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Leinster Rugby - 2020/21 - Squad and team news

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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 4:45 pm

Leinster Rugby is one of four Branches who are the members (Owners / Constituents) of the IRFU. 

Leinster Branch is "owned" by the constituent Clubs, Sections and Affiliated Bodies (e.g. the School & Youths Committees & Referee's Assoc) within the Province. The Representatives of each of these meet monthly as the Executive Committee of Leinster Rugby. Only the AGM of Leinster Rugby has authority above the Executive Committee.

Each Club in Leinster is a registered Sporting Body (NFP status) and Leinster Rugby has a separate registered number as a Sporting Body. The property of Leinster Rugby is held in the names of Trustees elected annually at Leinster Rugby AGM.

in 2019, the IRFU established a property holding company to hold all of the property of the IRFU. Prior to that, all of the property of the IRFU was held in the names of the four IRFU Trustees, again, annually elected at the AGM.

In strictly legal terms, each of the four Provincial bodies are "unincorpoated trusts with tax exempt status as sporting bodies". Old-fashioned but effective structures for the control and preservation of voluntary sporting bodies.

20 Senior Clubs can summon an Extraordinary General Meeting of the IRFU to determine a Resolution proposed by those Clubs. However, nowhere within the IRFU Governing documents are Rugby Clubs defined as "members" of the IRFU. 

Notionally, the IRFU is "owned by the Clubs", but indirectly through the four Provincial structures.

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Feel free to add in Leinster Rugby news updates, wider news on provincial teams news, comments as you wish.

Squad for this season. **=currently injured

Props
Vakh Abdaladze** ; Michael Bent; Ed Byrne; Peter Dooley; Tadhg Furlong**; Cian Healy; Ciaran Parker (Loan until Dec); Andrew Porter
Hooker
Seán Cronin; Rónan Kelleher; Dan Sheehan** (Academy Grad); James Tracy
Lock
Ryan Baird (Academy Grad); Jack Dunne (Academy Grad); Scott Fardy; Ross Molony; James Ryan; Devin Toner
Back row
Jack Conan; Will Connors; Max Deegan; Caelan Doris; Dan Leavy; Josh Murphy; Scott Penny; Rhys Ruddock (vc); Josh van der Flier
Scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park; Luke McGrath; Rowan Osborne; Hugh O'Sullivan
Fly-half
Harry Byrne (Academy Grad); Ross Byrne; Ciarán Frawley; Jonathan Sexton (c)
Centre
Robbie Henshaw; Conor O'Brien**; Jimmy O'Brien; Tommy O'Brien (Academy Grad); Rory O'Loughlin; Garry Ringrose
Wing
Adam Byrne**; Dave Kearney**; Jordan Larmour; James Lowe;
Fullback
Hugo Keenan; Cian Kelleher

Academy (Year in brackets)

Props: Tom Clarkson (2); Michael Milne (3)
Hookers: John McKee (1)
Locks: Brian Deeny (2); Joe McCarthy (1); Charlie Ryan (2)
Back row: Martin Moloney (2); Seán O'Brien (1); Alex Soroka (1)
Scrum-halves: Cormac Foley (2); Paddy Patterson (3)
Centres: David Hawkshaw (3); Max O'Reilly (1)
Wings: Niall Comerford (1); Aaron O'Sullivan (3); Andrew Smith (1); Liam Turner (2)
Fullbacks: Michael Silvester (3)
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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 4:48 pm

First match squad of the season against Dragons:

15. Hugo Keenan (18)
14. Jordan Larmour (50)
13. Garry Ringrose (76)
12. Ciarán Frawley (26)
11. James Lowe (47)
10. Johnny Sexton (167) CAPTAIN
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (93)
1. Ed Byrne (57)
2. Rónan Kelleher (15)
3. Michael Bent (140)
4. Scott Fardy (61)
5. James Ryan (39)
6. Rhys Ruddock (173)
7. Josh van der Flier (84)
8. Jack Conan (93)

16. Seán Cronin (185)
17. Cian Healy (220)
18. Andrew Porter (66)
19. Ryan Baird (10)
20. Max Deegan (64)
21. Luke McGrath (127)
22. Ross Byrne (89)
23. Tommy O’Brien (3)

A fairly strong line-up for the first match. They've already lost their first warm-up match with Leinster A losing to Ulster A. Time to get back on the horse.
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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 6:27 pm

Standby for a Sam Davies masterclass, the equivalent of when King Jason Tovey ruled in Dublin a few years ago.

