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Leinster vs Munster

Leinster | Official Matchday Programme of Leinster Rugby | Issue 13 Leinster vs Munster | United Rugby Championship Saturday 21st May, 2022 | KO 7.15pm | Aviva Stadium

Leinster | Official Matchday Programme of Leinster Rugby | Issue 13
Leinster vs Munster | United Rugby Championship
Saturday 21st May, 2022 | KO 7.15pm | Aviva Stadium

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ISSUE 13 | LEINSTER RUGBY OFFICIAL MATCHDAY PROGRAMME<br />

LEINSTER<br />

VS<br />

munster<br />

SAT 21 st MAY<br />

AVIVA STADIUM<br />

KO 7.15PM


Newstead Building A,<br />

UCD,<br />

Belfield,<br />

Dublin 4<br />

#LEIVMUN<br />

The Line up<br />

Telephone:<br />

012693224<br />

Fax:<br />

012693142<br />

E-mail:<br />

information@leinsterrugby.ie<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie<br />

6<br />

24<br />

EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT<br />

President: John Walsh<br />

Chief Executive: Michael Dawson<br />

Honorary Secretary: Stuart Bayley<br />

Honorary Treasurer: Michael McGrail<br />

RUGBY MANAGEMENT<br />

Head Coach: Leo Cullen<br />

Senior Coach: Stuart Lancaster<br />

Head of Rugby Operations:<br />

Guy Easterby<br />

Assistant Coach: Robin McBryde<br />

Backs Coach: Felipe Contepomi<br />

Kicking Coach: Emmet Farrell<br />

Contact Skills Coach: Denis Leamy<br />

14<br />

PROGRAMME CREDITS<br />

Editorial Team: Marcus Ó Buachalla,<br />

Ryan Corry & Paul Cahill<br />

Advertising: Gary Nolan<br />

Design: Julian Tredinnick,<br />

Ignition Sports Media<br />

Photography: Sportsfile<br />

Chief Steward: Sword Security<br />

Ambulance: St. John’s Ambulance<br />

Medilink<br />

Event Control & Safety Services:<br />

Eamonn O’Boyle & Associates<br />

57<br />

86<br />

STAY<br />

CONNECTED<br />

& KEEP<br />

UP-TO-DATE<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 3


john walsh welcome<br />

PRESIDENT, LEINSTER RUGBY 2020/22<br />

A week after <strong>Leinster</strong>’s Heineken<br />

Champions Cup semi-final win over<br />

Toulouse, we extend a warm welcome<br />

to rugby fans to the Aviva Stadium<br />

for this evening’s rescheduled<br />

Round 15 fixture in the United Rugby<br />

Championship.<br />

It features the defending<br />

champions and current league<br />

leaders <strong>Leinster</strong> on 62 points and<br />

the second-highest ranked team<br />

in rivals <strong>Munster</strong> on 56 points<br />

(incidentally the same number<br />

of points as South African teams<br />

the Cell C Sharks and the DHL<br />

Stormers).<br />

This game also marks our final game<br />

in this phase of this new and exciting<br />

international competition and it will have<br />

a bearing as to which clubs will have<br />

home or away fixtures in the final stages<br />

of the competition.<br />

The strength and quality of Irish rugby<br />

is reflected in the fact that three of the<br />

top eight clubs in the 16 United Rugby<br />

Championship clubs are Ulster (11 wins),<br />

<strong>Munster</strong> (11 wins) and <strong>Leinster</strong> (12 wins).<br />

In relation to our win over Toulouse we<br />

want to acknowledge the tremendous<br />

and spectacular support that the team<br />

was given by the ‘sea of blue’ at the<br />

Aviva.<br />

We thank all the 42,000 fans who<br />

created a magnificent atmosphere. The<br />

Official <strong>Leinster</strong> Supporters Club have for<br />

many seasons played an important role<br />

in the success story of <strong>Leinster</strong> at home<br />

and abroad and we thank all the OLSC<br />

Committee members and volunteers for<br />

their commitment to the team. We hope<br />

to see and hear that ‘sea of blue’ on<br />

Saturday, 28 May, at the iconic Stade<br />

Velodrome in Marseille when we play<br />

La Rochelle in the final of the Heineken<br />

Champions Cup.<br />

In what was a short turnaround from our<br />

win in Leicester, the <strong>Leinster</strong> marketing<br />

and ticketing team’s effort was truly a<br />

magnificent one to sell 42,000 tickets in<br />

five days so we thank all involved.<br />

The local derbies between our provincial<br />

sides no matter at what level are eagerly<br />

awaited by all rugby fans and indeed<br />

all players look forward to that extra<br />

spice that these events generate. No<br />

doubt the impending Ireland tour to New<br />

Zealand will be a factor as players seek<br />

performances that will guarantee a seat<br />

on the plane.<br />

A special welcome to our visitors <strong>Munster</strong><br />

and their supporters, <strong>Munster</strong> President<br />

Sean McCullough, the officers of the<br />

<strong>Munster</strong> Branch, head coach Johann Van<br />

Graan, players and management team.<br />

While we may be rivals on the pitch,<br />

we at <strong>Leinster</strong>, continue to work with our<br />

colleagues in <strong>Munster</strong>, Connacht, and<br />

Ulster for the sustained development<br />

of the game at all levels on this island<br />

and share many common goals and<br />

objectives and long may that be so.<br />

As we approach the final months of the<br />

season, <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby wishes to thank<br />

and acknowledge the contributions that<br />

departing players have made to our club.<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby will bid farewell to Devin<br />

Toner (a record 279 <strong>Leinster</strong> caps), Seán<br />

Cronin (204 <strong>Leinster</strong> caps), Dan Leavy<br />

(79 <strong>Leinster</strong> caps) who are all retiring.<br />

Joining the Connacht squad are Peter<br />

Dooley (103 <strong>Leinster</strong> caps), Adam<br />

Byrne (65 caps), Josh Murphy (60 caps)<br />

and David Hawkshaw (11 caps). Also<br />

departing are Rory O’Loughlin (96 caps)<br />

and Jack Dunne (20 caps) who are<br />

joining Exeter Chiefs. We wish all the<br />

very best in their future endeavours.<br />

I would also like to take this opportunity<br />

to wish Felipe Contepomi well on his<br />

return back home at the end of the<br />

season. The opportunity to coach your<br />

country is one too good to turn down but<br />

what a legacy he will leave on this club<br />

as a player and now as a coach. You<br />

will always have a warm welcome here<br />

Felipe, safe home and thank you.<br />

The Energia All-Ireland League has<br />

this season resulted in three individual<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Clubs (Clontarf, Blackrock and<br />

Enniscorthy) winning three of the five<br />

titles that were up for decision in what<br />

has been a most competitive and exciting<br />

league programme.<br />

A total of 18 out of the 50 AIL clubs are<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong>-based while there are five <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

women’s teams playing in the Energia<br />

Women’s All-Ireland League which<br />

currently consists of 10 clubs. The AIL<br />

fixtures received excellent coverage from<br />

4 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


all the participating clubs who promoted<br />

the games on their multiple media<br />

platforms which continue to develop and<br />

produce quality content.<br />

I also wish to remind you that the <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

Rugby charity partner for the month of<br />

May is CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young)<br />

and I would like to thank the team in<br />

BearingPoint for bringing them back to<br />

the table having previously been partners<br />

of ours back in 2015 and last year.<br />

I would strongly recommend to all that<br />

you log on to their website and make<br />

yourself fully aware as to the impact<br />

that this disease and condition can<br />

have on your life and on the lives of<br />

your treasured loved ones. CRY was<br />

established in 2002 and continues to<br />

do amazing work in the diagnosis and<br />

management of the cardiac condition.<br />

Make yourself aware and log on to<br />

www.cry.ie for further information. The<br />

CRY HELPLINE is Freephone Republic of<br />

Ireland 1800 714 080, Northern Ireland<br />

00 44 8006 40 62 80, and you can<br />

email info@cry.ie.<br />

On a related topic <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby’s<br />

‘Operation Life Saver’ has highlighted<br />

to all the <strong>Leinster</strong>-based clubs the<br />

importance of having a defibrillator<br />

(AED) in their grounds in order to deal<br />

with emergencies. Furthermore, we have<br />

highlighted the need for clubs to have in<br />

place effective emergency protocols, as<br />

well as full awareness of Eircode location.<br />

On completion of this <strong>Leinster</strong> project<br />

our clubs will be linked to the National<br />

Emergency Operations Centre and<br />

National Ambulance Service in order<br />

that we can provide the best possible<br />

outcome in these emergency situations.<br />

Two hugely worthwhile and visible<br />

campaigns that I would urge you all to<br />

support.<br />

Enjoy the game and the next few weeks.<br />

These are the games and the occasions<br />

that we have missed so much over the last<br />

two years!<br />

John Walsh<br />

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

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 5


Leo Cullen<br />

head Coach Welcome<br />

Good evening<br />

to you all<br />

and a warm<br />

welcome to<br />

Johann van<br />

Graan and his<br />

<strong>Munster</strong> team<br />

to the Aviva<br />

Stadium for<br />

tonight’s<br />

game.<br />

The action is coming thick and<br />

fast, and it has been amazing to<br />

witness the display of red and<br />

blue at this ground over the past<br />

couple of weeks. These games<br />

are always a reflection of the<br />

passionate support behind both<br />

of our teams and that’s something<br />

we never take for granted. Long<br />

may it continue.<br />

Thankfully, we have managed to<br />

secure top spot in the United Rugby<br />

Championship. However, we know it is<br />

very tight with a lot of teams still in with a<br />

shout of securing a home play-off spot, so<br />

tonight promises to be a keenly contested<br />

game. The addition of the South African<br />

teams has added a whole new dynamic,<br />

not just on the pitch but in terms of travel,<br />

logistics and squad management.<br />

Meanwhile, even though we are involved<br />

in a European final next week, we also<br />

have a quarter-final to play the week<br />

after (we hope to see you all there!).<br />

That’s a challenge that will require focus<br />

and renewed energy. The last round of<br />

the regular season will no doubt throw up<br />

a few surprises as everyone battles it out<br />

for the top seedings.<br />

Many thanks to the 42,000-plus<br />

supporters who turned out last week to<br />

create another <strong>Leinster</strong> ‘Sea of Blue’ at<br />

the Aviva. It was truly remarkable to get<br />

such a big crowd in just five days of ticket<br />

sales (well done Claire, Niamh and all<br />

the team in what was a massive effort<br />

behind the scenes).<br />

I know it’s a big ask and a significant<br />

expense, but we hope to see as<br />

many familiar faces as possible in<br />

Marseille next Saturday.<br />

Our supporters definitely<br />

made a difference<br />

last weekend. The noise and colour<br />

throughout the match gave us all a big lift<br />

and I want to say a special thanks to the<br />

OLSC for their efforts over the last few<br />

weeks, both here and on the road.<br />

On this, the last game in our regular<br />

season, I also want to thank the team’s<br />

sponsors, especially Bank of Ireland. We<br />

know it has been a challenging couple of<br />

years for all organisations but your faith<br />

and backing makes a huge difference<br />

to the running of this team. We certainly<br />

couldn’t do what we do without you.<br />

Felipe’s announcement this week that<br />

he will be returning to Argentina really<br />

drove home the point that every season<br />

is unique; there is always some personnel<br />

movement and no two groups are ever<br />

exactly the same. That’s just the nature of<br />

our game.<br />

It’s not just Felipe who will be moving<br />

on at the end of this season; we’ll be<br />

saying goodbye to a number of players<br />

and staff members, and I’d like to take<br />

this opportunity to wish them all the very<br />

best. We are lucky to have had so many<br />

outstanding individuals feeding into the<br />

group dynamic over many years, and we<br />

thank them all for their efforts.<br />

The last few weeks have required huge<br />

commitment from absolutely everybody<br />

in the group, and we are still standing<br />

and fighting on all fronts. That in itself is<br />

a tribute to the hard work that goes on,<br />

both on the pitch and behind the scenes.<br />

We’re in for another battle this<br />

evening. I hope you enjoy the<br />

game, and the exciting few<br />

weeks that lie ahead – the<br />

games can’t come quick<br />

enough!<br />

Leo<br />

6 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Many thanks to the 42,000-plus<br />

supporters who turned out last<br />

week to create another <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

‘sea of blue’ at the Aviva.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 7


carla<br />

delaney<br />

DIRECTOR, BANK OF IRELAND AREA EAST<br />

A very warm welcome back to Aviva Stadium for the<br />

last time this season! And what a season it has been<br />

at this home, away from home, of <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby.<br />

We have seen some breath-taking<br />

displays in European competition<br />

in the Aviva Stadium this season,<br />

not to mention in the URC at the<br />

start of the season against the<br />

Bulls, and now we welcome the<br />

Red Army from <strong>Munster</strong> for one<br />

last battle at Lansdowne Road this<br />

season.<br />

The performance last weekend against<br />

Toulouse certainly whets the appetite<br />

for the game this evening and with<br />

a European final only around the<br />

corner, in addition to the United Rugby<br />

Championship play-offs, the <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

players will look at this as an opportunity<br />

for some of them to lay down a marker<br />

ahead of the knock-out games to come.<br />

As we all know, after this weekend, its<br />

knock-out rugby all the way until June 18.<br />

A condensed run of high-stakes matches<br />

that certainly narrows the focus!<br />

Well done to both Jimmy O’Brien,<br />

who won his 50th <strong>Leinster</strong> cap against<br />

Toulouse in the European semi-final,<br />

and also well done to Leo Cullen on the<br />

occasion of his 200th game as <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

Rugby head coach today.<br />

A coaching career that commenced<br />

against Edinburgh Rugby, and has<br />

taken in the highways and the byways<br />

of European rugby ever since, has led<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby to unprecedented success<br />

since Leo took over in 2015. Thank<br />

you Leo for all that you have done and<br />

achieved so far and here’s to many more<br />

big days ahead.<br />

Thank you also to Felipe Contepomi<br />

who announced this week that he will be<br />

leaving the club at the end of the season.<br />

As a player and as a coach over many<br />

years, he brought great joy to all of us<br />

supporters. Safe home Felipe and best of<br />

luck with Argentina.<br />

Players too will exit stage left over the<br />

coming weeks and we, in Bank of Ireland,<br />

would like to thank all the players that<br />

pulled on a <strong>Leinster</strong> jersey for the men’s<br />

team and the women’s team this season.<br />

You may never fully understand the great<br />

joy that you give to supporters but you<br />

genuinely do, and we very much thank<br />

you for it. We wish you all the very best<br />

of luck as you embark on your next rugby<br />

adventures.<br />

As proud sponsors of rugby in all four<br />

provinces, Bank of Ireland will always<br />

remain on the fence for days like today!<br />

But I would like to wish all the players<br />

a safe and sporting game, and the<br />

supporters a great day out.<br />

May the best team win and good luck<br />

to both in the coming weeks in the URC<br />

play-offs.<br />

CD<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 9


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16 TEAMS,<br />

2 HEMISPHERES,<br />

1 LEAGUE


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Did you<br />

know?<br />

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

last two United Rugby<br />

Championship matches, both<br />

in South Africa, at the Cell C<br />

Sharks and the DHL Stormers<br />

and have not lost three in<br />

a row in the United Rugby<br />

Championship since 2008.<br />

• <strong>Leinster</strong>’s only defeat in<br />

their last twenty-three<br />

visits to Aviva Stadium in<br />

all tournaments was 17-25 to<br />

Saracens in the Quarter Final<br />

of the European Champions Cup<br />

in September 2020.<br />

• <strong>Munster</strong> have lost just one<br />

of their last four United<br />

Rugby Championship matches:<br />

19-34 to today’s opponents,<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong>, in Limerick on 2<br />

April.<br />

• The <strong>Munster</strong>men have already<br />

visited Aviva Stadium this<br />

season drawing there 24-all<br />

with Toulouse three weeks ago<br />

in the European Champions Cup<br />

Quarter Final but going out of<br />

the competition on a penalty<br />

shoot-out.<br />

• <strong>Leinster</strong> have lost just<br />

one of their last eight<br />

encounters with their<br />

fiercest rivals: 3-27 at the<br />

RDS Arena in the Rainbow Cup<br />

last April.<br />

• <strong>Munster</strong>’s only victory in<br />

their last twelve visits<br />

to Aviva Stadium to face<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> was 34-23 in October<br />

2014.<br />

COMPARISON<br />

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

Played 44, <strong>Leinster</strong> won 29, <strong>Munster</strong> won 15.<br />

Last 3 URC results<br />

2 Apr - <strong>Munster</strong> (A) W 34-19 2 Apr - <strong>Leinster</strong> (H) L 19-34<br />

23 Apr - Sharks (A) L 23-28 22 Apr - Ulster (A) W 24-17<br />

30 Apr - Stormers (A) L 13-20 29 Apr - Cardiff Rugby (H) W 42-21<br />

URC 2021/22<br />

1ST - W12 D0 L5 - 62PTS<br />

2ND - W11 D0 L6 - 56PTS<br />

WLWWLL (18pts)<br />

URC form<br />

LLWLWW (16pts)<br />

Top try scorer<br />

6 - Scott Penny, Max Deegan 7 - Simon Zebo, Craig Casey<br />

Top points scorer<br />

109 - Ross Byrne 95 - Ben Healy<br />

Date Venue L M <strong>Leinster</strong> scorers <strong>Munster</strong> scorers<br />

Sat 28 Dec 19 Thomond Park 13 6 Ross Byrne(C/2P) Ed Byrne(T) JJ Hanrahan(2P)<br />

Sat 22 Aug<br />

20<br />

Aviva Stadium 27 25 James Lowe(T) Ross Byrne(P) Cian Healy(T)<br />

Garry Ringrose(T) Johnny Sexton(3C/P)<br />

Andrew Conway(2T) Keith Earls(T) JJ<br />

Hanrahan(2C/2P)<br />

Fri 4 Sep 20 Aviva Stadium (SF) 13 3 Ronan Kelleher(T) Johnny Sexton(C/2P) JJ Hanrahan(P)<br />

Sat 23 Jan 21 Thomond Park 13 10 Ross Byrne(C) Jordan Larmour(T) Johnny<br />

Sexton(2P)<br />

Tadhg Beirne(T) JJ Hanrahan(C/P)<br />

Sat 27 Mar<br />

21<br />

RDS Arena (TF) 16 6 Jack Conan(T) Ross Byrne(C/3P) Joey Carbery(2P)<br />

Sat 2 Apr 22 Thomond Park 34 19 James Lowe(2T) Ross Byrne(C/4P) Garry<br />

Ringrose(T) Jimmy O’Brien(T)<br />

Damian de Allende(T) Joey Carbery(C/4P)<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 13


14 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


scott<br />

penny<br />

Scott Penny<br />

is still just<br />

22 years of<br />

age.<br />

It seems like<br />

he’s been<br />

around a lot<br />

longer given<br />

he already<br />

has 40<br />

appearances<br />

for the<br />

province<br />

under his<br />

belt, not to<br />

mention his<br />

22 tries in<br />

those games.<br />

the big interview<br />

BY RYAN CORRY<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 15


However, it’ll come as a surprise<br />

to many to learn he has yet to<br />

make an appearance in the<br />

Heineken Champions Cup despite<br />

being named to start against<br />

Montpellier in December as the<br />

contest was later cancelled and<br />

the home side were awarded a<br />

five-point win.<br />

So, last week, as <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby took on<br />

