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Leinster vs Toulouse

Leinster | Official Matchday Programme of Leinster Rugby | Issue 12 Leinster vs Toulouse | EPCR Heineken Champions Cup Saturday 14th May, 2022 | KO 3pm | Aviva Stadium

Leinster | Official Matchday Programme of Leinster Rugby | Issue 12
Leinster vs Toulouse | EPCR Heineken Champions Cup
Saturday 14th May, 2022 | KO 3pm | Aviva Stadium

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ISSUE 12 | LEINSTER RUGBY OFFICIAL MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

LEINSTER

VS

Toulouse

SAT 14 th MAY

AVIVA STADIUM

KO 3PM

FRONT PAGE


POWERED BY NATURE

CRAFTED FOR YOU

TISSOTWATCHES.COM

TISSOT, INNOVATORS BY TRADITION


Newstead Building A,

UCD,

Belfield,

Dublin 4

#LEIVTOU

The Line up

Telephone:

012693224

Fax:

012693142

E-mail:

information@leinsterrugby.ie

www.leinsterrugby.ie

10

24

EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT

President: John Walsh

Chief Executive: Michael Dawson

Honorary Secretary: Stuart Bayley

Honorary Treasurer: Michael McGrail

RUGBY MANAGEMENT

Head Coach: Leo Cullen

Senior Coach: Stuart Lancaster

Head of Rugby Operations:

Guy Easterby

Assistant Coach: Robin McBryde

Backs Coach: Felipe Contepomi

Kicking Coach: Emmet Farrell

Contact Skills Coach: Denis Leamy

14

PROGRAMME CREDITS

Editorial Team: Marcus Ó Buachalla,

Ryan Corry & Paul Cahill

Advertising: Gary Nolan

Design: Julian Tredinnick,

Ignition Sports Media

Photography: Sportsfile

Chief Steward: Sword Security

Ambulance: St. John’s Ambulance

Medilink

Event Control & Safety Services:

Eamonn O’Boyle & Associates

82

86

STAY

CONNECTED

& KEEP

UP-TO-DATE

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 3


EPCR

WELCOME

MESSAGE

A very warm welcome

to this eagerlyanticipated

Heineken

Champions Cup semifinal

match with

both clubs just one

tantalising step

away from a coveted

place in the Marseille

Final on Saturday

week (28 May).

FRONT PAGE

The chance to lift this coveted

European silverware at the iconic

Stade Vélodrome is at stake as our

two elite clubs go head-to-head in

what promises to be another epic

encounter.

The traditional drama of the knockout

stage has already gone up a notch this

season, with the historic introduction of

home and away legs in the Round of 16,

followed by compelling quarter-finals.

Now we are down to the last four clubs in

the tournament.

So, we are guaranteed high-stakes

action featuring stars of the global game

before the spotlight shines on our 2022

showpiece final. Tickets have been

selling fast for the Marseille weekend,

and with demand increasing by the day,

time is running out to book your place at

epcrugby.com/finals/ for a weekend feast

of rugby.

We are delighted to be joined on the

journey to Marseille by our long-standing

title partner, Heineken, as well as by

our official partner, DHL, who provide

customised logistics solutions for both the

Heineken Champions Cup and the EPCR

Challenge Cup.

We have also recently brought on a new

partner in IHG Hotels & Resorts, who

become our Official Hotels Partner and we

are delighted to welcome IHG on board.

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.

Following a difficult first half of the season

which created challenges for everyone

involved in the game, the knockout stage

of the tournament has been a revelation so

far, and we can confidently expect another

thrilling contest today.

There will be elation at the final whistle,

and maybe some agony too, but whatever

the outcome, on behalf of all at EPCR,

enjoy the semi-final and best wishes to you,

the supporters, as well as to your club’s

players and staff.

Yours in rugby,

Dominic McKay

EPCR Chairman


Every great match

starts with 0.0


HEINEKEN ireland

Welcome

A very warm

welcome

to all the

players,

supporters

and officials

of both

Leinster

Rugby

and Stade

Toulousain

to this Semi-

Final clash of

the 2021/2022

Heineken®

Champions

Cup.

I hope you all enjoyed the

excitement of the Heineken®

Champions Cup Quarter Final

games last weekend. Munster

and today’s opponents Stade

Toulousain served up a thrilling

encounter, one which will live

long in the memory of all those

who were lucky enough to be

present. The atmosphere and

colour generated by over 40,000

Munster fans was truly special.

Both teams left absolutely

everything on the field of play

after an epic 100 minutes of

rugby. It was a shame there

had to be a loser, especially

in such dramatic and rarely

experienced circumstances.

Commiserations to Munster Rugby

but huge congratulations to Stade

Toulousain and we are delighted

to welcome them back again to

Dublin today.

Sincere congratulations as well to Leinster

Rugby who put in a superb performance

against a formidable opponent in

Leicester Tigers, in what was a very

difficult Quarter Final assignment for

them. Their dream of that illusive 5th

Star is very much alive. Their victory

sets up the mouth-watering prospect that

awaits us all today in Dublin. If today’s

game can come close to matching

the excitement and drama of what we

enjoyed last weekend, we are all in for

another fantastic weekend of rugby.

May I also extend my best wishes to

Racing 92 and Stade Rochelais in

tomorrow’s other semi-final. I have no

doubt that the victors in both games

this weekend will go on to deliver a

memorable Heineken Champions Cup

Final on the 28th May, in the iconic

Stade Vélodrome, Marseille.

We At Heineken are immensely proud to

be a long-standing sponsor of Europe’s

leading club rugby competition, a

tournament that means so much to rugby

fans in this country. Enjoy the game

today with a cold, refreshing Heineken®

or Heineken® 0.0% and as always,

please do so responsibly.

Maarten Schuurman

Managing Director, HEINEKEN Ireland.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 7


john walsh welcome

PRESIDENT, LEINSTER RUGBY 2020/22

On behalf of Leinster Rugby, I

am delighted to extend a warm

Irish welcome to all rugby fans

throughout the rugby world who

are joining us today for what I hope

will be a classic encounter between

our visitors and reigning Heineken

Champions Cup winners, Toulouse,

and 2018 champions, Leinster.

Those of you of a certain age

and vintage will remember with

fondness back to 1977 when Star

Wars burst onto the big screen to

fire our imagination as to what

the future might hold for us.

There have been several sequels

to A New Hope and today’s

event at the Aviva Stadium (the

world’s oldest Test rugby venue)

is without doubt a fitting venue

for another Star Wars in the

making with both sides boasting

multi-talented players who have

starred for their countries on the

international rugby stage.

Stade Toulousain’s red jersey proudly

displays five gold stars and today

will encounter the Leinster blue jersey

displaying four gold stars in what

promises to be an epic encounter

between two of European rugby’s

premier teams.

Between us we have featured in a total

of 12 Heineken Cup finals with Toulouse

heading the leaderboard with five wins

followed by Leinster on four wins, with

Toulon and Saracens on three wins each.

We welcome Toulouse led by their club

captain Julien Marchand, Club President

Dedier Lacroix for what is the defence

of their win last season when they

defeated La Rochelle 22-17 in front of

a Covid-restricted crowd of 10,000 at

Twickenham.

Toulouse are also the TOP14 champions

of 2021 (their 21st title and the most

successful club in France’s 130-year-old

rugby tournament). They are currently

sixth in the TOP14 having won 13 of their

24 league fixtures and are just seven

league points behind the table-toppers

Montpellier.

Toulouse’s successes in the Heineken

Cup date back to the initial final in

1996 when they required extra-time to

defeat Cardiff 21-18. Their other four

final successes were against French

opposition. In 2003 they defeated

Perpignan in this very stadium. Their

third cup win came in 2005, when they

needed extra-time again to defeat Stade

Francais by 18-12 in Murrayfield.

Their 2010 win was against Biarritz, by a

score of 21-19 having defeated Leinster

in the semi-final. Their two Heineken Cup

final defeats were at the hands of Wasps

in 2004 (27-20) and Munster in 2008

(16-13). As we now know, last week, they

required extra-time and a penalty shoot

out to overcome Munster in this stadium

so perhaps Lady Luck might decide that

she has done her duty for them!

The Leinster squad of players

has excelled in our United Rugby

Championship and Heineken Champions

Cup campaigns this season and have

recorded a total of 18 wins from 23

competitive fixtures played.

Leinster’s 12 wins in the United Rugby

Championship have placed them in pole

position in the league table. A point to

note is that our 511 points scored is the

highest and that the 251 points conceded

is the lowest in the league. Our only

defeat at home was in the interpro derby

loss to Ulster.

Leinster have scored a total of 68 tries to

date in the United Rugby Championship.

Leinster’s six Heineken Champions Cup

fixtures played this season have resulted

in Leinster scoring 303 points and

crossing the try line on 42 occasions.

The combined total between the United

Rugby Championship and the Heineken

Champions Cup amounts to 814 points

scored and 110 tries.

Full credit has to be given to all our

Leinster coaches and backroom staff

8 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


To all our

committed

fans and

sponsors we

thank you for

your most

appreciated

and generous

support

during the

past two

difficult

seasons for

all sports.

for their dedication and vision as to the

pathway that Leinster Rugby aspires to

take.

The atmosphere at the Aviva Stadium is

a unique one. We can all recall over the

years those many special occasions such

as our first victory over New Zealand. No

matter what Irish province you support,

today’s game is deserving of your full

support for this Leinster team whose

players have contributed so much this

season to an Irish Triple Crown success.

The scene is set, the stars are here, so

let’s enjoy what we hope will be a game

to savour.

To all our committed fans and sponsors

we thank you for your most appreciated

and generous support during the past

two difficult seasons for all sports.

You have travelled with us throughout our

numerous campaigns and your presence,

inspiration and support makes such a

difference to Leinster Rugby.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh,

agus ALLEZ LES BLEUS!

John Walsh

President Leinster Rugby 2020-2022

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 9


Leo Cullen

head Coach Welcome

A warm welcome to you all for the

semi-final of this season’s Heineken

Champions Cup, and in particular to

Ugo Mola and his Toulouse team who

are back at the Aviva Stadium for the

second time in the last seven days.

This is the time of the season

we’ve been looking forward to

all along, with big game after big

game, reflecting the huge amount

of work that has got us to this

point.

We know we have a mountain to climb

today but what better or more exciting

challenge than playing the five-times

European champions, current Champions

Cup holders and TOP14 champions for

a place in the final? This is the sort of

occasion you dream about.

A massive thanks to all the Leinster

faithful who made the trip to Leicester last

weekend.

10 | www.leinsterrugby.ie

As always, there was a raucous

atmosphere at Welford Road and our

players got a huge emotional lift when

they were greeted with a sea of blue

getting off the bus. We were delighted

that so many of you were there and it

made victory all the sweeter in the end.

Congratulations to Joe McCarthy who

made his Champions Cup debut against

Leicester in last weekend’s quarter-final.

Not a bad day to play in Europe for the

first time!

We’ve had a really busy schedule

since our last home game, including a

whirlwind trip to South Africa where

a number of young players got to

experience URC action for the first

time. Even though we lost both games,

we managed to come home with two

valuable losing bonus points and I think

everyone – especially those younger

lads – will have benefitted from the

experience.

Congratulations to John McKee, Brian

Deeny and Lee Barron who all made

their Leinster debuts in South Africa. All

three players are currently in the Leinster

Academy and we have high hopes that

they will go on to have bright futures and

long careers in the game.

Sincere thanks to all our backroom staff

for their hard work and dedication over

the last few weeks.

Behind the scenes, it’s been all hands

on deck trying to manage that trip while

simultaneously preparing a separate

group back in UCD. A number of our

Academy coaches also stepped up to the

plate to make their Leinster ‘debuts’ and

we hope they will all be better coaches

for the experience.

We’re at the business end of the season

now with everything up for grabs. This

is why we all got into rugby in the first

place, to be competing for the big prizes.

We’ve worked towards this moment for

the past 42 weeks solidly – back when

our pre-season started – and we hope to

deliver a performance that will make our

supporters proud.

Speaking of supporters, I want to thank

all our corporate partners and sponsors,

led by Bank of Ireland, for their backing.

I hope you enjoy being part of these big

occasions because you deserve it.

Days like today are what it’s all about

really – playing in front of a big crowd,

knowing your family and friends are there

cheering you on. It inspires the team to

give everything we have and that’s what

we’ll do today.

Enjoy the game.

Leo


www.leinsterrugby.ie | 11


carla

delaney

DIRECTOR, BANK OF IRELAND AREA EAST

A very quick turnaround this week as Leinster face reigning

champions Toulouse in the Heineken Champions Cup semifinal

at the Aviva Stadium. This competition always offers a

unique challenge for Leo Cullen and his players, and now the

Boys in Blue go straight from toppling the team currently

atop the English Premiership to trying to overcome

Munster’s most recent conquerors.