Not expecting much, but if it was a bit less uglier than the Bristol game I’d be fairly happy.

Best of luck.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 6:59 pm

The best of luck to the Dragons tonight. A good performance from them here and they could really turn a corner.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 7:07 pm

It will probably go the same way it usually goes for teams going to Leinster. If we haven’t improved our conditioning at least then I’ll be pretty annoyed.

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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 8:33 pm

Leaving Byrne on the bench is a mistake.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 8:39 pm

Oh dear, the decisions that Leinster are getting already...

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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 8:42 pm

Unusual decision after a try has been scored. Roberts in the bin for high tackle on O’Brien.
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Post by LeinsterFan4life on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 8:46 pm

Pot Hale wrote:Leaving Byrne on the bench is a mistake.  
He's being rested.

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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 8:46 pm

Excellent phase play and try from the Boys in Blue. Bit more like it.
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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 8:47 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Leaving Byrne on the bench is a mistake.  
He's being rested.

Of course - sorry forgot that. Except now he’s not. Smile
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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 8:55 pm

Hugo Keenan going well to advance his cause for the 15 shirt instead of Larmour.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 8:56 pm

Pot Hale wrote:Excellent phase play and try from the Boys in Blue.  Bit more like it.

It’s beautiful to watch. Our lot just don’t seem capable of that so they won’t be able to compete. That wasn’t a yellow for me, but home teams usually get favour in the comp anyway.

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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 8:59 pm

Excellent approach work again. Ross Byrne getting the back line moving nicely and a great swivel pass for O’Brien and Lowe to score.

Rosser gets the kick and its 21-0 with 7 mins to half time.
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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 9:01 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Excellent phase play and try from the Boys in Blue.  Bit more like it.

It’s beautiful to watch. Our lot just don’t seem capable of that so they won’t be able to compete. That wasn’t a yellow for me, but home teams usually get favour in the comp anyway.

I did think it was a yellow but surprised it was looked at after the conversion kick was being lined up.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 9:56 pm

Could you guys give an honest opinion on Hewitt, now that you’ve had a good look at him?

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Post by LeinsterFan4life on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 10:08 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Could you guys give an honest opinion on Hewitt, now that you’ve had a good look at him?
Looks a really good player, I was surprised to see him stop Ruddock dead in his tracks too with a big hit in the first half.

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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 10:17 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Could you guys give an honest opinion on Hewitt, now that you’ve had a good look at him?

I like the look of him, Mikey.  Strong, fast and gets about the place. Took his try chance very well.   Dragons will get better with that squad - Tompkins in the centre is a handful and Davies is quick enough.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 10:35 pm

Thanks, good to get a different point of view. We also think he’s pretty good and looks good enough to be in the Wales squad - consequently that just leads to ‘fans’ of other Regions bashing him😆

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Post by Pot Hale on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 9:52 pm

The age profile of Leinster has been changing over the last few seasons as more and more young academy graduates come through into the squad.

Leinster decided over the last two seasons to not bring in any outside players and only promoted from within. This season, they let go three high salaries - Rob Kearney, Fergus McFadden and Joe Tomane along with 6 other players to other provinces - some of them recent academy graduates - Jack Aungier, Oisin Dowling, etc.

In came Ryan Baird (21), Harry Byrne (21), Jack Dunne (21), Tommy O'Brien (22), and Dan Sheehan (20). All of them on Development contracts valued between €40-60k. Alongside them are other youngsters from last year's academy crop - Ronan Kelleher (22), Caelan Doris (22), Scott Penny (21), Rowan Osbourne (23), Hugh O'Sullivan (22), Ciaran Frawley (22), Jimmy O'Brien (23) also on similar value Development Contracts. 12 players x avg 50k - €600k-€720k. Average age 21/22 years.

The next cohort are a little bit older with senior contracts, and who get regular game time in the PRO14 season, with some at their earning capacity now and the basic isn't going to get much better - just match fees and performance bonuses, and the others with room to improve with age on their side.
Vakh Abdaladze (24), Ed Byrne (27), Peter Dooley (26), Michael Bent (34), James Tracy (29), Ross Molony (26), Max Deegan (23), Will Connors (24), Josh Murphy (25), Conor O'Brien (24), Cian Kelleher (26), Adam Byrne (26), Hugo Keenan (24). Salary range for this cohort of mid-level players is the most competitive and tightly squeezed across European rugby - avg €120k-€175k. 13 players at say an average of €150k - €1.95m. Average age 26 years.