Toulouse at Aviva Stadium, he held a<br />

watching brief within the ground after a<br />

week where he will have done his best<br />

impressions of Rynhardt Elstadt, Francois<br />

Cros or Anthony Jelonch.<br />

But the day itself is one of those, in<br />

Penny’s opinion, that sees all of the hard<br />

work pay off.<br />

“It’s been a while since I’ve seen that kind<br />

of atmosphere in the Aviva and that much<br />

energy,” he says.<br />

“Hopefully we’ll see that again tonight.<br />

We were just preparing the lads to the<br />

best of our ability. We always talk about<br />

being brothers here and how, if you’re<br />

not involved, you’re preparing the team in<br />

the best way you can.<br />

“Basically, it was about learning off the<br />

Toulouse plays and trying to play their<br />

way during the week to get the lads used<br />

to it, just in the general loose off-loading<br />

style.”<br />

This time around, Penny will get the<br />

chance to lead the line, slotting into<br />

the number seven shirt for just his third<br />

appearance against provincial rivals<br />

<strong>Munster</strong>.<br />

He started in the 27-3 reverse at the<br />

RDS Arena in last season’s Rainbow Cup<br />

competition and had a four-minute cameo<br />

in December 2019’s 13-6 win for <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

at Thomond Park.<br />

“I’ve only played against them twice. The<br />

Rainbow Cup over a year ago was the<br />

last time. It was a tough fixture,” he adds.<br />

“We had a similar enough team to what<br />

we have out tonight, and they were pretty<br />

much full strength. They got the upper<br />

hand with the physicality with a few of<br />

us coming back having not played for a<br />

few weeks which is a similar scenario to<br />

this game.<br />

“They’re big rivals for us. Anytime we<br />

play them, no matter what it is, we’re very<br />

motivated. You want to put your hand<br />

up for selection for next week and then<br />

the quarters, semis and hopefully a final<br />

coming up then as well.<br />

“Everyone’s motivated and we’ve seen<br />

during the week, we’re very up for it. A<br />

lot of people haven’t played in a while,<br />

maybe since South Africa, so we’re all<br />

fired up and ready to go.”<br />

Not playing since the tour to South Africa<br />

is something he has to contend with<br />

himself, starting both of those games and<br />

even being on-field captain for a spell<br />

after Rhys Ruddock was replaced.<br />

16 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


It was a really good<br />

opportunity for them<br />

to get comfortable in<br />

the environment and<br />

you saw it in their<br />

performances.<br />

And despite losing by a converted try<br />

or less in both of those games, Penny<br />

outlines the level of belief that it has<br />

instilled in the wider squad and some<br />

of the fresher faces from the Academy<br />

who were experiencing their first taste<br />

of the Senior game in such a difficult<br />

environment.<br />

From training in the sweltering sun<br />

to playing games in the midst of<br />

never-ending rain against seasoned<br />

Springbok internationals, it threw<br />

everything at <strong>Leinster</strong>’s young touring<br />

squad.<br />

And, despite the losses, it was<br />

job done. The losing bonus points<br />

clinching top spot in the Conference<br />

and a home route to the final should<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> get there.<br />

“It was a great experience. We were so<br />

disappointed not to get a win over there<br />

but when we went over, the job was to<br />

secure first place before the end of the<br />

season which we did by getting two<br />

losing bonus points,” Penny explains.<br />

“Especially in the Sharks game, we felt<br />

we had an opportunity to win towards<br />

the end of the game and we didn’t. But, I<br />

think it’s great learning that, in those big<br />

games, that we are still in it. It’s just those<br />

small errors – a knock-on on the line,<br />

getting held up or whatever, they’re the<br />

winning and losing of it.<br />

“And, you’re spending a lot more time<br />

with people that you wouldn’t normally<br />

have spent too much time with before<br />

then. You’re with each other all day,<br />

every day for the guts of two weeks so<br />

you build these connections.<br />

“We visited Robben Island, Table<br />

Mountain, a few of the lads went fishing.<br />

It was a great trip. It was pretty flat out,<br />

it was a normal work week while we<br />

were there too though, training and gym<br />

sessions. And with the heat, you would<br />

be fairly tired in the evenings after 20<br />

degrees all day.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 17


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“There were lads who were getting<br />

their first chance to play for <strong>Leinster</strong>,<br />

like John (McKee), (Brian) Deeny,<br />

getting their first cap and being<br />

surrounded by the environment for the<br />

whole week with small breaks in the<br />

evening.<br />

“It was a really good opportunity<br />

for them to get comfortable in the<br />

environment and you saw it in their<br />

performances.”<br />

Another of those young players given<br />

the chance to showcase his ability was<br />

Alex Soroka, Player of the Match in the<br />

defeat to DHL Stormers.<br />

In his post-match interview, the Clontarf<br />

man spoke about the criticism of the<br />

chosen squad and widely-held opinion<br />

that they would simply be fodder for<br />

the southern hemisphere sides when<br />

they arrived in Durban and Cape<br />

Town.<br />

And Penny elaborates on Soroka’s<br />

points. Despite defeat, it was the<br />

unspoken motivation to hold their<br />

own, show exactly why they are in the<br />

position they are in by going toe-to-toe<br />

with fancied home teams.<br />

“We didn’t talk about it as a group but<br />

we knew that most people probably<br />

didn’t have faith in us down there.<br />

We’re all good athletes, we’ve all<br />

trained together week in, week out for<br />

the last year.<br />

“We knew we had the capability<br />

to go down there and put on a<br />

performance. And you’ll always see<br />

that with <strong>Leinster</strong> teams, even when the<br />

internationals are away, we’ll still have<br />

good performances in us. We had<br />

confidence that we could go down to<br />

South Africa and get two wins.”<br />

While it wouldn’t work out like that, it<br />

was still job done. And done well.<br />

So, once again, as the flanker said,<br />

motivation will be high this weekend as<br />

the southern neighbours sit in the red<br />

corner at Aviva Stadium.<br />

Tensions are always high between the<br />

provinces and with a home quarterfinal<br />

within <strong>Munster</strong>’s grasp, Penny and<br />

Co will be hoping to put that out of<br />

arm’s reach.<br />

While <strong>Munster</strong> have suffered some<br />

injuries in the pack, Penny states that<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 19


preparation and application will remain<br />

the same for him regardless of who<br />

stands opposite him.<br />

“There are some injury concerns for the<br />

<strong>Munster</strong> back row but they’re all pretty<br />

much the same type of player, they go<br />

very hard at the ball, they’re very direct<br />

ball carriers,” he says.<br />

“No matter who it is, you have to treat it<br />

like it’s an international forward in front<br />

of you whether that’s Peter O’Mahony or<br />

Alex Kendellen.<br />

“You have to try and use the footwork<br />

around them and get over the gainline.<br />

In defence then, you have to smash them.<br />

They’re going to run directly at us so<br />

you have to be prepared to stand up for<br />

yourself.”<br />

That ball-carrying aspect is something<br />

that the former St Michael’s College<br />

student has earmarked as an area for<br />

improvement in his own game.<br />

There’s no doubting his work-rate, ability<br />

to tackle or knack for scoring tries, but<br />

making the next step in his career will<br />

come from building on those strengths.<br />

It helps that he has someone like Denis<br />

Leamy, one of Ireland’s greatest backrowers,<br />

offering him guidance along the<br />

way.<br />

“I need to offer myself more in carrying.<br />

It’s something Josh (van der Flier) did last<br />

season. He really upped his ball-carrying<br />

game and there’s a reason now that<br />

he’s been selected as Players’ Player of<br />

the Season at the Rugby Players Ireland<br />

awards this week.<br />

“Coaches always like to have a good<br />

ball-carrying seven as well as the other<br />

natural attributes of a seven – chop<br />

tackle and poach specialists.<br />

“It’s such tough competition here in the<br />

back row, the starting back row here is<br />

the starting back row for Ireland.<br />

I always do<br />

some extras<br />

with him,<br />

he’s always<br />

giving us cues<br />

and tips that<br />

he learned<br />

from his own<br />

incredible<br />

career in the<br />

game.<br />

20 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


“You want to get into those big games<br />

and that comes from making a name for<br />

yourself in training, show the coaches that<br />

you’re training consistently well.<br />

“I work pretty closely with Leams. I always<br />

do some extras with him, he’s always<br />

giving us cues and tips that he learned<br />

from his own incredible career in the<br />

game.<br />

“Especially the young lads, he’s always<br />

looking to give them a hand when<br />

anything’s asked of him or going through<br />

training with them.”<br />

“And then when you’re given those<br />

opportunities, you’re not slipping up on<br />

that chance.”<br />

The next one of those opportunities is<br />

tonight – an interprovincial in front of<br />

35,000 people at Aviva Stadium.<br />

While the minds of some supporters may<br />

have been on the planes, trains and<br />

automobiles-type journey that they may<br />

need to figure out to find their way to<br />

Marseille next weekend, in and around<br />

the team HQ in UCD, all focus was purely<br />

on <strong>Munster</strong> and a strong finish to the URC<br />

Conference.<br />

“Since we got the win against Toulouse<br />

last weekend, people have been<br />

really excited but our focus has been<br />

solely <strong>Munster</strong> this week,” Penny says<br />

assertively.<br />

“I think, now that we’re here at this part of<br />

the season, everyone is dialled in.<br />

“Everyone knows what is at stake and you<br />

could see last week how clear the detail<br />

is. Those extra meetings on the small<br />

detail can lead to a big performance.”<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 21


Action<br />

replay 40 17<br />

LEINSTER RUGBY<br />

Hugo Keenan; Jimmy O’Brien, Garry<br />

Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw (Ciarán<br />

Frawley 65), James Lowe; Johnny Sexton<br />

(68), Jamison Gibson-Park (68); Andrew<br />

Porter (Cian Healy 68), Rónan Kelleher<br />

(Dan Sheehan 47), Tadhg Furlong<br />

(Michael Ala’alatoa 17); Ross Molony,<br />

James Ryan (Joe McCarthy 76); Caelan<br />

Doris, Josh van der Flier (Rhys Ruddock<br />

72), Jack Conan.<br />

SCORERS<br />

Tries: James Lowe (2), Josh van der Flier,<br />

Hugo Keenan.<br />

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

Pens: Johnny Sexton (3), Ross Byrne.<br />

SATURDAY, 14 MAY<br />

AVIVA STADIUM<br />

ATTENDANCE: 42,076<br />

HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP<br />

TOULOUSE<br />

Thomas Ramos; Juan Cruz Mallía, Pierre<br />

Fouyssac (Zack Holmes 62), Pita Ahki<br />

(Martin Page-Relo 67), Matthis Lebel;<br />

Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont;<br />

Cyril Baille (Rodrigue Neti 52-70),<br />

Julien Marchand (Selevasio Tolofua<br />

52), Dorian Aldegheri (David Ainu’u<br />

56); Rory Arnold (Thibaud Flament 56),<br />

Emmanuel Meafou (Joe Tekori 62);<br />

Rynhardt Elstadt, Francois Cros, Anthony<br />

Jelonch (Peato Mauvaka 52).<br />

SCORERS<br />

Tries: Antoine Dupont.<br />

Cons: Thomas Ramos (2).<br />

Pen: Thomas Ramos.<br />

22 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


They’re the<br />

special moments<br />

that you get,<br />

the honour of<br />

representing<br />

this team. We’ll<br />

have a group of<br />

players that<br />

will get to<br />

run out here<br />

against <strong>Munster</strong><br />

and hopefully<br />

we’ll have a big<br />

turnout again<br />

and then we<br />

turn the page to<br />

Marseille.<br />

Leo Cullen<br />

With the form<br />

he’s been in, and<br />

when I saw the<br />

red scrum hat, I<br />

just thought: ‘Get<br />

the ball to the<br />

red scrum hat’.<br />

Johnny Sexton on his set-up for Josh van<br />

der Flier’s try<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 23


From the sidelines<br />

to the engine room<br />

Women volunteering<br />

in rugby<br />

BY BARRY LAMBKIN<br />

Across the season, we have been<br />

highlighting the commitment and<br />

contribution made by women to<br />

the effective running of our clubs.<br />

Now, as we look back on another<br />

wonderful season we would<br />

like to take this opportunity to<br />

highlight four more women who<br />

have stepped up and made a<br />

significant difference in their clubs<br />

by volunteering with energy and<br />

purpose.<br />

Like all of our contributors, Enniscorthy<br />

RFC’s Samantha Wafer had her first<br />

experience of club life as a parent on the<br />

side line. Her sons were playing minis<br />

rugby at the club and a request came<br />

from the house committee for parents to<br />

help out with the organisation of blitzes.<br />

Samantha put her hand up to help one<br />

week and she has been involved in<br />

various roles ever since then.<br />

Samantha says that she has always been<br />

encouraged and supported by other<br />

club members and that this has made<br />

it easy to stay involved. She points out<br />

that like with all aspects of life there are<br />

challenges around working with other<br />

strong-minded people and long-serving<br />

Kathy Cranny<br />

Samantha Wafer<br />

volunteers who aren’t as open to new<br />

ideas as they might be but that at the end<br />

of the day everyone always puts the club<br />

first and they find a way to enjoy working<br />

together to achieve their common goals.<br />

When we asked her about her proudest<br />

moment as a volunteer Samantha said:<br />

“I managed the U-18 girls’ team. At the<br />

end of the season, we had a bit of a get<br />

together where the girls and parents were<br />

invited for a cup of tea and treats.<br />

“The coaches thanked me for the work<br />

I had done behind the scenes and the<br />

parents are still texting to see if I am<br />

going to be involved this year. Just<br />

hearing the words and praise spoken by<br />

the coaches, parents and girls touched<br />

me deeply.”<br />

Dundalk RFC is another club that has<br />

always encouraged women to get<br />

involved and supported them when they<br />

have brought new ideas to the table. Two<br />

such women are Kathy Cranny and Mary<br />

Murdock whose stories merge when they<br />

came together to run an incredible event<br />

at their club.<br />

Mary first became involved in 2005<br />

when her eldest son took up rugby. Like<br />

Samantha, she found herself on the<br />

side line but wanted to contribute to the<br />

team. She began taking photographs at<br />

games, helping with the half-time water<br />

breaks and organising parties for the<br />

kids. Committee members at the club<br />

noticed her enthusiasm and approached<br />

her to become more involved as they<br />

recognised her talents and since then she<br />

has served as an Executive Committee<br />

member as well taking on roles in<br />

fundraising, PR, events and youths rugby.<br />

Kathy’s pathway was similar to Mary’s.<br />

She always got involved with any<br />

activities that her kids took part in and she<br />

wasn’t long on the sidelines at Dundalk<br />

RFC when former Chairman Larry Steen<br />

recognised her potential and asked her to<br />

join the club’s committee.<br />

Kathy recalls how proud she felt at being<br />

24 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Mary Murdock<br />

asked. “He had great belief that I could<br />

fulfill the role of Honorary Secretary at<br />

Dundalk RFC. It was a great honor to<br />

be asked and while I was delighted I<br />

was unaware of the role or workload<br />

involved.<br />

“After a chat with my family and of<br />

course my employees, Denis and Bridget,<br />

I decided I would take on the role for one<br />

year! I’m still here many years later but<br />

am enjoying every moment of it. It’s good<br />

to give something back.”<br />

For both of these Dundalk women<br />

though, their proudest moment came<br />

from being involved in events that both<br />

supported families in the club who had<br />

been bereaved through tragedy and also<br />

raised vital funds for important charities.<br />

Kathy told us, “One of my proudest<br />

moments has been the confidence in me<br />

and trust afforded to me by the Executive<br />

Committee to lead out on Dundalk RFCs<br />

strategy to tackle breast cancer with the<br />

hosting of the “No High Tackles, Just<br />

High Heels” ladies event in February of<br />

this year.<br />

It was a celebration of Dundalk RFC<br />

Ladies and those who have lost their<br />

battle to breast cancer and those still<br />

fighting the disease. This is a first for a<br />

rugby club backed both by <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby<br />

and the IRFU. Its seeds were planted by<br />

our “Think Pink For Caroline” event in<br />

2019 to remember Caroline Gray, the<br />

late wife of our senior player, Jonathon,<br />

and mummy to Alex and Georgia who<br />

sadly lost her battle with breast cancer<br />

at age 27 which started our association<br />

with the National Breast Cancer Research<br />

Institute.”<br />

That sense of family at her club is also<br />

what encouraged Cill Dara RFC’s PRO<br />

Bernadette Prendergast to become<br />

involved. She describes herself as<br />

someone who is naturally shy but she has<br />

pushed herself out of her comfort zone so<br />

that she can be a part of the excitement<br />

of matchdays at the club.<br />

That sense of pushing yourself is<br />

something that means a lot to Bernadette<br />

and a quality that she admires in rugby<br />

players of all ages. She tells us that this is<br />

something that really rubbed off on her<br />

son who has special needs after he had<br />

been made to feel like a valuable part<br />

of a youths team who made him their<br />

mascot. Seeing them working together<br />

to achieve the goals and pushing<br />

themselves as individuals is something<br />

that Bernadette tells us that she believes<br />

played a huge part in her proudest<br />

moment.<br />

“On his first holy communion day, with<br />

the aid of a walker, he stood up from<br />

his wheelchair and walked up to the<br />

altar to receive his communion. It took<br />

every single strand of energy, stamina,<br />

endurance, and determination for him<br />

to do this. The same qualities that apply<br />

to most things in life, especially sporting<br />

activities. Qualities that were without<br />

doubt influenced by the support and<br />

the positive actions of the players and<br />

Berndaette Prendergast<br />

volunteers that he witnessed from the<br />

underage team in Cill Dara.”<br />

More and more, we are seeing our clubs<br />

encouraging women to take on roles<br />

where they can make a real difference.<br />

The energy that new volunteers bring to<br />

every aspect of club life makes the club a<br />

more enjoyable place for every member<br />

and the new ideas that these skilled<br />

volunteers bring create new possibilities<br />

and encourage even more volunteers to<br />

become involved.<br />

Samantha, Mary, Kathy and Bernadette<br />

would all like to encourage anyone<br />

who would like to be a part of the buzz<br />

at their club to reach out to someone<br />

on the club’s committee and tell them<br />

that you would like to contribute. More<br />

importantly, they would like for more and<br />

more committee members to recognise<br />

the potential of the parents on the<br />

sidelines and offer them an easy way to<br />

become involved.<br />

Everyone here at <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby applaud<br />

these four women and every woman<br />

who has done their bit to make rugby the<br />

most welcoming and inclusive sport in our<br />

wonderful province. Thank you to each<br />

and every one of you.<br />

If you are<br />

interested in<br />

taking up rugby<br />

or you would like<br />

to follow our<br />

updates, check out<br />

our social media<br />

channels:<br />

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

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

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

womenspro@leinsterrugby.ie<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 25