It all makes for what promises to

be a brilliant match kicking off at

3pm!

To secure the quarter-final win over

Leicester at Welford Road took a huge

effort, winning away in Europe always

does. And to emerge victorious in such

a brilliant stadium packed with noisy

home supporters (not to mention the blue

hoards) made it all the sweeter.

We are proud in Bank of Ireland to

support the team on the pitch, but we are

also very proud of the Leinster supporters

in the stands. I want to recognise the effort

made by the volunteers from the OLSC to

get so many flags over to Leicester and to

have Welford Road turned so blue! The

scenes on arrival for the team bus were

pretty special, so well done to Bebhinn,

Alan, Dave and to everyone in the OLSC

that played their part in making the trip to

Welford Road so memorable.

To this weekend and the visit of Toulouse.

They may have broken Munster hearts

here in the Aviva last weekend, but we

hope that’s the end of their European

heart-breaking for this season!

Toulouse are a giant of European rugby

and put in another strong performance

to edge a victory against a hugely

motivated Munster team, who themselves

can be extremely proud of their quarterfinal

display. No doubt all Munster’s

focus will now be on the URC game back

here at the Aviva next week. But, for now,

Leinster’s focus is solely on the European

task at hand.

Away from the senior team it’s been

great to see such progress off the field

over the last few weeks, with a number

of competitions coming to a conclusion.

With Covid-19 continuing (thankfully!)

to recede from the general national

consciousness, we hope that this is the last

season of interruptions and that we can

get back to completing a full programme

of fixtures without any delays next season.

Finally, to Leo, Johnny and all the players,

the very best of luck today. Let’s hope we

can all enjoy one last away day to France

before the season is out!

Enjoy the game.

CD

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 13


Ri

14 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Garry

ngrose

This isn’t

Garry

Ringrose’s

first invite

to the dance.

At just 27

years of age,

he has won

all he can

with Leinster

Rugby - four

consecutive

URC titles

along with

the 2018

Heineken

Champions

Cup.

the big interview

BY RYAN CORRY

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 15


With Ireland, he’s won a Grand

Slam and two triple crowns in

42 caps and was nominated for

World Rugby’s Junior Player of

the Year award in 2014.

Today’s semi-final clash with Toulouse

is to be his 99th in the blue of Leinster,

40 of those coming in the Heineken

Champions Cup including today.

Leinster haven’t played today’s

opposition since the 2019 semi-final, a

30-12 win for Ringrose and Co at Aviva

Stadium in a year where the two teams

met on three occasions.

It was first blood to Toulouse in the

pool stages, securing a one-point

win on the continent before Leinster

took control of the group with a win

at the RDS Arena in early January

2019.

Both teams qualified for the knockout

stages and would meet again

in the last four when Leinster won out

and booked their place in the final at St

James’ Park in Newcastle.

That day in England’s north-east would

end in disappointment against Saracens

for Leinster, as it would the following

September at today’s venue.

The May Bank Holiday weekend

in 2021 saw Leinster bow out at

this stage to French opponents,

La Rochelle and they would

have to watch on as Toulouse

became the first team to get

their hands on the illusive

crown five times.

However, not much has changed

for the Leinster centre since that

day in April 2019 when the sides

last met.

Lessons have been learned, some

tougher to take than others, but

ultimately necessary.

16 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


We had a tough

game over in

Leicester which

was physically and

mentally challenging

so thankfully we had

Sunday to decompress

and turn the page as

soon as possible.

“I think the motivation has increased

because of the disappointment we’ve

faced through that time,” he says.

“We’ve learned some harsh but valuable

lessons. Obviously, there’s been some

personnel changes with guys that would

have retired. Rob Kearney and Fergus

McFadden are two and even seeing

someone like Dan Leavy who has had to

retire with injury, more recently, it makes

us appreciate these days even more.

“I guess you enjoy the wins but it’s the

losses that stick around a bit more but, as

a group, we took some valuable lessons.

That’s what drives the motivation this

year, when you experience how tough it

is to go and win in Europe.

“Even preparing as best you can, it takes

something special to progress in the

knockout stages. It makes us appreciate

the opportunity we have today but we’re

acutely aware of how we need to be at

our best.

“From a rugby perspective, we’ve been

trying to grow our attack to beat strong

defences, of which I think Toulouse are

one of the best, certainly in the TOP14.

“Thinking back to that game, the

scoreline, we were lucky to come out on

the right side but I remember a chip-kick

went through and myself and Maxime

Medard both went for the ball and

grounded at the same time, it was semi

held-up and the play was called back

but that moment could have changed the

game dramatically.

“The scoreline and the momentum would

have swung and it would have been very

different. We’ve lost to Toulouse in the

past in the group stages but were lucky

enough to turn it around but we’ve huge

respect for them as a club so there’ll be

zero complacency going into this game

from us.”

It’s not often that Leinster will take on

foreign opposition in Dublin and have

the away side play in the Irish capital

more recently than them but that is the

case this week following Toulouse’s

dramatic shootout victory over Munster

last weekend.

Trailing by 10 points and down a man

with just 15 minutes remaining, you could

have been forgiven for planning an all-

Irish semi-final on this side of the draw.

However, Rory Arnold’s return from

the sinbin was followed soon after by

a converted Matthis Lebel try. Then,

Thomas Ramos brought it level five

minutes from time with three off the tee.

Two 10-minute halves of extra-time went

without troubling the scorekeepers before

the dreaded placekicking competition.

Toulouse would score four to Munster’s

two and seal their progression, the

unpredictability of that game being

one of the factors Ringrose highlights in

making the French giants so difficult to

play against.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 17


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“I didn’t watch it before because we

were preparing for our own game and

didn’t get the result until after that. We

got back late on Saturday night but I

watched the recording of it on Sunday,”

he adds.

“It was an unbelievably challenging

game for Toulouse, Munster did really

well and made it difficult for them.

Toulouse showed how dangerous they

can be and I think they will even be

challenging themselves to be better

again and I’ve no doubt they will be

better again.

“It’s a long list (their threats). Certainly

the danger that their backs pose, more

specifically that’s something I’ll be

dealing with. The quality they have right

across it and the ability they have to

score from anywhere.

“I mean one example is how well they

keep the ball alive in contact, they seem

to have this sixth sense and instinct to

read each other.

“It doesn’t necessarily look pre-planned

but guys have the ability to take

opposition on and others act accordingly

around it. When they’re in sync, they’re

almost impossible to stop.

“From a control perspective, they have

two of the best half-backs in the world at

the moment at nine and 10. They have

the ability to win in more ways than one,

and in tight margins they can see out

games with those two marshalling. So,

that’s one or two things of a few where

I think they are very strong and very

dangerous.”

Of course, as mentioned by the former

Blackrock College man, Leinster had

their own quarter-final last Saturday

evening.

In front of almost 20,000 at Mattioli

Woods Welford Road in Leicester, they

shot down the Gallagher Premiership

leaders, benefitting from a healthy

20-point half-time lead when the hosts

came out fighting for the second half.

Ringrose mentions the visiting support

that travelled in force to back them

against Leicester but has once again sent

out a call to arms for today, hoping for a

replica of the sea of blue flags and noise

that greeted the team arrival in England.

“We had a tough game over in Leicester

which was physically and mentally

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 19


challenging so thankfully we had Sunday

to decompress and turn the page as

soon as possible.

“I think everyone came into training

a little bit sore but there’s energy,

motivation and determination, knowing

the level we have to get to and step up

again to repeat the result.

“From our perspective, we enjoy playing

at home and love any opportunity to get

out in front of our home supporters and

our families and close friends.

“That always makes it even more special

for us. It’s a special day and we’re

grateful to have it in the Aviva, but it

doesn’t guarantee anything result-wise.

Toulouse have proven time and time

again away from home that they can do

the job,” he adds.

Despite not facing Toulouse themselves

for three years now, Ringrose will still

have come up against many of their

contingent in French jerseys at Test level.

And he remains familiar with them,

however, he maintains that there is no

crossover from Ireland duty in terms of

the players’ thinking this week with all

attention firmly on the Champions Cup

and not on getting any revenge for the

Grand Slam that wasn’t.

“I haven’t thought about it as revenge.

There’s the spine of both teams, a lot

of the same guys playing against each

other. If anything, it’ll show that a game

of this significance will be the equivalent

of an international Test match which,

again, has everyone on red alert with

regard to our preparation,” he explains.

“We felt great being able to go and get

a win in Leicester. As a group that was

great for us and to progress. But we all

know there’s areas for us to be better

and to try and repeat a result like that,

we need to take a step forward.

“And I know Toulouse will be saying

the same thing. I haven’t thought about

it in that way because our focus is a

European championship and putting

another star on our jersey but we’ll

need to be at that international level of

intensity for this fixture.”

The layout of the last four, three French

teams and one Irish, on top of that Six

Nations Grand Slam is just indication of

where rugby is in their country right now.

The tight margins within the league mean

that there are still plenty of play-off

places up for grabs and plenty of teams

willing to go for them.

“With the success of the Six Nations, it’s

been carried on within the clubs. Even

looking at the TOP 14, watching the

games and looking at the table, I think

it’s only eight or nine points between first

and eighth, so it shows how competitive

it is.

“It’s a credit to where French rugby is at

the moment.”

20 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


We felt great

being able to go

and get a win in

Leicester. As a

group that was

great for us and

to progress.

But we all know

there’s areas for

us to be better

and to try and

repeat a result

like that, we

need to take a

step forward.

Right now though, it’s all focused on

Lansdowne Road today.

The professionals have Leinster as

favourites for the game but Ringrose

says that there’s nothing in that.

“Personally, and I think collectively, we

have too much respect for Toulouse

as a club and the history they have,

being the most successful team in

Europe and reigning champions in both

competitions.

“We’d never think about it that way

and when it comes to finals rugby, both

teams are going to be at their best. You

have to be ready, games can fall on the

smallest of moments and the smallest of

margins. We just have to do everything

we can in our preparation and commit

fully to the game.

“Hopefully that’ll be enough.”

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 21


Action

replay 14 23

LEICESTER TIGERS

Freddie Steward; Chris Ashton (Freddie

Burns 65), Matias Moroni (Nemani

Nadolo 44), Guy Porter, Harry Potter;

George Ford, Ben Youngs (Richard

Wigglesworth 58); Ellis Genge (James

Whitcombe 75), Julian Montoya (Nic

Dolly 72), Dan Cole (Joe Heyes 58);

Ollie Chessum, Calum Green (Harry

Wells 61); Hanro Liebenberg. Tommy

Reffell (George Martin 48), Jasper

Wiese.

SCORERS

Tries: Chris Ashon, Nic Dolly.

Cons: George Ford (2).

SATURDAY, 7 MAY

MATTIOLI WOODS WELFORD ROAD

ATTENDANCE: 19,066

HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP

LEINSTER RUGBY

Hugo Keenan; Jimmy O’Brien (Tommy

O’Brien 71), Garry Ringrose, Robbie

Henshaw, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton

(Ross Byrne 61), Jamison Gibson-Park

(Luke McGrath 70); Andrew Porter (Cian

Healy 61), Rónan Kelleher (Dan Sheehan

46), Tadhg Furlong (Michael Ala’alatoa

61); Ross Molony, James Ryan (Joe

McCarthy 75); Caelan Doris, Josh van

der Flier, Jack Conan (Rhys Ruddock 70).

SCORERS

Tries: Josh van der Flier, Robbie Henshaw.

Cons: Johnny Sexton (2).

Pens: Johnny Sexton (2), Ross Byrne.

22 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


We put Tigers

under a fair bit

of pressure when

they had the ball.

In the secondhalf

they threw

the kitchen sink

at us. It didn’t

feel comfortable

in the secondhalf

from our

point of view but

we’re delighted

to get a win.

Leo Cullen

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 23


GIRLS’ AGE-GRADE

RUGBY IN LEINSTER

In 2009, Jennie Bagnall joined

Leinster Rugby in the role of

Women's Development Officer.

At the time, she was the only staff

member solely related to the girls’ game

and was tasked with increasing the

participation numbers and the profile

of women’s rugby in Leinster ‘from the

ground up’.

Back then, there were just seven adult

teams and seven youth teams in the

province, meagre numbers that would

only increase through the work of those

willing to roll up their sleeves.

This season, there were over 80 youth

teams involved in competitions, plus 25

minis (U-8, U-10 and U-12) girls teams

playing.

