 116

ROBBIE HENSHAW 1251 8 OCT 16 5 1 5 3 1 5 2 - - 61+1 12 60 28 6 30 33+1 6 30 5 IR 57

DAVE KEARNEY 1158 16 MAY 09 3+1 1 5 3+1 1 5 - - - 150+23 52 260 124+16 45 225 25+6 7 35 2 IR 19

HUGO KEENAN 1253 5 NOV 16 10 4 20 6 1 5 4 3 15 37+3 8 40 28+3 5 25 9 3 15 1 IR 20

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

JORDAN LARMOUR 1258 2 SEPT 17 9 6 30 6 4 20 3 2 10 61+10 25 125 37+7 18 90 24+3 7 35 1 IR 30

TEMI LASISI 1304 12 MAR 22 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - - -

46 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


SQUAD

CAP

NO

DEBUT

2021/22 SEASON FOR LEINSTER LEINSTER CAREER

ALL GAMES URC EPCR ALL GAMES PRO14/URC EPCR

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

SINCE LAST TRY

CAPS

DAN LEAVY 1231 31 OCT 14 4+3 - - 4+3 - - - - - 47+32 17 85 39+22 13 65 8+10 4 20 8 IR 11

JAMES LOWE 1262 2 DEC 17 7+2 7 35 5+1 3 15 2+1 4 20 59+2 41 205 39+1 28 140 20+1 13 65 1 IR 12

JOE MCCARTHY 1303 29 JAN 22 5 - - 5 - - - - - 5 - - 5 - - - - - - -

NICK MCCARTHY 1241 19 DEC 15 2+7 1 5 2+7 1 5 - - - 8+37 5 25 8+31 5 25 0+6 - - 5 -

LUKE MCGRATH 1206 5 MAY 12 12+6 1 5 10+4 1 5 2+2 - - 114+55 40 200 79+47 32 160 35+8 8 40 3 IR 19

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

MARTIN MOLONEY 1300 24 APR 21 2+2 - - 2+2 - - - - - 2+3 - - 2+3 - - - - - - -

ROSS MOLONY 1233 20 FEB 15 14+3 1 5 10+3 - - 4 1 5 78+55 5 25 72+40 4 20 6+15 1 5 10 -

JOSH MURPHY 1261 3 NOV 17 5+3 - - 2+3 - - 3 - - 47+10 5 25 43+9 4 20 4+1 1 5 17 -

JAMIE OSBORNE 1294 30 JAN 21 8+2 - - 8+2 - - - - - 10+6 1 5 10+6 1 5 - - - 11 -

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

JIMMY O'BRIEN 1272 23 NOV 18 11+1 8 42 8 3 17 3+1 5 25 37+10 15 79 32+9 9 49 5+1 6 30 2 -

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

TOMMY O'BRIEN 1283 20 DEC 19 5+5 2 10 5+4 2 10 0+1 - - 9+10 5 25 9+9 5 25 0+1 - - 1 -

RORY O'LOUGH-

1248 2 SEPT 16 6+1 1 5 6+1 1 5 - - - 70+24 22 110 63+16 19 95 7+8 3 15 1 IR 1

LIN

MAX O'REILLY 1291 2 JAN 21 1 - - 1 - - - - - 7+1 1 5 7+1 1 5 - - - 7 -

SCOTT PENNY 1271 23 NOV 18 8+1 5 25 8+1 5 25 - - - 31+7 21 105 31+7 21 105 - - - 4 -

ANDREW PORTER 1246 2 SEPT 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 43

GARRY RINGROSE 1237 12 SEPT 15 10 2 10 6 2 10 4 - - 94+2 29 153 58+1 18 98 36+1 11 55 2 IR 42

RHYS RUDDOCK 1167 6 DEC 09 11+4 1 5 10+3 1 5 1+1 - - 154+49 12 60 116+34 10 50 37+13 2 10 9 IR 27

ROB RUSSELL 1302 3 OCT 21 1+2 - - 1+2 - - - - - 1+2 - - 1+2 - - - - - - -

JAMES RYAN 1259 2 SEPT 17 3 - - 3 - - - - - 47+6 3 15 25+1 1 5 22+5 2 10 13 IR 43

JOHNNY SEXTON 1127 27 JAN 06 4+2 - 50 2+1 - 22 2+1 - 28 152+27 26 1557 89+20 13 855 61+7 12 671 19 IR 105

DAN SHEEHAN 1286 23 OCT 20 4+6 7 35 3+3 4 20 1+3 3 15 7+16 13 65 6+13 10 50 1+3 3 15 3 IR 7

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

ALEX SOROKA 1296 28 FEB 21 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - 1+2 - - 1+2 - - - - - - -

DEVIN TONER 1128 27 JAN 06 6+6 - - 6+4 - - 0+2 - - 212+66 4 20 146+46 4 20 63+20 - - 61 IR 70

JAMES TRACY 1211 4 NOV 12 7+5 4 20 7+4 4 20 0+1 - - 64+77 18 90 57+48 17 85 7+29 1 5 5 IR 6

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

JOSH VAN DER FLIER 1228 11 OCT 14 9+1 5 25 5+1 1 5 4 4 20 84+24 16 80 50+18 8 40 34+6 8 40 3 IR 40

2021/22 SEASON FOR LEINSTER LEINSTER CAREER

ALL GAMES URC EPCR ALL GAMES PRO14/URC EPCR OVERALL

KICKING

SUCCESS

RATE

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

%

- - - HARRY BYRNE 62.50% 5 - - 5 - - - - - 58 6 57 5 1 1 82 78.05%

ROSS BYRNE 85.51% 47 12 - 33 11 - 14 1 - 243 87 1 187 61 1 56 26 - 423 78.01%

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

DAVID HAWKSHAW 66.67% 4 - - 4 - - - - - 7 1 - 7 1 - - - - 12 66.67%

JIMMY O'BRIEN 100.00% 1 - - 1 - - - - - 2 - - 2 - - - - - 4 50.00%

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

JOHNNY SEXTON 76.67% 19 4 - 8 2 - 11 2 - 253 296 11 128 171 7 118 121 4 690 79.57%

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 47


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ig picture

8 April 2022

Leinster supporters before the

Heineken Champions Cup Round

of 16 First Leg match between

Connacht and Leinster at the

Sportsground in Galway.

50 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 51


THE GREATEST WEEKEND IN RUGBY

27-28 MAY, STADE VÉLODROME


offical leinster supporters club

And so after the past three weekends

on the road in a combination of URC

and Heineken Champions Cup action

that twice took us to Galway as well

as Limerick, we’re finally back on

familiar soil and welcoming an all

too familiar visitor to the surrounds

of the Aviva Stadium - Connacht.

The first leg of our Round of 16

double-header took place last

Friday night in the Sportsground

where in the cauldron of noise,

energy and ferocious action from

end-to-end, and start-to-finish,

we emerged with the victory on

a very (very) tight score-line of

26-21.

Many in attendance would say the battle

between James Lowe and Mack Hansen

was worth the entrance fee alone and

few could call foul on that one. If these

two are on form again for the second leg,

we’ll have a game that could be talked

about for years to come.

Obviously we want this game to be

talked about by us for years to come as

we look to progress to the quarter-finals,

however as we have seen time and time

again in this sport, it’s a funny auld game

and the bounce of the ball can leave

someone going from hero to zero in a

split second.

Thankfully Leo, Stuart and co are not

ones to put the proverbial cart before

the horse and the focus will very much

be on these 80 minutes and getting this

fixture out of the way before hopefully

54 | www.leinsterrugby.ie

then turning our attention to further down

the road.

A shout-out though from ourselves on the

committee must go to all the travelling

support last weekend who certainly

made the College Road Terrace in the

Sportsground almost feel like the terrace

in the RDS such was the wall of blue and

the noise, which at times made it hard

to hear the person beside you and you

could see what a difference this made to

the team.

We know how much this means to them

and given we had a completely different

result two weeks before that in the same

venue, some might have felt the same

result was all but a given but we know,

and have seen some big teams travel

west for a game they perceived to be

a given, and walked away licking their

wounds.

This time, we need to show the same to

the visitors – we need the blue wall from

start to finish as this is only a five-point

game and any team that can get a spring

in their step knows that that difference

can be easily gotten. After all, it only took

John Porch two minutes last week to get

on the scoresheet for the hosts and so

we need that quick start ourselves, and

the blue will help. Let’s just hope your

vocal chords have recovered from last

weekend!

Leinster

Connacht

53% Possession 47%

59% Territory 41%

590 Metres Gained 382

144 Carries 117

5 Clean Breaks 7

5 Offloads 5

3 Tries 2

21 Defenders Beaten 21

193 Passes 179

14 Turnovers Conceded 10

175 Tackles 193

21 Missed Tackles 21

5 Turnovers Won 5

Last week was a tight affair and we

expect no different this week but what

we do know as evidenced in the past is

that we can come away with the victory

when we need it most when the crowd

is behind the team and let’s make sure

today is no different. This is entering the

business end of this tournament and we’re

striving for five so let’s ensure we get the

job done today!

As always we’re thankful for the support

we as a committee get from Leinster

Rugby and Bank of Ireland and as

always we encourage you to show

your support through our social media

channels.

Be loud, be true, be blue

Yours in Rugby,

Your OLSC Committee


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body as clean drinking water and healthy,

nutritious food – this, we now know!

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devices operate 24/7 to enhance the quality

of the air breathed by your teams and

visiting clients by safely inactivating harmful

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Increased happiness, wellbeing

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your own cost. The competition closes on Sunday 24th April 2022 and the winner will be announced on Monday 25th April 2022.


www.leinsterrugby.ie | 59


Virtual Mascot

Tommy

Asple

Age: 11

School: St Michael’s

Hobbies: Rugby and GAA

Favourite Player: Tadhg Furlong (up Wexford!)

60 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


DELIVERED BY

Heading into the much-anticipated knockout

stage of the Heineken Champions Cup, three

players from TOP 14 clubs have already captured

the Champions Try of the Round award.

The Round 1 accolade went to Damian Penaud of

ASM Clermont Auvergne who, despite his side’s

29-23 defeat by Ulster Rugby at Stade Marcel-

Michelin, still managed to score a brilliant try.