Senior squad members who regularly feature for both Championship and European Cup games have a few good years/caps under their belt, are more than likely capped for Ireland, and are in or heading for their best earning years at the club, but some of them headed on the downward salary slope, as age works against them:
Andrew Porter (24), Sean Cronin (34), Devin Toner (35), Jack Conan (28), Dan Leavy (26), Rhys Ruddock (29), Josh van der Flier (27), Jamison Gibson-Park (28), Luke McGrath (27), Ross Byrne (25),
Rory O'Loughlin (26), Dave Kearney (31), Jordan Larmour (23), James Lowe (28) and Scott Fardy (34).
15 players earning €175k - €275k - with an average of €230k. Total - 3.45m. Average age 28 years.

Lastly, there is the elite cohort of test players that the IRFU contracts separately and pay them through central funds, rather than a provincial contract - Leinster has six of them this season with some due for renewal/finishing in June 2021 - Sexton, Healy, and others in 2023 - Furlong, Ryan, Ringrose, and Henshaw. Values range from €350k-450k with players like Sexton and Ryan receiving a provincial top-up. Average salary value about €425k - €2.55m total.

That estimates Leinster's own player budget at €6.12m (£5.54m) with IRFU paying directly the 6 central contracts of €2.55m (£2.31m) approx. Total player cost estimate €8.67m (£7.85m).


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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 10:02 pm

I thought some of those guys on provincial contracts would be on a 100k more than that. They could probably earn more elsewhere but I guess this is where the tax break and whatever else you have is useful. 

As for the elite cohort, what’s their total salary? I expected some to be on 5-600K.

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Post by Pot Hale on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 10:21 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I thought some of those guys on provincial contracts would be on a 100k more than that. They could probably earn more elsewhere but I guess this is where the tax break and whatever else you have is useful. 

As for the elite cohort, what’s their total salary? I expected some to be on 5-600K.

Decent players leaving Leinster for UK or France tend to get a good bump in salary. But a Noel Reid is not an Ian Madigan or Donncha Ryan to take a recent example. When you refer to "some of those guys on provincial contracts" - do you mean the PRO14 low-value regulars, or the more experienced/skilled championship/Euro players?

I'm sure some of the players organise separate commercial/sponsorship arrangements for themselves but they aren't paid by Leinster. For the mid-range players, a bump in salary would cover any tax relief gain they might make by staying. And it's only relief on match fee income, not appearances, sponsorships, etc at the end of their careers which could get cut short though injury, concussion, etc.

Elite cohort are paid 350-450k. Some players organise extra through commercial arrangements such as Murray, Sexton and Aki. I was allowing for Sexton earning €650k. Furlong would get a tidy sum, but Healy is at the exit door and would have got a reduced central contract last time round. Ringrose has just started on one, ditto James Ryan, and Henshaw is further along. The IRFU tries to keep a cap of €450k max on what they pay. If agent/province can add to that, they will. Perhaps they're higher with external commercial top-ups.
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Post by Pot Hale on Sat 10 Oct 2020, 7:02 pm

Ya gotta love Benetton.  They give full value as a team.  Great game in Treviso.  They never give up.

25-37 so far. Three minutes to go. They’re gonna come again.
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Post by Pot Hale on Sat 10 Oct 2020, 7:09 pm

Penalty to Benetton with 83.20 on the clock.  

They want a losing bonus point.  And a TBP.
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Post by Pot Hale on Sat 10 Oct 2020, 7:11 pm

And unfortunately they knock on after multiphases.  

25-37 FT.   Commiserations Benetton.
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Post by Pot Hale on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 2:02 pm

With the test squad players on duty, Cullen & Co have decided to try out a few newbies who get their first provincial caps this weekend, alongside some seasoned pros in Toner, McGrath, Bent, Dave Kearney and Ruddock as captain.

What's great to see is the presence of Dan Leavy on the bench returning after a long injury lay-off - hope it goes well for him.