The schoolgirls game has also increased

dramatically with over 60 schools

participating in the X7s secondary school

full contact rugby tournaments. Over 800

first-year girls in the Metro region came to

play at one single blitz event in Seapoint

RC earlier this season.

The sustained impact of the various

volunteers, from club committees to

parents and coaches around the province

has been the foundation on which the

game has flourished.

Once the framework was put in place,

the growth in rugby for girls was driven

by a ‘can-do’ attitude taken on by

girls everywhere from Enniscorthy to

Edenderry.

“It is all positive news around rugby for

girls in Leinster,” says Jennie, now the

Lead Women’s Development Officer.

“The numbers on the ground are growing

at a high rate. The quantity and quality

of girls' participation are constantly

increasing. There are more clubs taking

girls into their plans for the future, more

events and programmes to improve skills,

and more opportunities to simply play

the game.

“Specifically, in the schools, there is a

really nice pathway evolving. It begins

with tag rugby being introduced in

primary schools.

Then, we develop into a touch rugby form

of the game going into the first year in

secondary school, culminating in learning

how to tackle through ‘Touch to Tackle’

events run by our community rugby staff,

in order to teach the girls to play contact

nice and safely by the end of the first

year.

For Juniors and Seniors, they can play the

‘gateway’ game created by the IRFU of

seven-a-side cross-pitch rugby. For more

advanced Junior players and Seniors,

there is the option of 10-a-side also in an

inaugural girls competition administrated

by the Leinster Schools Committee.

“This year, I feel we are starting to

really join all the dots of the pathways,

starting with learning the game at a much

younger age with a huge surge in mini

girls over the past three years.

“We are creating performance

opportunities and player development

programmes to develop the girls who

have the potential to be involved in the

higher-level regional competitions, like the

new Sarah Robinson (U-18) Cup.

“This is a platform for the girls to develop

to the provincial standard and through

into ‘green jersey’ level,” Jennie says.

“Over half of the squad selected last

month to participate in the new U-18

Six Nations in Scotland were players

developed in Leinster’s clubs and schools

which shows us that what we are doing

is working.

“Yes, things are not perfect. We badly

need more female-specific staff on the

ground to continue to support this level of

growth. We need more female coaches,

referees and volunteers to get involved.

“We definitely need a better way

of promoting the developments and

opportunities for girls publicly,” she says.

“These are all on the agenda and we’re

constantly making progress in the right

direction. International Women’s week

was key to this progress. The U-18s

refereeing programme and Female-Only

Coaching Courses were just two of the

new initiatives that we will be embedding

into our pathways for the 2022/23

season, and beyond.”

Unlike their male counterparts, it is the

club game, not the schools system that is

leading the evolution. The absence of a

traditional mindset allows those in charge

to structure the game the way they see fit.

Last month, the Leinster Clubs U-14,

U-16 and U-18 finals took place in a

celebration of the growth of the game

and an advertisement for the high-quality

rugby being produced.

“I have been involved in girls rugby for

the last five years,” issues Gary Brickell,

the U-14 competition coordinator.

“Were there the same number of teams

then that are competing now? No. There

are 26 or 27 clubs in each age grade

from U-14, U-16 and U-18.

“From what I see, the girls like everything

about rugby. They like physical contact.

They like the training aspect. They like the

social connection too. There are plenty

of girls that come and try it out that don’t

24 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


stick with it. But, the girls that do, love it.

They really do.”

Last month, Athy RFC hosted the festival

of finals in the U-14 and U-16 grades,

including the U-16 Premier, Division 1

and Division 2 League finals and the

U-14 Premier, Division 1, Division 2 and

Division 3 finals.

It was a thrilling climax to the season for

both age categories in which the numbers

participating are climbing year-on-year.

At U-16, the structure of the leagues was

very effective with two similar groups of

eight playing seven games. The top four

advanced from each group into a Premier

Division and the bottom four dropped

into Division 1.

Then, teams in these divisions played four

more games against new opposition and

the points from relevant games already

played were carried forward.

This approach has worked out as a great

solution to the uncertainty every year

around where each team stands.

Division 2 was made up of teams who

were more developmental in standard,

so they played a stand-alone 11-team

league.

It is conservatively estimated that at

least 430 girls played across the three

divisions, based on an average of 18

players from the 24 teams, albeit some

squads were considerably larger.

At U-14, there were 110 games

scheduled in the various divisions with

only 15 concessions, resulting in over 86

per cent of games played.

There were 29 teams, containing 500

girls, playing rugby at this level. The

decision was made to play the Leinster

cup and area matches before Christmas

which worked out well.

There is also a suggestion for each area

to hold girls blitzes for the start of next

season, followed by the cups in order to

better grade the leagues to make them as

competitive as possible.

The Division 3, Division 2, Division 1 and

Premier finals were run off in quarter-hour

intervals at Athy’s home grounds in The

Showgrounds.

The U-18 competition was compromised

by the late announcement of the U-18

Girls Six Nations Festival in Scotland

which scooped up the cream of Ireland

talent at the grade.

The impact of the Ireland training camps

and the presence of the interprovincial

sevens at Easter meant a restricted

playing schedule, ending with Wicklow

overcoming Port Dara in the Premier

League final.

“I would say 50 per cent of the girls play

rugby only. But, there is a cross-breed of

sports. I am in Kilkenny where some of

the girls play camogie. The same goes for

Enniscorthy and Wexford,” says Gary.

“I know from talking to coaches around

the province that girls come to rugby

from gaelic football, from basketball and

soccer.”

From there, for instance, the Sarah

Robinson Cup provides a platform for the

girls to push for Leinster representation

whether at Sevens or XVs. That leaves

them one more step away from the

international level, once again at Sevens

or XVs.

“We have growing numbers at the

moment. There are, at a minimum, 1,500

girls playing club rugby in Leinster

between U-14, U-16 and U-18,” says

Gary.

“Four years ago, in Kilkenny, all we had

to show was our U-14 girls. That was the

full extent of our participation.

“Now, we have U-14s, U-16s and U-18s

as well as getting our women’s team

going again. In fact, they managed to

win the Leinster League Division 5 final

recently, the first silverware won by

women in Kilkenny.”

It is just one example of how girls' rugby

is thriving from the ground up.

2021/22 LEINSTER AGE-GRADE

GIRLS LEAGUE FINALS.

LEINSTER CLUBS U-14 LEAGUE FINALS

PREMIER

Mullingar 69 Greystones 7

DIVISION 1

Birr and Roscrea Ravens 40 Wexford 12

DIVISION 2

Wicklow 31 Port Dara 14

DIVISION 3

Longford 24 Ardee 21

LEINSTER CLUBS U-16 LEAGUE FINALS

PREMIER

Arklow and Gorey Argos 35 Navan 5

DIVISION 1

Enniscorthy 45 Athy 22

DIVISION 2

Tullamore 21 Mullingar 10

LEINSTER CLUBS U-18 LEAGUE FINAL

PREMIER

Wicklow 38 Port Dara 0

If you are interested in

taking up rugby or you

would like to follow our

updates, check out our

social media channels:

Leinster Women’s Rugby

LeinsterWomensRugby

@LeinsterWomen

womenspro@leinsterrugby.ie

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 25


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www.leinsterrugby.ie | 27


leo

the lion’s

kids

corner

IN A BLUR!

Can you name this

leinster player?

spot the difference!

Can you find all six?

ANAGRAMS

Can you un-jumble the names of these players?

MAJORING

SKI SNOB PA

HURRY OIL

ON LOG

how did you do?

IN A BLUR?

JAMES LOWE

ANAGRAMS

JAMISON GIBSON-PARK

RORY O’LOUGHLIN

ZOOMED IN!

CIARAN FRAWLEY

zoomed in!

WHo is this leinster

player having an

extreme close-up?

28 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


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solutions for office,

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AZTO

with

Jamison Gibson-Park

A – Action: If you could be a superhero,

which would you be?

Wolverine

B – Boyhood: Who was your favourite

sporting idol growing up?

Tiger Woods

C – Childhood: What is your favourite

childhood memory?

Footy on a Saturday morning

D – Dish: What’s your go-to pre-match

meal?

Pasta followed by pancakes

E – Education: What was your favourite

subject in school?

Geography

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

Happy Gilmore

G – Groove: Who is the best dancer in

the squad?

JVDF

H – Holiday: What’s your favourite

holiday destination?

Croatia

I – Inside: Who is the worst to sit beside

in the dressing room?

Hugo Keenan

J – Joker: Who is the funniest in the

squad?

Will Connors

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

of the day to play a match?

3pm

L – Languages: How many languages

can you speak?

One

M – Music: Your favourite artist and

song right now?

Dave - System

N – Number: Do you have a lucky

number?

4

30 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


O – Others: What’s your

favourite sport outside of rugby?

Rugby League specifically NRL.

P – Pal: Who is your best mate in

the squad?

It would have been Michael

Bent up until this year!

Q – Quirky: Who has the most

interesting fashion sense?

Jack Dunne

R – Red Carpet: Who is the most

famous contact in your phone?

Piri Weepu

S – Superstitions: Do you have

any matchday routines?

Sleep

T – Trim: What’s the worst

haircut you’ve ever had?

Bowl cut

U: Under pressure: Who in the

squad would be the best in a

bad situation?

Larmour

V – Verified: How often do you

use social media?

Daily

W – Worst fear: What are you

most scared of?

Geese

X – X-ray: Have you ever broken

any bones?

Yes

Y – Youth: Where did you grow

up?

Great Barrier Island, New

Zealand

Z – Zoo: What’s your favourite

animal?

Panther

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 31


Did you know?

Leinster and Stade Toulousain

will meet for the 13th time in

the Heineken Champions Cup, only

Munster and Castres Olympique (18)

have faced each other more often

in the competition; the two clubs

are evenly split having won six

games apiece in their previous 12

encounters.

• This will be the fourth time

Leinster and Stade Toulousain

have met in the semi-finals of the

Heineken Champions Cup, the most

played fixture at this stage of the

competition (Munster v Saracens,

3 times); Toulouse won the first

semi-final clash between the clubs

at Stadium de Toulouse in 2009/10,

while Leinster have won their two

such meetings since then.

• Stade Toulousain (2.79) and

Leinster Rugby (2.85) are the

only sides to boast an average

ruck speed under three seconds

in the Heineken Champions Cup

this season; in defence, only Sale

Sharks (4.15) have slowed down

their opponents’ rucks more than

Toulouse (3.99).

Leinster have averaged the most

metres (930) and line breaks

(10.2) per game of any club in

the Heineken Champions Cup this

season, while Stade Toulousain

have beaten the most defenders

(31.8) and made the most offloads

(16.4) on average.

• Antoine Dupont has averaged

six defenders beaten per game in

the Heineken Champions Cup this

season, the most of any player

to feature more than once this

campaign, overall only Michael

Lowry (29) has beaten more

defenders than last year’s EPCR

European Player of the Year (24).

• Thomas Ramos has made the most

offloads of any player in the

Heineken Champions Cup this season

(16), while he has the best goal

kicking success rate of anyone to

attempt more than 10 kicks at goal

in 2021/22 (90%, 17/19).

• James Lowe has scored eight tries

in the Heineken Champions Cup this

season, more than any other player,

while no player has made more

line breaks than the Leinster wing

(9, level with Michael Lowry and

Alivereti Raka).

COMPARISON

PLAYED

186

(96 home, 90 away)

WINS

128

(78 home, 50 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

43

METRES GAINED

5582

PASSES

1050

PLAYED

186

(90 home, 96 away)

WINS

126

(72 home, 54 away)

LOSSES

53

(14 home, 39 away)

DRAWS

7

(4 home, 3 away)

AVERAGE POINTS

26

BIGGEST WIN

108 - 16

HEAVIEST DEFEAT

17 - 77

TOTAL TRIES

16

METRES GAINED

4089

PASSES

851

34 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


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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Try Leinster’s Next Big Dish

from Mao At Home today


One of the all time greats of

County Carlow Rugby Club,

Bob Fennell from Ballickmoyler,

passed away in early May 2022

in his 86th year.

Bob Fennell was a key member of the

Carlow team which won the Provincial

Towns Cup in 1957, 1961 and 1965.

His half-back partnership with Peter O

Gorman at number nine was described

by many as the best paring that ever

donned the Carlow black and amber

jersey.

Bob’s day job was in maths teaching at

The High School in Rathgar, Dublin but

all his life he commuted every weekend

to Carlow to fulfil his passion for Carlow

rugby.

In the early days this commuting was on

a 50cc scooter. Sometimes he carried his

6’ 5” clubmate Shirley Gillespie on the

scooter as well.