At the outset of the move, JJ Hanrahan cleverly

created a mis-match and then after a welltimed

pass, Penaud did the rest with a perfect

kick ahead and chase for what was a world-class

score.

In Round 3, Cameron Woki, a nominee like

Penaud for the EPCR European Player of the

Year award, scored an outstanding try during

Union Bordeaux-Bègles’ impressive 45-10 win

against the Scarlets at Stade Chaban-Delmas.

Rodolphe Pires of beIN SPORTS, who was

judging the tries, had no doubt about his

selection. “The tempo of the attack was just

right, the players’ movement was good and the

combination of passes which eventually led to

Woki touching down was superb. All in all, this

was approach play and finishing at its very best.”

In Round 4, Montpellier Hérault Rugby put

in a strong performance after some earlier

indifferent form for a 37-26 home win against

Exeter Chiefs. This time full-back Anthony

Bouthier took the honours following the public

vote and the verdict of Virgin Media’s analyst,

Alan Quinlan, with a try created by a magnificent

Gabriel N’Gandebe break.

More spectacular tries are on the cards for the

knockout stage, so don’t miss your chance to

have your say and vote for the best try!

EPCRUGBY.COM/TOTR


WHERE ARE

THEY NOW?

Stephen Rooney

THEN: Stephen

Rooney played

regularly for

Leinster Rugby

from 1994 to

1998.

NOW: He is

the Executive

Director

of Quilter

Cheviot, living

in Milltown

with his wife

Maura and

four children,

Hannah (18),

Sarah (17),

Grace (15) and

Sean (13).

credit Inpho.ie

62 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


credit Inpho.ie

Stephen Rooney was the first fulltime

Leinster professional rugby

player to come out of St Michael’s

College.

He is not sure exactly how many times

he played for Leinster, making maybe

26 or 27 appearances.

It speaks to the modesty of the man,

never mind the player. He was never

one to keep a scrapbook of the many

firsts in a fine career that never quite

delivered the Ireland cap he longed to

wear.

In the beginning, Irish rugby was

dragged kicking and screaming into

professionalism.

Compared to the unpaid, glorious era

of amateurism, it was painted as a dirty

word, unwelcome in the vocabulary of

the traditionalists.

All of that made less than no difference

to Stephen, coming out of school in

1989. At that stage, the All-Ireland

League was the main attraction, the

only avenue into playing provincial and,

eventually, international rugby.

In 1993, the step from UCD to

Lansdowne put Rooney in the line of

sight of Leinster’s management.

One of the first official Leinster caps

came against Northern Transvaal in

February 1995 when Malcolm O’Kelly

also made his debut for the province.

Stephen would play the same South

African side again a few weeks later as

part of the Combined Provinces team.

Chris Pim was the captain. Conor

O’Shea, Paul Wallace, Martin Ridge

and Niall Woods were there. Victor

Costello was just on the scene.

At least, future Irish legend O’Kelly

would be able to put his best foot

forward from his natural position in

the second row whereas Donal Spring

picked Stephen at seven rather than six.

It would become a familiar theme for

the blindside, one that would leave him

harbouring regrets around not being

able to flex his true rugby muscle.

“Donal picked me at seven because

we were up against a bunch of huge

Afrikaaners and he wanted me to tackle

all day. I was very happy to do that,

but seven was never really my position,”

says Stephen.

Leinster wasn’t the machine that it

is now. Their matches would attract

roughly the same crowd as an AIL

game, maybe 2,000 in Donnybrook.”

As fate would have it, that game

against Northern Transvaal provided

the opportunity to play against the best

player he would come across in his time

in rugby.

“Joost van der Westhuizen played in

that game. He was incredible, the most

impressive rugby player I ever played

against.

“At one stage, I thought I had him

nailed. I was planning on slamming him

into the advertising hoardings,” he says,

with perfect recall.

“He had such a low centre of gravity for

a tall guy. He saw me coming and, in a

split-second, somehow managed to shift

his weight underneath me. I scragged

him into touch, but not in the way I had

planned.

“I have forgotten so much about my

playing days. It seems like such a long

time ago. But, I still remember that

moment very clearly.”

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 63


There was no Celtic League. There were

just a couple of friendlies before the

Interprovincial Championship and the

odd touring game in the early-to-mid-

1990s.

“In the first season I was involved in the

Interpros, in 1995, I played against

Denis McBride up in Ulster and we got

a first win in something like 12 years up

there.”

There was a share of tussles with

Munster at Thomond Park and in

Donnybrook with formidable opponents

in Anthony Foley, Alan Quinlan and

Eddie Halvey.

Leinster weren’t too shabby themselves,

Stephen vying for selection with Pim,

Trevor Brennan, Kelvin Leahy, Paddy

Kenny and Pat Ward.

When the Heineken Cup came about in

1995/96, Stephen was on the outskirts

looking in until an injury to Dean

Oswald opened up a place in the back

row against Pontypridd in the second of

two Pool matches and against Cardiff

in the first European Cup semi-final at

Lansdowne Road before a crowd of

7,350.

“We viewed it as the proper European

Cup. We were really into it,” he stresses.

“The competition was in its infancy.

The English clubs didn’t participate.

But, it was still a very good standard. I

remember in the semi-final Cardiff were

stacked with Wales internationals.”

Stephen was working in Ulster Bank

Investment Services out of college for a

couple of years when professionalism

began to happen.

There was an exodus of Irish players to

England, led by Conor O’Shea, Paul

Wallace and Nick Popplewell and

Stephen met with Clive Woodward of

London Irish in The Gresham Hotel

“I guess, for me, - it was probably

common for a lot of players - I really just

wanted to play for Leinster,” he says.

“Nowadays, players go where the

credit Inpho.ie

contracts are. Growing up, that wasn’t

my motivation. This was the twilight

zone.

“The first professional contracts were

offered for the 1997/98 season

when money started to come into the

equation.

Leinster couldn’t afford to make

everyone fully professional. I was

lucky enough to be one of a handful

of players to sign full-time for

€20,000-a-year.

“It was possible for me to accept it

because I was only in a junior role

at Ulster Bank whereas a parttime

payment of, say, €6,000 or

€7,000-a-year with match fees, was

available to those with better jobs to

add to what they were already making

rather than give up their civilian career

for a big drop in salary.

“To me, this was the best way to go

about playing for Leinster and Ireland.

Simple as that.”

That season, Stephen was involved

against Pau, Scottish Borders, Martin

Johnson’s Leicester and Emile Ntamack’s

Toulouse, Leinster failing to qualify for

the knock-out stages.

It was at this point in the conversation

that the mention of Toulouse jogged his

memory.

“That was probably my last major game

for Leinster.,” he recalls.

Jumping ahead, it must seem strange

to look back on Leinster in those early,

coming to professionalism years, given

the current standing of an industry

leader.

“You must remember when we became

full-time with Leinster, the coaches had

never been professional before either.

“Everyone was learning on the job.

Jim Glennon, Liam Hennessy and Mike

Ruddock had huge tasks to get Leinster

up to speed.

“They would flog you one week to see

if that worked. At the same time, you

were training with your club. You could

be training three or four times a day. It

was exhausting. There was a lot of trial

and error.

64 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


“Being Director of Rugby at Lansdowne

now, I am able to see how the

players prepare. To say it has come

on in leaps and bounds is a massive

understatement.

“Am I envious of the set-ups today?

Yes. But, I really enjoyed my time. The

camaraderie we had at Leinster and

Lansdowne was such great craic. We

were definitely given more license to

enjoy ourselves off the field.”

When the time came for Stephen to talk

money again, Leinster was not inclined

to offer a new contract.

“It just wasn’t going to happen. Trevor

Brennan had arrived on the scene

and Mike (Ruddock) had a grá for

him. Declan O’Brien was there too. In

fairness, I’m not sure I was ever Mike’s

type of blindside.

“I definitely was frustrated because

he also picked me as a seven when I

knew I really wasn’t one. I was never

comfortable playing the position at that

level.”

Even then, Rooney experienced the

psychological challenge of being paid

to play while sometimes not playing.

“Everyone is talking about mental health

these days. I definitely can understand

why. There were times when I was really

frustrated.

“When we were playing there was very

little video analysis going on. There was

none of it.

“Video analysis is a great way of

purging things from your system. You

address your mistakes. You work on

whatever you need to work on. You

move on.

“That was a lot harder to do back in the

mid-1990s. It could be a journalist who

might write that I had a bad game.

“That could stay with you for weeks

because you had fewer games back

then too. You had a lot of time to dwell

on your failings.

“These days, you always have the next

game to concentrate on. You play. You

review. You move on.”

Even though there were contract offers

from French club Pau and two of the

provinces, they just didn’t feel right for

someone who bled the blue of Leinster.

“I had loved my time at Leinster and

was very grateful for the opportunities

but I felt I needed to focus on my career

away from rugby.”

It was time to move on to Davy

Stockbrokers for four years and,

thereafter, onto investment managers

Quilter Cheviot, where he currently

works as an Executive Director.

Nowadays he remains heavily involved

in rugby as Director of Senior Rugby in

Lansdowne and takes great satisfaction

from seeing young players at the club

push through into the professional ranks.

He cites the rugby values of “teamwork”

and “discipline” as strengths to bring to

any job or to any aspect in later life and

values the lifelong friendships rugby has

given him.

Values for which he is grateful.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 65


Referees

Corner

BY DAN WALLACE

Welcome to another issue

of Referees Corner.

A warm congratulations to our

teams of officials from the recent

Bank of Ireland Schools Cup

finals. The team for the Senior

Cup Final between Blackrock

College and Gonzaga was

Andrew Cole, with Paul Haycock

and last minute replacement

John Carvill. James Fegan and

Keith Spendlove were the fourth

and fifth officials and Nigel Corell

was TMO.

The team for the Junior Cup Final

between St Michael’s College and

Roscrea were Sam Holt in the middle,

assisted by Paul O’Connor and Michael

Forrestal. Well done to both teams on

fine refereeing displays.

Want to get

involved?

Feel free to make contact with the Leinster Rugby Referees

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

in becoming a referee get in contact with us through our

Facebook, our website www.leinsterrugbyreferees.ie or

through twitter @leinsterreferee.

66 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Acme Whistles

Leinster Rugby Referees are

delighted to announce our

partnership with Acme whistles

as our preferred whistle supplier.