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www.leinsterrugby.ie | 27


leo<br />

the lion’s<br />

kids<br />

corner<br />

IN A BLUR!<br />

Can you name this<br />

leinster player?<br />

spot the difference!<br />

Can you find all six?<br />

ANAGRAMS<br />

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

FRILLED<br />

MOON CAR<br />

I BEEN SO<br />

MAJOR<br />

how did you do?<br />

IN A BLUR?<br />

HUGO KEENAN<br />

ANAGRAMS<br />

NIALL COMERFORD<br />

JAMIE OSBORNE<br />

ZOOMED IN!<br />

TOMMY O’BRIEN<br />

zoomed in!<br />

WHo is this leinster<br />

player having an<br />

extreme close-up?<br />

28 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


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AZTO<br />

with<br />

MAX DEEGAN<br />

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

which would you be?<br />

Thor<br />

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

sporting idol growing up?<br />

Ronaldo<br />

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

childhood memory?<br />

Going to the 2009 Grand Slam in<br />

Cardiff with my dad<br />

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

meal?<br />

Carbonara<br />

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

subject in school?<br />

Maths<br />

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

Harry Potter<br />

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

the squad?<br />

Ed Byrne<br />

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

holiday destination?<br />

Mexico<br />

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

in the dressing room?<br />

Ed Byrne smells<br />

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

squad?<br />

Michael Bent will never be matched.<br />

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

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

5pm<br />

L – Languages: How many languages<br />

can you speak?<br />

Six<br />

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

Arctic Monkeys<br />

N – Number: Do you have a lucky<br />

number?<br />

Nope<br />

30 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


O – Others: What’s your<br />

favourite sport outside of rugby?<br />

NFL<br />

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

the squad?<br />

Devin Toner<br />

Q – Quirky: Who has the most<br />

interesting fashion sense?<br />

Adam Byrne<br />

R – Red Carpet: Who is the most<br />

famous contact in your phone?<br />

Michael Bent<br />

S – Superstitions: Do you have<br />

any matchday routines?<br />

Take a nap before the game!<br />

T – Trim: What’s the worst<br />

haircut you’ve ever had?<br />

Shaved head<br />

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

squad would be the best in a<br />

bad situation?<br />

Will Connors<br />

V – Verified: How often do you<br />

use social media?<br />

Every few hours!<br />

W – Worst fear: What are you<br />

most scared of?<br />

Illuminati<br />

X – X-ray: Have you ever broken<br />

any bones?<br />

Never<br />

Y – Youth: Where did you grow<br />

up?<br />

Stillorgan<br />

Z – Zoo: What’s your<br />

favourite animal?<br />

Gorilla<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 31


THE SPIRIT OF<br />

UNITED RUGBY<br />

CHAMPIONSHIP.<br />

Enjoy responsibly<br />

DISCOVER THE SPIRIT WITHIN |<br />

#SAVOURTHEMOMENT


Stillorgan-Rathfarnham RFC<br />

growing with<br />

new home<br />

ground<br />

Stillorgan-<br />

Rathfarnham<br />

RFC have<br />

been very<br />

busy in 2022<br />

and the year<br />

will get<br />

busier!<br />

The 22/23 season marks the clubs<br />

50th Anniversary but on the pitch<br />

Stillorgan-Rathfarnham hit new<br />

milestones with growth in girls’<br />

rugby teams and phenomenal<br />

growth of the minis section.<br />

Summer 2022 will now see<br />

eight years of hard work finally<br />

come to fruition when Stillorgan-<br />

Rathfarnham RFC open their new<br />

home ground, Heavy Technology<br />

Park, on Tibradden Road,<br />

Rathfarnham.<br />

The vision dream of Heavy Technology<br />

Park was born after the club were given<br />

short notice that the club pitch had been<br />

sold. Stillorgan-Rathfarnham were at a<br />

crossroads. It was either look for a new<br />

base and see if the club could survive or<br />

attempt to go out on their own with a new<br />

facility. Stillorgan-Rathfarnham formed<br />

a strategic committee, and the club are<br />

ready to move to their new home.<br />

The new facility will open with:<br />

• Three natural grass rugby pitches<br />

• Two pitches with match-standard<br />

floodlights<br />

• Pathways and spectator fencing<br />

• Changing facilities<br />

•100-space car park and utilities<br />

connections<br />

The new ground will meet the demand<br />

from the phenomenal growth in the<br />

club’s underage sections. The club is now<br />

fielding teams with both girls’ and boys’<br />

teams.<br />

• Over 200 minis in 2022 season<br />

• Establishment of underage rugby<br />

structure<br />

• Second year of growth in girls’ rugby<br />

teams<br />

• Three adult teams<br />

Stillorgan-Rathfarmham RFC will officially<br />

open Heavy Technology Park on<br />

September 10, 2022, and will mark the<br />

50th Anniversary with a Gala Dinner in<br />

April 2023.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 35


leinster<br />

squad<br />

2021/22 season<br />

Vakh Abdaladze #1263<br />

PROP<br />

DOB: 06/02/1996<br />

HEIGHT: 1.88m<br />

WEIGHT: 121kg<br />

Michael Ala’alatoa #1301<br />

prop<br />

DOB: 28/08/1991<br />

HEIGHT: 1.91m<br />

WEIGHT: 127kg<br />

7<br />

CAPS<br />

Ryan Baird #1278<br />

LOCK<br />

DOB: 26/07/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.98m<br />

WEIGHT: 113kg<br />

8<br />

CAPS<br />

Adam Byrne #1213<br />

WING / FULL BACK<br />

DOB: 10/04/1994<br />

HEIGHT: 1.91m<br />

WEIGHT: 98.18kg<br />

1<br />

CAP<br />

Ed Byrne #1222<br />

6<br />

CAPS<br />

Harry Byrne #1280<br />

2<br />

CAPS<br />

Ross Byrne #1236<br />

13<br />

CAPS<br />

Thomas Clarkson #1285<br />

PROP<br />

DOB: 09/09/1993<br />

HEIGHT: 1.8m<br />

WEIGHT: 114.09kg<br />

FLY HALF<br />

DOB: 22/04/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.9m<br />

WEIGHT: 95kg<br />

FLY HALF<br />

DOB: 08/04/1995<br />

HEIGHT: 1.9m<br />

WEIGHT: 92kg<br />

PROP<br />

DOB: 22/02/2000<br />

HEIGHT: 1.85m<br />

WEIGHT: 118kg<br />

36 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Jack Conan #1223<br />

27<br />

CAPS<br />

7<br />

CAPS<br />

Will Connors #1264<br />

9<br />

CAPS<br />

Sean Cronin #1202<br />

72<br />

CAPS<br />

Max Deegan #1256<br />

1<br />

CAP<br />

NO. 8<br />

DOB: 29/07/1992<br />

HEIGHT: 1.93m<br />

WEIGHT: 114.09kg<br />

BACK ROW<br />

DOB: 04/04/1996<br />

HEIGHT: 1.96m<br />

WEIGHT: 100kg<br />

HOOKER<br />

DOB: 06/05/1986<br />

HEIGHT: 1.78m<br />

WEIGHT: 103.18kg<br />

NO. 8<br />

DOB: 01/10/1996<br />

HEIGHT: 1.93m<br />

WEIGHT: 110kg<br />

Peter Dooley #1230<br />

Caelan Doris #1268<br />

17<br />

CAPS<br />

Jack Dunne #1276<br />

Ciaran Frawley #1265<br />

PROP<br />

DOB: 04/08/1994<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 117kg<br />

BACK ROW<br />

DOB: 02/04/1998<br />

HEIGHT: 1.93m<br />

WEIGHT: 107kg<br />

LOCK<br />

DOB: 21/11/1998<br />

HEIGHT: 2.03m<br />

WEIGHT: 120kg<br />

FLY HALF<br />

DOB: 04/12/1997<br />

HEIGHT: 1.91m<br />

WEIGHT: 98kg<br />

Tadhg Furlong #1220<br />

PROP<br />

DOB: 14/11/1992<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 125kg<br />

57<br />

CAPS<br />

13<br />

CAPS<br />

Jamison Gibson-Park #1247<br />

SCRUM HALF<br />

DOB: 23/02/1992<br />

HEIGHT: 1.75m<br />

WEIGHT: 80kg<br />

17<br />

CAPS<br />

David Hawkshaw #1290<br />

FLY HALF / Centre<br />

DOB: 03/07/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.75m )<br />

WEIGHT: 85.91kg<br />

Cian Healy #1142<br />

PROP<br />

DOB: 07/10/1987<br />

HEIGHT: 1.85m<br />

WEIGHT: 116.82kg<br />

116<br />

CAPS<br />

2<br />

CAPS<br />

Robbie Henshaw #1251<br />

57<br />

CAPS<br />

9<br />

CAPS<br />

Dave Kearney #1158<br />

19<br />

CAPS<br />

Hugo Keenan #1253<br />

20<br />

CAPS<br />

Ronan Kelleher #1277<br />

18<br />

CAPS<br />

CENTRE<br />

DOB: 12/06/1993<br />

HEIGHT: 1.9m<br />

WEIGHT: 99.09kg<br />

WING / FULL BACK<br />

DOB: 19/06/1989<br />

HEIGHT: 1.8m<br />

WEIGHT: 90kg<br />

FULL BACK<br />

DOB: 18/06/1996<br />

HEIGHT: 1.85m<br />

WEIGHT: 91.82kg<br />

HOOKER<br />

DOB: 24/01/1998<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 105kg<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 37


Jordan Larmour #1258<br />

30<br />

CAPS<br />

Dan Leavy #1231<br />

11<br />

CAPS<br />

WING<br />

DOB: 10/06/1997<br />

HEIGHT: 1.78m<br />

WEIGHT: 90kg<br />

FLANKER<br />

DOB: 23/05/1994<br />

HEIGHT: 1.91m<br />

WEIGHT: 105.91kg<br />

for full squad profiles<br />

please click here<br />

James Lowe #1262<br />

12<br />

CAPS<br />

Nick McCarthy #1241<br />

Luke McGrath #1206<br />

19<br />

CAPS<br />

Michael Milne #1279<br />

WING / FULL BACK<br />

DOB: 08/07/1992<br />

HEIGHT: 1.88m<br />

WEIGHT: 105kg<br />

SCRUM HALF<br />

DOB: 25/03/1995<br />

HEIGHT: 1.8m<br />

WEIGHT: 84.09kg<br />

SCRUM HALF<br />

DOB: 03/02/1993<br />

HEIGHT: 1.75m<br />

WEIGHT: 84.09kg<br />

PROP<br />

DOB: 05/02/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 115kg<br />

Jimmy O’Brien #1272<br />

Conor O’Brien #1260<br />

Josh Murphy #1261<br />

Ross Molony #1233<br />

LOCK<br />

DOB: 11/05/1994<br />

HEIGHT: 1.96m<br />

WEIGHT: 113kg<br />

FLANKER<br />

DOB: 17/02/1995<br />

HEIGHT: 1.98m<br />

WEIGHT: 110kg<br />

CENTRE<br />

DOB: 06/02/1996<br />

HEIGHT: 1.91m<br />

WEIGHT: 100kg<br />

CENTRE<br />

DOB: 27/11/1996<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 88kg<br />

Tommy O’Brien #1283<br />

Rory O’Loughlin #1248<br />

1<br />

CAP<br />

Scott Penny #1271<br />

Andrew Porter #1246<br />

43<br />

CAPS<br />

CENTRE<br />

DOB: 28/05/1998<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 95kg<br />

CENTRE<br />

DOB: 21/01/1994<br />

HEIGHT: 1.88m<br />

WEIGHT: 94.09kg<br />

FLANKER<br />

DOB: 22/09/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 104kg<br />

PROP<br />

DOB: 16/01/1996<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 114.09kg<br />

38 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Garry Ringrose #1237<br />

42<br />

CAPS<br />

Rhys Ruddock #1167<br />

27<br />

CAPS<br />

James Ryan #1259<br />

43<br />

CAPS<br />

Johnny Sexton #1127<br />

105<br />

CAPS<br />

14<br />

CAPS<br />

CENTRE<br />

DOB: 26/01/1995<br />

HEIGHT: 1.85m<br />

WEIGHT: 96kg<br />

BACK ROW<br />

DOB: 13/11/1990<br />

HEIGHT: 1.91m<br />

WEIGHT: 113.18kg<br />

LOCK<br />

DOB: 24/07/1996<br />

HEIGHT: 2.03m<br />

WEIGHT: 115kg<br />

FLY HALF<br />

DOB: 11/07/1985<br />

HEIGHT: 1.88m<br />

WEIGHT: 90kg<br />

Dan Sheehan #1286<br />

HOOKER<br />

DOB: 17/09/1998<br />

HEIGHT: 1.91m<br />

WEIGHT: 110.91kg<br />

7<br />

CAPS<br />

Devin Toner #1128<br />

LOCK<br />

DOB: 29/06/1986<br />

HEIGHT: 2.11m<br />

WEIGHT: 127kg<br />

70<br />

CAPS<br />

James Tracy #1211<br />

HOOKER<br />

DOB: 02/04/1991<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m<br />

WEIGHT: 106kg<br />

6<br />

CAPS<br />

Josh van der Flier #1228<br />

FLANKER<br />

DOB: 25/04/1993<br />

HEIGHT: 1.85m<br />

WEIGHT: 103kg<br />

40<br />

CAPS<br />

Coaching<br />

Staff<br />

2021/22 season<br />

LEO CULLEN<br />

HEAD COACH<br />

STUART LANCASTER<br />

SENIOR COACH<br />

ROBIN MCBRYDE<br />

ASSISTANT COACH<br />

FELIPE CONTEPOMI<br />

BACKS COACH<br />

EMMET FARRELL<br />

KICKING COACH AND<br />

LEAD PERFORMANCE ANALYST<br />

GUY EASTERBY<br />

HEAD OF RUGBY OPERATIONS<br />

DENIS LEAMY<br />

CONTACT SKILLS COACH<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 39


We always strive to be<br />

A beat ahead<br />

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Your best support every season<br />

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OFFICIAL<br />

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RUGBY<br />

YOU KNOW BETTER<br />

BECAUSE YOU GET<br />

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


THANK YOU<br />

TO OUR CLUBS<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby wish to acknowledge the 72 rugby<br />

clubs across the province for the excellent<br />

contribution in promoting the domestic game by<br />

way of their social media platforms, in particular<br />

over the last 18 months as we all strived to deal<br />

with and come through the Covid pandemic.<br />

Who would have envisaged this<br />

time last year that we would get<br />

to complete a full season across<br />

all levels of our domestic game.<br />

The <strong>Leinster</strong> Branch domestic<br />

rugby personnel along with the<br />

many volunteers on various<br />

committees strived tirelessly<br />

as always to ensure that all<br />

competitions were completed<br />

successfully. They are to be<br />

congratulated and thanked for<br />

their hard work.<br />

The dedication and expertise by Lisa<br />

Doyle and the communications team in<br />

the Branch office in promoting the club<br />

game through <strong>Leinster</strong>’s media channels<br />

are greatly appreciated by all involved<br />

with domestic rugby.<br />

However, without the commitment and<br />

buy-in by all in our rugby clubs across<br />

the 12 counties post pandemic, this<br />

past season would not have been the<br />

wonderful success that it was.<br />

None more so than the very noticeable<br />

increase of the use of social media<br />

platforms by all clubs in promoting<br />

events and matches across all levels<br />

of the game. This proved to be a vital<br />

way of connecting and reaching out to<br />

club members and players especially<br />

during lockdown and it is great to see<br />

there has been little let up in the amount<br />

of use on these outlets since rugby<br />

resumed.<br />

The number of club rugby video clips<br />

and the promotion of upcoming games<br />

being shared is increasing and the<br />

standard of content is ever improving<br />

and as a result it means our club game<br />

is reaching a far wider audience.<br />

Also, a lot of clubs are live-streaming<br />

matches now allowing members who<br />

cannot attend or living abroad the<br />

ability to watch their clubs in action.<br />

This again is a wonderful and new<br />

innovation and initial concerns that<br />

it might keep club members from<br />

attending in person has not happened.<br />

Indeed, regular notifications of<br />

upcoming fixtures on social media has<br />

no doubt led to the increased number in<br />

attendances seen at club matches over<br />

recent months.<br />

Club websites are another outlet that<br />

has seen increased usage as clubs<br />

continue to improve the quality of<br />

content.<br />

As a result of all this increased media<br />

activity by our clubs our domestic game<br />

is reaching wider audiences which will<br />

in time only prove to be beneficial to all.<br />

Congratulations and sincere thanks to<br />

all 72 clubs, and keep up the posting<br />

and sharing.<br />

John Walsh<br />

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

Jacinta O’Rourke<br />

Chair of Domestic PR Committee<br />

PS - Clubs can avail of the <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

domestic website with good news stories<br />

by forwarding articles to: stories@<br />

leinsterrugby.ie or by contacting a<br />

member of the Domestic PR Committee<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 43


BEARINGPOINT INTRODUCES<br />

LEINSTER RUGBY TO<br />

THE METAVERSE<br />

BearingPoint,<br />

the official<br />

innovation<br />

partner of<br />

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

Rugby, has<br />

hosted a<br />

milestone<br />

event<br />

showcasing<br />

the<br />

capabilities<br />

of metaverse<br />

technology<br />

for the<br />

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

sporting<br />

community.<br />

In a multi-location demonstration<br />

of BearingPoint’s virtual reality<br />

(VR) and innovation capabilities,<br />

they have unveiled their shared<br />

ambition with <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby. The<br />

metaverse is a digital environment<br />

where you can work, collaborate,<br />

meet friends and have fun, and<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby is looking to lead<br />

the way for the future of sport in<br />

this digital world.<br />

Business partners, media and <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

Rugby players Jamison Gibson-Park,<br />

Will Connors and Hugo Keenan were<br />

in attendance through virtual reality<br />

technology in four locations across Europe<br />

including the BearingPoint offices in<br />

Dublin, London, and Paris as well as the<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby club facilities in University<br />

College Dublin.<br />

Showcasing the convergence between<br />

the physical and digital worlds through<br />

cutting-edge technology, guests at the<br />

event entered the metaverse and went on<br />

a journey from the BearingPoint offices<br />

in Paris and finished with a pitchside<br />

experience and presentation in a VRbuilt<br />

Aviva Stadium developed by the<br />

BearingPoint team.<br />

BearingPoint is planning to play a central<br />

role in leveraging its VR expertise to<br />

enable <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby to further engage its<br />

fans through immersive experiences and to<br />

explore the wider commercial possibilities<br />

and potential this technology has in the<br />

sporting world.<br />

Speaking at the launch, Gillian O’Sullivan,<br />

Country Leader for BearingPoint Ireland<br />

said: “Today we unveiled our plans to<br />

lead <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby into the metaverse.<br />

It is a very exciting day for us as their<br />

innovation partner and we are committed<br />

to leading them on this journey.<br />

“The power of virtual reality is enormous,<br />

and we wanted to show how this<br />

technology can expand businesses and<br />

experiences. What better way to do it<br />

than by bringing <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby into the<br />

metaverse.”<br />

BearingPoint’s vision and commitment to<br />

leading <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby on this journey<br />

were set out by their immersive experience<br />

expert, Eric Chevallet at the event.<br />

Speaking at the launch, Eric Chevallet,<br />

Head of Immersive Labs at BearingPoint<br />

said, “At BearingPoint, we are an<br />

innovative company that is ahead of<br />

the curve with regard to metaverse<br />

technology and more broadly with virtual<br />

reality technology.<br />

“The potential for businesses in the<br />

metaverse is endless, and we are<br />

delighted to be working with Ireland’s<br />

leading sports franchise making this first<br />

move today.”<br />

44 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Kevin Quinn, Head of Commercial and<br />

Marketing at <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby who attended<br />

the event said, “At <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby, we’re<br />

always striving to improve, to nurture<br />

and drive the pursuit of excellence in<br />

everything we do both on and off the<br />

pitch. This exciting initiative is a significant<br />

and strategic business and brand building<br />

opportunity for us at <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby.<br />