Although a natural leader both on and

off the field, Bob, because he was living

in Dublin, never took on captaincy or

formal administration positions with

Carlow. Yet he was constantly helping

and advising his team-mates, especially

new players.

Bob Fennell RIP

BY JOHN SHIRLEY

Tommy Doyle, who shared the Towns

Cup victories with him, described Bob as

the “epitome of a really good clubman,

a team player and thorough gentleman.

As an astute kicking outhalf he would

control games. His cross kicks were spot

on and led to many tries for Carlow. Also

he was equally adept with both feet and

frequently we won games with a late Bob

Fennell drop-kick. ”

Martin Byrne, 1992 Towns Cup winner

with Carlow, said; “As a newcomer to

rugby, Bob took me under his wing and

explained not just the rules but also the

skills and positioning.”

When Carlow were trying to get youth

teams going Bob brought down youth

teams from The High School to provide

opposition for the fledgling Carlow sides.

In The High School, Bob was rugby

coach and manager as well as Vice-

Principal. He guided future rugby

internationals such as Philip Orr and John

Robbie in the game. In 1973, The High

School won the Leinster Senior Schools

Rugby Cup for the one and only time.

In gratitude for Bob’s contribution to the

school, The High School recently named

a new Denis O’Brien-sponsored rugby

pitch after the Carlow out-half.

Bob’s nephew William Fennell, a Towns

Cup winner in 1977, described his uncle

as a “an out and out Carlow rugby

man who continued to play rugby till

he was about 50 and after that was a

constant and knowledgeable supporter

at matches.

“He was an all round sportsman and

during the summer also commuted to

Carlow to play cricket in Bagenalstown,

along with his sons, Russell and Nigel.”

There are many stories of Bob’s kindness

and generosity. Once when he was

dropping a neighbour to the boat to

England, (again on his scooter) Bob

noticed the man had no overcoat. He

removed his own and handed it to the

emigrant. Gladly the emigrant hit better

times but never forgot Bob’s gesture and

called to him on return visits to Ireland.

Bob is survived by his wife Doris (nee

Meredith) daughter Annalee, sons,

Russell and Nigel, and their families.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 43


ENERGIA MEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE

FINALS

DEACONroundup

BY ROBERT

The weekend of April 30 saw the

play-offs for both the title and

promotion spots for this season’s

Energia Men’s All-Ireland Leagues

take place, and what a weekend

of club rugby it turned out to be.

Of the five divisions that make up the All-

Ireland League, three of the finals were

contested between Leinster clubs, Clontarf

and Terenure in Division 1A, Greystones

and Blackrock in Division 2B, while

Enniscorthy played Skerries in Division

2C. Naas represented the province in the

final of Division 1B.

In Division 2C, Enniscorthy who had led

the league all season entertained Skerries

who had finished in second place. Both

clubs had come through tough semi-finals,

Enniscorthy accounting for Tullamore 12-

9, while Skerries won a close encounter

at home against fellow seasiders Bangor

winning 32-29.

Enniscorthy, with home advantage in

the final, pulled away in the second half

to eventually run out winners by 41-14,

despite the best efforts of a gallant

Skerries team. Enniscorthy will now play

in Division 2B next season.

The Division 2B final was also between

two Leinster clubs, old rivals Greystones

and Blackrock. Greystones, who had

led the league all year had defeated

Galway Corinthians 19-14 at home in the

semi-final, while Blackrock, by finishing

third, had to travel to Belfast Harlequins

where they came away with a creditable

29-17 victory.

The final played in Dr Hickey Park turned

out to be an epic encounter where

Blackrock staged an unforgettable

comeback after being 17 points down

to score with the last play of the game

to win by 25-23. It proved to be a gutwrenching

end for Greystones after an

excellent league campaign. Blackrock

will now ply their trade in Division 2A

next season.

Naas travelled to Limerick to contest

the final of Division 1B against the

Munster men from Shannon. Naas, who

had finished fourth in the league, had

accounted for table-toppers Old Wesley

in the semi-final in an exciting encounter

in Energia Park where they held on to

run out winners by a 38-37 score-line.

Shannon took on and beat Cork rivals

Highfield by 25-19 in the second semifinal.

The final drew a large crowd to Coonagh

in Limerick where Shannon did not

disappoint the home fans with a strong

display winning 30-15, and as a result

are promoted to Division 1A for next

season.

On Sunday, 1 May, the attention turned

to the Aviva Stadium for the Division

1A final between Clontarf and Terenure,

again an all-Leinster affair, and what a

44 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


match it turned out to be. The semifinals

had seen league leaders Clontarf

overcome fourth place Cork Constitution

29-13 in Castle Avenue. Terenure,

with home advantage, accounted for

Lansdowne by the narrow margin of

20-18.

A record crowd for an All-Ireland League

final of just short of 6000 were treated

to a wonderful contest and the vocal

support of both sets of supporters was

relentless throughout.

Clontarf seeking to win the competition

for the third time survived a frantic finish

by their southside rivals holding on to win

by 29-23. Terenure fought gallantly to the

end but could not breach a stout Clontarf

defence who held out to be crowned

worthy champions.

The Division 1A final proved a fitting

occasion to what was an outstanding

season of AIL rugby which witnessed

increased attendances across all five

divisions. In a season that started with

so much uncertainty the standard and

quality of the Energia All-Ireland League

showed, yet again, what our clubs have

to offer the game, long may it continue.

Congratulations to all clubs.

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+5 1 5 0+4 1 5 0+1 - - 0+17 2 10 0+16 2 10 0+1 - - 2 -

MICHAEL ALA'ALATOA 1301 25 SEPT 21 12+9 2 10 11+4 1 5 1+4 1 5 12+9 2 10 11+4 1 5 1+4 1 5 9 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

LEE BARRON 1308 23 APR 22 0+2 - - 0+2 - - - - - 0+2 - - 0+2 - - - - - - -

ADAM BYRNE 1213 29 DEC 12 6+2 4 20 6+2 4 20 - - - 55+10 24 120 45+10 18 90 10 6 30 5 IR 1

ED BYRNE 1222 9 FEB 14 7+7 2 10 7+5 2 10 0+2 - - 26+58 12 60 26+45 11 55 0+13 1 5 1 IR 6

HARRY BYRNE 1280 28 SEPT 19 6+4 - 12 6+4 - 12 - - - 20+14 6 166 20+13 6 161 0+1 - 5 13 IR 2

ROSS BYRNE 1236 4 SEPT 15 13+7 3 152 11+3 2 109 2+3 1 40 83+41 9 802 69+21 4 580 14+19 5 219 7 IR 13

THOMAS CLARK-

1285 29 AUG 20 3+4 - - 3+4 - - - - - 5+12 - - 5+12 - - - - - - -

SON

JACK CONAN 1223 20 FEB 14 8 2 10 3 - - 4 2 10 88+25 25 125 62+15 16 80 25+10 9 45 6 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 1+1 - - 1+1 - - - - - 1+1 - - 1+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 7+11 6 30 7+7 6 30 0+4 - - 42+41 24 120 39+29 22 110 3+12 2 10 4 IR 1

BRIAN DEENY 1306 23 APR 22 2 - - 2 - - - - - 2 - - 2 - - - - - - -

PETER DOOLEY 1230 31 OCT 14 3+7 - - 3+7 - - - - - 43+60 5 25 41+54 5 25 2+6 - - 18 -

CAELAN DORIS 1268 28 APR 18 11 2 10 5 2 10 5 - - 43+8 7 35 31+6 5 25 11+2 2 10 8 IR 17

JACK DUNNE 1276 16 FEB 19 2+3 - - 2+3 - - - - - 4+16 - - 4+16 - - - - - - -

CORMAC FOLEY 1299 24 APR 21 1+2 - - 1+2 - - - - - 1+3 - - 1+3 - - - - - - -

CIARAN FRAWLEY 1265 17 FEB 18 12+5 2 31 10+2 1 26 2+3 1 5 29+23 6 174 26+16 4 158 3+7 2 16 6 -

TADHG FURLONG 1220 1 NOV 13 8+1 2 10 3+1 - - 4 2 10 81+42 10 50 45+34 3 15 35+8 7 35 2 IR 57

JAMISON GIBSON-PARK 1247 2 SEPT 16 7+4 4 20 3+2 - - 3+2 4 20 56+56 21 105 47+30 14 70 8+26 7 35 2 IR 17

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

DAVID HAWKSHAW 1290 2 NOV 20 0+3 1 13 0+3 1 13 - - - 0+11 2 27 0+11 2 27 - - - 2 -

CIAN HEALY 1142 5 MAY 07 4+9 2 10 3+5 2 10 1+3 - - 160+84 29 145 93+53 15 75 65+29 13 65 4 IR 116

ROBBIE HENSHAW 1251 8 OCT 16 7 4 20 3 1 5 3 2 10 63+1 15 75 28 6 30 34+1 8 40 1 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 12 4 20 6 1 5 5 3 15 39+3 8 40 28+3 5 25 10 3 15 3 IR 20

RONAN KELLEHER 1277 22 FEB 19 7+2 4 20 2+2 3 15 4 1 5 27+7 13 65 16+5 11 55 10+2 2 10 5 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

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

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

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 9+2 11 55 5+1 3 15 3+1 8 40 61+2 45 225 39+1 28 140 21+1 17 85 2 IR 12

JOE MCCARTHY 1303 29 JAN 22 5+1 - - 5 - - - - - 5+1 - - 5 - - - - - - -

NICK MCCARTHY 1241 19 DEC 15 3+7 1 5 3+7 1 5 - - - 9+37 5 25 9+31 5 25 0+6 - - 6 -

LUKE MCGRATH 1206 5 MAY 12 12+8 1 5 10+4 1 5 2+3 - - 114+57 40 200 79+47 32 160 35+9 8 40 5 IR 19

JOHN MCKEE 1307 23 APR 22 2 - - 2 - - - - - 2 - - 2 - - - - - - -

MICHAEL MILNE 1279 28 SEPT 19 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - 1+16 2 10 1+16 2 10 - - - 15 -

MARTIN MOLONEY 1300 24 APR 21 2+4 - - 2+4 - - - - - 2+5 - - 2+5 - - - - - - -

ROSS MOLONY 1233 20 FEB 15 16+3 1 5 10+3 - - 5 1 5 80+55 5 25 72+40 4 20 7+15 1 5 12 -

JOSH MURPHY 1261 3 NOV 17 7+4 - - 3+4 - - 4 - - 49+11 5 25 44+10 4 20 5+1 1 5 20 -

JAMIE OSBORNE 1294 30 JAN 21 10+2 - - 10+2 - - - - - 12+6 1 5 12+6 1 5 - - - 13 -

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 13+1 8 42 8 3 17 4+1 5 25 39+10 15 79 32+9 9 49 6+1 6 30 4 -

SEAN O'BRIEN 1297 12 MAR 21 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - 0+3 - - 0+3 - - - - - - -

TOMMY O'BRIEN 1283 20 DEC 19 6+6 3 15 6+4 3 15 0+1 - - 10+11 6 30 10+9 6 30 0+1 - - 2 -

RORY O'LOUGH-

1248 2 SEPT 16 8+1 1 5 8+1 1 5 - - - 72+24 22 110 65+16 19 95 7+8 3 15 3 IR 1

LIN

MAX O'REILLY 1291 2 JAN 21 2 - - 2 - - - - - 8+1 1 5 8+1 1 5 - - - 8 -

SCOTT PENNY 1271 23 NOV 18 10+1 6 30 10+1 6 30 - - - 33+7 22 110 33+7 22 110 - - - 2 -

ANDREW PORTER 1246 2 SEPT 16 9+1 3 15 4+1 2 10 4 1 5 37+50 14 70 27+31 10 50 9+19 4 20 4 IR 43

GARRY RINGROSE 1237 12 SEPT 15 12 2 10 6 2 10 5 - - 96+2 29 153 58+1 18 98 37+1 11 55 4 IR 42

RHYS RUDDOCK 1167 6 DEC 09 13+6 1 5 12+3 1 5 1+2 - - 156+51 12 60 118+34 10 50 37+14 2 10 13 IR 27

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

JAMES RYAN 1259 2 SEPT 17 4 - - 3 - - - - - 48+6 3 15 25+1 1 5 22+5 2 10 14 IR 43

JOHNNY SEXTON 1127 27 JAN 06 6+2 - 72 2+1 - 22 3+1 - 40 154+27 26 1579 89+20 13 855 62+7 12 683 21 IR 105

DAN SHEEHAN 1286 23 OCT 20 4+8 7 35 3+3 4 20 1+4 3 15 7+18 13 65 6+13 10 50 1+4 3 15 5 IR 7

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

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

DEVIN TONER 1128 27 JAN 06 6+7 - - 6+4 - - 0+3 - - 212+67 4 20 146+46 4 20 63+21 - - 62 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 11+1 6 30 5+1 1 5 5 4 20 86+24 17 85 50+18 8 40 35+6 8 40 1 IR 40

KICKING

2021/22 SEASON FOR LEINSTER LEINSTER CAREER

ALL GAMES URC EPCR ALL GAMES PRO14/URC EPCR OVERALL

SUCCESS

RATE

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

%

- - - HARRY BYRNE 66.67% 6 - - 6 - - - - - 59 6 58 5 1 1 83 78.31%

ROSS BYRNE 86.11% 49 13 - 33 11 - 16 1 - 245 88 1 187 61 1 58 26 - 426 78.17%

CIARAN FRAWLEY 100.00% 3 5 - 3 5 - - - - 54 12 - 51 12 - 3 - - 80 82.50%

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 82.50% 27 6 - 8 2 - 17 2 - 261 298 11 128 171 7 124 121 4 700 79.86%

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 47


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ig picture

7 May 2022

Josh van der Flier, right, and

Jonathan Sexton of Leinster

celebrate a turnover during

the Heineken Champions Cup

Quarter-Final match between

Leicester Tigers and Leinster at

Mattoli Woods Welford Road

Stadium in Leicester, England.