Speaking about the partnership Leinster

Rugby Referees President David

Robb said: “We are delighted to be

partnering with Acme as our whistle

supplier, a company that has been

providing whistles to referees since

before the foundation of Leinster Rugby

Referees in 1902.

“It’s a company of long-standing

tradition with quality workmanship

providing rugby referees from grassroots

to the elite of the game with a quality

whistle to officiate.”

Ben McFarlane of Acme Whistles

said: “Through this partnership we

continue to evolve and align ourselves

with proactive and forward thinking

organisations such as Leinster Rugby

Referees. Playing our small part in the

wider rugby community is one we take

immense pride in, the role of the official,

from grassroots to elite level cannot be

underestimated, and we are here to

support and help in any way we can.”

Annual Dinner

The annual dinner of the Leinster

Rugby Referees is the highlight

of our somewhat limited social

calendar and is always a great

event. This year it took place in

Lansdowne FC on Saturday, 9

April, and was hosted by Leinster

Rugby Referees President David

Robb, who had to wait an extra

year for this fantastic evening.

On the night our much-anticipated

annual awards are handed out. There

are five main awards, one for lifetime

achievement, one for referee of the year,

another for refereeing performance

of the year, one for the referee who

progressed the most during the year and

one for club of the year.

The lifetime achievement award is

named after Ham Lambert who passed

away a few years ago. Ham was an

Irish cricketer, rugby union player

and later international rugby referee.

By profession a veterinary surgeon,

he was noted for being the first in

Ireland to own a practice devoted to

the care of companion animals. This

year’s winner was Peter Donnelly of St

Mary’s College RFC who has devoted

a number of years to the association.

As well as being a former president of

the association he is in charge of match

ticketing, an unenviable task. He follows

a long line of winners including Brendan

Jenkinson, Tom Aplin, Des McCabe and

Brian Pender, to name a few.

The award for referee of the year is

named after Harold ‘Harry’ Ardill.

Harry was instrumental in developing,

recruiting and educating referees within

Leinster. The referee of the year award

accounts for both on- and off-field efforts

and contribution to the association.

This year’s award went to long-serving

member and Honorary Treasurer Keith

Spendlove. Keith officiates at all levels

and is always there when needed,

another tireless servant to the referees.

The Club of the Year award is named

after Terry Doyle, former President of

the association and was presented

by his wife Deirdre. The award was

named after Terry in 2011 and the first

recipients were Edenderry RFC. This

year’s recipients of the Terry Doyle

Memorial Award were first-time winners

Coolmine RFC. In a tightly fought

contest they came out above last year’s

winner Greystones (2nd), and Terenure

College (3rd). Other winners of this

award include Old Wesley, Greystones,

Terenure College, Lansdowne,

Ashbourne and Skerries. Coolmine were

clear winners amongst the active referee

population for both their captains’ and

players’ attitudes and their off-field

facilities and welcome.

The Alain Rolland Referee Performance

of the Year was won last year by

Andrew Cole. Andrew had an even

better season this year culminating

in an international appointment and

Schools Cup Final. This year’s winner

was Robbie jenkinson. Robbie, a new

national panel member, is a member of

Skerries RFC and made his All-Ireland

League debut earlier this year, in a

great match between Malahide and

Blackrock, Robbie has progressed

through the ranks over the last number

of seasons and is thoroughly deserving

of this award.

The last award of the night was the

Denis Collins Perpetual Award for

Progressive Referee. Presented by the

great man himself, this award is for the

referee who was seen to progress the

most during the season and has shown

themselves to have put in time and effort

into their own development.

No one encouraged referees more in

his time as referee administrator than

Denis Collins. Last year, Katie Byrne

won the inaugural trophy. This year’s

winner was Mitch Enderby. Mitch

hails from Zimbabwe and became a

Leinster Rugby Referee in 2017 and

has made great progress since joining.

He refereed this year’s Junior Cup

game between St Mary’s College and

St Fintan’s. We’re looking forward to

seeing his future progression.

With only a few weeks left in the season

we are immensely proud of the work

that has been put in by referees at all

levels this season and look forward

to moving onwards in the 2022/23

season.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 67


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Leinster Rugby

Junior Team

The Covid-19

pandemic put

so much of

life on hold.

As lockdowns

descended and

we retreated

to find safety

in isolation,

no area was

left untouched.

Rugby was not

unaffected.

The Junior

Interprovincial

Championship

was placed

on ice since

Leinster last

won the title in

2019.

Now the long wait is over as the

Leinster Juniors return to action

this year.

Robert McDermott is back for another

season as Team Manager and he’s

looking forward to this year’s campaign.

“The Leinster Junior Team finally took

to the pitch on March 9 in Newbridge

RFC after 34 months of waiting. The last

time the Juniors were on a pitch was in

Dundalk in May 2019 where we retained

the Interprovincial Championship,” he

explains.

“We are delighted to be back and there

has been a great buy in from the players

and we had 70 nominations from all the

clubs across the province. The tough job

of narrowing the squad down to 35 has

begun and all the players deserve great

credit for their commitment as they have

to jump into their cars after a long day

work to make training. This weekend

we have a training camp in Tullow RFC,

and we are grateful to them for their

hospitality.”

The former Leinster Branch President,

Robert McDermott is joined in the

Leinster set up by Cill Dara’s Enda Finn

who returns as Head Coach. Maurice

Logue of Tullow RFC is back as senior

coach. Joe Duffy (Wicklow RFC) returns

as Assistant Coach and he is joined by

former Leinster Junior player Corey Carty

(Co Carlow FC) who has come on board

the coaching set-up.

The coaches and management have

been working hard over the past number

of months to ensure that the Leinster

Juniors make a successful return. As part

of their preparation for the Interprovincial

Series, the Leinster team have played

matches against the Ireland Police team

and the Irish Defence Forces team.

Team Captain for the 2021/22 season is

Kilkenny RFC’s Wes Carter.

“For me Junior rugby is all about

representing your local provincial club

2019 Team with Cup

Wes Carter - Team Captain

and I am extremely proud to represent

Kilkenny RFC,” Carter says.

“The club continues to go from strength

to strength and the future is very bright.

To have the avenue to represent your

province from there, is something that

Junior players across the country relish.

“My first year with the Juniors was 2016,

six years later now and I can’t wait for

the 2022 campaign to start. The last two

years in particular with the Juniors have

been some of the most enjoyable rugby I

have played.

“Winning trophies in rugby is rare but

the Interprovincial series provides the

opportunity to do that. We have been

70 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


2018 Cup Celebrations

delighted to win the last two series and

are under no illusions how difficult this

year will be. When Enda called me about

captaincy, it was an immediate yes, as a

group we are really looking forward to

the 2022 campaign. Leading the Leinster

Juniors out will be an extremely proud

day for me. It’s great to have the series

back after two years off with Covid.”

Hopefully the boys will be well

supported, and all are welcome at

their upcoming Interpro games against

Ulster in Carrickfergus RFC on April 23,

Connacht in Buccaneers RFC on April 30

and finally against Munster in New Ross

RFC on May 7.

That match should be a great occasion

as Leinster will hopefully be chasing the

Interpro title whilst hosts New Ross will

be celebrating their 50th anniversary.

All matches in the Interpro series have a

2.30pm kick-off time.

2022 LEINSTER RUGBY

JUNIOR SQUAD

Craig Miller Athy RFC

Ciaran Fennessy Athy RFC

Cal O'Connor Balbriggan RFC

Paul O'Connor Balbriggan RFC

Nick Smith Boyne RFC

Rory Hennessy Boyne RFC

Robbie Vallejo Boyne RFC

Caomhán Brennan Co Carlow FC

Daniel Crotty Co Carlow FC

JJ McIlwrath Cill Dara RFC

Gordon Shannon Cill Dara RFC

Dylan Casey Edenderry RFC

Andrew Walsh Gorey RFC

Eoin Walsh Gorey RFC

Fionn O'Loughlin Gorey RFC

Mikey Duke Gorey RFC

Wes Carter Kilkenny RFC

Jake McDonald Kilkenny RFC

Martin Murphy Monkstown FC

Ruadhán McDonnell Monkstown FC

Tristan Brady Monkstown FC

James Ryan New Ross RFC

Will Jennings Newbridge RFC

Tom Tracey Newbridge RFC

Michael Tracey Roscrea RFC

Zach Jungmann Seapoint RFC

Eddie Weaver Seapoint RFC

Matt McKenna Seapoint RFC

John O'Brien Suttonians RFC

Thomas Culleton Suttonians RFC

Jordan Leybourne Tullow RFC

Jack McDonald Tullow RFC

Stevie Smith Tullow RFC

Ben Watson Wicklow RFC

David Nichloson Wicklow RFC

2022 TEAM

MANAGEMENT

Enda Finn (Cill Dara RFC)

HEAD COACH

Maurice Logue (Tullow RFC)

SENIOR COACH

Joe Duffy (Wicklow RFC)

ASSISTANT COACH

Corey Carty (Co Carlow FC)

ASSISTANT COACH

Eoin Stanley (MU Barnhall RFC)

PERFORMANCE COACH

Robert McDermott (Edenderry RFC)

MANAGER

Damien Curly (Longford RFC)

LOGISTICS

Bláithín Brady (Monkstown FC)

PHYSIO SUPPORT

Dr. Maurice Carroll (Edenderry RFC)

TEAM DOCTOR

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 71


ank of ireland halftime

inclusive rugby

Dunbrody

Warriors

Players: Damien Phelan, Colm O Sullivan, Dumitra Kehoe,

Ciara Brennan, Christine Byrne, Michael O’Neill,

Dillon Murphy, Aidan Sinnott, Larry Kehoe,

Martin Browne, Noel Kehoe

Coaches: Rory Flynn and Laura Doyle

Seapoint

Dragons

Players: Donal Brennan, Gordon Bergin, Hugh Brophy,

Matthew Burke, Conor Byrne, Carrie Doyle, Mandy Finlay,

Cormac Fenner, Jamie Harvey, Sam Harvey, Matthew

Hickey, Eoin Kelly, Cameron Lawlor, Mac Dara Lambertini,

Luke Mannion, Louis Mitchell, Andrew McCarthy,

Christopher McKenna, Cathal McKiernan, Louis Olden,

Fiodhna O’Leary, Charlie O’Reilly, Jack Tonge, Joe Whelan,

Daniel Woods, Ben Purcell

Coaches: Joanne Dwyer, Peter O’Brien and

Maire Kelly

Westmanstown

Wasps

Players: Mark O’Meara, Mark Wright, Marcus Tsang,

Darius Tsang, Nathan Cummins, James Burke, Jimmy

Kneafsey, Saul Hill, Derek McLoughlin, Rian Flynn, Seamus

Johnson, Conor Howe, Jason Howe, David Kane, Will

Walsh

Greystones

Seagulls

Coaches: Eamon Cunningham, Eamon O’Grady, Paul

Wright, Caitriona O’Grady, Aaron Slevin

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 73


TO MAXIMISE YOUR SPORTS AND EXERCISE

PERFORMANCE THROUGH NUTRITION

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

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

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

Protein Rich.