He added: “By entering the metaverse<br />

with BearingPoint’s support, we are<br />

broadening our horizons to identify new<br />

digital commercial opportunities and<br />

working to develop immersive rugby<br />

experiences that provide our community<br />

with new ways to experience rugby, follow<br />

their teams and interact with our brand.<br />

“We have a passionate, engaged and<br />

growing supporter base and we’re excited<br />

to work with our innovation partner,<br />

BearingPoint, to explore new ways to<br />

improve how we communicate and<br />

engage with them.”<br />

The event provided valuable learning<br />

opportunities for attendees to experience<br />

first-hand the benefits and potential of the<br />

metaverse.<br />

Interest in the metaverse has grown<br />

exponentially in the past year which is<br />

causing businesses to rethink and change<br />

how they can engage more effectively<br />

with users online.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 45


compiled by stuart farmer<br />

media services limited<br />

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

Statistics<br />

SQUAD<br />

CAP<br />

NO<br />

DEBUT<br />

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

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

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

SINCE LAST TRY<br />

CAPS<br />

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

MICHAEL ALA'ALATOA 1301 25 SEPT 21 12+10 2 10 11+4 1 5 1+6 1 5 12+10 2 10 11+4 1 5 1+6 1 5 10 WS 7<br />

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<br />

LEE BARRON 1308 23 APR 22 0+2 - - 0+2 - - - - - 0+2 - - 0+2 - - - - - - -<br />

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<br />

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<br />

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<br />

ROSS BYRNE 1236 4 SEPT 15 13+8 3 157 11+3 2 109 2+5 1 48 83+42 9 807 69+21 4 580 14+21 5 227 8 IR 13<br />

THOMAS CLARK-<br />

1285 29 AUG 20 3+4 - - 3+4 - - - - - 5+12 - - 5+12 - - - - - - -<br />

SON<br />

JACK CONAN 1223 20 FEB 14 9 2 10 3 - - 6 2 10 89+25 25 125 62+15 16 80 27+10 9 45 7 IR 27<br />

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

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

CHRIS COSGRAVE 1305 26 MAR 22 1+1 - - 1+1 - - - - - 1+1 - - 1+1 - - - - - - -<br />

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<br />

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<br />

BRIAN DEENY 1306 23 APR 22 2 - - 2 - - - - - 2 - - 2 - - - - - - -<br />

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

CAELAN DORIS 1268 28 APR 18 12 2 10 5 2 10 7 - - 44+8 7 35 31+6 5 25 13+2 2 10 9 IR 17<br />

JACK DUNNE 1276 16 FEB 19 2+3 - - 2+3 - - - - - 4+16 - - 4+16 - - - - - - -<br />

CORMAC FOLEY 1299 24 APR 21 1+2 - - 1+2 - - - - - 1+3 - - 1+3 - - - - - - -<br />

CIARAN FRAWLEY 1265 17 FEB 18 12+6 2 31 10+2 1 26 2+4 1 5 29+24 6 174 26+16 4 158 3+8 2 16 7 -<br />

TADHG FURLONG 1220 1 NOV 13 9+1 2 10 3+1 - - 6 2 10 82+42 10 50 45+34 3 15 37+8 7 35 3 IR 57<br />

JAMISON GIBSON-PARK 1247 2 SEPT 16 8+4 4 20 3+2 - - 5+2 4 20 57+56 21 105 47+30 14 70 10+26 7 35 3 IR 17<br />

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

DAVID HAWKSHAW 1290 2 NOV 20 0+3 1 13 0+3 1 13 - - - 0+11 2 27 0+11 2 27 - - - 2 -<br />

CIAN HEALY 1142 5 MAY 07 4+10 2 10 3+5 2 10 1+5 - - 160+85 29 145 93+53 15 75 65+31 13 65 5 IR 116<br />

ROBBIE HENSHAW 1251 8 OCT 16 8 4 20 3 1 5 5 3 15 64+1 15 75 28 6 30 36+1 9 45 2 IR 57<br />

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<br />

HUGO KEENAN 1253 5 NOV 16 13 5 25 6 1 5 7 4 20 40+3 9 45 28+3 5 25 12 4 20 1 IR 20<br />

RONAN KELLEHER 1277 22 FEB 19 8+2 4 20 2+2 3 15 6 1 5 28+7 13 65 16+5 11 55 12+2 2 10 6 IR 18<br />

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<br />

46 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


SQUAD<br />

CAP<br />

NO<br />

DEBUT<br />

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

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

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

SINCE LAST TRY<br />

CAPS<br />

TEMI LASISI 1304 12 MAR 22 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - - -<br />

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<br />

JAMES LOWE 1262 2 DEC 17 10+2 13 65 5+1 3 15 5+1 10 50 62+2 47 235 39+1 28 140 23+1 19 95 1 IR 12<br />

JOE MCCARTHY 1303 29 JAN 22 5+2 - - 5 - - 0+2 - - 5+2 - - 5 - - 0+2 - - - -<br />

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 -<br />

LUKE MCGRATH 1206 5 MAY 12 12+9 1 5 10+4 1 5 2+5 - - 114+58 40 200 79+47 32 160 35+11 8 40 6 IR 19<br />

JOHN MCKEE 1307 23 APR 22 2 - - 2 - - - - - 2 - - 2 - - - - - - -<br />

MICHAEL MILNE 1279 28 SEPT 19 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - 1+16 2 10 1+16 2 10 - - - 15 -<br />

MARTIN MOLONEY 1300 24 APR 21 2+4 - - 2+4 - - - - - 2+5 - - 2+5 - - - - - - -<br />

ROSS MOLONY 1233 20 FEB 15 17+3 1 5 10+3 - - 7 1 5 81+55 5 25 72+40 4 20 9+15 1 5 13 -<br />

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

JAMIE OSBORNE 1294 30 JAN 21 10+2 - - 10+2 - - - - - 12+6 1 5 12+6 1 5 - - - 13 -<br />

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

JIMMY O'BRIEN 1272 23 NOV 18 14+1 8 42 8 3 17 6+1 5 25 40+10 15 79 32+9 9 49 8+1 6 30 5 -<br />

SEAN O'BRIEN 1297 12 MAR 21 0+1 - - 0+1 - - - - - 0+3 - - 0+3 - - - - - - -<br />

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

RORY O'LOUGH-<br />

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<br />

LIN<br />

MAX O'REILLY 1291 2 JAN 21 2 - - 2 - - - - - 8+1 1 5 8+1 1 5 - - - 8 -<br />

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

ANDREW PORTER 1246 2 SEPT 16 10+1 3 15 4+1 2 10 6 1 5 38+50 14 70 27+31 10 50 11+19 4 20 5 IR 43<br />

GARRY RINGROSE 1237 12 SEPT 15 13 2 10 6 2 10 7 - - 97+2 29 153 58+1 18 98 39+1 11 55 5 IR 42<br />

RHYS RUDDOCK 1167 6 DEC 09 13+7 1 5 12+3 1 5 1+4 - - 156+52 12 60 118+34 10 50 37+16 2 10 14 IR 27<br />

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

JAMES RYAN 1259 2 SEPT 17 5 - - 3 - - 2 - - 49+6 3 15 25+1 1 5 24+5 2 10 15 IR 43<br />

JOHNNY SEXTON 1127 27 JAN 06 7+2 - 87 2+1 - 22 5+1 - 65 155+27 26 1594 89+20 13 855 64+7 12 708 22 IR 105<br />

DAN SHEEHAN 1286 23 OCT 20 4+9 7 35 3+3 4 20 1+6 3 15 7+19 13 65 6+13 10 50 1+6 3 15 6 IR 7<br />

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

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

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<br />

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<br />

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

JOSH VAN DER FLIER 1228 11 OCT 14 12+1 7 35 5+1 1 5 7 6 30 87+24 18 90 50+18 8 40 37+6 10 50 1 IR 40<br />

KICKING<br />

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

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

SUCCESS<br />

RATE<br />

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

%<br />

- - - HARRY BYRNE 66.67% 6 - - 6 - - - - - 59 6 58 5 1 1 83 78.31%<br />

ROSS BYRNE 86.49% 50 14 - 33 11 - 17 3 - 246 89 1 187 61 1 59 28 - 428 78.27%<br />

CIARAN FRAWLEY 100.00% 3 5 - 3 5 - - - - 54 12 - 51 12 - 3 - - 80 82.50%<br />

DAVID HAWKSHAW 66.67% 4 - - 4 - - - - - 7 1 - 7 1 - - - - 12 66.67%<br />

JIMMY O'BRIEN 100.00% 1 - - 1 - - - - - 2 - - 2 - - - - - 4 50.00%<br />

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

JOHNNY SEXTON 84.78% 30 9 - 8 2 - 22 7 - 264 301 11 128 171 7 129 126 4 706 80.03%<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 47


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

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Web: aon.com/Ireland<br />

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ig picture<br />

14 May 2022<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> supporters before the<br />

Heineken Champions Cup Semi-<br />

Final match between <strong>Leinster</strong> and<br />

Toulouse at the Aviva Stadium in<br />

Dublin.<br />

50 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 51


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Old Belvedere announce<br />

partnership with<br />

Homeless Period Ireland<br />

Old Belvedere Women’s<br />

Rugby are proud to announce<br />

a partnership with Homeless<br />

Period Ireland. The Old Belvedere<br />

women’s team will display the<br />

logo of Homeless Period Ireland<br />

for the 2022 season and beyond.<br />

The aim is to promote awareness for<br />

period poverty and to encourage period<br />

positivity in today’s society.<br />

“Old Belvedere women’s rugby is<br />

delighted to support the important work<br />

that Homeless Period Ireland is doing to<br />

provide feminine hygiene products and<br />

promote awareness of how this issue<br />

affects the dignity and comfort of those<br />

experiencing homelessness and other<br />

barriers to accessing period products.<br />

“Our team has provided practical<br />

support for the charity through collections<br />

and donations for the past several years<br />

while also raising awareness by proudly<br />

wearing the Homeless Period Ireland<br />

logo on our jerseys,” said Yvonne Nolan,<br />

Director of Rugby at Old Belvedere RFC<br />

Claire Hunt, CEO of Homeless Period<br />

Ireland added; “Homeless Period Ireland<br />

is a volunteer-run initiative. The aim of the<br />

initiative is to get period products to those<br />

in need but also to raise awareness to the<br />

issue of period poverty.<br />

“Sport has a massive platform, which<br />

can be used to start a conversation<br />

about periods in a space that you would<br />

never expect! A huge thank you to Old<br />

Belvedere women’s rugby, it is an honour<br />

to have our logo emblazoned on the Old<br />

Belvedere jersey. This sends out a very<br />

positive message to both fans in stadia<br />

and players.”<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 53


offical leinster supporters club<br />

And so with the high and the success of our European semi-final<br />

victory last week, our 2021/22 rugby journey will now roll on for<br />

the next three weeks at least (with hopefully another two after<br />

that!). The focus for today is back on URC action and a return to<br />

the Aviva as we once again welcome another red army, that of our<br />

interprovincial rivals, <strong>Munster</strong>, for this rescheduled fixture.<br />

So much has been written about<br />

these two sides and their many,<br />

many head-to-heads down<br />

through the years that you might<br />

be forgiven for thinking this is<br />

just another routine run of the<br />

mill game, however thankfully<br />

you’d be wrong! Whilst we<br />

have secured a home quarterfinal<br />

for the weekend of June 4,<br />

<strong>Munster</strong> will be looking to secure<br />

as many match points as they<br />

can today given that the three<br />

teams in second, third and fourth<br />

positions of the URC are all on 56<br />

points and so they’ll no doubt be<br />

desperate to stay in the top four<br />

so that they won’t have to travel<br />

for a quarter-final.<br />

The last fixture for <strong>Munster</strong> in the Aviva<br />

Stadium was a mere two weeks ago<br />

when their supporters met with the other<br />

red army of Toulouse in the Heineken<br />

Champions Cup quarter-final. Victory<br />

on that day went to the French and well<br />

we know what happened to them last<br />

weekend, however given that <strong>Munster</strong><br />

have had an extra week to prepare for<br />

this fixture, you can be sure that they will<br />

be primed and ready to overturn <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

at every opportunity and so this is once<br />

again sure to be an exciting game of<br />

rugby from start to finish.<br />

Leo, Stuart and Co took a welcome<br />

opportunity to get some of the extended<br />

senior squad some game time last Friday,<br />

as ‘A’ head coach Simon Broughton<br />

selected a number of the players as part<br />

54 | www.leinsterrugby.ie<br />

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

<strong>Munster</strong><br />

1st Position 2nd<br />

L W W L L URC Form L W L W W<br />

511 Points Scored 499<br />

69 Tries Scored 63<br />

7,253 Metres Gained 5,590<br />

251 Points Conceded 306<br />

28 Tries Conceded 30<br />

2,440 Tackles Made 2,317<br />

89% Tackle Success 89%<br />

Ross Byrne (109) Leading Points Scorer Ben Healy (97)<br />

Scott Penny (6) Tries Scored Simon Zebo (7)<br />

Max Deegan (73) Successful Carries Gavin Coombes (61)<br />

Rhys Ruddock (22) Defenders Beaten Mike Haley (24)<br />

of his team that faced a University Student<br />

Selection in Energia Park. Michael Milne,<br />

Jack Dunne, Martin Moloney, Ryan Baird<br />

and Vakh Abdaladze were just some of<br />

the names who featured and this is sure<br />

to be a welcome boost to Leo and the<br />

entire squad as they work to what is a<br />

very important game both today, and in<br />

France next week!<br />

Our form coming into this game reads as<br />

having lost our last two however those<br />

fixtures were away from home down in<br />

South Africa and it was a very youthful<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> team who travelled. Whilst the<br />

results might not have been what the<br />

players themselves wanted, those two<br />

losing bonus points they secured ensured<br />

our place as the top seed in the URC and<br />

thus the all-important home quarter-final<br />

so it was an excellent result that they<br />

returned home with.<br />

These fixtures are always tense affairs<br />

and we expect no different this week<br />

but what we do know as evidenced in<br />

the past weeks both home and away is<br />

that we can come away with the victory<br />

when we need it most when the crowd<br />

is behind the team and let’s make sure<br />

today is no different. We want to wrap up<br />

the pool stages on a high so let’s ensure<br />

we get the job done today!<br />

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

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

Rugby, Bank of Ireland, Laya (for our<br />

wonderful TRY/clap banners, and all<br />

our other sponsors and as always we<br />

encourage you to show your support<br />

through our social media channels.<br />

Be loud, be true, be blue<br />

Yours in Rugby,<br />

Your OLSC Committee


OFFICIAL<br />

LEINSTER<br />

SUPPORTERS<br />

CLUB<br />

Suort Suort Suort Suort Suort us by<br />

visiting r r r r r<br />

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NEWS<br />

Ctact Ctact Ctact Ctact Ctact us<br />

olsc@leinsterrugby.ie<br />

Foow Foow Foow Foow Foow us<br />

#seaofblue P D E Q


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

thriving in Nairobi<br />

Paula Cullen and<br />

three friends,<br />

Adrienne Keeley<br />

(Wicklow),<br />

Catherine Nolan<br />

(Carlow) and<br />

Irene Plunkett<br />

(Castleknock)<br />

have spent the<br />

last 15 days<br />

working at the<br />

street boys<br />

rehab centre<br />

in the Mukuru<br />

slums.<br />

Among the many things they<br />

achieved for the boys during their<br />

stay included a day at an animal<br />

sanctuary in National Park, an<br />

afternoon swimming and a school<br />

sports day.<br />

However the highlight of their trip had<br />

to be the centre’s residents competing at<br />

a tag rugby tournament in the heart of<br />

the Ngong Hills about two hours outside<br />

Nairobi, a most remote area.<br />

The centre had three teams entered,<br />

U-14s with the name Carlow, U-16s with<br />

the name Blackrock and U-16s called<br />

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

The U-14s won their section and the two<br />

U-16s got to the final with the B team<br />

beating the A team in their group. It was<br />

as good as it gets with huge excitement<br />

among the boys who had all played four<br />

matches each to make the finals.<br />

This could not have happened without<br />

the support of <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby who have<br />

generously supplied the boys kits while<br />

we were honoured to meet the vice<br />

chairman of Kenya Rugby Union, Kombo<br />

Mwalimu who had scouts present on the<br />

day.<br />

We had another success when one of<br />

‘our boys’ was offered a place at a rugby<br />

boarding school about an hour outside<br />

Nairobi.<br />

This is a huge achievement for Mukuru<br />

Promotion Centre as these homeless boys<br />

wouldn’t even have known the shape of a<br />

rugby ball three years ago.<br />

We must thank all at <strong>Leinster</strong> including<br />

many supporters who donate towards the<br />

expenses of coaches, hiring of buses and<br />

general expenses in running this rugby<br />

project.<br />

Thank you to all for your continued<br />

support and best wishes to <strong>Leinster</strong> for the<br />

remainder of the season.<br />

Paula Cullen and friends and the boys<br />

at MPC rehab centre.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 57


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

Rugby we are delighted to support the<br />

team in their pursuit of excellence by<br />

adding Novaerus Air Disinfection to their<br />

winning formula.<br />

Irish-designed and patented Novaerus<br />

NanoStrike technology strives to give<br />

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

by disinfecting the squad and<br />

management team’s indoor<br />

air safely, 24/7.