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

Welcome to what we hope come the

final whistle around 5/ 5:15pm, will

indeed have been a Super Saturday

for Leinster as we welcome Toulouse

for the first of the weekend’s

semi-final fixtures in the 2021/22

Heineken Champions Cup.

We last took to the field here

around a month ago, when on

Good Friday we secured victory

over our interprovincial rivals

Connacht (56-20) which saw us

take our place in the last eight.

Last weekend in that game played in

Mattioli Woods Welford Road, we

overcame Leicester Tigers 23-14 to

secure our place here today. Our visitors

for today are no stranger to the Aviva

and they’ve even managed to take to the

field here more recently than we last did,

just last week (Saturday) to be exact!

For them, and only the second time in the

history of the competition, the result was

secured after a place kicking competition

and our other interprovincial rivals

Munster fell at that hurdle in what was a

cauldron of red.

Our aim today is to make sure that the

cauldron atmosphere is replicated,

however in the colour of blue! For

those of you who were in Leicester last

weekend, there was something very

special and heart-warming about seeing

Leo getting off the coach in the car park

and the smile that spread across his face

when he saw the #SeaOfBlue that was

there to greet him and the team.

Covid restrictions have had on away

fixtures.

That welcome last week no doubt brought

a tear to a few eyes and we hope that

today will be no different. A number of

the OLSC Committee travelled over to

the game last weekend and at numerous

times over the course of the day, both

before and after the game, there was

nothing but praise for you the fans who

were in attendance and we thank you

for this.

We work to ensure we can assist as many

fans as we can to get to games, and last

week certainly showed that when the

blue travels, it travels in large numbers

and is loud. Very Loud! It’s been said

before numerous times and especially by

Leo in his pre-match notes that the team

acknowledge and appreciate how much

this means to them and what a boost it

gives them.

Back to this afternoon though and there’s

not much point dwelling on the past

history and results between ourselves

and Toulouse as they could be debated

and rehashed over for hours. Last week

we made a fast start, even leading 20-0

at half-time before running out winners

23-14.

finished 24-all with Munster missing a last

gasp penalty to secure victory. The rest

we all know about and the final score-line

brings Toulouse back to the Aviva.

The lessons for us to take from their

victory is that they are resilient (well, you

don’t secure five stars on sheer luck and

chance) and if you don’t shake them, they

will continue to sniff and wait for their

opportunity to pounce and this is exactly

what they did last week.

The ‘home’ crowd last week did their

utmost to roar their team to victory

however it wasn’t to be but for us, this is

our home away from home and we know

that a big performance is needed, from

us and the team!

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 where we want to stamp our mark

on the competition and lay out our stall

and announce to the remaining teams

that we mean business and want to

become the second European, and first

Irish, team to secure an illustrious fifth star.

We’d love for the road to Marseille to be

paved blue, and wouldn’t you ….

As always we’re thankful for the support

we as a committee get from Leinster

Rugby, Bank of Ireland and all the

Corporate Sponsors, and as always we

encourage you to show your support

through our social media channels.

Be loud, be true, be blue

It was a special moment for all involved

given the last two years and the impact

Toulouse on the other hand went into the

break all square (14-apiece) before it

Yours in Rugby,

Your OLSC Committee

54 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


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Rugby we are delighted to support the

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adding Novaerus Air Disinfection to their

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GETTING

We check social media

for the latest views

and thoughts across

SOCIAL

the 12 counties

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 59


60 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


GETTING

SOCIAL

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 61


WHERE ARE

THEY NOW?

CIARAN CLARKE

THEN: Ciaran

played for

Leinster Rugby

more than 30

times between

1991 and 1999.

NOW: The

53-year-old

lives with his

partner Sonya

Mooney and son

James (18) in

Rathfarnham,

working as a

Pharmaceutical

Representative

for Pinewood

Healthcare.

62 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


December 30, 1995.

Ciaran Clarke isn’t blessed with

unimpeachable memory. He can’t

be precise about how many caps

he wore for Leinster - somewhere

in the low 30s - or how many tries

he put his name to in blue.

But, he has always held the detail of this

date, the first Heineken Cup semi-final

when Leinster came up short against

Cardiff Blues at Lansdowne Road in front

of an official crowd of 7,350.

And not for the disappointment of the 23-

14 defeat to the storied Welsh club.

“I broke my hand in the game. I’m not

sure how it happened. It might have been

trodden on,” he says.

“Anyway, the ambulance got stuck when

it left the wrong way, the underneath of

it catching on a cement grid. The air had

to be let out of the tyres to get it over the

hump.

“I was left sitting in the Meath Hospital

in my Leinster gear. After I was seen and

let go, I made my way back in a taxi to

Lansdowne Road hours later. There was

no one there.

“I had to get someone to let me into the

stadium to get my car. My pal Joe Lynch

was getting married the same day and

I drove one-handed in my Leinster gear

on icy roads to The Glenview Hotel in

Wicklow at night.

“Looking back on it now, you have to

laugh. I don’t remember much about my

rugby. But, I remember that day all too

well.”

Ciaran was known for his big left boot

and an athletic frame that made for

a high ceiling coming out of Terenure

College where he lost in the 1987

Leinster Schools Senior Cup final and

was ruled out in 1988 with a broken

collar-bone.

Ciaran played for Leinster as an amateur,

semi-professional in 1996/97 and

1997/98 and full-time professional in

1998/99.

By late 1991, Leinster head coach Ciaran

Callan sat down in an old-fashioned

system with five selectors to give the

22-year-old his debut against Ulster.

This was back when there wasn’t a

weight in sight at Leinster sessions and the

priority was around organisation for the

game at the weekend.

“It was very different back then. We were

a combination of professional and semiprofessional

players.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 63


“As a pro, you might go in early in the

morning for a weights session at 8am,

finish by 10am. Then, you are twiddling

your thumbs, hanging around all day

waiting for a pitch session in the evening

because some of the players had to put in

a day’s work in between.

“You are still training in the dark in the

middle of winter even though you are a

professional,” he adds.

Ciaran’s greatest moment for Leinster

came against a galaxy of Wallaby stars

in a tour match at Lansdowne Road in

1992.

“I never played against Australia in my

five internationals for Ireland. So, I won’t

forget the day we played them when they

had Michael Lynagh, David Campese,

Jason Little, Tim Horan and John Eales.

“I do look back with pride on the fact that

I played for Leinster.”

One year later, Ciaran was at full-back

for Ireland when Mick Galwey’s famous

try sealed a 17-3 win over a multitalented,

bruising England side looking to

complete a Grand Slam.

However, the appearances for Leinster

and Ireland were limited due to suffering

a ruptured cruciate ligament playing

for Terenure against Sunday’s Well in

October 1993, months after his first three

Ireland caps.

“I played seven years of rugby with no

cruciate in my right knee which sounds

ridiculous now. I had my knee replaced

18 months ago because of it,” he reveals.

“When it happened, I had seen players

who had opted for an operation. Some

had better results than others. The

surgeon told me I had to have surgery. I

said: ‘No’.

“There was no guarantee of getting

back. I just didn’t fancy it. It wasn’t like it

is today when a player could be back in

eight months.

“It had a drastic effect on my game. I

wore a big brace. I kept tearing bits of

cartilage. I would plant my foot, turn

quickly and the knee would wobble.

“I played a lot of my Leinster caps and

my last two Ireland caps in that condition.

You didn’t announce it back then. There

was no social media. The scrutiny wasn’t

the same. I never really talked about it

publicly.

“I worked incredibly hard to keep my

right leg strong and stable. But, over time,

it got worse and I had to retire at the age

of 30 in 1999 at the end of my first year

as a full professional.

“In fact, that was probably the death

knell because I was on my feet much

more. It began to deteriorate rapidly. Bits

of bone began to break off and it just

became too sore.

“You would be running a line at training

and be hit with this unbelievable pang

of pain in your knee and it would go as

quickly as it came.”

It was an enduring experience that had

to be handled by myself, alone for quite

some time.

“It was only when Liam Hennessy and

64 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Dave Fagan got involved in Leinster, that I

got a lot of really good help.”

He didn’t have to be told when it was

time to move on, concentrating on his

career in the pharmaceutical industry.

“I loved playing rugby. It took me a long

time to get over the end of my career

because I didn’t finish on my own terms.

“I was just 30 when I packed it in. The

rest of my body was fine. I was incredibly

fit, bar a deteriorating knee.”

There must have been nights when sleep

was uncapturable, lying in the dark,

turning over in his mind how good he

could have been with two legs under him.

“There probably was a bit of that. Where

do you go with it? You would drive

yourself mad if you kept thinking about

it,” Ciaran admits.

“I suppose you could convince yourself,

in romantic dreams, that you could have

had so many more caps for Leinster and

Ireland.”

Although, he casts his mind back to a

moment when his eyes told him there was

greatness on the way.

“I remember sitting in the Wesley end of

Donnybrook with Kurt McQuilkin - we

were playing for Leinster - watching the

‘A’ team play a match in 1999 and it

had Brian O’Driscoll in the centre and

Gordon D’Arcy at full-back.

“The two lads were ripping it up on the

pitch, doing all sorts of brilliant things.

Kurt and myself were looking at each

other, realising our time was almost up.”

Ciaran has been able to turn those

painful times into something more positive

later in life, calling on an inner-strength he

found during his rugby career.

“The planning and the determination

needed, particularly with the cruciate,

changes you mentally, gives you a certain

resolve that you didn’t know was there

“This has certainly benefited me in my

work life, helping to push through things,”

he shares.

Now, Ciaran marvels at the detail his son

James has been opened to in Terenure

College, the wing’s form in this year’s

Leinster Schools Senior Cup earning an

invite into the Leinster U-19 squad this

summer.

“The game is so different now. The

young players are completely on top

of everything. The preparation and the

game are light years away from what we

did in the 1990s,” he says.

James probably knows more from what

people said to him about Ciaran as a

player than what his dad has shared.

“I don’t think he has seen too many of

my matches because they are all on VHS

tape in the attic.

“Anyway, he is his own man. The Leinster

U-19s is all down to the work he has put

in over a long period.

“I had my time. This is his.”

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 65


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Referees

Corner

BY DAN WALLACE

A warm welcome to the

Aviva Stadium for today’s

encounter with Toulouse,

and another edition of

Referees Corner.

Today’s match officiating team

is Karl Dickson (Eng); Assistant

referees: Christophe Ridley

(Eng), Anthony Woodthorpe

(Eng); TMO: Stuart Terheege

(Eng); Citing Commissioner: Beth

Dickens (Sco).

Karl Dickson started in rugby as

a player, competing at scrum-half.

Dickson played for Bedford Blues

and Harlequins before announcing

his retirement in 2017. Through the

London Society of Referees he made his

refereeing debut at the Reigate School

Sevens in March 2014 and since then

has taken charge of a range of matches

including schools, club juniors, sevens as

well as local and national league clubs.

He made his Six Nations referee debut

in the 2022 tournament when he took

charge of Scotland v France. We wish

him well today.

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.

68 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Gordon Condell

elected President

A warm congratulations to

Gordon Condell of Clondalkin

RFC who was recently elected

President of the Leinster Rugby

Referees at our Annual General

Meeting. Gordon has been

a long time referee, coach,

assessor, area representative

and has put in a huge amount

of work over a number of years

with referees and players in his

club and local area. We wish him

well in his coming season. He will

be ably assisted by Senior Vice

President, Tom Tuohy, and Junior

Vice President, Martin Farrelly.