Protein provides your muscles with

the building blocks to repair & grow.

Carb-Up.

Carbohydrate foods are king as they

power high intensity play.

Fuel-Up.

Consume the majority of your

carbohydrates around training to

support fuelling and recovery.

Recover.

Quality rest & nutrition between

training sessions is the key to

recovery. Remember to:

Repair with protein,

Refuel with carbohydrate,

Rehydrate with fluid.

Hydrate.

Dehydration can lead to a drop in

exercise intensity & can impact your

decision making. Drink 2-3 litres of

fluid each day to ensure hydration.

Game Day.

To fuel performance on the field,

consume a large carbohydrate rich

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

chicken & pasta, turkey bolognaise

wraps.

Get 20% off all Optimum Nutrition products

using code Leinster20 on optimumnutrition.ie


KNOWING WHAT ADVICE TO TAKE

IS ESSENTIAL IN THIS GAME.

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


leinster rugby charity partner

Irish Community

Air Ambulance

The Irish Community Air

Ambulance is Ireland’s only

charity Helicopter Emergency

Medical Service (HEMS) Air

Ambulance. The organisation

works in partnership with the

National Ambulance Service,

responding to serious incidents

and medical emergencies 365

days a year.

The Community Air Ambulance is based

in Co Cork however the charity plays a

significant role in Leinster. Last year, the

HEMS Air Ambulance was tasked to

incidents in Wexford, Kilkenny, Offaly,

Wicklow and Kildare. It also funds a

Critical Care Rapid Response service

staffed by Volunteer Critical Care Doctors

and an Advanced Life Support Doctor

Service with community-based GPs. In

total, the charity was tasked to 625

incidents and emergencies in Leinster

during 2021.

The Critical Care Rapid Response service

has expanded in Dublin in recent weeks.

Two Specialist Registrars in Emergency

Medicine, Dr Andy Patton and Dr Daragh

Mathews, are now volunteering with the

service, providing pre-hospital emergency

care to critically ill and injured patients

across Dublin and surrounding counties.

Dr Andy Patton who has been a

Volunteer Doctor with the charity since

2021 was tasked to 283 incidents

and emergencies during 2021 alone

including cardiac arrests, road traffic

collisions and major traumas. He has

been joined on the team by Dr Daragh

Mathews. They are often called to the

sickest and most critically injured patients

including cardiac arrests, RTCs, falls from

heights, assaults and stabbings.

Dr Patton explains, “Critically ill and

injured patients can deteriorate rapidly

before reaching hospital. By responding

to the patient in the community, we can

intervene earlier and give them the

best chance of survival with a good

recovery. We are essentially bringing the

Emergency Department to the patient.”

Micheál Sheridan, CEO of the Irish

Community Air Ambulance, added,

“We now have a team of five specialists

in Emergency Medicine volunteering

their time in counties Dublin, Mayo and

Donegal. We’re lucky to be joined by

such highly qualified professionals who

work in Emergency Departments across

the country. The aim of our organisation is

to bring hope to patients when they need

it most and our rapid response teams are

central to that.”

Dr Daragh Mathews said, “I am

delighted to be able to start providing

Pre-Hospital Critical Care in Dublin and

surrounding counties as a Volunteer

Doctor with Irish Community Air

Ambulance. We work alongside the

brilliant paramedics and advanced

paramedics of the National Ambulance

Service and Dublin Fire Brigade to

provide hospital level interventions at the

roadside for the sickest or most seriously

injured patients.

Dr Jason Horan is a Consultant in

Emergency Medicine at Mayo University

Hospital. He volunteers with the Irish

Community Air Ambulance in his spare

time. “I make myself available to the HSE

National Ambulance Service to respond

to the more serious 999 calls in the local

community. Because of the geographical

spread, often I will be the first

professional resource to arrive. I respond

to the more serious road traffic collisions,

other significant injuries, collapsed

patients, seizing children, cardiac arrests

and childbirth”

For more information about the service

or to make a donation to the Irish

Community Air Ambulance visit:

https://communityairambulance.ie

76 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Orin’s Story

The Irish Community Air

Ambulance transferred a

seriously injured child from Kerry

to Dublin after he was knocked

down as he crossed the road in

Listowel. Eleven-year-old Orin

Hough from Limerick was the

first child to be airlifted from the

south-west of Ireland directly to

the specialist neurosurgical centre

at CHI Temple Street under new

trauma protocols.

This is his story:

I’m Orin, and I can’t remember

the helicopter trip to the hospital.

Dad told me about it once I came

out of my coma.

It all started in May last year, I was

knocked down by a car as I was crossing

the road, going for a pizza with my

Dad. I was badly hurt but someone rang

999 and they sent the Air Ambulance,

which came very quickly. They gave

me emergency treatment on board their

helicopter and flew me straight to hospital

in Dublin. Dad went with me in the

helicopter and the Gardai drove Mum up

to meet us. Dad said the Air Ambulance

was very quick to arrive, and that’s what

saved my life! He told me that one of

the crew kept giving him the thumbs up,

which made him feel better.

A team of surgeons were waiting for me

at the hospital, and rushed me inside

for scans. I was brought to the ICU and

put into a coma for a whole week. I was

paralysed on my left side and couldn’t

speak for ages. Mum and Dad were up

the walls with worry.

Thankfully, I’m much better after rehab

and physio. I’m back in school with

my friends and can’t wait to play

football again. Mum said my progress

is phenomenal. I feel very lucky that

everyone was so brilliant, especially the

Air Ambulance team. When I was feeling

better the crew even sent me a teddy.

I call him Hero, because they are my

heroes!

Without the Air Ambulance I might not be

here. Mum and Dad have told me that

the Air

Ambulance is a charity and needs our

support. So, please donate now. It will

mean the world to me, and to all the

people the Air Ambulance will be able to

help in the future.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 77


opposing view

Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

8 April 2022

Connacht players, from left,

Mack Hansen, Bundee Aki and

John Porch celebrate their side’s

second try during the Heineken

Champions Cup Round of 16 First

Leg match between Connacht and

Leinster at the Sportsground in

Galway.

78 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


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Head coach

Andy Friend

Andy Friend took over the reins at

Connacht in 2018, joining from the

Australian Sevens team.

His coaching career has taken in wellknown

clubs across both the southern

and northern hemispheres.

The Australia native presided over

Premiership side Harlequins for three

years in the mid-noughties before

returning to Canberra to take the head

coach position with Brumbies.

He also coached Canon Eagles and

Suntory Sungoliath in the Japanese Top

League.

Captain

Jack Carty

Flanker Jarrad Butler held the

role of captain in Ireland’s

western province from 2018,

while Ireland international outhalf

Jack Carty has recently been

named as matchday captain for

the side.

The now 29-year-old has 176

appearances for his province with a

further 11 caps for Ireland.

Originally from Athlone, Carty played

during his formative years with Marist

College and Buccaneers.

connacht squad

DECLAN ADAMSON

HOOKER

BUNDEE AKI

CENTRE/WING

SAM ARNOLD

CENTRE

JACK AUNGIER

TIGHT HEAD PROP

FINLAY BEALHAM

LOOSE HEAD PROP

CAOLIN BLADE

SCRUM HALF

SHAYNE BOLTON

CENTRE

PAUL BOYLE

BACK ROW

DENIS BUCKLEY

LOOSE HEAD PROP

MATTHEW BURKE

LOOSE HEAD PROP

JARRAD BUTLER

BACK ROW

DONNACHA BYRNE

BACK ROW

JACK CARTY

OUTSIDE HALF

TOM DALY

CENTRE

SHANE DELAHUNT

HOOKER

MATTHEW DEVINE

SCRUM HALF

ULTAN DILLANE

LOCK

OISIN DOWLING

LOCK

JORDAN DUGGAN

LOOSE HEAD PROP

TOM FARRELL

CENTRE

LEVA FIFITA

LOCK

CONOR FITZGERALD

OUTSIDE HALF

CATHAL FORDE

OUTSIDE HALF

HUBERT GILVARRY

SCRUM HALF

MACK HANSEN

OUTSIDE HALF

MATT HEALY

WING

DAVID HEFFERNAN

HOOKER

SAM ILLO

TIGHT HEAD PROP

DIARMUID KILGALLEN

WING

KIERAN MARMION

SCRUM HALF

SEAN MASTERSON

BACK ROW

EOGHAN MASTERSON

BACK ROW

OISÍN MCCORMACK

BACK ROW

GREG MCGRATH

TIGHT HEAD PROP

ORAN MCNULTY

FULL BACK/WING

JONNY MURPHY

HOOKER

DARRAGH MURRAY

LOCK

NIALL MURRAY

LOCK

JOSH O’CONNOR

WING

BEN O’DONNELL

FULL BACK/WING

TIERNAN O’HALLORAN

FULL BACK/WING

CONOR OLIVER

FLANKER

ABRAHAM PAPALI’I

NO 8

JOHN PORCH

WING

CIAN PRENDERGAST

LOCK

COLM REILLY

SCRUM HALF

WILL REILLY

SCRUM HALF

PETER ROBB

CENTRE

DOMINIC ROBERTSON-MCCOY

TIGHT HEAD PROP

PETER SULLIVAN

FULL BACK/WING

GAVIN THORNBURY

LOCK

DYLAN TIERNEY MARTIN

HOOKER

TIETIE TUIMAUGA

LOOSE HEAD PROP

CHARLIE WARD

LOOSE HEAD PROP

ALEX WOOTTON

FULL BACK/WING

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 81


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12 Counties, One Club

tallaght

in Focus

RFC

Twenty

years ago,

a directive

came out

from the IRFU

encouraging

the creation

of new rugby

clubs in nontraditional

areas, causing

the creation of

Tallaght RFC.