The lineup for the game against Zebre - Fri 23 Oct at 19.35 - looks like this:

Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):

15. Jimmy O’Brien (19)
14. Tommy O’Brien (4)
13. Liam Turner (0)
12. Ciarán Frawley (27)
11. Dave Kearney (149)
10. Harry Byrne (11)
9. Luke McGrath (129)
1. Peter Dooley (76)
2. Dan Sheehan (0)
3. Michael Bent (142)
4. Ross Molony (97)
5. Devin Toner (249)
6. Josh Murphy (33)
7. Scott Penny (14)
8. Rhys Ruddock (175) CAPTAIN

16. James Tracy (111)
17. Michael Milne (9)
18. Ciaran Parker (0)
19. Jack Dunne (7)
20. Scott Fardy (62)
21. Hugh O’Sullivan (20)
22. David Hawkshaw (0)
23. Dan Leavy (63)
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Post by Maine man on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 4:19 pm

Glad to see Leavy back. One of my favourite players. Hopefully he can have a run of games and build up his match fitness. Personally, I think he is a key player for Ireland.

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Post by profitius on Fri 23 Oct 2020, 12:12 am

Should be interesting seeing Sheehan. Big lad and there's a bit of hype around him.
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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 13 Nov 2020, 3:06 pm

The injury list isn't getting any shorter at Leinster's UCD HQ with 11-13 players on the table:

Harry Byrne and Rory O’Loughlin were replaced with knocks in the game against Ospreys.
Byrne picked up a dead leg and O’Loughlin took a knock to his shoulder but both are due to be available for selection this week should they come through training.

Tommy O’Brien not so lucky with an ankle injury - procedure this week and out for 6-8 weeks.

Jack Conan released by Andy Farrell with a neck injury which requires further assessment.

Seán Cronin (thumb), Ryan Baird (adductor) and Tadhg Furlong (calf) still going through rehab.

Conor O’Brien (hamstring), Garry Ringrose (jaw), Max Deegan (knee), Jordan Larmour (shoulder), Vakh Abdaladze (back) and Adam Byrne (hamstring) all still unavailable for another few weeks.

With 16 other players called up on on test duty, Cullen and Co will be running on academy fumes to keep them going.  Edinburgh will be hoping to catch them at a weak point on Monday Night Rugby.

Possible squad for Monday's match assuming O'Loughlin/Byrne are fit:

1-8
Peter Dooley
Dan Sheehan
Michael Bent
Ross Molony
Scott Fardy/Devin Toner
Scott Penny/Dan Leavy
Josh Murphy
Rhys Ruddock
9-15
Luke McGrath
Ciaran Frawley
Dave Kearney
Rory O'Loughlin
David Hawkshaw
Cian Kelleher
Jimmy O'Brien

James Tracy
Michael Milne
Ciaran Parker
Toner/Molony
Leavy/Penny
Hugh O'Sullivan/Rowan Osbourne
Harry Byrne
Michael Sylvester
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Post by Pot Hale on Mon 16 Nov 2020, 9:33 pm

Harry Byrne and Ciaran Frawley have been outstanding for Leinster tonight. Playing Edinburgh off the park.
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Post by Pete330v2 on Tue 17 Nov 2020, 9:29 am

Pot Hale wrote:Harry Byrne and Ciaran Frawley have been outstanding for Leinster tonight.  Playing Edinburgh off the park.

It's quickly becoming a 2 horse race, should your lot and our lot not start losing games just to keep things interesting for the rest?

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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Tue 17 Nov 2020, 11:53 am

I keep thinking Frawley has the potential to be better than both of the Byrne flyhalfs.
The prop depth is coming along nicely. And for the elder statesman, Bent played well. Never thought I’d say that.
Penny causes havoc when he is running outside channels late on in games. Forward match up with him but get caught out by his step and pace in the final quarter of games.
O’Brien at fullback is already showing he is comfortable in the position at the pro14 level. Give him more minutes there and he will be putting his hand up for selection in bigger games soon.

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Post by stevetynant on Thu 26 Nov 2020, 8:43 pm

Sundays game with the Scarlets cancelled due to Covid in the Welsh teams camp shame two sides enjoy running the ball on a dry day would have been great.

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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 27 Nov 2020, 5:33 pm

stevetynant wrote:Sundays game with the Scarlets cancelled due to Covid in the Welsh teams camp  shame two sides enjoy running the ball on a dry day would have been great.