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. Its a company of

long standing tradition with quality

workmanship providing rugby referees

from grass roots to the elite of the game

with a quality whistle to officiate.”

ACME Whistles have been

manufacturing and selling many

different types of whistles from dog

whistles to football whistles and many

more since 1870. As part of this great

sponsorship, the referees of the Leinster

Schools Junior and Senior Cup games

were presented with inscribed ACME

whistles as a memento of their day.

IRFU Appointments

Further congratulations go to

our Leinster referees who have

made the 2022/23 IRFU National

Referee panel. They are: High

Performance Development

Group - Andrew Cole. Level 1

- Padraic Reidy, Dermot Blake,

Paul Haycock, Glenn Sheridan.

Level 2 - John Flynn, Robbie

Jenkinson, John Carvill, Colm

Roche, Sam Holt, Paul O’Connor.

Level 3 - Katie Byrne, Michael

Forrestal. Best wishes go to Nigel

Correll who retired from the

panel at the end of the season.

Brian MacNeice has been appointed to

be TMO for both Argentina v Scotland

tests this summer. Brian continues to be

a TMO at the highest level and we wish

him well on this great appointment. Also

congratulations to Berney White who

refereed the 2022 Towns Cup Final

between Ashbourne and Kilkenny. He

was assisted by Ian Thompson and Ian

Hayes.

With only a few weeks left in the season

we are immensely proud of the work

that h as been put in by referees at all

levels this season and look forward

to moving onwards in the 2022/23

season.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 69


TO MAXIMISE YOUR SPORTS AND EXERCISE

PERFORMANCE THROUGH NUTRITION

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

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

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

Protein Rich.

Protein provides your muscles with

the building blocks to repair & grow.

Carb-Up.

Carbohydrate foods are king as they

power high intensity play.

Fuel-Up.

Consume the majority of your

carbohydrates around training to

support fuelling and recovery.

Recover.

Quality rest & nutrition between

training sessions is the key to

recovery. Remember to:

Repair with protein,

Refuel with carbohydrate,

Rehydrate with fluid.

Hydrate.

Dehydration can lead to a drop in

exercise intensity & can impact your

decision making. Drink 2-3 litres of

fluid each day to ensure hydration.

Game Day.

To fuel performance on the field,

consume a large carbohydrate rich

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

chicken & pasta, turkey bolognaise

wraps.

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using code Leinster20 on optimumnutrition.ie


KNOWING WHAT ADVICE TO TAKE

IS ESSENTIAL IN THIS GAME.

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Leinster Rugby charity partner

Cardiac Risk in

the Young [CRY]

Leinster Rugby

has announced

Cardiac Risk

in the Young

(CRY) as its

latest charity

partner for

the month of

May as part

of the Charity

Affiliate

Programme

which was

first launched

in November

2020.

Indeed, this is not the first time

that CRY have worked with

Leinster Rugby having been a

charity partner of the club back

in 2015 and only last season

CRY was again a partner of

Leinster Rugby for the month of

September.

Similar to last season, CRY have once

again been nominated by one of Leinster

Rugby’s premium partners, BearingPoint.

Established in 2002, CRY facilitates free

clinical assessment and management

to all families across Ireland, north and

south, who have suffered, or are at risk

of, a Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD). The

charity’s Family Support Programme

offers free access to listening volunteers,

mentors and bereavement specialists, with

its newly launched helpline also offering

a listening ear to those impacted by SCD.

72 | www.leinsterrugby.ie

The charity fundraises to support its

specialist Centre for Cardiovascular

Risk in Younger Persons Tallaght, Dublin

24, where, since 2007, over 7,000

individuals have been seen. Over 100

individuals have had pacemaker or

defibrillator devices fitted to protect them

against sudden cardiac death. Hundreds

more have been treated with medications

and surgical procedures.

Thousands have been found to be

unaffected and reassured. Cardiac tests

are performed in a single day, with

detailed consultations with specialists to

explain outcomes and implications. CRY

also raises funds to support research into

the causes and prevention of Sudden

Cardiac Death, in collaboration with

other likeminded bodies.

In attendance at the launch in Leinster

Rugby head office in UCD were Leinster

Rugby players Robbie Henshaw,

Ross Molony and Ciara Faulkner, as

well as representatives from CRY and

BearingPoint.

Welcoming the news of the partnership,

Dr Deirdre Ward, of CRY said, “CRY

Ireland are delighted to be nominated

as a charity partner to Leinster Rugby,

and are very grateful to Bearing Point

for helping to make this important

opportunity possible. Over it's 20 years

of existence CRY Ireland has relied on

the generous support of the Irish public,

business community and our own families

to fund services for families affected by,

or at risk from, sudden cardiac death due

to inherited cardiac conditions.

"Having focused for many years on

developing and sustaining a medical

centre for the diagnosis and management

of the conditions that can cause sudden

cardiac death, the Charity can now

focus efforts on the areas of providing

emotional support for affected families

and on research into the conditions.

As well as the fundraising boost that

partnership with one of Europe's most

successful rugby clubs will bring to

finance these activities such as the CRY

Volunteer Helpline, we are also very

grateful for the opportunity to raise

awareness of the risk of sudden cardiac

death, and the importance of basic

resuscitation skills such as CPR in the

community.”

Speaking on behalf of BearingPoint,

Ian Kilty, said “Through our partnership

with Leinster Rugby, BearingPoint is

delighted to nominate CRY Ireland as

their charity partner for the month of


May. BearingPoint is proud to continue

supporting the great work that CRY

does in raising awarness and providing

services to the families impacted by

Sudden Cardiac Death syndrome

(SADS).”

For the month of May, Leinster Rugby

will lend its digital support to CRY, in

particular supporting their team and its

considerable efforts to raise awareness

of these diseases and ultimately, to help

save lives.

Speaking at the launch, Leinster Rugby

Sponsorship Manager, Éamon de Búrca

said, “It is great that BearingPoint have

nominated CRY once again this year, a

charity that we as a club know very well

having worked with them before but also

through their links with our former player

Darragh Fanning.

“Lucia and her team in CRY continue to

do amazing work. We saw that at first

hand last season and we look forward to

highlighting that work again in the month

ahead. As we continue to come out of

Covid-19, charities continue to need all

our support.”

Leinster Rugby also confirmed that Bank

of Ireland would continue to support

the charity partner scheme again this

season and that its Player of the Month

Award donation will now be made to the

monthly charity affiliate, rather than the

player in question, a move that is also

supported by the Leinster Rugby players.

Like all the charities selected, CRY

was selected by Leinster Rugby after

a consultation process involving the

leadership group of the men, women’s

and Academy teams and consultation

with the premium sponsors and partners

and the OLSC.

For more information on CRY, please visit

their website.

Further information about the Leinster

Rugby Charity Affiliate Programme:

The charities supported by Leinster

Rugby as part of this initiative, include

2020/21 Season: Women’s Aid (November), Debra Ireland (December),

numerous local causes supported by Bank of Ireland (January), ALONE

(February), Pieta (March), AsIAm (April), LauraLynn (May), the Gavin Glynn

Foundation (June), Irish Heart Foundation (August) and CRY (September)

2021/22 Season: Alzheimer Society of Ireland (November), Peter McVerry

Trust (December), numerous local causes supported by Bank of Ireland such

as Outcomers, Citywise Means Business, New Horizon and Purple House

(January), the RNLI (February), Irish Cancer Society (March), Irish Community Air

Ambulance (April) and CRY (May)

The selection process for all the charities includes the Leinster Rugby players,

Leinster Rugby sponsors and partners and also the Official Leinster Supporters

Club (OLSC)

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 73


opposing view

Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

7 May 2022

Pierre Fouyssac of Toulouse

celebrates after the ‘place kick

competition’ to decide the winner

of the Heineken Champions Cup

Quarter-Final match between

Munster and Toulouse at Aviva

Stadium in Dublin.

74 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Founded:

1907

Ground:

STADE ERNEST WALLON

Capacity:

18,754

Toulouse

last time out

Munster Rugby 24

Stade Toulousain 24 AET

(Toulouse win 4-2 in place-kick shootout) | Aviva Stadium | Saturday, 7 May | Referee – Luke Pearce (RFU) | words: epcrugby.com

Stade Toulousain beat Munster Rugby on place kicks

to reach the Heineken Champions Cup semi-finals

after a breathtaking 24-24 draw at the Aviva

Stadium last week.

Extra-time was required with

the sides level after 80 minutes,

but the additional 20 minutes

couldn’t separate the two

teams either and so the game

was decided on a rare shootout,

which reigning champions

Toulouse claimed 4-2.

Misses from Munster’s Ben Healy

and Conor Murray proved crucial, as

Toulouse’s Thomas Ramos, Antoine

Dupont (2) and Romain Ntamack made

no mistake with their efforts.

Munster had led with five minutes to play

thanks to tries from Alex Kendellen, Keith

Earls and Mike Haley, in addition to a

Joey Carbery penalty, but Toulouse, who

had crossed through Romain Ntamack

and Matthis Lebel (2), notched a threepointer

through Ramos to send the game

into the additional period.

Munster drew first blood as flanker

Kendellen squeezed over after a slick

lineout move on nine minutes, but

Toulouse were level moments later

when out-half Ntamack planted down

following a break from full-back Ramos.

The two sides wrestled for control

over the next quarter of an hour, but

Toulouse’s dominant scrum began to

provide the visitors with an attacking

platform, and they capitalised on that

on 26 minutes as they gained forward

momentum before sending wing Lebel

over in the corner.

76 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Carbery was off target with a penalty

on 34 minutes as the Irish province

attempted to reduce the deficit, but after

wing Earls dotted down out wide in the

final moments of the half, the out-half

drew his side level with an excellent

conversion.

Despite another Carbery penalty

drifting wide early in the second half,

Munster would take the lead on 44

minutes as centre Chris Farrell scythed

through the Toulouse defence and teed

up full-back Haley to squirm over.

Toulouse lock Rory Arnold was sinbinned

on 50 minutes for a dangerous

tackle on Munster wing Simon Zebo

and following more ill-discipline from

the French side over the minutes that

followed, Carbery slotted his first

penalty of the game.

They were the only points scored with

Toulouse down to 14 men and once

they were back to their full complement,

the visitors grabbed a third try as

Lebel surged through midfield and

produced an outrageous sidestep to

beat the last man and dive over on 67

minutes.

A Ramos penalty then left the scores

at 24-24 on 75 minutes and Munster

replacement out-half Ben Healy was

unable to hand his side victory with a

penalty attempt from inside his own half

with the clock in the red, sending the

game to extra time.

The additional 20 minutes offered little

to separate the two sides, with Ramos

and Healy both unsuccessful with

drop-goal attempts, and with both

teams having scored the same number

of tries, a place kick competition was

required.

And it would ultimately be heartbreak

for Munster, as Murray and Healy

dragged their efforts wide and

Toulouse’s kickers held their nerve to

book their place in the last four.

MUNSTER RUGBY

Mike Haley (Ben Healy 71); Keith Earls,

Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Simon

Zebo (Murray 96); Joey Carbery,

Conor Murray (Craig Casey 59); Josh

Wycherley (Jeremy Loughman 54), Niall

Scannell (Diarmuid Barron 54), Stephen

Archer (John Ryan 50); Jean Kleyn

(Jason Jenkins 59), Fineen Wycherley

(Thomas Ahern 71); Peter O’Mahony

(Jack Daly 63), Alex Kendellen, Jack

O’Donoghue.

TOULOUSE

Thomas Ramos; Dimitri Delibes (Maxime

Medard 44), Pierre Fouyssac (Baptiste

Germain 63), Pita Ahki, Matthis Lebel;

Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont;

Rodrigue Neti (Cyril Baille 45), Julien

Marchand (Peato Mauvaka 45),

Dorian Aldegheri (David Ainu’u 50);

Rory Arnold, Emmanuel Meafou;

Rynhardt Elstadt (Anthony Jelonch

45), Thibaud Flament (Joe Tekori 63),

Francois Cros.

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 77


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Head coach

Ugo Mola

As a player, Ugo Mola featured

for Toulouse from 1990 to

1996, winning both French and

European titles before depating

for Castres.

He also played for his country, his last of

12 caps coming in the 1999 World Cup

final defeat to Australia.

Mola returned to Toulouse as head

coach in 2015 and has led them to two

TOP 14 titles and last year’s Champions

Cup crown since.