In the intervening years, the club

has moved from venue to venue,

on terms set down by the Dublin

Council, longing for a place to call

their ‘forever home’.

“We are currently playing out of a

Dublin Council-owned pitch in Firhouse,

across the road from the Community

School,” said Director of Rugby Stephen

Heaney.

“Pitch 100 has been our home for

the last number of years. Two 40-foot

containers serve our facility’s needs,

one as a changing room and one as

a storage room. It is not much by any

standard, but it is home for us, at the

moment.

In recent years, Tallaght has embraced

the positivity and direction that comes

with planning for the future, not just

letting it happen.

“The main point of our Five-Year Plan

is to secure our ‘Forever Home’,” said

Stephen.

“The fact we are renting our pitch from

the Council leaves our future in their

hands. We want to take control of where

we are going as a club.

“Don’t get me wrong, we are grateful for

the facilities provided by South Dublin

84 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


County Council. However, we cannot put

down plans to grow and evolve when we

don’t own our own land.

“It would be lovely to have our own

place. That is what we are working on.

We are meeting with schools in the area.

We are meeting with councillors, all in

the name of having our own home.”

The absence of a long-term lease or

ownership of the land prevents the club

from applying for the significant grants

they need to build a clubhouse and

install modern facilities, like floodlights.

“Until we have the money to buy a

home, we can’t apply for those larger

grants,” he said.

It is akin to having their hands tied

behind their backs when there is a plate

of possibilities staring them in the face.

There is no reason why Tallaght shouldn’t

think bigger and better when it is located

in the heart of a rising population area,

catering to 75,000 locals with 10

secondary schools containing 6,000

students.

The large volume of housing makes for a

steady stream of potential new members.

This has been partly tapped into by a

doubling of men’s and women’s numbers

in recent years, albeit coming from a low

base.

Following a spate of vandalism acts

within their allocated grounds, the

club created a ‘GoFundMe’ for their

permanent home, raising just over

€35,000 and growing.

bring to an area as large and diverse as

Tallaght.

The club is constantly in search of a

piece of land, within Dublin 24, that

it can develop, and make its own.

Chairman Niall Mahon is doing

incredible work in the background to

help make this dream a reality.

It would certainly make for an increase

in numbers from the current base of

250 players, based on what it has been

able to do to date, without the basics of

running water and toilets.

The support from the wider rugby

community has been incredibly heartwarming

with many domestic clubs

rowing in behind them to help.

They have also garnered support from

professional sports stars, like Cian Healy,

Donncha O’Callaghan, CJ Stander, Sene

Naoupu, Lindsay Peat, Alan Quinlan, to

name a few.

They got involved because they

understand the huge benefit rugby can

Tallaght is also one of the few clubs

aiming to have the same number of

men’s and women’s teams as early as

next season.

“Our Ladies Development Officer,

Martina Fitzpatrick, has been with the

club for a long time and has been at the

helm of women’s recruitment. We have

a new women’s coach in Sean Bishop,

who has made a three-year commitment

with us, along with two senior men’s

players as backs and forwards coaches

helping out too,” issues Stephen.

There has been considerable uptake

in sponsorship. Tallaght based

entrepreneurs have put close to €20,000

into the men’s, women’s and now youths

teams. All the teams are fully kitted out in

the branding of local company logos.

The club is leading the field in growing

numbers through its online presence,

using smart and creative social media

campaigns to generate enough interest

for new members to join the club.

“The way things are going you have to

have a big social media presence and

we are very lucky with the work our club

PRO Emma Louise Keogh is doing on this

front,” adds Stephen.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 85


“She is always pushing fun ideas and

links in regularly with Leinster and the

IRFU which makes for thousands of

exposures for such a small club. It just

puts us on the rugby map a little more.”

Sponsorship has come from people with

Tallaght close to their hearts or locals

looking to help. They include 123ink.

ie, PeachyLean, Inivo Medical, Tadhg

Riordan Motors, Windsor Motors and

this list is growing.

As a local parish community club, it

has been able to get support from the

professional side of the game. benefiting

from a training day with former Ireland

coach Joe Schmidt as well as kicking and

skills sessions with Ireland U-20 coach

Richie Murphy.

In addition, Colin McEntee, the Director

of the IRFU Domestic Game, has joined

the club for a few training sessions, along

with Ultan and Donncha O’Callaghan

who hosted an evening of talks with

senior men’s players ahead of a final

back in 2020.

There have also been supporting

video messages from Mike McCarthy,

O’Callaghan, Tommy Bowe, Ellis Genge

and Wallaby Dane Haylett-Petty wishing

the players well for various matches.

At the moment, there are two men’s

teams competing from 65 registered

players. The women’s squad has 30

registered players and there are plans

afoot to create a second team as soon as

next season. There are age-grade teams

in the youths section and a growing minis

group from six to 13 years of age.

Tag rugby will take place in the summer,

running to eight teams from a total

playing membership of 250. There

are also a number of Leinster referees

registered within the club, such as

Audrey Fulham, who started playing on

the women’s team in the second row.

“We can only hope to continue the

growth of referees within the club and

see them excel and grow in the way

Audrey has,” says Stephen.

There has been a lot done. There is so

much more to do. Imagine what could be

achieved if Tallaght RFC actually had a

pitch, a clubhouse.

A ‘Forever Home’.

86 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


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88 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


alex

soroka

THE ACADEMY

INTERVIEW

BY PAUL CAHILL

On February 11, 2022, a

week before his 21st

birthday, Alex Soroka

was flying high.

He had just come off

the bench for his first

senior appearance

of the season in

Leinster’s 26-7 win

over Edinburgh at the

RDS Arena.

Less than two weeks later, his

world was rocked as Ukraine, the

birthplace of his brother and his

parents, was invaded by Russia.

With his grandmother and lots of friends

and family still in Ukraine, it has been

an incredibly tough time for the Soroka

family in Dublin.

“I watch the news just to make sure I’m

caught up with what is going on over

there each day,” reflects the Leinster

Academy back row.

“It’s tough, but at the same time it’s not

tough for me at all. There’s nothing wrong

with me and a shell isn’t going to hit my

house. Sometimes it can get to me but

then I remember what they are going

through in Ukraine and it’s a completely

different story.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 89


“It’s more that I feel a bit helpless

sometimes, because I’m here and they

are there and I feel like I can’t do much.”

Alex was born in Ireland shortly after

his parents, Tanya and Vassyl, moved

to Cork with their six-year-old son, Ivan.

Their daughter, Dasha, was born a few

years later after the family moved to

Dublin.

His rugby adventures started in Bective

Rangers, following in the footsteps of big

brother Ivan, before going to school and

representing Belvedere College.

It wasn’t long before representative

honours came his way and he has worn

the green jersey of Ireland on numerous

occasions across two U-20 Six Nations

campaigns.

Like so many young people his age in

Ireland, Alex is very aware and equally

proud of his Irish and Ukrainian roots.

“I’ve lived here my whole life but I

consider myself as much Ukrainian as I

do Irish. All of my extended family are in

Ukraine. I don’t have any Irish relatives,

but at the same time, I was born here

and I grew up here so I feel half and half

basically.”

Having made his Leinster Rugby debut

last year against Glasgow, Soroka has

impressed the coaches, earning further

caps against Zebre and Edinburgh,

despite a frustrating injury lay-off earlier

this year.

But, for the time being, his rugby career

is very much secondary on his mind as

he and his family do all they can for their

extended family in Ukraine.

“My granny is still there. I speak to her

on the phone a lot. I have one aunt in

London but all of my other aunts, uncles

and cousins are in Ukraine right now.

“My father’s family are all in Kyiv and my

mother’s family are all in Dnipropetrovsk,

which is further down the Dnipro river. It is

worrying though because Dnipropetrovsk

is in the south-east and the Russians could

go there next. Thankfully, nothing bad has

happened to any of them at the moment.”

His use of the phrase “at the moment” is

well founded given the proximity of both

sides of his family to the ongoing war. His

mother’s family, based in Dnipropetrovsk,

are roughly 500km south-east of Kyiv. The

fighting and the shelling that he referenced

earlier is all too real for them all.

The one bit of solace that Alex takes from

his daily calls to Ukraine is the incredible

strength and calmness that he hears from

his extended family.

“My granny is doing fine. I don’t know if

it’s the Ukrainian nature, but they are so

tough. When we are talking to her, it’s

like we are more stressed than she is.

“My mum and dad’s friends are the

same. They are so calm about everything.

My dad says that if he was over there it

would be easier, because he would be

there and wouldn’t be as stressed all the

way over here.”

We all watched the news in horror as

the war intensified throughout parts of

Ukraine.

A sense of helplessness fell on most

people. Soroka and his family decided

that they had to do something.

Knowing the city of Kyiv well, and seeing

the images of injured children, they

decided to start a GoFundMe page,

which has been a huge success.

“The Okhmadyt Children’s Hospital is

the biggest in Ukraine. So, when

everything started over there, we were

trying to help our family and friends by

sending what we can and giving what

we can. But, I started to think, what else

can I do? Because you do feel helpless

over here. You are so far away from

everything.

“I had seen a few GoFundMe campaigns

before, so I thought I would start one.

We thought that there’s no better place

90 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


to send the money than the children’s

hospital.

“A section of the hospital was actually

shelled around the time I started the

campaign. A lot of the kids in there

are having to get their treatment done

underground.

“My dad got in contact with the hospital

so the logistics of sending the money

are sorted. I’ll probably keep it running

for another few weeks. But, if we can

help some of the injured kids back to full

health, hopefully it can be of help.”

The goodwill of the Irish people was

clear as the campaign grew quickly.

“The original goal was €5,000. I didn’t

really know what amount to put the goal

as. We hit that within a few hours so I

doubled it. Then we hit that quickly so I

doubled it again.

“I moved it up to €50,000 and see how

it goes, but we’re nearly there now.”

Incredibly, the campaign is now just shy

of €48,000 having been posted less

than three weeks ago.