GETTING<br />

We check social media<br />

for the latest views<br />

and thoughts across<br />

SOCIAL<br />

the 12 counties<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 59


Try <strong>Leinster</strong>’s Next Big Dish<br />

from Mao At Home today


Virtual Mascot<br />

Alex<br />

Traynor<br />

Age: 8<br />

School: Willow Park Junior School<br />

Class: Second Form<br />

Hobbies and Interests: Rugby, football,<br />

playing drums and piano<br />

Favourite Player: James Lowe<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 61


WHERE ARE<br />

THEY NOW?<br />

STEPHEN KEOGH<br />

THEN: Stephen<br />

Keogh won<br />

85 caps for<br />

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

five seasons<br />

between 2006<br />

and 2011.<br />

NOW: He is<br />

Head of Retail<br />

Sales for<br />

the south<br />

and west at<br />

New Ireland<br />

Assurance and<br />

married to<br />

Niamh with<br />

three children<br />

Mollie (8),<br />

Frankie (5) and<br />

Zoe (3).<br />

62 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Stephen Keogh was one of them.<br />

You know the type, a hard-nosed Limerick<br />

man steeped in the best traditions of<br />

<strong>Munster</strong> rugby which amounts to a blood<br />

and guts approach to this game for<br />

warriors.<br />

Back in 2006, the back-row forward<br />

crossed the great divide in order to<br />

bring some of that meanness into a<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> pack of forwards that seemed<br />

demoralised.<br />

“I was playing with Bruff RFC, but my<br />

school St Munchin’s was affiliated to<br />

Shannon where Colm Tucker Senior, who<br />

unfortunately passed away, was very<br />

good to me in school. I lived out in the<br />

country and he used to drop me to the<br />

bus. So, naturally, Shannon was always<br />

in my mind to settle into as my club.<br />

“The world was a much bigger place<br />

back then,” he recalls.<br />

“When you travelled to play in<br />

Clongowes or Blackrock - they were the<br />

two big schools in <strong>Leinster</strong> at that stage - it<br />

just felt like a different place. You had that<br />

bitterness even then, going up to try and<br />

win in those places.”<br />

When school was done and a degree<br />

pocketed from UCC, Keogh returned<br />

home to the bosom of all-conquering<br />

Shannon.<br />

Stellar form for the club led to 54<br />

<strong>Munster</strong> caps between 2003 and 2006,<br />

marking Stephen as one of the up-andcoming<br />

forwards in Irish rugby at the age<br />

of 23.<br />

“At one time, it was one culture versus<br />

another culture. Dublin was moving<br />

ahead in relation to the Celtic Tiger.<br />

Limerick and Cork were that bit<br />

behind.<br />

“It was a clash of two different cultures.<br />

You had that between Ireland’s two best<br />

provinces and one of them, <strong>Munster</strong>, was<br />

the best in Europe.<br />

“You always look over the wall at what<br />

the neighbour has and <strong>Munster</strong> had<br />

Heineken Cups when <strong>Leinster</strong> didn’t.<br />

“Then, there was the importance of Irish<br />

selection. When you throw all of that<br />

together, sparks are going to fly and they<br />

did back then.<br />

“But, it was great. The public bought into<br />

the rivalry and the atmosphere was all<br />

the better for it.”<br />

However, Stephen decided to take the<br />

unusual move of signing for <strong>Leinster</strong>, just<br />

weeks before sitting on the bench for that<br />

epic 2006 Heineken Cup semi-final in<br />

which <strong>Munster</strong> won the day once again.<br />

“While I had played a lot for <strong>Munster</strong>,<br />

I was ahead of the curve in my<br />

appearances because there had been<br />

a spate of injuries that opened up game<br />

time for me.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 63


“I just got a phone call from Michael<br />

Cheika. Eric Miller was moving on and<br />

Victor Costello was gone. They needed a<br />

back-rower to come in.<br />

“I looked at it and decided there was a<br />

spot there at <strong>Leinster</strong> to start regularly in<br />

the Heineken Cup. I signed in March.”<br />

It was a smart move given the resources<br />

in that area for <strong>Munster</strong>, the list including<br />

Anthony Foley, Alan Quinlan, Eddie<br />

Halvey, Denis Leamy, David Wallace, Jim<br />

Williams and Stephen.<br />

“The reaction in <strong>Munster</strong> was fine. It was<br />

no problem at all. The lads were grand.<br />

There was no issue,” says Stephen.<br />

“Even at that stage, rugby was treated<br />

as a business as well as your passion.<br />

The lads knew it was a good business<br />

decision for me, a good rugby decision<br />

for me to move. They understood it.”<br />

It was the possibility of becoming more<br />

relevant on Heineken Cup days that<br />

made it a relatively easy decision for the<br />

impatient loose forward.<br />

“I think the <strong>Leinster</strong> lads would openly<br />

say this, there was a vast contrast in the<br />

two teams at that stage, especially up<br />

front.”<br />

In the summer of 2006, the challenge<br />

was to leave that hatred behind and to<br />

embrace those who once were enemies.<br />

“When you move somewhere, you’ve got<br />

to buy into it,” he adds.<br />

“It’s not really about the colour of the<br />

jersey. It is not about the place. It is<br />

about teammates. At the end of the day,<br />

everyone’s the same. They all want the<br />

same things.<br />

“When you are involved in rugby,<br />

generally, people will have the same<br />

motivations, the same common goals.<br />

Once you buy into those, the men around<br />

you become your friends. And you<br />

would do anything for your friends, your<br />

mates. Those friendships were created in<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong>.”<br />

Those bonds remain.<br />

“Who am I closest to from the group? It<br />

is not like the schoolyard thing where: ‘I<br />

don’t want to say who my best friend is’,”<br />

he laughs.<br />

“We had a reunion in 2019, 10 years<br />

after the first Heineken Cup. It was just<br />

great craic, like we had never left.<br />

“It is only when you leave the game that<br />

you realise what a time you had. I urge<br />

any player now, to savour it. You will<br />

never have that time again.”<br />

When the 2006/07 fixture list came out,<br />

Stephen would have been excited to see<br />

where and when <strong>Munster</strong> would come.<br />

He still remembers where he was when<br />

Michael Cheika rang on a Thursday<br />

afternoon to let him know he wouldn’t be<br />

starting in that first derby.<br />

In 2008, there would be another chance<br />

to exorcise demons and it came on a<br />

miserable, wet day at Musgrave Park<br />

when Stephen returned from a broken<br />

hand in a 10-3 win in Cork, giving<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> much-needed confidence.<br />

“I am not saying it turned the tide. But,<br />

it was one of those wins that helped<br />

along the way, especially for the type<br />

of day it was, lashing rain in the muck in<br />

Musgrave.<br />

“My only memory is of Denis Leamy, my<br />

great friend, giving me a dig and pulling<br />

the jersey over my head, so I couldn’t see<br />

where I was going for 30 seconds. There<br />

was just good niggle to that game.”<br />

When you make the change from red to<br />

blue, you discover that the hype of hate<br />

built up around the contrast in cultures is<br />

not real.<br />

64 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


“You grow up with the common belief<br />

in <strong>Munster</strong>, albeit wrongly, that <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

players are all posh and what have you.<br />

You just find out that they are normal<br />

people. They are the very same as you.<br />

“I wasn’t long up in <strong>Leinster</strong> when I did a<br />

press conference. I was asked a simple<br />

question: ‘Did you notice any differences<br />

between <strong>Munster</strong> and <strong>Leinster</strong>?’”<br />

“I said: ‘The only thing I can’t get my<br />

head around is that there are so many<br />

takeaway coffees up in <strong>Leinster</strong>.’”<br />

There was a headline in the newspaper<br />

the next day: “I’m not here for the<br />

coffee.” To this day, the boys in the<br />

WhatsApp group will hit him with “I’m not<br />

here for the coffee”.<br />

“Looking back now, I am as long out of it<br />

as when I was playing it. They were great<br />

times, just great craic.”<br />

The dream of making a difference for<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> in the Heineken Cup never truly<br />

materialised, Rocky Elsom arriving in<br />

2008 to be the missing piece in that<br />

jigsaw.<br />

“They obviously felt they needed quality<br />

in the position I was in and that leads to<br />

you asking questions about yourself.<br />

“I was a good Magners League player.<br />

I had two seasons of starting regularly<br />

in the Heineken Cup and then dropping<br />

down to be a squad player.”<br />

When Rocky left, Kevin McLaughlin<br />

and Seán O’Brien came on the scene.<br />

In Ireland, there are always back row<br />

players coming on the scene.<br />

“Only the world-class players reach the<br />

top of the game. I wasn’t world-class.<br />

Therefore, I didn’t reach the top. And<br />

that is okay. I have no hassle with<br />

that.”<br />

It wasn’t too long before Stephen<br />

had had enough of the professional<br />

environment.<br />

“People think professional rugby is<br />

great. And it is. It is also very frustrating.<br />

Whether you are a good player, or not,<br />

or fully-committed, or not, holding a<br />

tackling bag is not easy.<br />

“Everyone knows if you are doing a<br />

good or bad job as a professional rugby<br />

player because all they have to do is<br />

read the teamsheet.<br />

“You are constantly explaining yourself.<br />

People are asking you, are you injured?<br />

No. Why aren’t you playing? The coach<br />

didn’t pick me.<br />

“I just got sick of it. I could have gone to<br />

Italy or France. For me, there are other<br />

things in life outside of rugby.”<br />

That meant the beginning of a second<br />

career in 2011.<br />

A degree in Economics from UCC led<br />

to a future in finance with New Ireland<br />

Assurance, working his way up that<br />

particular ladder to become Head of<br />

Retail and Sales in April.<br />

“It is important to join the right company.<br />

That happened to me. They never treated<br />

me as an ex-rugby player. I never had to<br />

do any rugby-related stuff for them.<br />

“I came in on merit and they helped me<br />

to build a career. That is really important.<br />

I fell on my feet that way.”<br />

Stephen cited determination, clear goals,<br />

clear plans, clear strategies as some of<br />

the building blocks that translate from<br />

rugby into the workplace.<br />

“You don’t learn management when you<br />

are a professional sportsman because<br />

you are mostly worrying about yourself,<br />

doing your part.<br />

“You don’t have to motivate people<br />

because they are already motivated. You<br />

learn how to be part of a team.”<br />

In red and blue.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 65


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Delvin RFC 60s/70s<br />

Players Get Together<br />

BY CAROLINE MCFADDEN<br />

L-R Eamon Cooney,Bill Douglas, Donal<br />

Henderson, Jim Walker, Christy Lynch,<br />

Gordon Henderson & Alec Smyth<br />

The Neptune Hotel in Bettystown<br />

was the place back in the 1960s<br />

and 1970s where the ex-Delvin<br />

RFC club entertained their visiting<br />

teams following their games at<br />

their then grounds in Butlin’s<br />

Mosney. They also celebrated New<br />

Year’s Eve with their famous ‘sold<br />

out’ New Year’s Eve Dinner Dances<br />

in the hotel.<br />

Those great bygone days were relived<br />

recently when the club’s players of that era<br />

once again gathered to celebrate another<br />

momentous occasion, the 60th anniversary<br />

of the club winning the <strong>Leinster</strong> Provincial<br />

Towns Cup back in 1962.<br />

The captain of that famous team, Mr<br />

Billy Reynolds, was in attendance along<br />

with another member of the team, Hugh<br />

Cumisky. Others such as Derek Little, Niall<br />

Delaney and Peter Barry, who were on<br />

the periphery of the team, were also in<br />

attendance.<br />

Perusing old times<br />

in the Drogheda<br />

Independent<br />

Whilst the get together did celebrate<br />

the 60th anniversary of that great<br />

achievement, it wasn’t confined to that<br />

year and was expanded to include<br />

members and players who played with the<br />

club throughout the 60s and early 70s.<br />

An informal lunch was organised and<br />

there was a great response from those<br />

who lined out or supported the club<br />

throughout that period. Pictures of the ‘62<br />

final were on view as well as page cuttings<br />

from the Drogheda Independent which<br />

drew great attention from the gathering.<br />

There was also a book profiling the club’s<br />

history, written by former club President<br />

and player, Jim Walker, for the nostalgic<br />

gathering to peruse.<br />

As the afternoon wore on, stories were<br />

once again retold, embellished and<br />

friendships were rekindled following many<br />

years since meetings had taken place<br />

between many of those who attended.<br />

The Winning Captains, Seamie<br />

Briscoe McGowan Cup ‘77 &<br />

Billy Reynolds PTC ‘62<br />

There was a splendid surprise when<br />

an anniversary cake was baked and<br />

produced for the occasion by Karen<br />

Hammond which was certainly eaten with<br />

great nostalgic taste by everybody.<br />

The club was founded in the early 1950s<br />

by Des Scaife and played out at the<br />

Butlin’s Holiday Camp in Mosney. Their<br />

playing base comprised of players mainly<br />

from north County Dublin and east Meath.<br />

Ten years after Delvin RFC was founded,<br />

they managed to win the prestigious<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Provincial Towns Cup in 1962<br />

and their only other senior success was<br />

the North-East Area LB McGowan Cup<br />

in 1975/76. The captains of both these<br />

sides, Billy Reynolds and Seamie Briscoe<br />

respectively were present at the gathering.<br />

The winning Delvin <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

PTC Team from 1962<br />

Team Mates From ‘62 Billy Reynolds<br />

& Hugh Cumiskey<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 67


Referees<br />

Corner<br />

BY DAN WALLACE<br />

Welcome to another edition of Referees Corner and a warm<br />

welcome to Frank Murphy, today’s match referee and his team.<br />

Frank is a former rugby player. Originally from Cork, Murphy<br />

played for his native province of <strong>Munster</strong> before moving to the<br />

English side Leicester Tigers, with whom he won a Premiership<br />

title, and then finished his career with Connacht, another<br />

Irish province, making over 100 appearances for the side.<br />

He began refereeing in the<br />

All-Ireland League in 2015,<br />

progressing to referee in the<br />

British and Irish Cup later that<br />

year. He began refereeing at<br />

international level in 2016 and<br />

has taken charge of games in<br />

the European Nations Cup. In<br />

November 2016, Murphy took<br />

charge of his first PRO12 game,<br />

and has since gone on to referee<br />

in the Challenge Cup at European<br />

level.<br />

We’re wrapping up our 2021/22<br />

season in Referees HQ and it has been<br />

fantastic to see so many competitions<br />

back in full swing and see our referees<br />

back on the pitch. Referees play a<br />

central role in our game and we are<br />

justly proud of how we have conducted<br />

ourselves and our contribution to rugby<br />

in <strong>Leinster</strong> this season.<br />

We had a tricky but successful season<br />

with our trial referees. We ran one<br />

new member workshop on October<br />

30, with the attendance of 25 recruits.<br />

In total, a record number of 36 trial<br />

members passed trial matches and<br />

attained full membership during the<br />

season. Compliments are due to a<br />

number of individuals for their hard<br />

work with our trial referees in achieving<br />

these outstanding results. The next<br />

new recruits’ workshop will be held on<br />

Saturday, August 27. Details further on.<br />

This season, we also launched a new<br />

programme of mentoring with IRFU<br />

guidance. Norman Carter took on the<br />

role as head of mentors and recruited<br />

approximately 40 active and former<br />

referees to act as mentors. Training<br />

was provided by the IRFU, and as a<br />

result, almost 70 referees have received<br />

mentorship during the season.<br />

​Do you want to explore a new way to<br />

be involved in the game next season?<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby Referees are inviting applications<br />

for their next New Referees Course which will<br />

take place on 27 August. Visit the website…<br />

And drop Sean Gallagher an email for<br />

more information…<br />

68 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


During the season, head of evaluation<br />

Jim Breen and his sub-committee<br />

deployed approximately 25 evaluators.<br />

These evaluators are responsible for<br />

assessing our referees in the field<br />

and recommending promotions and<br />

demotions amongst other things. In<br />

total we completed well over 300<br />

evaluations, covering our own referees<br />

and also covering National Panel<br />

Referees and IPAS Referees. In all<br />

almost 200 individual referees were<br />

evaluated, a great return.<br />

Under the guidance of Barry O’Keefe,<br />

using a combination of ref cam and<br />

attendance at matches, we deployed a<br />

number of coaches who issued almost<br />

50 coaching reports. This is significantly<br />

more than previous years. Coaching<br />

and evaluating differ greatly. Coaching<br />

focuses more on observing the referee<br />

and giving them a couple of items to<br />

work on over the following weeks.<br />

A referee development team of six<br />

individuals, directed by Steve Griffiths,<br />

run the activities of our development<br />

group. The development group is made<br />

up of referees that we see as having the<br />

skill and ability to move to the top level<br />

of refereeing in <strong>Leinster</strong> and onwards<br />

to perhaps the National Panel. This<br />

group and the work coming from it,<br />

involves a serious commitment on their<br />

parts to allow them to become the best<br />

they can be as referees. The group for<br />

the season consisted of nine referees,<br />

three of whom were in IPAS. All three<br />

IPAS members performed very well<br />

throughout the season, as a result of<br />

which Robbie Jenkinson has already<br />

been promoted to the National Panel,<br />

and Katie Byrne has already refereed<br />

at AIL level.<br />

Our area representatives are one of the<br />

cornerstones of our association. Their<br />

level of commitment and work rate can<br />

never be overstated. A massive thank<br />

you for all the work they put into their<br />

areas, especially youth and underage<br />

games!! Also many thanks go to<br />

Hayley White in our Administration<br />

office, who makes sure everything runs<br />

smoothly.<br />

For the first time in two years, we<br />

were able to hold our annual dinner.<br />

Held in Lansdowne FC on April 9, a<br />

fabulous night was had by all. Over<br />

130 attendees and expertly organized<br />

by Barry Dempsey and his team. The<br />

presidents from both the IRFU and the<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Branch were in attendance. A<br />

full set of awards being handed out on<br />

the night.<br />

Harry Ardle Award to<br />

Keith Spendlove<br />

Alain Rolland Award to<br />

Mitch Enderby<br />

Terry Doyle Award to<br />

Coolmine RFC<br />

Denis Collins Award to<br />

Robbie Jenkinson<br />

Lifetime Achievement Award to<br />

Peter Donnelly<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 69


ank of ireland<br />

MATCHDAY MINIS<br />

West Offaly Lions<br />

Front Row: Ellie Flynn, Senan Dunne, James Darcy, Cian<br />

Dunican, Cathal Molloy, Ultan Keeneghan, Clyde Buckley,<br />

Jessica Coffey, James Guinan, Noah O’Duffy.<br />

Back Row: Jason Mullen, Hayley Delaney, Emily Lynam-<br />

Carroll, Alex Foley, Kayleigh Berry, Callie Hennessy,<br />

Jasmine McIntyre, Will Browne, Dylan Buckley, Adam<br />

Delaney.<br />

Ardee RFC<br />

Back (left to right): Killian McShane, Paddy McArdle, Adam<br />

Malone, Turlough McCague, Jake Steel, Daniel Malone,<br />

Charlie Murray, Jeremiasz Michalski, Pat Smith, Shea<br />

Campbell, Noel Malone (Coach)<br />

Front (left to right): Jack Gillick, Shea Devlin, Connor<br />

Kiernan, Connor Grimes, Odhran Carrlon, Michael Tighe,<br />

Noah Taaffe, Jay McHugh, Sean Madden.<br />

Managers: John Mullen, Frances Pillion.<br />

Old Belvedere RFC<br />

Players: Alex Rochford, Ben Glynn, Bobby Callanan,<br />

Cameron Wallace, Charlie Reynolds, Chris Comer, Danial<br />

Kennedy, David Kelly, Donnacha Cosgrave, Freddie Moore,<br />

Jack Moyles, Jack O’Rourke, James O’Reilly, John Gunne,<br />

Kyle Calvert, Lewis Murphy, Mark Bryson, Mark McNally,<br />

Nathan Keogh, Robin Elliott<br />

Coaches: Colm Bryson and Alan Wallace<br />

Athy RFC<br />

Players: Cailan O’Shaughnessy, Charlie Rafferty, Charlie<br />

Price, Cian Maher, Conor Brophy, Conor Dooley, Cormac<br />

Kerrigan, Donnacha Conway, Eoghan Kavanagh, Finbar<br />

Purcell, Harry Walsh, Henry Hovenden, Jack Farrell, Jerry<br />

Davis, Mark Boyle, Max Hogan, Oscar Byrne, Saran Buttle,<br />

Senan Mulqueen, William Cassidy<br />

Coaches: Brian Kerrigan, Eric Conway, Mark Price,<br />

Niall Walsh, Paddy Byrne, Steve Mulqueen<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 71


TO MAXIMISE YOUR SPORTS AND EXERCISE<br />

PERFORMANCE THROUGH NUTRITION<br />

Optimum Nutrition and <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby have partnered to help share good nutrition tips throughout<br />

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

remember to help maximise your performance and help you recover quickly to come back stronger.<br />