It would. As per the PRO14 thread, are there questions being asked about the recent frequency of Covid outbreaks at the regions? It's going to cause a pile-up of postponed fixtures that are going to become a real problem for some of the teams i.e. Connacht and Benetton.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Mon 30 Nov 2020, 11:30 am

Pot Hale wrote:
stevetynant wrote:Sundays game with the Scarlets cancelled due to Covid in the Welsh teams camp  shame two sides enjoy running the ball on a dry day would have been great.

It would.   As per the PRO14 thread, are there questions being asked about the recent frequency of Covid outbreaks at the regions?    It's going to cause a pile-up of postponed fixtures that are going to become a real problem for some of the teams i.e. Connacht and Benetton.


If we get into a situation where Connacht have to refuse to play 4 games in a single week in order to get their matches completed, will that mean the likes of a Scarlets et al here will take the win and the points even though they'll have triggered the whole issue by the requirement to cancel the initial fixture.

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Post by Pot Hale on Mon 14 Dec 2020, 1:18 am

Good result for the team that Cullen put out at the weekend featuring many of the players who play regularly in the PRO14 - good to see their form being rewarded.

Pete Dooley, James Tracy and Michael Bent - take a front row bow.
Fardy and Toner are the evergreen locks still going at 33 and 35.
Rhys Ruddock continued his barnstorming form as captain and winning another MOTM award. He's certainly pushing for a place in Farrell's thoughts.
van der Flier has to up his game to get ahead of Will Connors in test duty whilst Caelan Doris continues to shine at the expense of Jack Conan and Mike Deegan beset with injuries.
In the backline, Ireland-dropped Luke McGrath showed new speed and faster delivery than he has in a while which no doubt helped Ross Byrne who still seems to be trying to find his form and confidence after a difficult series of tests.
Cullen seems to be sticking with giving his 3rd-choice 10 a new role at 12 and Frawley got himself a try to cap off a fine performance with only his second European cap and working well with Henshaw at 13.
Jimmy O'Brien took to European rugby on his first cap with great assurance despite only coming up from the academy this season, and scored a well-deserved try towards the end, earning plaudits from his team-mates. But the biggest congrats were reserved for Dan Leavy, back in Europe after a long layoff, coming off the bench and scoring the bonus point try 10 minutes from the end.

All in all an excellent selection by Cullen with a number of season league regulars and new faces getting their chance to shine in Europe and get the maximum five points.

Their opponents next week, Northampton, have indicated that they plan to send a second-string team. Perhaps Cullen might do the same....
Pot Hale
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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Mon 14 Dec 2020, 10:02 am

.....You can't switch to second-string after one round of matches.... is there some gamesmanship going on there to maybe try and catch the opposition by surprise.

Some random things;
- French very strong, only Montpellier didn't pick up the win in the opening round for the French. (7/8)
- 2 of 2 away sides won on Friday night, 5 of 6 away sides won on the Saturday, normal service returned on Sunday (all home wins)
- Montpelier had a very big side selected but Leinster managed to not get bullied. Not sure if there is anything there that they can take to build a solution for sides that currently cause them more trouble?
- Our replacement front row was outshone considerably by our starting front row.
- Ross played well. Luke was even better, the type of scrum half display that a french crowd loves to see.

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Post by Pot Hale on Sat 02 Jan 2021, 9:48 pm

Leinster 24-35 Connacht

Kudos to Connacht tonight - great win for them at the RDS and well deserved. 4 tries apiece with 25 points coming from a very refreshed Jack Carty who scored twice and kicked brilliantly on 3 penalties and missing just one conversion.

With the revised Championship format, Leinster are now 10 points behind Ulster who lead Conf A table with 46 points and remain the only unbeaten team this season with 10 out of 10. Leinster have two games in hand on Ulster but the Easterners will need TBP from both matches to draw level.

In Conf B, Connacht and Munster are 8 points apart with the same number of games played - both have two games in hand.

All in all, it sets up next week's Round 10 interprovincials - Leinster v Ulster and Connacht v Munster very nicely.
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Post by Pot Hale on Mon 11 Jan 2021, 1:32 pm

Leinster needed their full complement to overcome Ulster in the last interpro matches - good game but still a bit of rust showing in a team that has not played together since November.

Injury update is a bit more encouraging with Leavy, Larmour, Ed Byrne and Conan all back available. Furlong, Lowe and Ringrose are still absent alongside long-termer Adam Byrne and Vakh Abdaladze. Am wondering if either of the latter two will survive the Nucifora contracting cut that's homing into view this month?
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