“The day I put it live, all of the Leinster

players supported it and shared it across

their social media pages. All my friends

and teammates in Clontarf shared it too,

so it got great exposure and I’m really

grateful for that.”

That support Alex talks about has come

from all four corners of Ireland.

“Cork Constitution FC gave a great

contribution. I had no idea they were

doing a fundraiser. We played them a

few weeks ago with Clontarf and Donal

Lenihan came up to me after the match

and gave me an envelope to add to the

fund. That was really nice.

“UCD Rugby Club also gave a donation

after our game last week which was

really nice from them. When you see

things like that, it makes you proud to be

a part of the rugby community.”

Those trips in the Energia AIL with Clontarf

FC, and training in UCD with the Leinster

Academy are the few hours each week

that Alex isn’t thinking about the war. It’s

a good distraction for the 21-year-old,

knowing that everyone at Clontarf and

Leinster Rugby is behind him.

“Not that you ever forget that the war

is going on, but coming into UCD to

train gives you something else to focus

on for the time that I’m with the team. It

definitely helps. It’s good to blow some

steam off doing a gym session and it puts

you in a better headspace overall.

“The lads have been great. The

support has been unbelievable.

The whole squad here in Leinster,

and all of the coaches have

been so supportive. Everyone has

said that if there’s anything they can do

to help, they would love to do it. It means

a lot.”

This year, before the war began, rugby

had brought the Soroka family a lot of

big days out together as Alex, and his

older brother, Ivan, who has previously

played with tonight’s opponents

Connacht, finally got to play on the same

team.

“Ivan is about six or seven years older

than me so when we were growing up

we never had a chance to play together.

I signed back with Clontarf during Covid,

but, obviously we didn’t get a chance to

play any games.

“I picked up an injury at the start of

this season and I only got back in

January. My first game back was against

Garryowen and I finally got to play on

the same team as my brother. That was

special. It’s probably my favourite rugby

memory.

“We were waiting for a long time, and

my parents were waiting for a long time

too. They were happier than we were.

My sister Dasha was there as well so it

was special. It was just a really good day

out. We won, thankfully. It would have

been an anti-climax if we lost!

“I think we’ve played nine games

together this year for Clontarf and my

parents have been to every one of them.

They’ve travelled down to Cork for away

games and everything.”

Having that Clontarf Rugby Club

community support has clearly been a

great help to the entire Soroka family.

Between the players and the supporters,

92 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


the club has raised more than €6,000 for

the campaign.

The club is now working on helping as

many Ukrainians as possible who move

into the area.

“A lot of families have moved into

Clontarf, and the rugby club has set up a

training session for Ukrainian kids. It’s on

Mondays at 5.30pm in the rugby club.

“Rugby isn’t very popular in Ukraine, but

it’s just great that they have somewhere

for the kids to run around and have a bit

of craic. There’s so many examples of that

goodwill around Ireland.

“I couldn’t ask for anymore from the

players, staff and the people behind the

scenes at Clontarf. My family and I really

appreciate it. It’s nice to be a part of a

club like that.”

From a rugby perspective, Alex is focused

on impressing the Leinster coaches and

adding to his three caps to date, as

well as repaying Clontarf for all of their

support with some silverware.

“We’ve been going well this season with

Clontarf and we’re into the play-offs.

we’ll just try

and help out

as much as we

can. We’ll keep

organising

things to help

the Ukrainians

coming over to

Ireland.

We’re playing Cork Con at home in the

semi-final, so hopefully we can bring it

home.”

More importantly, Alex and his family are

focused on helping Ukrainians arriving

in Ireland as well as doing anything they

can for family and friends back home in

Ukraine.

“Looking ahead, we’ll just try and help

out as much as we can. We’ll keep

organising things to help the Ukrainians

coming over to Ireland.

“There are a few Facebook groups that

we’re in, so if somebody sees a good

donation page, we’ll share it, or help set

up a meet and greet for Ukrainians who

have just come in at St Stephen’s Green

on Saturdays. All of that kind of stuff.

“It’s very daunting for the Ukrainians who

are coming over here now. Especially the

children.

“It’s a new environment, a new language,

a new climate, a new everything. Small

things we can do to help them to make

their lives a little bit easier, can go a long

way.”

94 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


If you

would like

to support

the Soroka

family

GoFundMe

campaign

which is

raising

funds for the

Okhmadyt

Children’s

Hospital

in Ukraine,

please

donate here.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 95


Success in rugby is about collective excellence,

the sort of excellence demonstrated last season

by Stade Toulousain when they memorably

clinched a record-breaking fifth Heineken

Champions Cup title, and by Montpellier Hérault

Rugby who lifted the EPCR Challenge Cup for

the second time in their history.

But within a group of players there is always

the opportunity for individual brilliance and

that is where the EPCR European Player of the

Year award comes in. This prestigious accolade,

won with such style in 2021 by the outstanding

Antoine Dupont, is in the spotlight once again

following announcement of this season’s 15

nominees who are now vying to claim the

Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy.

Voting remains open and fans will be in the

running to win a signed ball and a signed jersey

courtesy of one of the Heineken Champions

Cup finalist clubs. The list will be reduced

to five candidates after the semi-finals by a

combination of the public vote and the verdict

of the judging panel, and players who have not

been included in the initial longlist, but who

make a significant impact during the knockout

stages, may be considered for the shortlist.

The voting will then re-open and the winner of

the 2022 award will be announced following the

Heineken Champions Cup final in Marseille.

JUDGING PANEL

Erik Bonneval (beIN SPORTS),

Bryan Habana (two-time

Heineken Champions Cup

winner), Lee McKenzie

(Channel 4), Alan Quinlan

(Virgin Media and two-time

Heineken Cup winner) and

Dimitri Yachvili (France

Télévisions)

ROLL OF HONOUR

2021: Antoine Dupont (Stade

Toulousain); 2020: Sam

Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs);

2019: Alex Goode (Saracens);

2018: Leone Nakarawa

(Racing 92); 2017: Owen

Farrell (Saracens); 2016: Maro

Itoje (Saracens); 2015: Nick

Abendanon (ASM Clermont

Auvergne); 2014: Steffon

Armitage (RC Toulon); 2013:

Jonny Wilkinson (RC Toulon);

2012: Rob Kearney (Leinster

Rugby); 2011: Sean O’Brien

(Leinster Rugby); 2010: Ronan

O’Gara (Munster Rugby –

best player of first 15 years of

European professional club

competitions)


GRÉGORY GRÉGORY ALLDRITT GRÉGORY ALLDRITT ALEX ALLDRITT DOMBRANDT

ALEX DOMBRANDT

ALEX DOMBRANDT CAELAN CAELAN DORIS CAELAN DORIS DORIS

STADE ROCHELAIS STADE ROCHELAIS

STADE ROCHELAIS HARLEQUINS HARLEQUINS HARLEQUINS LEINSTER RUGBYLEINSTER RUGBY

ANTOINE ANTOINE DUPONT ANTOINE DUPONT DUPONT GAËL FICKOU GAËL FICKOU GAËL FICKOU GEORGE FORDGEORGE FORD

STADE TOULOUSAIN

STADE TOULOUSAIN

STADE TOULOUSAIN RACING 92 RACING RACING 92 LEICESTER 92 LEICESTER TIGERS LEICESTER TIGERS TIGERS

MICHAEL MICHAEL LOWRY MICHAEL LOWRY JIMMY LOWRYO’BRIEN

JIMMY JIMMY O’BRIEN JACK O’BRIEN O’DONOGHUE

JACK O’DONOGHUE

JACK O’DONOGHUE

ULSTER RUGBY ULSTER ULSTER RUGBY RUGBY LEINSTER RUGBYLEINSTER RUGBY MUNSTER RUGBYMUNSTER RUGBY

DAMIAN DAMIAN PENAUD DAMIAN PENAUD SEMI PENAUD RADRADRA

SEMI RADRADRA

SEMI RADRADRA SAM SIMMONDS SAM SIMMONDS

SAM SIMMONDS

ASM CLERMONT ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE

ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE BRISTOL AUVERGNE BEARS BRISTOL BRISTOL BEARS BEARS EXETER CHIEFS EXETER EXETER CHIEFS CHIEFS

MARCUS MARCUS SMITH MARCUS SMITH JOSH SMITH VAN JOSH DER VAN JOSH FLIER DER VAN FLIER CAMERON DER FLIER CAMERON WOKI CAMERON WOKI WOKI

HARLEQUINS HARLEQUINS HARLEQUINS LEINSTER RUGBYLEINSTER UNION RUGBY BORDEAUX-BÈGLES

UNION BORDEAUX-BÈGLES

UNION VOTE NOW

EPCRUGBY.COM/EPOTY

#EPOTY2022


Leinster Rugby Academy

Year Three 2021/22:

Leinster Rugby Academy

Year two 2021/22:

Second Row

Brian Deeny

DOB: 02/03/2000

HEIGHT: 1.99m WEIGHT: 121kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (8 caps)

Did You Know: Brian played youth rugby with Wexford

Wanderers RFC. He got his first Irish cap playing for

Ireland Under-18 Sevens. Brian played midfield for

his school St Peter’s College in Gaelic football and

reached the All-Ireland Colleges Final in 2017. He is

currently studying Science in Trinity and lives in Abbey

House B&B, Wexford...if you are looking for a room?!

Instagram: brian_deeny

wing

Niall Comerford

DOB: 06/04/2000

HEIGHT: 1.83m WEIGHT: 86kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20

Did You Know: Niall played both hurling and Gaelic

football with Kilmacud Crokes for 14 years. He also

represented Dublin in Gaelic football in the U17

Leinster Championship. He is currently studying

Commerce in UCD.

Instagram: niall_c123

Cormac Foley #1299

DOB: 24/10/1999

HEIGHT: 1.81m WEIGHT: 88kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (9 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (2 caps)

Marcus Hanan #1295

DOB: 03/10/2000

HEIGHT:1.8m WEIGHT:110.91kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (2 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (3 caps)

Scrum Half

Did You Know: Started playing rugby with Greystones

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

of show jumping and he is now studying Economics and

Finance in UCD.