Protein Rich.<br />

Protein provides your muscles with<br />

the building blocks to repair & grow.<br />

Carb-Up.<br />

Carbohydrate foods are king as they<br />

power high intensity play.<br />

Fuel-Up.<br />

Consume the majority of your<br />

carbohydrates around training to<br />

support fuelling and recovery.<br />

Recover.<br />

Quality rest & nutrition between<br />

training sessions is the key to<br />

recovery. Remember to:<br />

Repair with protein,<br />

Refuel with carbohydrate,<br />

Rehydrate with fluid.<br />

Hydrate.<br />

Dehydration can lead to a drop in<br />

exercise intensity & can impact your<br />

decision making. Drink 2-3 litres of<br />

fluid each day to ensure hydration.<br />

Game Day.<br />

To fuel performance on the field,<br />

consume a large carbohydrate rich<br />

meal 2-3 hours before kick-off, i.e.<br />

chicken & pasta, turkey bolognaise<br />

wraps.<br />

Get 20% off all Optimum Nutrition products<br />

using code <strong>Leinster</strong>20 on optimumnutrition.ie


KNOWING WHAT ADVICE TO TAKE<br />

IS ESSENTIAL IN THIS GAME.<br />

beauchamps.ie<br />

OFFICIAL LEGAL ADVISOR<br />

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


<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby charity partner<br />

Cardiac Risk in<br />

the Young<br />

THE FIELDS OF<br />

LANSDOWNE<br />

ROAD.<br />

When it<br />

comes to<br />

selecting her<br />

favourite<br />

Lansdowne<br />

Road memory,<br />

Orla Foley<br />

has a few to<br />

pick from.<br />

Orla’s brother Anthony Foley<br />

Ireland’s debut in 1995, when<br />

he scored a consolation try<br />

against England, came close, but<br />

she quickly plucked for a game<br />

almost a decade later.<br />

“Ronan O’Gara’s try… the Heineken Cup<br />

semi-final against <strong>Leinster</strong> in 2006, that’s<br />

my favourite game,” she smiles.<br />

“I was in Glasgow watching his Ireland<br />

debut in 1995 on the TV, so the 2006<br />

game has to be the best memory.”<br />

Orla is quick not to rub salt in the wounds<br />

of the opposition who welcome <strong>Munster</strong><br />

to Dublin today though. “I support all four<br />

provinces, really! I find I can’t be shouting<br />

for them in green, and not when they’re<br />

playing for their provinces… I like to see<br />

all the provinces do well.<br />

“I’ll never forget how <strong>Leinster</strong> wore<br />

Number 8 shirts in 2016 after Anthony<br />

died (due to Sudden Cardiac Death) and<br />

brought a <strong>Munster</strong> jersey into the dressing<br />

room. That was the day of the funeral and<br />

looking at it on TV was unreal. Leo Cullen<br />

always speaks so well of Anthony and so<br />

fondly too, and that means the world.<br />

“I’ll never forget either, how Johnny<br />

Sexton - after he scored that famous<br />

drop goal against France to win the Six<br />

Nations - sent his jersey to Anthony’s boys<br />

with a beautiful letter. The rugby family<br />

in Ireland,<br />

from Ulster, Connacht, <strong>Leinster</strong> and<br />

<strong>Munster</strong> has a special connection. You<br />

get to meet people from all walks of life<br />

and I’ve been given lovely memories of<br />

what Anthony meant to many over the<br />

past few years.”<br />

The last time Orla was in the Aviva<br />

Stadium, it was to hear Hermitage Green<br />

singer, and former <strong>Munster</strong> player, Barry<br />

Murphy launch his song ‘Alone You<br />

Stand’, in tribute to Anthony Foley to raise<br />

vital funds for CRY Ireland, Mid-Western<br />

Cancer Foundation and the children’s<br />

charity CARI.<br />

But she won’t walk down Lansdowne<br />

Road today, instead she’s cycling in<br />

France as part of her fundraising ‘Orla’s<br />

Wild Ways’ tour that began almost two<br />

years ago when she cycled the coast of<br />

the Wild Atlantic Way.<br />

Orla’s Wild Ways is in memory of<br />

Anthony Foley, and has raised over<br />

€30,000 already for three charities<br />

including <strong>Leinster</strong>’s charity partner<br />

for May, CRY Ireland (Cardiac Risk<br />

in the Young / CRY), which facilitates<br />

free access to cardiac assessment and<br />

provides free support and counselling<br />

services for families that have been<br />

affected by the loss of someone to<br />

Sudden Cardiac Death.<br />

“I was only in Dublin a couple of weeks<br />

ago to get my own heart check - I do it<br />

every few years because of history in the<br />

family,” Orla said.<br />

“CRY has a new centre in Dublin, with<br />

a helpline that wasn’t there for us - it’s<br />

lovely that it’s there for others now, the<br />

helpline really goes that extra mile.<br />

“Everyone has access to this service for<br />

free, which is amazing. And it covers all<br />

32 counties - just like rugby, there’s no<br />

north and south separation, everyone has<br />

access.”<br />

You can<br />

still make a<br />

donation to<br />

Orla Foley’s<br />

Wild Ways<br />

Cycle<br />

For more<br />

information<br />

about CRY,<br />

please go to<br />

cry.ie<br />

74 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


ABOUT CRY<br />

CRY in Ireland was founded in<br />

March 2002 by parents Michael<br />

and Marie Greene who had<br />

experienced the effects of sudden<br />

and unexplained death within<br />

their families.<br />

We are a self-supporting registered<br />

Charity. We are therefore dependent<br />

on fundraising activities and donations<br />

to help us provide access for families in<br />

Ireland, north and south, bereaved by<br />

the sudden cardiac death (SCD) of a<br />

young person, or who are affected by,<br />

or at risk from inherited conditions that<br />

cause SCD.<br />

TEXT CRY TO<br />

50300<br />

TO DONATE €4<br />

Texts cost €4.00 CRY Ireland will<br />

receive a minimum of €3.60 Service<br />

Provider: LIKECHARITY.<br />

Helpline: 01 4819311<br />

Our<br />

Programmes<br />

CRY facilitates free cardiac<br />

assessment at the centre at<br />

Tallaght University Hospital,<br />

for families who have lost a<br />

young person through SCD or<br />

SADS (Sudden Arrhythmic Death<br />

Syndrome), or who are affected<br />

by, or at risk from inherited<br />

conditions that cause SCD.<br />

CRY supports research into the prevention<br />

of sudden cardiac death.<br />

CRY also offers emotional support<br />

to families, bereaved through SCD<br />

through the CRY Helpline a freephone<br />

service available 7-9pm Tuesdays and<br />

Thursdays, 10am-12pm Wednesdays and<br />

4-6pm Sundays.<br />

FREEPHONE:<br />

Republic of Ireland:<br />

1800 714 080<br />

Northern Ireland/UK:<br />

00 44 8006<br />

40 62 80<br />

Looking for a<br />

challenge?<br />

Join Team CRY and help us raise<br />

funds this September as we walk<br />

the Camino Portuguese from Tui<br />

to Santiago de Compostela.<br />

Take part in the VHI Mini Marathon on<br />

June 5th and consider supporting CRY<br />

and the families affected by SCD<br />

To join our fundraisers, please email:<br />

info@cry.ie<br />

@CRYIre<br />

For more see our website<br />

www.cry.ie<br />

@cryireland @cry.ireland<br />

Proudly supported by BearingPoint.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 75


opposing view<br />

7 May 2022<br />

<strong>Munster</strong> supporters celebrate<br />

a second half penalty during<br />

the Heineken Champions Cup<br />

Quarter-Final match between<br />

<strong>Munster</strong> and Toulouse at Aviva<br />

Stadium in Dublin.<br />

76 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 77


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Head Coach<br />

Johann<br />

van Graan<br />

South African Johann van Graan<br />

joined <strong>Munster</strong> in November 2017<br />

from his role as forwards coach<br />

with the Springboks.<br />

Prior to that he had enjoyed success with<br />

the Bulls in Super Rugby, working as both<br />

their forwards and attack coach.<br />

He is due to sign English Premiership club<br />

Bath at the culmination of the current<br />

season.<br />

Captain<br />

Peter O’Mahony<br />

Flanker Peter O’Mahony made<br />

his <strong>Munster</strong> at Ravenhill against<br />

Ulster in January 2010 as an<br />

Academy player.<br />

Awarded a senior contract ahead of the<br />

2011/12 season, he has since gone on<br />

to be named the province’s captain after<br />

Doug Howlett’s departure in 2013.<br />

He has played 159 times for <strong>Munster</strong><br />

as well as amassing 84 Ireland caps to<br />

date.<br />

munster squad<br />

FORWARDS<br />

THOMAS AHERN<br />

LOCK<br />

STEPHEN ARCHER<br />

PROP<br />

DIARMUID BARRON<br />

HOOKER<br />

TADHG BEIRNE<br />

LOCK<br />

SCOTT BUCKLEY<br />

HOOKER<br />

CHRIS CLOETE<br />

FLANKER<br />

GAVIN COOMBES<br />

NO. 8<br />

JACK DALY<br />

FLANKER<br />

MARK DONNELLY<br />

PROP<br />

JOHN FORDE<br />

LOCK<br />

JAMES FRENCH<br />

PROP<br />

JOHN HODNETT<br />

FLANKER<br />

CIAN HURLEY<br />

LOCK<br />

JASON JENKINS<br />

LOCK<br />

ALEX KENDELLEN<br />

FLANKER<br />

DAVE KILCOYNE<br />

PROP<br />

JEAN KLEYN<br />

LOCK<br />

KEYNAN KNOX<br />

PROP<br />

JEREMY LOUGHMAN<br />

PROP<br />

CONOR MOLONEY<br />

FLANKER<br />

KEVIN O’BYRNE<br />

HOOKER<br />

LIAM O’CONNOR<br />

PROP<br />

EOIN O’CONNOR<br />

LOCK<br />

JACK O’DONOGHUE<br />

FLANKER<br />

DANIEL OKEKE<br />

NO. 8<br />

PETER O’MAHONY<br />

FLANKER C<br />

JACK O’SULLIVAN<br />

NO. 8<br />

JOHN RYAN<br />

PROP<br />

ROMAN SALANOA<br />

PROP<br />

NIALL SCANNELL<br />

HOOKER<br />

RG SNYMAN<br />

LOCK<br />

JOSH WYCHERLEY<br />

PROP<br />

FINEEN WYCHERLEY<br />

LOCK<br />

BACKS<br />

GROUP<br />

TONY BUTLER<br />

FLY-HALF<br />

PATRICK CAMPBELL<br />

FULLBACK<br />

JOEY CARBERY<br />

FLY-HALF<br />

CRAIG CASEY<br />

SCRUM-HALF<br />

ANDREW CONWAY<br />

WING<br />

LIAM COOMBES<br />

WING<br />

ETHAN COUGHLAN<br />

SCRUM-HALF<br />

NEIL CRONIN<br />

SCRUM-HALF<br />

JACK CROWLEY<br />

FLY-HALF<br />

SHANE DALY<br />

WING<br />

DAMIAN DE ALLENDE<br />

CENTRE<br />

KEITH EARLS<br />

WING<br />

CHRIS FARRELL<br />

CENTRE<br />

JAKE FLANNERY<br />

FLY-HALF<br />

SEAN FRENCH<br />

CENTRE<br />

MATT GALLAGHER<br />

FULLBACK<br />

DAN GOGGIN<br />

CENTRE<br />

MIKE HALEY<br />

FULLBACK<br />

BEN HEALY<br />

FLY-HALF<br />

CONOR MURRAY<br />

SCRUM-HALF<br />

CALVIN NASH<br />

WING<br />

ROWAN OSBORNE<br />

SCRUM-HALF<br />

PADDY PATTERSON<br />

SCRUM-HALF<br />

RORY SCANNELL<br />

CENTRE<br />

JONATHAN WREN<br />

FULLBACK<br />

SIMON ZEBO<br />

WING<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 79


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Club in Focus<br />

ROSCREA<br />

RFC<br />

Roscrea is<br />

a county<br />

Tipperary<br />

town with a<br />

rugby club<br />

holding<br />

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

status. It<br />

has long<br />

celebrated<br />

an<br />

interesting<br />

relationship<br />

with<br />

Ireland’s<br />

biggest<br />

provincial<br />

rivals.<br />

82 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


“It started as a club playing<br />

in <strong>Munster</strong> competitions and<br />

migrated to <strong>Leinster</strong> due to the<br />

grounds being across the border<br />

in Offaly. We were admitted into<br />

the <strong>Leinster</strong> League and we have<br />

stayed there,” says Club President<br />

Terry Farrelly.<br />

“I became a member 35 years ago and I<br />

haven’t been able to escape since.”<br />

At one point, in the 1970s, it is<br />

understood there was a movement within<br />

the club to switch to <strong>Munster</strong> as the club’s<br />

new pitches were inside the Tipperary<br />

border. This was quickly subdued by an<br />

IRFU promise to reduce or even wipe out<br />

tickets for Ireland’s internationals.<br />

The desire to switch provinces came from<br />

the fact that the majority of the Roscrea<br />

players and supporters were and are<br />

<strong>Munster</strong> supporters.<br />

In 1978, one of the members of the<br />

club, Seamus Dennison, who played<br />

for Garryowen at the time, was on the<br />

<strong>Munster</strong> team that beat the All Blacks.<br />

“There are certain members of the club,<br />

who are staunch, staunch <strong>Leinster</strong>. There<br />

are certain members of the club, who are<br />

staunch, staunch <strong>Munster</strong>,” says Terry.<br />

“The breakdown of the membership is<br />

probably close to two-thirds <strong>Munster</strong> and<br />

one-third <strong>Leinster</strong>.”<br />

They are drawn from counties Laois,<br />

Offaly, and Tipperary within about a<br />

12-mile radius, taking in Offaly’s Shinrone<br />

and Coolderry, Laois’ Borris-In-Ossory<br />

and Rathdowney and Tipperary’s<br />

Roscrea, Cloughjordan and Moneygall,<br />

a village divided between Offaly on one<br />

side of the main street and Tipperary on<br />

the other.<br />

“We have very few <strong>Leinster</strong> season ticket<br />

holders. We have a lot more <strong>Munster</strong><br />

season ticket holders. That is really down<br />

to geography,” he adds.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 83


“For example, I had a 10-year ticket to<br />

<strong>Munster</strong> and I could pop in the car and<br />

be in my seat in Thomond in 45 minutes<br />

whereas it would take the guts of two<br />

hours to make it to the RDS.”<br />

It would lead an objective observer to<br />

presume a siege mentality has set in<br />

over the decades, a sort of outsiders’<br />

perspective.<br />

“No, I wouldn’t say that. It is quite a<br />

trek for many of the provincial clubs, like<br />

Longford, Wexford, Mullingar, to make it<br />

to Dublin,” notes Terry.<br />

“But, in recent years, the provincial<br />

clubs are providing a much higher<br />

representation to <strong>Leinster</strong>. For example,<br />

Peter Dooley is from up the road in Birr.<br />

His father Gerry would have been a mad<br />

<strong>Munster</strong> supporter.”<br />

The nearest <strong>Leinster</strong> club Birr has<br />

amalgamated with Roscrea at the youth<br />

level to play together as the Roscrea and<br />

Birr Ravens, a union born out of necessity<br />

for the boys and girls in the area.<br />

“We don’t have the numbers we used to<br />

have at underage from U-14 up. While<br />

the bigger clubs prospering might be the<br />

ones closer to Dublin, the provincially<br />

peripheral clubs are finding it difficult.<br />

“There are healthy numbers at minis.<br />

But, there is a fall-off from U-14 upwards<br />

with some of the boys going to school as<br />

day-boarders at CCR (Cistercian College<br />

Roscrea), a short walk from the club<br />

grounds.<br />

“Consequently, at U-14, U-15, U-16,<br />

and U-18, we are joined up with Birr<br />

for boys and girls, training and matches<br />

alternating between the clubs.”<br />

The rise in popularity of girls’ and<br />

women’s rugby has injected a different<br />

kind of excitement and given the club<br />

another level of interest from the outside.<br />

“The number of girls at the club is almost<br />

as many as the boys. In the minis, we<br />

could have 120 boys and 100 girls.<br />

The importance of the girls cannot be<br />

overestimated.”<br />

There is also the view that the club has<br />

to reach out as more than just a place to<br />

play rugby given the competition from<br />

various sports and organisations.<br />

“We are trying to develop the club as<br />

a community facility. My thoughts are:<br />

‘If we don’t do that, we won’t survive’,”<br />

warns Terry.<br />

“We have to be more than a club<br />

providing men’s rugby. We are<br />

diversifying. That process has started<br />

already.<br />

“The girls were the start of it. We have<br />

people with disabilities in the club as<br />

associate members, coming from St<br />

Anne’s, the special needs school here.<br />

That is another step in the right direction.<br />

We have to encourage everyone to<br />

come in.<br />

“At one stage, there were four senior<br />

men’s teams at the club and no<br />

underage. Now, it is an underage club<br />

with one senior team.”<br />

At present, Roscrea is in the middle of an<br />

application for planning permission to<br />

upgrade many of the facilities that have<br />

aged since the 1970s.<br />

Floodlights, changing facilities accounting<br />

for the rise in the numbers of girls,<br />

wheelchair access, and a walking track,<br />

designed to encourage locals to come<br />

into the club, are all part of the plan.<br />

“From a personal point of view, the<br />

challenge is to manage the interests of all<br />

the people in the club from minis, girls,<br />

adults, so that they all get a fair shake.”<br />

It means a considerable amount of time<br />

84 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


given over in a voluntary capacity as<br />

many as six to eight hours a week.<br />

“Sadly, for some of the older members, it<br />

is a fundraising thing, trying to keep the<br />

club going for everyone.<br />

“Every administrator in every rural club<br />

would understand. Everyone wants free<br />

jerseys. Nobody wants to pay for them.”<br />

Pulling on the maroon and white shirt<br />

is about generating a sense of identity,<br />

coming together from different counties,<br />

even different provinces, to play for the<br />

same goal.<br />

“Legendary Liverpool manager Bill<br />

Shankly once said, to paraphrase,<br />

‘Football is not life or death. It is much<br />

more important than that’.<br />

“The same goes for rugby, in this regard.<br />

When something is important for a<br />

10-year-old, it is everything to them. It is<br />

also important for his or her parents and<br />

grandparents whereas it is not as big a<br />

deal for a senior player.<br />

“We have to do everything we can to<br />

show all the people of Roscrea and the<br />

surrounding area how important they are<br />

to us and how important the club is for<br />

the whole community.”