Captain

Julien Marchand

Hooker Julien Marchand has

been Toulouse captain since the

2018/19 captain when he was

handed the honour at just 23

years of age.

He is a product of the club’s youth system

and made his debut with their senior side

in 2014.

He is also a France international,

debuting in November 2018 in their

shock home loss to Fiji. He missed out on

last year’s final due to suspension.

Toulouse squad

PITA AHKI

CENTRE

DAVID AINU’U

LOOSE HEAD PROP

DORIAN ALDEGHERI

TIGHT HEAD PROP

RICHIE ARNOLD

LOCK

RORY ARNOLD

LOCK

MAX AURIAC

FULL BACK

PAUL AUSSET

BACK ROW

CYRIL BAILLE

LOOSE HEAD PROP

ETONIA BAINIVALU

CENTRE

ALEXI BALES

SCRUM HALF

ARTHUR BONNEVAL

WING

IAN BOUBILA

HOOKER

JOSHUA BRENNAN

LOCK

SANTIAGO CHOCOBARES

CENTRE

RUBEN COURTIES CHAUBET

SCRUM HALF

GUILLAUME CRAMONT

HOOKER

FRANCOIS CROS

BACK ROW

VICTOR DANIELLI

BACK ROW

DIMITRI DELIBES

CENTRE

BENJAMIN DESCAMPS

FULL BACK

SIMON DESERT

CENTRE/WING

ANTOINE DUPONT

SCRUM HALF

RYNHARDT ELSTADT

BACK ROW/LOCK

CHARLIE FAUMUINA

TIGHT HEAD PROP

THIBAUD FLAMENT

BACK ROW/LOCK

PIERRE FOUYSSAC

CENTRE/WING

BAPTISTE GERMAIN

SCRUM HALF

SOFIANE GUITOUNE

FULL BACK/WING

MALACHI HAWKES

TIGHT HEAD PROP

ZACK HOLMES

OUTSIDE HALF

ANTHONY JELONCH

BACK ROW

LÉO LABARTHE

BACK ROW

MATTHIS LEBEL

FULL BACK/WING

RUBEN MAKA

SCRUM HALF

PAUL MALLEZ

TIGHT HEAD PROP

JUAN CRUZ MALLÍA

CENTRE/WING

JULIEN MARCHAND

HOOKER

PEATO MAUVAKA

HOOKER

EMMANUEL MEAFOU

LOCK

MAXIME MÉDARD

FULL BACK

JOEL MERKLER

TIGHT HEAD PROP

ANTOINE MIQUEL

BACK ROW

TIM NANAI-WILLIAMS

FULL BACK/WING

RODRIGUE NETI

LOOSE HEAD PROP

ROMAIN NTAMACK

OUTSIDE HALF

THEO NTAMACK

CENTRE

MARTIN PAGE RELO

SCRUM HALF

ALBAN PLACINES

BACK ROW

RAPHAEL PORTAT

LOCK

THOMAS RAMOS

FULL BACK

HUGO REILHES

TIGHT HEAD PROP

EDGAR RETIERE

SCRUM HALF

ROMAIN RIGUET

CENTRE

CLÉMENT SENTUBERY

BACK ROW

PAULO TAFILI

TIGHT HEAD PROP

LUCAS TAUZIN

CENTRE/WING

JOE TEKORI

LOCK

SELEVASIO TOLOFUA

BACK ROW

MARCO MIGUEL TRAUTH

LOOSE HEAD PROP

CLEMENT VERGE

LOCK

YANNICK YOUYOUTTE

LOCK

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 79


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Club in Focus

GOREY RFC

Each match programme, Leinster Rugby profile

one of the clubs across the province to look

at the people, the stories and the history that

make it so special to their community. This

week, we look at Gorey RFC through the eyes of

long-time member, John Breen.

John Breen.

Every club needs a John

Breen.

A jack of all trades, heavylifting

lifer, quick to jump

on board for any plan or

development that will push

Gorey RFC forward into the

future.

John came to rugby relatively

late in life, using the skills he had

honed on the soccer pitches with

Courtown Hibernians and on the

gaelic fields for Ballygarrett’s Realt

na Mara.

At 22, he sampled a taste of

the sport that would become his

passion and has never looked

back with anything other than joy

to those early days in the late-70s.

“I played every sport and rugby,

to me, is number one, both socially

and to play. It is a huge part of my

life,” he says.

“Don’t ask me why? I don’t know

why. I can’t put my finger on it. I

suppose I love meeting people.

I’ve met a lot of people from other

clubs around the country.”

“I love the game. I love being

involved in the club. It is my life, at

the moment.”

82 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


The Club President in 2013/14 and

2014/15 soon realised his other major

pastime golf would have to take a back

seat for three years, such was the allencompassing

grind of the office.

Since then, John has held the post

of Director of Rugby, not quite the

glamorous position pursued in the

professional environment.

“I am 65 years of age now. I’ve told the

lads I will give up next year. But sure, I

won’t give up. I just love being involved

as a touch judge, match reporter, doing

anything to help.”

However, progress isn’t easy.

The flourishing women’s section of rugby

has led to an explosion in girls at the

minis, youth and senior levels of the

game, all trickling down to a need to

upgrade and expand the club’s services.

Greater participation means a greater

need for facilities, coaches and all

manner of resources.

The IRFU actually own the grounds

at Clonattin, right in the middle of the

town. The club leases the venue in an

arrangement both parties are very happy

to have.

“We have two pitches and two training

areas and we installed a full gym in

2012,” shares John.

“We’re struggling for room, even though

we manage things fairly well. We are put

to the pin of our collar with the numbers.”

Gorey has been pro-active in pursuing the

monies needed to add on new dressing

rooms, to the cost of €300,000, which

are designed to cater for girls’ needs.

“We have girls playing AIL with

Suttonians, Railway Union, Old Belvedere

and Blackrock,” states John.

“There is no grand plan to create an

AIL club here in order to attract those

girls back or, indeed, keep the girls here

from leaving. We just want to be a club

where players can stay and play, if they

want to.

“In previous years, we had success in the

ladies through encouraging them to come

in from the GAA. But, they came and

went, leaving us with a ‘one year good,

the next year bad’ scenario.”

Since then, the commitment has been

made to grassroots level to build on

strong, local foundations, reaching out to

everyone in the community.

“In total, there are 700 members in the

club. We have three men’s adults teams,

the thirds only coming out for the cup.

In fact, we won the Anderson Cup last

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 83


month, edging out Ashbourne by a point

(8-7),” he says.

There are numbers of 200-plus minis

all feeding into the boys U-13s, U-14s,

U-15s, U-16s and U-18.5s and girls

U-14s, U-16s and U-18s, most playing for

the love of the game, some of them keen

to see how far they can go.

Of course, Paul Boyle is currently

carrying the green, white and blue flag

in the professional arena for Connacht.

Foster Horan was a member of the

Ireland Sevens at the Olympics in Japan.

Robin Copeland is still soldiering in a

long and eventful career that has taken

in Munster, Connacht, Cardiff Blues and,

currently, French PRO Div 2 club Soyaux

Angouleme.

In 2012, Gorey put out their first-ever

women’s senior team and the club has

produced talent in that time, highlighted

by the emergence of Ireland’s current

Sevens international Katie Farrell-

McCabe.

The increase in girls playing rugby

has shrunk the male-dominated image

and given Gorey RFC a more inclusive

welcome for all.

“It makes it a more social club,” chuckles

John.

“They have great energy for getting

practical things done, injecting real

enthusiasm and a sense of fun into the

place.

“That is even before you look into the

impact they have made for the club

on the playing fields, through players

like Katie Farrell-McCabe and Sarah

Robinson, who sadly passed away.”

However, the encroachment of Covid

really cut into the numbers, players

retiring or unable to give the necessary

commitment for one reason or another.

“We used to have a senior women’s team

before Covid came along. I’m not going

to lie, we struggled badly for numbers this

year,” he admits.

As with anything worth doing, it has to

be done in the correct way. That is why

Gorey has placed an emphasis on the

girls’ youth section.

“Our plan is for the U-14s, U-16s and

U-18s to come through into the senior

ranks and the U-16s joined with Arklow to

make up the Argos team which actually

won the Leinster U-16 Premier League

in April.

“We have a very good relationship

with Gorey Community School. Neville

Copeland, Robin’s brother, coached

them to win the McMullen Cup for the

third time this year and the girls have won

the All-Ireland Schools Sevens title.”

The connection between the school and

the club has stayed strong through the

influence of Frank Duke, now retired,

whose sons Stephen and Michael play

for the club.

The various strands contributing to the

club from the school to the influx of

girls make these exciting times for

Gorey RFC.

84 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


YOUR ACCESS TO THE HEART OF EUROPEAN

RUGBY HAS NEVER BEEN BETTER

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86 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


liam

turner

THE ACADEMY

INTERVIEW

BY PAUL CAHILL

Liam Turner

has achieved

more in his few

years playing

the game than

most people

could ever

dream of.

From lifting the Bank of Ireland

Leinster Schools Senior Cup as

Blackrock College captain, to

starting in a Grand Slam winning

campaign with the Irish U-20 side,

to making his Leinster Rugby

senior debut and travelling the

world with the Irish Sevens team,

it has been quite the journey so

far.

But, for Turner himself, the work really

only starts now as he has recently been

rewarded with his first senior contract with

Leinster Rugby.

“It’s great to be offered a senior contract

because that’s what you are working

towards in the Academy,” says Turner.

“I’m just looking forward to kicking on

now. A few injuries have disrupted the

progress I was making. I’m looking to

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 87


come back and contribute to the team.”

Having shone in the Blackrock College

number 13 jersey during his school

days, comparisons were quickly made

to former great players who have also

donned that famous blue and white

jersey.

But instead of being weighed down by

links to the likes of Brian O’Driscoll or

indeed a more recent vintage in Garry

Ringrose, Turner tries to take the positives

from such comparisons.

“It’s cool to be compared to such good

rugby players. I’ve no issues with it.

“I admire him (Garry) a lot in how he

plays and I try and take things that he

does and try and implement them myself.

He’s certainly a good role model to work

off.”

In fact, Turner would even go to the

current Irish international for advice.

“Garry is certainly someone who I

chat to a lot. When I was in first year in

school, he was part of that Blackrock

College Senior Cup team of 2013 that

won.

“I always followed his progression

closely. I saw him in school and I

watched him playing U-20 with Ireland

and then seeing him progress through

the Leinster system, so he is certainly

someone I look up to.”

Despite putting in place the right

foundations for an impressive CV

himself, things haven’t always been so

straightforward for Turner.

Take the Grand Slam as an example,

even though he was the starting outside

centre on the 2019 Irish U-20 Grand

Slam-winning team, it didn’t look like

he would be involved just a few weeks

before the Six Nations began.

Having been at all of the camps leading

up to the tournament, Turner was

disappointed to not be selected in the

squad for a challenge game against a

Leinster Development XV.

But, having not been selected by the Irish

U-20s meant that he could line out for

the Leinster side. A perfect opportunity

to show the coaches what he could do

when faced with adversity.

“It was late December, so it was quite

close to the Six Nations kicking off. It

went very well for me. It was one of my

best games that I played in a long time.

“Everything seemed to fall my way and

that opened the door for me to get back

in with the Irish U-20s, and it just went

from there.

“I played all of the games at 13, and we

just went on an incredible run and won

the Grand Slam.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

That U-20 team was only the third Irish

side to win the Six Nations at that age

grade, with a fourth added earlier this

year.

Liam Turner is quick to highlight what a

special group he had the pleasure of

playing with.

“It was a great team to play in. We had

the likes of Harry Byrne, Scott Penny, Ben

Healy, Craig Casey, Josh Wycherley and

Ryan Baird. A lot of that team are in the

senior Irish squad now.

“A big thing for us was the team unity.

We had a lot of great players, but we

were very well connected as a team. I

think it was a really good group of lads

and it definitely paid dividends when we

won the Grand Slam.”

88 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


For all of the big days that Liam Turner

has had so far, there is one constant

throughout; his parents shouting on from

the stands. Andrew and Julie Turner have

been there every step of the way.

Julie has had the honour of presenting

him with the Senior Schools Cup trophy

at an RDS bathed in sunshine. Great days

but made all the better for the support of

loved ones.

“I get great support from my mum and

dad. They go to every game and they

absolutely love it. They support me in

everything I do, so they are brilliant.”

But, when his most recent milestone came

along, his parents couldn’t be there due

to Covid-19.

On October 23, 2020, Turner made his

Leinster Rugby debut against Zebre in

front of an empty RDS.

“It was definitely a bit strange not having

my parents there. It was actually funny,

my dad was asking if he could be Leo the

Lion and watch the game from inside the

mascot costume!