Instagram: cormacfoley6

prop

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

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

played rugby in Old Wesley before coaching back at Clane

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

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

Management in Griffith College. Instagram: @marcus_hanan

Back Row

Martin Moloney #1300

DOB: 19/10/1999

HEIGHT: 1.88m WEIGHT: 99kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (5 caps) &

Leinster Rugby (5 caps)

Did You Know: Martin played hurling for Kildare and

played GAA and basketball for his secondary school,

Knockbeg College, and local GAA club, St Laurence’s.

He played his youth rugby with Athy RFC. He is now

studying Business and Law in UCD, He also enjoys

working on the family farm. Instagram: martin_moloney

Second Row

Joe McCarthy #1303

DOB: 26/03/2001

HEIGHT: 1.95m WEIGHT: 119kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps) &

Leinster Rugby (5 caps)

Did You Know: Joe started playing rugby with Blackrock

College RFC at the age of six before moving to

Willow Park and then Blackrock College. He was also

on the Blackrock swim team for five years. He’s currently

studying Global Business in Trinity College Dublin.

Instagram: joetmmcc

Second Row

Charlie Ryan

DOB: 03/02/1999

HEIGHT: 2.01m WEIGHT: 115kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (15 caps)

Did You Know: Charlie played youth rugby at Blackrock

College RFC while also attending the school since

Senior Infants. He captained Ireland to the U20 Grand

Slam in 2019 and again for the U20s World Cup. His

friends call him Chuck! He is currently studying Business

and Legal Studies in UCD.

Instagram: chuck_ryan5

hooker

John McKee

DOB: 15/02/2000

HEIGHT: 1.82m WEIGHT: 105kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (12 caps)

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

at Campbell College where he won a Senior Cup. He

was involved with Ulster at age grade level until moving

to Dublin after school. He also has multiple medals

from Northern Irish Schools Judo competitions.

Instagram: johnmckee_

Centre

Liam Turner #1287

DOB: 14/07/1999

HEIGHT: 1.73m WEIGHT: 91kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (10 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (6 caps)

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

of six at Blackrock College RFC. He later joined

Blackrock College and was part of the 2018 Senior Cup

winning team. He was also part of the Ireland U20 team

that went on to win the 2019 Grand Slam. Liam currently

studys BESS in Trinity College. Instagram: liamtn123

Centre / Full Back

Jamie Osborne #1294

DOB: 16/11/2001

HEIGHT:1.93m WEIGHT:96.82kg

HONOURS: Leinster Rugby (16 caps)

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

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

while his dad played rugby all throughout his life and

his mum played hockey. Other than rugby, Jamie loves

all sports especially soccer, GAA and NFL. Jamie is

currently in a house with fellow Leinster Academy players

Brian Deeny, Martin Moloney and Max O’Reilly.

Instagram: @jamieosborne01

98 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Seán O’Brien #1297

Lee Barron

Back Row

DOB: 31/07/2000

HEIGHT: 1.90m WEIGHT: 103kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (2 caps)

Did You Know: Seán started playing rugby at age

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

He then played on the Junior and Senior Cup

teams in Blackrock College. He is currently studying

Economics and Finance in UCD

Instagram: seanobrien456

Hooker

DOB: 15/02/2001

HEIGHT: 1.91m WEIGHT: 108kg

Did You Know: Lee played golf growing up in the

Castle Golf Club and in the end was playing off a

handicap of eight. He has family roots in Carlow but

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

As well as rugby with his school, he also played

GAA and even lined out in Croke Park.

Instagram: @lleebarron

Max O’Reilly #1291

Chris Cosgrave #1305

Full Back

DOB: 26/02/2000

HEIGHT: 1.85m WEIGHT: 86kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps) &

Leinster Rugby (8 caps)

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

Business and Management in DIT. His preferred sport

was soccer until about the age of 15, which he had

played at centre midfield with Enniskerry FC for over 10

years and also for Wicklow.

Instagram: max_oreilly

full back

DOB: 24/07/2001

HEIGHT:1.83m WEIGHT:85kg

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

he is also an Ad Astra scholar studying Agricultural

Science. His athleticism is best highlighted by his feats

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

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

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

a young age with Old Belvedere RFC.

Instagram: @chriscosgrave1

Andrew Smith #1292

Mark Hernan

DOB: 21/07/2000

HEIGHT: 1.83m WEIGHT: 91kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps) &

Leinster Rugby (2 caps)

DOB: 04/07/2000

HEIGHT: 1.88m WEIGHT: 99kg

HONOURS: Leinster Rugby (1 cap)

Back Three

Did You Know: Andrew is currently studying Quantity

Surveying and Construction Economics in TUD. In

2019, he won the Leinster Schools Senior Cup with St

Michael’s College. Andrew also played Gaelic football

with his local club - Clanna Gael Fontenoy GAA Club.

Instagram: andrew.sm1th

Flanker

Did You Know: Mark was coached by Ross Molony,

Josh Murphy, Ross Byrne and Nick McCarthy when in

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

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

for Connacht seniors and Ireland u25s.

Instagram: @mark_hernani

Alex Soroka #1296

Temi Lasisi #1304

Back Row

DOB: 19/02/2001

HEIGHT: 1.95m WEIGHT: 104.5kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (7 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (3 caps)

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

Ukraine shortly before his birth. He was born in Cork

before moving to Dublin.

Instagram: alex._.soroka

prop

DOB: 09/05/2001

HEIGHT: 1.78m WEIGHT: 115.8kg

HONOURS: Leinster Rugby (1 cap)

Did You Know: The TUD Mechanical Engineering

student originally picked up the oval ball in Enniscorthy

before later moving to Lansdowne FC. Temi rose

through the ranks in the Youths system, his first outing

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

He also describes himself as a ‘competent

pianist’. Instagram: @lasisi.temi

Leinster Rugby Academy

Year one 2021/22:

Scrum half

Ben Murphy

DOB: 23/04/2001

HEIGHT: 1.75m WEIGHT: 80kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (1 cap)

Did You Know: Ben played all different sports growing

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

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

in UCD. Ben’s father Richie played for Leinster

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

the current Ireland U-20s head coach. I

nstagram: @ben._murphy01

Jack Boyle

DOB: 10/03/2002

HEIGHT: 1.85m WEIGHT: 106kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (9 caps)

Rob Russell #1302

DOB: 13/01/1999

HEIGHT: 1.83m WEIGHT: 90kg

HONOURS: Leinster Rugby (3 caps)

Prop

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

and Eric, all represented Old Wesley rugby club for

years. His cousin Stephen Boyle also represented the

Leinster Rugby youths. Jack is currently studying for a

Commerce Degree in UCD.

Instagram: @jackboyle1

Full Back / Wing

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

Business and Management in DIT. He started playing

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

played football up to minor level with Kilmacud Crokes

and it took priority over rugby until he left school.

Instagram: @robrussell7

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 99


celebrating International

Women’s Day

Leinster Rugby celebrated

International Women’s Day

with a week full of activities.

Among these was a new initiative

encouraging members of the

Area U-18 Girls squads to referee,

under supervision, at the Girls

U-10 and U-12 Festivals on the

Friday night.

Among those who took up the challenge

was Blathnaid Smith, a member of the

PortDara Leinster U-18 Cup-winning side

and a member of the North Midlands

team in the 2022 Sarah Robinson Cup.

Joining, Playing,

Refereeing - A

Youth Player’s View

BY BLATHNAID SMITH

When I was about nine years

old, my dad brought me down

to Portarlington rugby club. We

went down one Saturday when

there were a few matches on and

it just went from there. I’ve been

playing ever since.

Once I began playing U-18, I was old

enough to be selected for the North

Midlands team, but unfortunately, I did

not get on.

That year, I realized how much I loved

rugby and was gutted not to be put

forward for the team. Then I decided

to work really hard for what I wanted

to achieve. So, I went running, and

practiced all my rugby skills to improve

myself as a player and a person so they

could do nothing but pick me for the

team.

As we went into lockdown in 2020, I was

picked to play on the North Midlands

U-18 team. We didn't get to play any

matches for the North Midlands that year

due to Covid-19.

My first match with the team was one

year later in 2021. We played Midlands

in Edenderry as a warm-up game. This

was to prepare ourselves to face them in

Donnybrook in the Sarah Robinson Cup.

We won that match and it was great to

be playing.

As a North Midlands player, I was asked,

‘Would I be interested in refereeing

minis?’ This was an opportunity not to be

missed as I love the game of rugby and I

wanted to help encourage young girls to

play the sport.

During my Transition Year, I had

completed the Minis Coaching course

with Leinster Rugby. I loved coaching

girls and I felt that refereeing was a great

idea.

I had a bit of learning to do on the

laws of rugby before then. We did a

refereeing module with Sean Gallagher,

the Referee Development Manager for

Leinster Rugby. It was a very informative

session on anything we didn't understand,

this helped to educate us further on the

laws of rugby.

It really showed me the work referees

put in in preparing to referee a game is

equally important as that of the player in

preparation for playing. It was great to

hear from people with lots of experience

in refereeing the game.

Joy Neville was a special guest; she was

a great player and a great role model

as a pro referee. I learned it's all about

fundamentals of refereeing.

With all this prep, we finally got to Friday,

11 March, the North Midlands Girls Mini

Festival. I was a bit nervous because I

wanted to do well.

I was amazed at the sheer number of

girls playing rugby in the U-10s and

U-12s, it was fabulous. I refereed the

U-10s where they know their rugby.

I wasn't sure if they knew what an offside

rule was. But, they explained it to me, it

was delightful for the girls to know all the

laws of rugby. The games were excellent,

the girls were driving with the ball, a few

dummies and steps mixed in. Everybody,

including me, was delighted when a

try was scored. It didn't matter if it was

against you or for you. Everybody was

happy to be playing rugby.