joe<br />

McCarth<br />

THE ACADEMY<br />

INTERVIEW<br />

BY PAUL CAHILL<br />

As the final whistle<br />

blew last Saturday<br />

at Aviva Stadium, Joe<br />

McCarthy celebrated<br />

with his teammates as<br />

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

their sixth Heineken<br />

Champions Cup final<br />

in front of more than<br />

42,000 supporters.<br />

But, just three years earlier,<br />

McCarthy was a fifth year student<br />

watching the very same fixture<br />

from the stands with his younger<br />

brother.<br />

For many of us, that 2019 semi-final<br />

against Toulouse seems like only<br />

yesterday, but the Academy second<br />

row – who only last month signed his first<br />

senior contract – has been on quite a<br />

journey since then.<br />

As the 2021/22 season was getting<br />

underway, McCarthy didn’t have the<br />

lofty ambitions of featuring in a Heineken<br />

Champions Cup semi-final.<br />

The extent of his ambitions, was just trying<br />

to get fit.<br />

“I was coming back from an injury at the<br />

start of this season,” says the 21-year-old.<br />

86 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


y<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 87


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“I missed the Irish U-20s through injury,<br />

and I was out for all of pre-season.<br />

“So, I was just hoping to try and get back<br />

playing as many games as possible.<br />

Whether that was with Trinity in the<br />

Energia All-Ireland League or wherever, I<br />

just wanted to play and try to improve.”<br />

As McCarthy entered his second year in<br />

the <strong>Leinster</strong> Academy, he got his first run<br />

out of the season in November 2021 at a<br />

wet and blustery Banbridge Rugby Club<br />

for <strong>Leinster</strong> ‘A’ against Ulster ‘A’.<br />

“I felt a bit off after not playing for quite<br />

a while. But, after coming through that ‘A’<br />

game I got a good run of matches with<br />

Trinity.<br />

“I managed to play five or six full games<br />

in a row. I started to feel back on track<br />

after getting a few 80 minutes in the<br />

AIL. I definitely improved through those<br />

games.”<br />

McCarthy may not have known it then,<br />

but that period with Dublin University<br />

Football Club under Tony Smeeth made<br />

him battle hardened and gave him the<br />

match fitness required to kick on with<br />

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

“The AIL has been really important this<br />

year. We know the <strong>Leinster</strong> coaches<br />

watch all of the games too. It’s been a<br />

great springboard for players.”<br />

With most <strong>Leinster</strong> Academy players<br />

playing with their AIL club, there have<br />

been some huge battles on show each<br />

weekend, and McCarthy has been in<br />

some big tussles.<br />

“I remember we played Clontarf. They<br />

had Martin Moloney, Alex Soroka and<br />

David Hawkshaw. Plus a lot of lads who<br />

would have played with <strong>Leinster</strong> at some<br />

stage or age grade. Lots of quality.<br />

“On our Trinity team we had Jack Dunne,<br />

Thomas Clarkson, Lee Barron, Liam<br />

Turner, Rob Russell, Max O’Reilly and<br />

myself . So, it was a really competitive<br />

game. Those games are such a high level<br />

that you really feel match fit when you get<br />

back to <strong>Leinster</strong>.”<br />

After a consistent run of games with<br />

Trinity, McCarthy was given the news that<br />

every Academy player hopes for; that<br />

he would be making his <strong>Leinster</strong> senior<br />

debut.<br />

“A lot of the internationals had gone<br />

away, so you’re kind of hoping you might<br />

get an opportunity, but you’re still not<br />

really sure, because there’s still loads of<br />

really good players around.<br />

“It was a Monday morning, and I had<br />

played with Trinity the week before. I<br />

was in the gym and I got a tap on the<br />

shoulder to say that I would be playing<br />

in the game away to Cardiff. I was<br />

pretty shocked to hear that and I was just<br />

delighted really.<br />

“I was thinking to myself, ‘Don’t look<br />

so shocked!’. It was hard to go back to<br />

weights after that.”<br />

Having found out early in the week that<br />

he would be involved, the McCarthy<br />

family had time to make their way over to<br />

Cardiff for the game.<br />

But, even if they had been given little<br />

notice, they would have found a way to<br />

Cardiff Arms Park.<br />

“My parents and my brother Andrew go<br />

to all of my games, no matter where they<br />

take place. As soon as I told them that I<br />

was playing, they started booking flights<br />

straight away.<br />

“It was nice to have my mum and dad<br />

and my brother in Cardiff that night. It<br />

was special.”<br />

It helps that the McCarthy household is<br />

rugby mad.


We joke about it at home that<br />

Andrew has more <strong>Leinster</strong> gear<br />

than me! He’s fully dressed in the<br />

right colours for every game.<br />

Joe (senior) and Paula McCarthy have<br />

three rugby mad sons.<br />

Our Joe is in the middle. Paddy is the<br />

youngest and was one of the standout<br />

players on this year’s victorious Blackrock<br />

College Senior Cup team.<br />

But, Joe admits that their older brother,<br />

Andrew, is by far the biggest rugby fan in<br />

the house.<br />

“He plays with the Seapoint Dragons,<br />

which is their special needs team. He<br />

absolutely loves it, and he just loves<br />

going to watch games.<br />

“He’s a big Blackrock College fan. He<br />

would always be coming into me and<br />

Paddy telling us that we have to beat<br />

Michael’s in the Schools Senior Cup!<br />

“He’s a big <strong>Leinster</strong> fan too, so I know<br />

he loves seeing Paddy and I playing<br />

in Energia Park or in the RDS. We joke<br />

about it at home that Andrew has more<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> gear than me! He’s fully dressed<br />

in the right colours for every game. He<br />

probably takes some of my gear too.”<br />

So while McCarthy may have burst<br />

onto the scene this year with <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

Rugby, getting his first run out at Aviva<br />

Stadium last Saturday, he wasn’t the first<br />

McCarthy to play on the hallowed turf.<br />

“Andrew has played in Aviva Stadium a<br />

couple of times at half-time during <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

games. It would be cool if we got to play<br />

on the same day. But, Andrew definitely<br />

played there before I did!”<br />

After travelling to Cardiff for Joe’s debut,<br />

the McCarthys had another day out a<br />

few weeks later as he was named to<br />

start his first home game alongside Devin<br />

Toner against the Emirates Lions.<br />

“That was my first time playing in the<br />

RDS, so it was really cool. All of my<br />

family were there.<br />

“It was really special, because obviously<br />

for my first cap away to Cardiff we lost<br />

the game. So we could enjoy the postmatch<br />

a bit more after getting the win.<br />

“We put in a pretty good performance<br />

against the Lions, who were a really<br />

big, tough team. It was actually really<br />

satisfying. It’s definitely one of the<br />

highlights of my year.”<br />

There was an interesting contrast when<br />

the <strong>Leinster</strong> team was announced for that<br />

Lions game. The second row consisted of<br />

the clubs most experienced player and<br />

one of the youngest players.<br />

90 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


“It was just quite funny when the team<br />

was announced and the second row had<br />

274 caps. It was my second and Dev<br />

had 272!”<br />

As McCarthy starts his journey in<br />

professional rugby, Toner is winding<br />

down his, after announcing that he will<br />

retire at the end of the season.<br />

But, McCarthy is keen to learn as much<br />

as he can from the most-capped <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

player.<br />

“Dev is class. Whenever you play with<br />

Dev you’re quite confident because he is<br />

a real calm guy and you can see that he<br />

knows exactly what he’s doing.<br />

“It’s kind of crazy to think how many caps<br />

he’s got, because it’s such a big deal<br />

getting your first one, and he’s nearly<br />

got 300. He has so much experience of<br />

playing in the biggest games and World<br />

Cups.<br />

“He’s always giving younger players<br />

little tips and he puts a lot of confidence<br />

in you.”<br />

As the season moved along, McCarthy<br />

continued to hit new milestones.<br />

In March, he played three more senior<br />

games, including his first two interpro<br />

fixtures at a packed Kingspan Stadium in<br />

Belfast and the Sportsground in Galway.<br />

“You hear a lot that interpro games are<br />

another step up in intensity. I definitely<br />

found that it was another step up,<br />

especially when you know the players a<br />

bit more than against other teams.<br />

“The travelling <strong>Leinster</strong> fans were class<br />

and they really got behind the team.<br />

They really are the games you want to<br />

play in.”<br />

Earlier this month, McCarthy made<br />

another huge stride in his rugby journey<br />

by making his European debut away to<br />

Leicester Tigers.<br />

“It was a really cool experience. Playing<br />

in a European quarter-final is the type of<br />

game you dream of playing in as a kid.<br />

Especially somewhere like Welford Road.<br />

“When you’re younger, that is<br />

somewhere you associate with big<br />

European games. There’s a lot of<br />

history there.<br />

“The whole experience of<br />

travelling over and then<br />

seeing the stadium. It’s an<br />

old school stadium with<br />

those changing rooms, but<br />

it has a big capacity, and<br />

you can really feel the crowd<br />

on top of you. So it was a<br />

great experience.”<br />

While McCarthy has taken<br />

each new experience in his


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stride, even he was a little taken aback<br />

at the prospect of facing the five-time<br />

European Champions, Toulouse.<br />

“I remember in 2019, I went to Aviva<br />

Stadium with my brother, Paddy for the<br />

semi-final against Toulouse. I was in fifth<br />

year in school and Paddy would have<br />

been in second year.<br />

“So, it was quite surreal to come on<br />

against them last week, considering I was<br />

watching that fixture in the stands a few<br />

years ago.<br />

“Toulouse always have some big names<br />

and French internationals involved. I<br />

remember my brother saying it was<br />

surreal that I was playing against them.”<br />

McCarthy’s fine form has been rewarded<br />

with a senior contract which begins next<br />

season.<br />

But, he knows that there’s no time to<br />

reflect on his achievements just yet.<br />

“You have to make sure you kind of<br />

stay on top of your stuff because there’s<br />

probably a bit more expectation on you<br />

as a senior. You’re just trying to make<br />

sure you just keep the foot on the pedal<br />

really.”<br />

There were plenty of ‘pinch me’ moments<br />

for McCarthy this season, but getting<br />

a call up to the Irish Six Nations camp<br />

was certainly another big moment for the<br />

former Blackrock College student.<br />

“After I played the Ulster game, I got a<br />

call to come in and train and see what<br />

the setup was like. I certainly wasn’t<br />

expecting it because I had just played<br />

four games for <strong>Leinster</strong>.<br />

“I learned so much while I was there.<br />

How professional the players were in<br />

their preparation, and you could see that<br />

it was another step up again.<br />

“But being in that environment, I really<br />

enjoyed it. I trained there for the week<br />

and learned from all of the coaches.<br />

“I chatted to Paul O’Connell a lot while I<br />

was there. We spoke about how to plan<br />

your day and how you can get better. I<br />

tried to soak up as much as I could.”<br />

As we enter the business end of the<br />

season, McCarthy is keen to contribute.<br />

“There are a lot of big games coming<br />

up and I’ll be aiming to just try and put<br />

my hand up to try and get involved in as<br />

many of those as possible. They’re the<br />

kind of games you dream of playing in.<br />

“Hopefully, I can just put my best foot<br />

forward in training or whatever games I<br />

may get selected for.”<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 93


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

Year Three 2021/22:<br />

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

Year two 2021/22:<br />

Second Row<br />

Brian Deeny #1306<br />

DOB: 02/03/2000<br />

HEIGHT: 1.99m WEIGHT: 121kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (8 caps) &<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (2 caps)<br />

Did You Know: Brian played youth rugby with Wexford<br />

Wanderers RFC. He got his first Irish cap playing for<br />

Ireland Under-18 Sevens. Brian played midfield for<br />

his school St Peter’s College in Gaelic football and<br />

reached the All-Ireland Colleges Final in 2017. He is<br />

currently studying Science in Trinity and lives in Abbey<br />

House B&B, Wexford. Instagram: brian_deeny<br />

wing<br />

Niall Comerford<br />

DOB: 06/04/2000<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m WEIGHT: 86kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20<br />

Did You Know: Niall played both hurling and Gaelic<br />

football with Kilmacud Crokes for 14 years. He also<br />

represented Dublin in Gaelic football in the U17<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Championship. He is currently studying<br />

Commerce in UCD.<br />

Instagram: niall_c123<br />

Cormac Foley #1299<br />

DOB: 24/10/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.81m WEIGHT: 88kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (9 caps)<br />

& <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (4 caps)<br />

Marcus Hanan #1295<br />

DOB: 03/10/2000<br />

HEIGHT:1.8m WEIGHT:110.91kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (2 caps)<br />

& <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (3 caps)<br />

Scrum Half<br />

Did You Know: Started playing rugby with Greystones<br />

RFC when he was nine. Growing up, Cormac did a lot<br />

of show jumping and he is now studying Economics and<br />

Finance in UCD.<br />

Instagram: cormacfoley6<br />

prop<br />

Did You Know? Marcus is from Clane in Kildare and is the<br />

youngest of three. His dad went to the High School and then<br />

played rugby in Old Wesley before coaching back at Clane<br />

RFC. Marcus has Italian connections on his mother’s side with her<br />

father, Luigi Rea, being from Italy. Marcus is studying Business<br />

Management in Griffith College. Instagram: @marcus_hanan<br />

Back Row<br />

Martin Moloney #1300<br />

DOB: 19/10/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.88m WEIGHT: 99kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (5 caps) &<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (7 caps)<br />

Did You Know: Martin played hurling for Kildare and<br />

played GAA and basketball for his secondary school,<br />

Knockbeg College, and local GAA club, St Laurence’s.<br />

He played his youth rugby with Athy RFC. He is now<br />

studying Business and Law in UCD, He also enjoys<br />

working on the family farm. Instagram: martin_moloney<br />

Second Row<br />

Joe McCarthy #1303<br />

DOB: 26/03/2001<br />

HEIGHT: 1.95m WEIGHT: 119kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps) &<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (7 caps)<br />

Did You Know: Joe started playing rugby with Blackrock<br />

College RFC at the age of six before moving to<br />

Willow Park and then Blackrock College. He was also<br />

on the Blackrock swim team for five years. He’s currently<br />

studying Global Business in Trinity College Dublin.<br />

Instagram: joetmmcc<br />

Second Row<br />

Charlie Ryan<br />

DOB: 03/02/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 2.01m WEIGHT: 115kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (15 caps)<br />

Did You Know: Charlie played youth rugby at Blackrock<br />

College RFC while also attending the school since<br />

Senior Infants. He captained Ireland to the U20 Grand<br />

Slam in 2019 and again for the U20s World Cup. His<br />

friends call him Chuck! He is currently studying Business<br />

and Legal Studies in UCD.<br />

Instagram: chuck_ryan5<br />

hooker<br />

John McKee #1307<br />

DOB: 15/02/2000<br />

HEIGHT: 1.82m WEIGHT: 105kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (12 caps) &<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (2 caps)<br />

Did You Know: John grew up in Belfast going to school<br />

at Campbell College where he won a Senior Cup. He<br />

was involved with Ulster at age grade level until moving<br />

to Dublin after school. He also has multiple medals<br />

from Northern Irish Schools Judo competitions.<br />

Instagram: johnmckee_<br />

Centre<br />

Liam Turner #1287<br />

DOB: 14/07/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.73m WEIGHT: 91kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (10 caps)<br />

& <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (6 caps)<br />

Did You Know: Liam started to play rugby at the age<br />

of six at Blackrock College RFC. He later joined<br />

Blackrock College and was part of the 2018 Senior Cup<br />

winning team. He was also part of the Ireland U20 team<br />

that went on to win the 2019 Grand Slam. Liam currently<br />

studys BESS in Trinity College. Instagram: liamtn123<br />

Centre / Full Back<br />

Jamie Osborne #1294<br />

DOB: 16/11/2001<br />

HEIGHT:1.93m WEIGHT:96.82kg<br />

HONOURS: <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (18 caps)<br />

Did you know? Jamie is studying commerce in UCD. His<br />

grandad, Paddy Osborne, was a horse trainer in Naas,<br />

while his dad played rugby all throughout his life and<br />

his mum played hockey. Other than rugby, Jamie loves<br />

all sports especially soccer, GAA and NFL. Jamie is<br />

currently in a house with fellow <strong>Leinster</strong> Academy players<br />

Brian Deeny, Martin Moloney and Max O’Reilly.<br />

Instagram: @jamieosborne01<br />

94 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


Seán O’Brien #1297<br />

Lee Barron #1308<br />

Back Row<br />

DOB: 31/07/2000<br />

HEIGHT: 1.90m WEIGHT: 103kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps)<br />

& <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (3 caps)<br />

Did You Know: Seán started playing rugby at age<br />

six with Greystones RFC where he played up until Under-13.<br />

He then played on the Junior and Senior Cup<br />

teams in Blackrock College. He is currently studying<br />

Economics and Finance in UCD<br />

Instagram: seanobrien456<br />

Hooker<br />

DOB: 15/02/2001<br />

HEIGHT: 1.91m WEIGHT: 108kg<br />

HONOURS: <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (2 caps)<br />

Did You Know: Lee played golf growing up in the<br />

Castle Golf Club and in the end was playing off a<br />

handicap of eight. He has family roots in Carlow but<br />

went to school in Dublin and attended St Michael’s College.<br />

As well as rugby with his school, he also played<br />

GAA and even lined out in Croke Park.<br />

Instagram: @lleebarron<br />

Max O’Reilly #1291<br />

Chris Cosgrave #1305<br />

Full Back<br />

DOB: 26/02/2000<br />

HEIGHT: 1.85m WEIGHT: 86kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps) &<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (9 caps)<br />

Did You Know: Max is currently in his third year of<br />

Business and Management in DIT. His preferred sport<br />

was soccer until about the age of 15, which he had<br />

played at centre midfield with Enniskerry FC for over 10<br />

years and also for Wicklow.<br />

Instagram: max_oreilly<br />

full back<br />

DOB: 24/07/2001<br />

HEIGHT:1.83m WEIGHT:85kg<br />

HONOURS: <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (2 caps)<br />

Did You Know: Chris is a member of UCD RFC, where he<br />

is also an Ad Astra scholar studying Agricultural Science.<br />

His athleticism is best highlighted by his feats in the field<br />

of Athletics with All-Ireland honours to his name in both<br />

the 4x100m relay and the Discus. Before the UCD and<br />

St Michael’s College days, he played at a young age<br />

with Old Belvedere RFC. Instagram: @chriscosgrave1<br />

Andrew Smith #1292<br />

Mark Hernan<br />

DOB: 21/07/2000<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m WEIGHT: 91kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps) &<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (2 caps)<br />

DOB: 04/07/2000<br />

HEIGHT: 1.88m WEIGHT: 99kg<br />

HONOURS: <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (1 cap)<br />

Back Three<br />

Did You Know: Andrew is currently studying Quantity<br />

Surveying and Construction Economics in TUD. In<br />

2019, he won the <strong>Leinster</strong> Schools Senior Cup with St<br />

Michael’s College. Andrew also played Gaelic football<br />

with his local club - Clanna Gael Fontenoy GAA Club.<br />

Instagram: andrew.sm1th<br />

Flanker<br />

Did You Know: Mark was coached by Ross Molony,<br />

Josh Murphy, Ross Byrne and Nick McCarthy when in<br />

St. Michael’s College. His grandfather Fergus O’Brien<br />

was Lord Mayor of Dublin and his father, Ray, played<br />

for Connacht seniors and Ireland u25s.<br />

Instagram: @mark_hernani<br />

Alex Soroka #1296<br />

Temi Lasisi #1304<br />

Back Row<br />

DOB: 19/02/2001<br />

HEIGHT: 1.95m WEIGHT: 104.5kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (7 caps)<br />

& <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (4 caps)<br />

Did You Know: Alex’s family moved to Ireland from<br />

Ukraine shortly before his birth. He was born in Cork<br />

before moving to Dublin.<br />

Instagram: alex._.soroka<br />

prop<br />

DOB: 09/05/2001<br />

HEIGHT: 1.78m WEIGHT: 115.8kg<br />

HONOURS: <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (1 cap)<br />

Did You Know: The TUD Mechanical Engineering<br />

student originally picked up the oval ball in Enniscorthy<br />

before later moving to Lansdowne FC. Temi rose<br />

through the ranks in the Youths system, his first outing<br />

with the province came at U-18 level against Northampton.<br />

He also describes himself as a ‘competent<br />

pianist’. Instagram: @lasisi.temi<br />

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

Year one 2021/22:<br />

Scrum half<br />

Ben Murphy<br />

DOB: 23/04/2001<br />

HEIGHT: 1.75m WEIGHT: 80kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (3 caps)<br />