“After the game I went straight to my

cousin’s house. They were all there and

they all watched the game together. So

I met up with them afterwards and they

were absolutely over the moon for me,

which was really nice.”

Turner would go on to make six senior

appearances for Leinster Rugby in the

2020/21 season. Regular involvement

with the Irish Sevens team meant he has

been away from Leinster Rugby HQ for

large parts of the current season, but he

did enjoy another run out with the Leinster

team earlier this year in pre-season

against Harlequins.

“It was a great experience playing at

Aviva Stadium. It was actually the first

game back with crowds. My family were

there this time, which was great. So I got

to see them afterwards.

“It was a new experience. The senior

games I had played for Leinster were all

in front of no crowd, so obviously it was

a lot louder. There’s a much better buzz

when the crowd are cheering you on.

“I got to play with the likes of Johnny

Sexton who would have been away

when I made my previous appearances,

so that was a new experience too, which

was cool.”

Throughout his time travelling with the

Irish Sevens team, it has given him a

different platform to show what he can

do.

“My biggest year with the Sevens was

actually the season that was stopped

because of Covid.

“I did the Dubai and Cape Town leg,

the Hamilton and Sydney leg and the

LA and Vancouver leg. And then we

got back from Vancouver on the

Tuesday, the country closed down on

the Thursday.

“After that, I got my break with Leinster

where I played six times until the end

of January. This year, I felt I needed

to perform as a third year Academy

player. I played with the Sevens again in

Vancouver, France and Dubai.”

When he wasn’t jet setting with the

Sevens, Turner knew he had to keep

trying to impress the Leinster coaches

enough to earn a contract.

90 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Another avenue that would help him

impress was for his Energia All-Ireland

League club, Dublin University FC.

“Playing in the AIL has been great for me.

When I wasn’t sure if I was in the U-20

Irish squad, I think playing a lot with

Trinity really helped.

“At the end of the day, if you want

get better as a rugby player, you

need to play games. Playing in little

cameos can be frustrating, and playing

regularly is far more beneficial.”

A niggly injury required a procedure

in February, which was poor timing for

Turner who was still trying to earn his

senior contract.

“I had a lot of conversations with Leo

and the coaching staff and in fairness I

always appreciated that they were very

straight up about everything. At times

it could be frustrating, but I understood

how the whole process works.

“It was all up in the air for a while, but

thankfully at the end of February I found

out that I was being offered a senior

92 | www.leinsterrugby.ie

There’s always

a buzz around

pre-season and I

want to be there

and contribute

to the team.

contract. It was actually the day of my

surgery.

“I woke up and the first thing I see on the

phone was a text from my agent saying

Leinster are offering me a contract. So

that was a nice thing to wake up to!”

With his contract sorted, and his summer

exams completed in Trinity where he

studies business, economics, political

science and sociology, Turner is fully

focused on the 2022/23 season.

“The goal is just to get back fit for the

start of pre-season. If I manage to do that,

that will be the first full pre-season I will

have had here because of the Irish U-20s,

Covid and the Sevens.

“So I can’t wait to get a full pre-season

under my belt and look to kick on. There’s

always a buzz around pre-season and

I want to be there and contribute to the

team.

“I’m just very thankful for the opportunity

and I’m looking forward to getting back

and showing what I can do again.”


www.leinsterrugby.ie | 93


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


ENERGIA ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE

AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Energia, title sponsor of the All-

Ireland League and one of Ireland’s

leading energy suppliers, have

announced the winners of the

Energia AIL awards.

This 2021/22 season, clubs have

reported a 15 per cent increase

in attendance and the Energia

AIL final on May 1 in the Aviva

Stadium, more than doubled its

crowd record at the venue.

The Men’s Division 1A Player of the Year,

Cormac Daly, starred with a hat-trick of

tries in Clontarf’s bonus-point victory over

Dublin University and stunned Garryowen

at a wet Dooradoyle, with a try after

just 90 seconds. Daly also won Player

of the Match in the Energia AIL Division

1A final.

The Women’s Player of the Year, Aoife

Doyle enjoyed a tremendous season,

which included a fantastic brace of tries

in Railway Union’s 43-8 bonus point

win at Old Belvedere. Doyle was just 18

when she made her Ireland debut against

France in the 2015 Six Nations, she also

played Sevens for several years and is

now back playing XVs regularly. These

awards were voted for by the Head

Coaches and Directors of Rugby across

the league.

Leinster Academy player Alex Soroka

and his older brother, Ivan, both Clontarf,

were awarded the Positive Energy Award

for their fundraising for Ukraine.

The Moment of the Year was awarded

to Stephen O’Neill, Terenure College

RFC, for his run down of a Garryowen

player. It was a time in the game where

Garryowen were on top and could

seriously dent Terenure’s battle for

the play-offs. O’Neill led by captain’s

example winning a key turnover, but

unfortunately missed out on the play-offs

due to injury.

Clubs from across Ireland were invited

to nominate members or volunteers who

go above and beyond the call of duty

and Conall Fitzpatrick from Waterpark

RFC, was awarded the Community Hero

Award. The nominees for this award

have provided years of service and have

volunteered for the betterment of their

club many times, at all levels and over a

wide range of tasks on and off the pitch.

Nominations were sought from clubs

around the island, with a huge quantity

received. Seamus Lowry (Oughterard

RFC) Richard Black (City of Armagh RFC)

and Martina Fitzpatrick (Tallaght RFC)

were also shortlisted. The Moment of

the Year and Community Hero awards

were nominated by club members and

supporters of the league.

The ceremony also included a 15-minute

panel discussion with Niamh Briggs,

Richie Murphy, and John Fogarty. The

panellists discussed the 2021/22 Energia

AIL season while reflecting on the efforts

of the U-20 and women’s teams in this

year’s Six Nations Championships.

Each panellist also touched upon their

respective individual experiences playing

in the All-Ireland League.

This year’s awards were presented by

The Club Scene Podcast host, Daragh

Frawley, and celebrated the action both

on and off the pitch and highlighted some

of the real skill, talent, and incredible

rugby we have seen from the players this

season.

ENERGIA AIL PLAYER OF THE YEAR

AWARDS

• Women’s Division Player Of The

Division – Aoife Doyle (Railway Union)

• Men’s Division 1A Player Of The

Division – Cormac Daly (Clontarf)

• Men’s Division 1B Player Of The

Division – JJ O’Dea (Old Wesley)

• Men’s Division 2A Player Of The

Division – David Whitten (Queen’s

University)

• Men’s Division 2B Player Of The

Division – Cathal Forde (Galway

Corinthians)

• Men’s Division 2C Player Of The

Division – Niall Parker (Enniscorthy)

ENERGIA AIL COACH OF THE YEAR

AWARDS

• Energia Men’s AIL Coach of the Year –

Andy Wood (Clontarf)

• Energia Women’s AIL Coach of the

Year – Ben Martin (Blackrock College)

ENERGIA MOMENT OF THE

SEASON

• Stephen O’Neill (Terenure College RFC)

ENERGIA COMMUNITY HERO

AWARD

• Conall Fitzpatrick (Waterpark RFC)

ENERGIA AIL POSITIVE ENERGY

AWARD

• Alex and Ivan Soroka (Clontarf)

ENERGIA AIL CLUB SCENE AWARD

• Terenure College RFC

96 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


RUGBY.

DELIVERED.

TEAMWORK. SPEED. DELIVERY. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE

OFFICIAL LOGISTICS PARTNER. DHL.


Leinster Rugby Academy

Year Three 2021/22:

Leinster Rugby Academy

Year two 2021/22:

Second Row

Brian Deeny #1306

DOB: 02/03/2000

HEIGHT: 1.99m WEIGHT: 121kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (8 caps) &

Leinster Rugby (2 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. 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 (4 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 (7 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 (6 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 #1307

DOB: 15/02/2000

HEIGHT: 1.82m WEIGHT: 105kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (12 caps) &

Leinster Rugby (2 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 (18 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

100 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Seán O’Brien #1297

Lee Barron #1308

Back Row

DOB: 31/07/2000

HEIGHT: 1.90m WEIGHT: 103kg

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps)

& Leinster Rugby (3 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

HONOURS: Leinster Rugby (2 caps)

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 (9 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

HONOURS: Leinster Rugby (2 caps)

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 (4 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 (4 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 | 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

15/04

23/04

30/04

07/05

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

W

56-20 HCC CONNACHT Aviva

Stadium

L

23-28

L

13-20

W

23-14

URC

CELL C

SHARKS

URC

DHL

STORMERS

HCC

LEICESTER

TIGERS

14/05 15:00 HCC TOULOUSE

21/05 19:15 URC MUNSTER

fixtures and

results 2021/22

Jonsson

Kings Park

Green Point

Stadium

Mattioli Woods

Welford Road

Aviva

Stadium

Aviva

Stadium

T O’BRIEN

2T

J O’BRIEN

1T

OSBORNE

RINGROSE

1T

FRAWLEY

1T

HENSHAW

J O’BRIEN RINGROSE HENSHAW

KEENAN J O’BRIEN RINGROSE

COSGRAVE

T O’BRIEN

1T

OSBORNE

HENSHAW

2T

FRAWLEY

2C 3P

O’LOUGHLIN

1T

LOWE

2T

LOWE

2T

LOWE

4T

O’REILLY A BYRNE OSBORNE O’LOUGHLIN RUSSELL

KEENAN J O’BRIEN RINGROSE

HENSHAW

1T

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

SEXTON 6C

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

GIBSON-PARK

1T

PORTER

KELLEHER

O’LOUGHLIN H BYRNE N MCCARTHY PORTER MCKEE

LOWE

FRAWLEY

2P

SEXTON

2P 2C

FOLEY

E BYRNE

1T

MCKEE

GIBSON-PARK PORTER KELLEHER

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

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

FURLONG

1T

MOLONY J MURPHY DORIS VAN DER FLIER CONAN SHEEHAN E BYRNE ALAALATOA TONER RUDDOCK MCGRATH

CLARKSON DEENY DUNNE RUDDOCK

PENNY

1T

R BYRNE

1P

R BYRNE

2C

COSGRAVE

FRAWLEY

FRAWLEY

DEEGAN BARRON DOOLEY ALAALATOA J MURPHY SOROKA FOLEY HAWKSHAW MOLONEY

CLARKSON J MURPHY DEENY SOROKA PENNY RUDDOCK BARRON MILNE ABDALADZE DUNNE S O’BRIEN N MCCARTHY

FURLONG MOLONY RYAN DORIS

VAN DER FLIER

1T

CONAN SHEEHAN HEALY ALAALATOA J MCCARTHY RUDDOCK MCGRATH

H BYRNE

1C

R BYRNE

1P

MOLONEY

T O’BRIEN

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 103


matchday

Squads officials

REFEREE

KARL DICKSON

(ENG)

ASSISTANT REFEREE

CHRISTOPHE RIDLEY

(ENG)

ASSISTANT REFEREE

ANTHONY WOODTHORPE

(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

Thomas Ramos

Juan Cruz Mallía

Pierre Fouyssac

Pita Ahki

Matthis Lebel

Romain Ntamack

TMO

STUART TERHEEGE

(ENG)

CITING COMMISSIONER

BETH DICKENS

(SCO)

Jamison Gibson-Park

SCRUM HALF

Antoine Dupont

Andrew Porter

Rónan Kelleher

Tadhg Furlong

Ross Molony

James Ryan

Caelan Doris

Josh van der Flier

Jack Conan

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

LOOSE HEAD PROP Cyril Baille

FRONT PAGE

HOOKER Julien Marchand [C]

TIGHT HEAD PROP Dorian Aldegheri

SECOND ROW Rory Arnold

SECOND ROW Emmanuel Meafou

BLINDSIDE FLANKER Rynhardt Elstadt

OPENSIDE FLANKER Francois Cros

NUMBER 8 Anthony Jelonch

Dan Sheehan

Cian Healy

Michael Ala’alatoa

Joe McCarthy

Rhys Ruddock

Luke McGrath

Ross Byrne

Ciarán Frawley

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

REPLACEMENT

Peato Mauvaka

Rodrigue Neti

David Ainu’u

Joe Tekori

Selevasio Tolofua

Thibaud Flament

Martin Page Relo

Zack Holmes


At Sword we know how important the Game is.

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

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

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Parting Shot

Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

7 May 2022

Ross Byrne of Leinster kicks

a penalty to take his tally

for Leinster Rugby past the

800-point mark during the

Heineken Champions Cup

quarter-final match between

Leicester Tigers and Leinster at

Mattoli Woods Welford Road

Stadium in Leicester, England.

106 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


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