I would suggest minis rugby refereeing to

all players. If you are stepping away from

playing for whatever reason, refereeing

could be for you. It's so much fun and

time flies. It was a wonderful experience

and really enjoyable.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 101


Date

25/09

03/10

09/10

16/10

22/10

27/11

03/12

11/12

1/12

1/01

22/01

29/01

11/02

19/02

25/02

05/03

12/03

26/03

02/05

08/04

KO/

Result

W

31-3

W

7-6

W

43-7

Opposiotion Venue 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 1 2

URC VODACOM

BULLS

URC DRAGONS

Aviva

Stadium

Rodney

Parade

URC ZEBRE RDS Arena J O’BRIEN

KEENAN O’LOUGHLIN RINGROSE FRAWLEY LOWE

SEXTON

3C 1P

MCGRATH

PORTER

1T

SHEEHAN

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

A BYRNE

2T

OSBORNE

FRAWLEY

W

50-15 URC SCARLETS RDS Arena KEENAN LARMOUR RINGROSE FRAWLEY

1C

W

31-15

URC GLASGOW

Scotstoun

Stadium

KEENAN

1T

A BYRNE

1T

L

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

1T

W

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

1T

W

45-20 HCC BATH Aviva

Stadium

L

0-28

W

89-7

W

64-7

L

29-27

W

26-7

W

29-7

W

21-13

HCC MONTPELLIER

GGL (Altrad)

Stadium

KEENAN

1T

HCC MONTPELLIER RDS Arena KEENAN

HCC BATH

URC

CARDIFF

RUGBY

Recreation

Ground

Cardiff Arms

Park

LARMOUR

1T

LOWE

RINGROSE FRAWLEY LOWE

FRAWLEY

HENSHAW

LARMOUR RINGROSE FRAWLEY

LARMOUR

LOWE

LOWE

1T

H BYRNE

SEXTON

1C 1P

R BYRNE

4C 1P

R BYRNE

1C 1P

H BYRNE

5C

R BYRNE

5C

MCGRATH

GIBSON-PARK

MCGRATH

E BYRNE

1T

PORTER

1T

HEALY

CRONIN

1T

KELLEHER

1T

KELLEHER

1T

MCGRATH E BYRNE TRACY

MCGRATH

GIBSON-PARK

2T

HEALY

PORTER

- - - - - - - - -

KEENAN

1T

LARMOUR

1T

LARMOUR

1T

RINGROSE

RINGROSE

FRAWLEY

HENSHAW

J O’BRIEN

1T

J O’BRIEN

4T

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

URC EDINBURGH RDS Arena OSBORNE T O’BRIEN O’LOUGHLIN FRAWLEY KEARNEY

URC OSPREYS RDS Arena J O’BRIEN

URC

EMIRATES

LIONS

W

17-61 URC BENETTON Stadio

Monigo

L

13-18 URC ULSTER Kingspan

Stadium

W

45-8

LARMOUR

1T

OSBORNE H BYRNE KEARNEY

RDS Arena O’REILLY T O’BRIEN OSBORNE H BYRNE

J O’BRIEN

2T 1C

URC CONNACHT Sportsground J O’BRIEN

W

34-19 URC MUNSTER Thomond

Park

LARMOUR

1T

KEARNEY

1T

OSBORNE H BYRNE T O’BRIEN

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

KEENAN

W

26-21 HCC CONNACHT Sportsground KEENAN

1T

15/04 17:30 HCC CONNACHT

23/04 17:15 URC CELL C

SHARKS

30/04 16:15 URC DHL

STORMERS

20|21/05 19:00 URC MUNSTER

fixtures and

results 2021/22

Aviva

Stadium

Jonsson

Kings Park

Green Point

Stadium

Aviva

Stadium

T O’BRIEN

2T

J O’BRIEN

1T

OSBORNE

RINGROSE

1T

FRAWLEY

1T

HENSHAW

J O’BRIEN RINGROSE HENSHAW

O’LOUGHLIN

1T

LOWE

2T

LOWE

2T

R BYRNE

1T 7C

SEXTON

5C

R BYRNE

3C 2P

R BYRNE

3C

R BYRNE

3C 1P

R BYRNE

3C

R BYRNE

1T 7C

R BYRNE

1C 2P

R BYRNE

1C

R BYRNE

1P 4C

SEXTON

1C 2P

GIBSON-PARK

1T

MCGRATH

PORTER

PORTER

1T

SHEEHAN

1T

KELLEHER

1T

KELLEHER

KELLEHER

MCGRATH E BYRNE CRONIN

N MCCARTHY

1T

MCGRATH

E BYRNE

HEALY

1T

TRACY

TRACY

N MCCARTHY E BYRNE TRACY

MCGRATH

DOOLEY

CRONIN

2T

MCGRATH DOOLEY TRACY

MCGRATH DOOLEY TRACY

GIBSON-PARK E BYRNE TRACY

MCGRATH HEALY SHEEHAN

102 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


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

ALAALATOA MOLONY J RYAN RUDDOCK

VAN DER FLIER

1T

ALAALATOA MOLONY RYAN RUDDOCK VAN DER FLIER

ALAALATOA BAIRD TONER LEAVY

FURLONG MOLONY RYAN

DORIS

2T

PENNY

1T

VAN DER FLIER

DORIS

DEEGAN

1T

RUDDOCK

CONAN

FURLONG MOLONY BAIRD DORIS LEAVY CONAN

TRACY

1T

E BYRNE HEALY BAIRD DEEGAN GIBSON-PARK

R BYRNE

1T 1C

TRACY E BYRNE HEALY BAIRD LEAVY N MCCARTHY C FRAWLEY

KELLEHER

1T

SHEEHAN

2T

SHEEHAN

1T

DOOLEY HEALY MOLONY DEEGAN N MCCARTHY

HEALY

1T

ALAALATOA BAIRD RUDDOCK MCGRATH

SEXTON

4C

R BYRNE

3C

OSBORNE

S PENNY

[UNUSED]

RUSSELL

T O’BRIEN

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

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

ALA’ALATOA

BAIRD

1T

TONER

RUDDOCK

1T

VAN DER FLIER

DORIS

1T

KELLEHER PORTER ABDALADZE J MURPHY

DEEGAN

1T

N MCCARTHY

R BYRNE

1C

T O’BRIEN

FURLONG

1T

MOLONY BAIRD RUDDOCK

VAN DER FLIER

1T

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

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

FURLONG

MOLONY

1T

J MURPHY

DORIS

VAN DER FLIER

2T

CONAN

2T

SHEEHAN

2T

HEALY

ALAALATOA

1T

RUDDOCK DEEGAN MCGRATH

SEXTON

5C

LOWE

1T

ALAALATOA MOLONY MURPHY DORIS

VAN DER FLIER

1T

CONAN

SHEEHAN

1T

HEALY ABDALADZE BAIRD DEEGAN GIBSON-PARK

R BYRNE

2C

FRAWLEY

1T

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

ALAALATOA MOLONY J MURPHY MOLONEY

ALAALATOA MOLONY BAIRD MOLONEY

ALAALATOA

1T

PENNY

1T

PENNY

1T

DEEGAN

1T

CRONIN

DOOLEY

ABDALADZE

1T

TONER SOROKA MCGRATH H BYRNE RUSSELL

DEEGAN CRONIN DOOLEY CLARKSON DUNNE RUDDOCK N MCCARTHY A BYRNE

TONER J MCCARTHY J MURPHY LEAVY RUDDOCK CRONIN DOOLEY CLARKSON DUNNE DEEGAN MCGRATH A BYRNE

CLARKSON MOLONY J MCCARTHY RUDDOCK PENNY

ALAALATOA MOLONY J MCCARTHY RUDDOCK PENNY

ALAALATOA MOLONY J MCCARTHY RUDDOCK PENNY

DEEGAN

1T

DEEGAN

1T

DEEGAN

1T

TRACY

2T

LOWE

1T

PENNY

1T

E BYRNE ALAALATOA TONER LEAVY FOLEY O’LOUGHLIN KEARNEY

CRONIN LASISI CLARKSON TONER LEAVY N MCCARTHY HAWKSHAW MOLONEY

CRONIN E BYRNE CLARKSON J MURPHY MOLONEY N MCCARTHY

HAWKSHAW

1T 4C

ALAALATOA TONER DUNNE DORIS VAN DER FLIER CONAN SHEEHAN HEALY FURLONG MOLONY MURPHY MCGRATH FRAWLEY DEEGAN

COSGRAVE

FURLONG MOLONY J MURPHY DORIS VAN DER FLIER CONAN TRACY E BYRNE ALAALATOA TONER DEEGAN GIBSON-PARK

R BYRNE

1P

FRAWLEY

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 103


matchday

Squads officials

REFEREE

LUKE PEARCE

(ENG)

ASSISTANT REFEREE

DANIEL JONES

(ENG)

ASSISTANT REFEREE

PAUL DIX (

ENG)

Hugo Keenan

Jimmy O’Brien

Garry Ringrose

Robbie Henshaw

James Lowe

Johnny Sexton [C]

15

14

13

12

11

10

9

FULL BACK

RIGHT WING

OUTSIDE CENTRE

INSIDE CENTRE

LEFT WING

FLY HALF

Tiernan O’Halloran

John Porch

Tom Farrell

Bundee Aki

Mack Hansen

Jack Carty [C]

TMO

TOM FOLEY

(ENG)

CITING COMMISSIONER

STUART SCOTT

(WAL)

Jamison Gibson-Park

SCRUM HALF

Caolin Blade

Andrew Porter

Rónan Kelleher

Tadhg Furlong

Ross Molony

Josh Murphy

Caelan Doris

Josh van der Flier

Jack Conan

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

LOOSE HEAD PROP Matthew Burke

FRONT PAGE

HOOKER Dave Heffernan

TIGHT HEAD PROP Finlay Bealham

SECOND ROW Gavin Thornbury

SECOND ROW Leva Fifita

BLINDSIDE FLANKER Cian Prendergast

OPENSIDE FLANKER Conor Oliver

NUMBER 8 Jarrad Butler

Dan Sheehan

Ed Byrne

Michael Ala’alatoa

Devin Toner

Rhys Ruddock

Luke McGrath

Ross Byrne

Ciarán Frawley

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

Jonny Murphy

Denis Buckley

Jack Aungier

Oisin Dowling

Abraham Papali’i

Kieran Marmion

Sammy Arnold

Conor Fitzgerald


At Sword we know how important the Game is.

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

and enjoy yourself, you're in safe hands.

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

Dublin: 01-6688220

info@swordsecurity.com

www.swordsecurity.com

Securing Sports Fans around the World.


Parting Shot

Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

8 April 2022

Jonathan Sexton of Leinster

before the Heineken Champions

Cup Round of 16 first leg match

between Connacht and Leinster at

the Sportsground in Galway.

106 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


RUGBY.

DELIVERED.

TEAMWORK. SPEED. DELIVERY. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE

OFFICIAL LOGISTICS PARTNER. DHL.

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