& <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (1 cap)<br />

Did You Know: Ben played all different sports growing<br />

up including football, GAA and golf and won an 800m<br />

gold in the U-14 East <strong>Leinster</strong>s. He is studying economics<br />

in UCD. Ben’s father Richie played for <strong>Leinster</strong><br />

Rugby and has coached at all levels of the game and is<br />

the current Ireland U-20s head coach. I<br />

nstagram: @ben._murphy01<br />

Jack Boyle<br />

DOB: 10/03/2002<br />

HEIGHT: 1.85m WEIGHT: 106kg<br />

HONOURS: Ireland U20 (9 caps)<br />

Rob Russell #1302<br />

DOB: 13/01/1999<br />

HEIGHT: 1.83m WEIGHT: 90kg<br />

HONOURS: <strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby (4 caps)<br />

Prop<br />

Did You Know: Jack’s father, Herbie, and uncles, Colon<br />

and Eric, all represented Old Wesley rugby club for<br />

years. His cousin Stephen Boyle also represented the<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> Rugby youths. Jack is currently studying for a<br />

Commerce Degree in UCD.<br />

Instagram: @jackboyle1<br />

Full Back / Wing<br />

Did You Know: Rob is currently in his final year of<br />

Business and Management in DIT. He started playing<br />

rugby at the age of five with Wanderers RFC. He also<br />

played football up to minor level with Kilmacud Crokes<br />

and it took priority over rugby until he left school.<br />

Instagram: @robrussell7<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 95


Date<br />

25/09<br />

03/10<br />

09/10<br />

16/10<br />

22/10<br />

27/11<br />

03/12<br />

11/12<br />

1/12<br />

1/01<br />

22/01<br />

29/01<br />

11/02<br />

19/02<br />

25/02<br />

05/03<br />

12/03<br />

26/03<br />

02/05<br />

08/04<br />

15/04<br />

23/04<br />

30/04<br />

07/05<br />

14/05<br />

KO/<br />

Result<br />

W<br />

31-3<br />

W<br />

7-6<br />

W<br />

43-7<br />

Opposiotion Venue 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 1 2<br />

URC VODACOM<br />

BULLS<br />

URC DRAGONS<br />

Aviva<br />

Stadium<br />

Rodney<br />

Parade<br />

URC ZEBRE RDS Arena J O’BRIEN<br />

KEENAN O’LOUGHLIN RINGROSE FRAWLEY LOWE<br />

SEXTON<br />

3C 1P<br />

MCGRATH<br />

PORTER<br />

1T<br />

SHEEHAN<br />

KEENAN RUSSELL RINGROSE C O’BRIEN O’LOUGHLIN R BYRNE GIBSON-PARK PORTER SHEEHAN<br />

A BYRNE<br />

2T<br />

OSBORNE<br />

FRAWLEY<br />

W<br />

50-15 URC SCARLETS RDS Arena KEENAN LARMOUR RINGROSE FRAWLEY<br />

1C<br />

W<br />

31-15<br />

URC GLASGOW<br />

Scotstoun<br />

Stadium<br />

KEENAN<br />

1T<br />

A BYRNE<br />

1T<br />

L<br />

10-20 URC ULSTER RDS Arena J O’BRIEN A BYRNE HENSHAW<br />

1T<br />

W<br />

47-19 URC CONNACHT RDS Arena KEENAN LARMOUR 1T RINGROSE<br />

1T<br />

W<br />

45-20 HCC BATH Aviva<br />

Stadium<br />

L<br />

0-28<br />

W<br />

89-7<br />

W<br />

64-7<br />

L<br />

29-27<br />

W<br />

26-7<br />

W<br />

29-7<br />

W<br />

21-13<br />

HCC MONTPELLIER<br />

GGL (Altrad)<br />

Stadium<br />

KEENAN<br />

1T<br />

HCC MONTPELLIER RDS Arena KEENAN<br />

HCC BATH<br />

URC<br />

CARDIFF<br />

RUGBY<br />

Recreation<br />

Ground<br />

Cardiff Arms<br />

Park<br />

LARMOUR<br />

1T<br />

LOWE<br />

RINGROSE FRAWLEY LOWE<br />

FRAWLEY<br />

HENSHAW<br />

LARMOUR RINGROSE FRAWLEY<br />

LARMOUR<br />

LOWE<br />

LOWE<br />

1T<br />

H BYRNE<br />

SEXTON<br />

1C 1P<br />

R BYRNE<br />

4C 1P<br />

R BYRNE<br />

1C 1P<br />

H BYRNE<br />

5C<br />

R BYRNE<br />

5C<br />

MCGRATH<br />

GIBSON-PARK<br />

MCGRATH<br />

E BYRNE<br />

1T<br />

PORTER<br />

1T<br />

HEALY<br />

CRONIN<br />

1T<br />

KELLEHER<br />

1T<br />

KELLEHER<br />

1T<br />

MCGRATH E BYRNE TRACY<br />

MCGRATH<br />

GIBSON-PARK<br />

2T<br />

HEALY<br />

PORTER<br />

- - - - - - - - -<br />

KEENAN<br />

1T<br />

LARMOUR<br />

1T<br />

LARMOUR<br />

1T<br />

RINGROSE<br />

RINGROSE<br />

FRAWLEY<br />

HENSHAW<br />

J O’BRIEN<br />

1T<br />

J O’BRIEN<br />

4T<br />

J O’BRIEN A BYRNE 1T OSBORNE FRAWLEY O’LOUGHLIN<br />

URC EDINBURGH RDS Arena OSBORNE T O’BRIEN O’LOUGHLIN FRAWLEY KEARNEY<br />

URC OSPREYS RDS Arena J O’BRIEN<br />

URC<br />

EMIRATES<br />

LIONS<br />

W<br />

17-61 URC BENETTON Stadio<br />

Monigo<br />

L<br />

13-18 URC ULSTER Kingspan<br />

Stadium<br />

W<br />

45-8<br />

LARMOUR<br />

1T<br />

OSBORNE H BYRNE KEARNEY<br />

RDS Arena O’REILLY T O’BRIEN OSBORNE H BYRNE<br />

J O’BRIEN<br />

2T 1C<br />

URC CONNACHT Sportsground J O’BRIEN<br />

W<br />

34-19 URC MUNSTER Thomond<br />

Park<br />

LARMOUR<br />

1T<br />

KEARNEY<br />

1T<br />

OSBORNE H BYRNE T O’BRIEN<br />

J O’BRIEN A BYRNE O’LOUGHLIN OSBORNE T O’BRIEN<br />

KEENAN<br />

W<br />

26-21 HCC CONNACHT Sportsground KEENAN<br />

1T<br />

W<br />

56-20 HCC CONNACHT Aviva<br />

Stadium<br />

L<br />

23-28<br />

L<br />

13-20<br />

W<br />

23-14<br />

URC<br />

CELL C<br />

SHARKS<br />

URC<br />

DHL<br />

STORMERS<br />

HCC<br />

LEICESTER<br />

TIGERS<br />

Jonsson<br />

Kings Park<br />

Green Point<br />

Stadium<br />

Mattioli Woods<br />

Welford Road<br />

W<br />

40-17 HCC TOULOUSE Aviva<br />

Stadium<br />

21/05 19:15 URC MUNSTER<br />

00/05 19:15 HCC Xxxxx<br />

Final<br />

fixtures and<br />

results 2021/22<br />

Aviva<br />

Stadium<br />

Xxxx<br />

Stadium<br />

T O’BRIEN<br />

2T<br />

J O’BRIEN<br />

1T<br />

OSBORNE<br />

RINGROSE<br />

1T<br />

FRAWLEY<br />

1T<br />

HENSHAW<br />

J O’BRIEN RINGROSE HENSHAW<br />

KEENAN J O’BRIEN RINGROSE<br />

COSGRAVE<br />

T O’BRIEN<br />

1T<br />

OSBORNE<br />

HENSHAW<br />

2T<br />

FRAWLEY<br />

2C 3P<br />

O’LOUGHLIN<br />

1T<br />

LOWE<br />

2T<br />

LOWE<br />

2T<br />

LOWE<br />

4T<br />

O’REILLY A BYRNE OSBORNE O’LOUGHLIN RUSSELL<br />

KEENAN J O’BRIEN RINGROSE<br />

KEENAN<br />

1T<br />

HENSHAW<br />

1T<br />

J O’BRIEN RINGROSE HENSHAW<br />

R BYRNE<br />

1T 7C<br />

SEXTON<br />

5C<br />

R BYRNE<br />

3C 2P<br />

R BYRNE<br />

3C<br />

R BYRNE<br />

3C 1P<br />

R BYRNE<br />

3C<br />

R BYRNE<br />

1T 7C<br />

R BYRNE<br />

1C 2P<br />

R BYRNE<br />

1C<br />

R BYRNE<br />

1P 4C<br />

SEXTON<br />

1C 2P<br />

SEXTON 6C<br />

GIBSON-PARK<br />

1T<br />

MCGRATH<br />

PORTER<br />

PORTER<br />

1T<br />

SHEEHAN<br />

1T<br />

KELLEHER<br />

1T<br />

KELLEHER<br />

KELLEHER<br />

MCGRATH E BYRNE CRONIN<br />

N MCCARTHY<br />

1T<br />

MCGRATH<br />

E BYRNE<br />

HEALY<br />

1T<br />

TRACY<br />

TRACY<br />

N MCCARTHY E BYRNE TRACY<br />

MCGRATH<br />

DOOLEY<br />

CRONIN<br />

2T<br />

MCGRATH DOOLEY TRACY<br />

MCGRATH DOOLEY TRACY<br />

GIBSON-PARK E BYRNE TRACY<br />

MCGRATH HEALY SHEEHAN<br />

GIBSON-PARK<br />

1T<br />

PORTER<br />

KELLEHER<br />

O’LOUGHLIN H BYRNE N MCCARTHY PORTER MCKEE<br />

LOWE<br />

LOWE<br />

2T<br />

FRAWLEY<br />

2P<br />

SEXTON<br />

2P 2C<br />

SEXTON<br />

3C 3P<br />

FOLEY<br />

E BYRNE<br />

1T<br />

MCKEE<br />

GIBSON-PARK PORTER KELLEHER<br />

GIBSON-PARK PORTER KELLEHER<br />

96 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


3 4 5 6 7 8 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23<br />

ALAALATOA MOLONY J RYAN RUDDOCK<br />

VAN DER FLIER<br />

1T<br />

ALAALATOA MOLONY RYAN RUDDOCK VAN DER FLIER<br />

ALAALATOA BAIRD TONER LEAVY<br />

FURLONG MOLONY RYAN<br />

DORIS<br />

2T<br />

PENNY<br />

1T<br />

VAN DER FLIER<br />

DORIS<br />

DEEGAN<br />

1T<br />

RUDDOCK<br />

CONAN<br />

FURLONG MOLONY BAIRD DORIS LEAVY CONAN<br />

TRACY<br />

1T<br />

E BYRNE HEALY BAIRD DEEGAN GIBSON-PARK<br />

R BYRNE<br />

1T 1C<br />

TRACY E BYRNE HEALY BAIRD LEAVY N MCCARTHY C FRAWLEY<br />

KELLEHER<br />

1T<br />

SHEEHAN<br />

2T<br />

SHEEHAN<br />

1T<br />

DOOLEY HEALY MOLONY DEEGAN N MCCARTHY<br />

HEALY<br />

1T<br />

ALAALATOA BAIRD RUDDOCK MCGRATH<br />

SEXTON<br />

4C<br />

R BYRNE<br />

3C<br />

OSBORNE<br />

S PENNY<br />

[UNUSED]<br />

RUSSELL<br />

T O’BRIEN<br />

E BYRNE ALAALATOA TONER RUDDOCK GIBSON-PARK OSBORNE VAN DER FLIER<br />

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

ALA’ALATOA<br />

BAIRD<br />

1T<br />

TONER<br />

RUDDOCK<br />

1T<br />

VAN DER FLIER<br />

DORIS<br />

1T<br />

KELLEHER PORTER ABDALADZE J MURPHY<br />

DEEGAN<br />

1T<br />

N MCCARTHY<br />

R BYRNE<br />

1C<br />

T O’BRIEN<br />

FURLONG<br />

1T<br />

MOLONY BAIRD RUDDOCK<br />

VAN DER FLIER<br />

1T<br />

DORIS SHEEHAN HEALY ALAALATOA TONER DEEGAN MCGRATH J O’BRIEN T O’BRIEN<br />

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -<br />

FURLONG<br />

MOLONY<br />

1T<br />

J MURPHY<br />

DORIS<br />

VAN DER FLIER<br />

2T<br />

CONAN<br />

2T<br />

SHEEHAN<br />

2T<br />

HEALY<br />

ALAALATOA<br />

1T<br />

RUDDOCK DEEGAN MCGRATH<br />

SEXTON<br />

5C<br />

LOWE<br />

1T<br />

ALAALATOA MOLONY MURPHY DORIS<br />

VAN DER FLIER<br />

1T<br />

CONAN<br />

SHEEHAN<br />

1T<br />

HEALY ABDALADZE BAIRD DEEGAN GIBSON-PARK<br />

R BYRNE<br />

2C<br />

FRAWLEY<br />

1T<br />

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

ALAALATOA MOLONY J MURPHY MOLONEY<br />

ALAALATOA MOLONY BAIRD MOLONEY<br />

ALAALATOA<br />

1T<br />

PENNY<br />

1T<br />

PENNY<br />

1T<br />

DEEGAN<br />

1T<br />

CRONIN<br />

DOOLEY<br />

ABDALADZE<br />

1T<br />

TONER SOROKA MCGRATH H BYRNE RUSSELL<br />

DEEGAN CRONIN DOOLEY CLARKSON DUNNE RUDDOCK N MCCARTHY A BYRNE<br />

TONER J MCCARTHY J MURPHY LEAVY RUDDOCK CRONIN DOOLEY CLARKSON DUNNE DEEGAN MCGRATH A BYRNE<br />

CLARKSON MOLONY J MCCARTHY RUDDOCK PENNY<br />

ALAALATOA MOLONY J MCCARTHY RUDDOCK PENNY<br />

ALAALATOA MOLONY J MCCARTHY RUDDOCK PENNY<br />

DEEGAN<br />

1T<br />

DEEGAN<br />

1T<br />

DEEGAN<br />

1T<br />

TRACY<br />

2T<br />

LOWE<br />

1T<br />

PENNY<br />

1T<br />

E BYRNE ALAALATOA TONER LEAVY FOLEY O’LOUGHLIN KEARNEY<br />

CRONIN LASISI CLARKSON TONER LEAVY N MCCARTHY HAWKSHAW MOLONEY<br />

CRONIN E BYRNE CLARKSON J MURPHY MOLONEY N MCCARTHY<br />

HAWKSHAW<br />

1T 4C<br />

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

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

FURLONG<br />

1T<br />

MOLONY J MURPHY DORIS VAN DER FLIER CONAN SHEEHAN E BYRNE ALAALATOA TONER RUDDOCK MCGRATH<br />

CLARKSON DEENY DUNNE RUDDOCK<br />

PENNY<br />

1T<br />

R BYRNE<br />

1P<br />

R BYRNE<br />

2C<br />

COSGRAVE<br />

FRAWLEY<br />

FRAWLEY<br />

DEEGAN BARRON DOOLEY ALAALATOA J MURPHY SOROKA FOLEY HAWKSHAW MOLONEY<br />

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

FURLONG MOLONY RYAN DORIS<br />

FURLONG MOLONY J RYAN DORIS<br />

VAN DER FLIER<br />

1T<br />

VAN DER FLIER<br />

1T<br />

CONAN SHEEHAN HEALY ALAALATOA J MCCARTHY RUDDOCK MCGRATH<br />

CONAN SHEEHAN HEALY ALA’ALATOA J MCCARTHY RUDDOCK MCGRATH<br />

H BYRNE<br />

1C<br />

R BYRNE<br />

1P<br />

R BYRNE<br />

1C 1P<br />

MOLONEY<br />

T O’BRIEN<br />

FRAWLEY<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 97


matchday<br />

Squads<br />

officials<br />

Jordan Larmour<br />

Rob Russell<br />

Jamie Osborne<br />

Ciarán Frawley<br />

Rory O’Loughlin<br />

Harry Byrne<br />

Cormac Foley<br />

15<br />

14<br />

13<br />

12<br />

11<br />

10<br />

9<br />

FULL BACK<br />

RIGHT WING<br />

OUTSIDE CENTRE<br />

INSIDE CENTRE<br />

LEFT WING<br />

FLY HALF<br />

SCRUM HALF<br />

Mike Haley<br />

Andrew Conway<br />

Chris Farrell<br />

Dan Goggin<br />

Keith Earls<br />

Joey Carbery<br />

Conor Murray<br />

REFEREE:<br />

FRANK MURPHY<br />

(IRFU, 62ND COMPETITION GAME)<br />

ASSISTANT REFEREE<br />

PETER MARTIN (IRFU)<br />

ASSISTANT REFEREE<br />

OISIN QUINN (IRFU)<br />

TMO:<br />

BRIAN MacNEICE (IRFU)<br />

Ed Byrne [C]<br />

Seán Cronin<br />

Thomas Clarkson<br />

Joe McCarthy<br />

Josh Murphy<br />

Ryan Baird<br />

Scott Penny<br />

Max Deegan<br />

1<br />

2<br />

3<br />

4<br />

5<br />

6<br />

7<br />

8<br />

LOOSE HEAD PROP<br />

HOOKER<br />

TIGHT HEAD PROP<br />

SECOND ROW<br />

SECOND ROW<br />

BLINDSIDE FLANKER<br />

OPENSIDE FLANKER<br />

NUMBER 8<br />

Josh Wycherley<br />

Niall Scannell<br />

John Ryan<br />

Jean Kleyn<br />

Thomas Ahern<br />

Fineen Wycherley<br />

Alex Kendellen<br />

Jack O’Donoghue [C]<br />

John McKee<br />

Peter Dooley<br />

Cian Healy<br />

Devin Toner<br />

Alex Soroka<br />

Ben Murphy<br />

David Hawkshaw<br />

Adam Byrne<br />

16<br />

17<br />

18<br />

19<br />

20<br />

21<br />

22<br />

23<br />

REPLACEMENT<br />

REPLACEMENT<br />

REPLACEMENT<br />

REPLACEMENT<br />

REPLACEMENT<br />

REPLACEMENT<br />

REPLACEMENT<br />

REPLACEMENT<br />

Diarmuid Barron<br />

Jeremy Loughman<br />

Keynan Knox<br />

Jason Jenkins<br />

Jack Daly<br />

Craig Casey<br />

Ben Healy<br />

Rory Scannell


At Sword we know how important the Game is.<br />

We know how important your memories are ....so relax<br />

and enjoy yourself, you're in safe hands.<br />

LEINSTER RUGBY FANS .... Secured by the team at Sword<br />

Dublin: 01-6688220<br />

info@swordsecurity.com<br />

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Parting Shot<br />

Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile<br />

100 | www.leinsterrugby.ie


14 May 2022<br />

James Lowe of <strong>Leinster</strong> celebrates after scoring his side’s first try<br />

during the Heineken Champions Cup Semi-Final match between<br />

<strong>Leinster</strong> and Toulouse at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.<br />

www.leinsterrugby.ie | 101

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