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Champions Cup

Cullen Names Strong Side for Saints Clash

Leinster have announced their side ahead of their trip to Northampton tomorrow and there are a couple of young-guns among an experienced squad



(Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has named his 23-man squad for tomorrow’s trip to Franklin’ Gardens to face Northampton Saints in the Champions Cup at 13 00.

Cullen has decided to continue his theme of involving youth among the experienced players, once again allowing Ronan Kelleher a chance to continue his fine season so far at hooker, while Caelan Doris has been handed the No 8 jersey for the game. 

Alongside Kelleher in the front-row are Cian Healy and Andrew Porter, who gets the nod ahead of Tadhg Furlong, while Devin Toner and James Ryan slot in behind the trio in the second-row. 

Rhys Ruddock comes in as blindside-flanker, with Josh van der Flier on the openside and Doris completes the starting pack from No 8. 

In the backs Jamison Gibson-Park has been picked to start at scrum-half ahead of Luke McGrath and will partner captain Johnny Sexton in the half-backs, with Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose outside them in the centre. 

James Lowe takes his place on the left-wing, with Dave Kearney on the right, and Jordan Larmour finishes off the XV from full-back. 

There is a huge amount of experience to lean on from the bench with the likes of Furlong and McGrath being joined by the likes Scott Fardy and Rob Kearney among the replacements. 

Speaking ahead of the game Larmour has warned his teammates to expect a tough challenge acknowledging that the Saints are playing well at the start of the season. 

“Saints are playing good rugby – it’s going to be a big challenge this week,” he said. 

Leinster know a win in Northampton will go a long way to finishing top of Pool 1 with both teams currently sitting on nine-points after the first two rounds. 

Both teams also top their respective domestic league tables at this point of the season, with Northampton top of the Premiership and Leinster top of Conference A in the PRO14 so fans can expect a tight, but exciting match on Saturday. 

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below.

Starting XV:

15. Jordan Larmour (41)

14. Dave Kearney (141)

13. Garry Ringrose (67)

12. Robbie Henshaw (39)

11. James Lowe (36)

10. Johnny Sexton (162) (c)

9. Jamison Gibson-Park (79)

1. Cian Healy (211)

2. Rónan Kelleher (9)

3. Andrew Porter (56)

4. Devin Toner (239)

5. James Ryan (33)

6. Rhys Ruddock (164)

7. Josh van der Flier (75)

8. Caelan Doris (23)


16. James Tracy (101)

17. Ed Byrne (48)

18. Tadhg Furlong (103)

19. Scott Fardy (50)

20. Max Deegan (54)

21. Luke McGrath (116)

22. Ross Byrne (79)

23. Rob Kearney (212)

Champions Cup

A World First For Munster Rugby And Crusaders



Munster Rugby and the Crusaders are set to create history in 2024 with a world-first ‘Clash of Champions’ game on Saturday, February 3 (5pm).

The New Zealand franchise secured their seventh successive Super Rugby Pacific championship on Saturday in Waikato defeating Chiefs 25-20 to retain their title.  They are the most successful team in the competition’s history having won 14 trophies and are world renowned for their history and record of success and excellence.

Following Munster’s recent URC success in Cape Town, it will be the first time ever the reigning champions of the URC and Super Rugby face off against each other.

Former Munster Head Coach Rob Penney has already been confirmed as the new Crusaders Head Coach from 2024 and their pre-season campaign will see them embark on their first-ever international tour for fixtures against Munster and Bristol Bears.

Munster Rugby CEO, Ian Flanagan said: “We are delighted to welcome the Super Rugby champions to Munster, hosting a groundbreaking fixture against the Crusaders.

“We hold a proud and rich history of playing touring sides and I’ve no doubt next February’s game will be a special occasion for all involved.”

Colin Mansbridge, Crusaders CEO, said: “The Crusaders are thrilled to be coming over to Ireland and the UK to face some stiff competition away from home.

“NZ and Australian clubs have been working on the World Club Competition for years, so when an opportunity for Super teams to play Northern Hemisphere counterparts came up, it was just too good to pass up.

“Munster have a history of giving touring sides a pretty hard time, so they present particularly tough competition. There’s also the added connection with our new Head Coach Rob Penney who coached there,” Mansbridge said.

The venue within Munster, and ticket details, will be confirmed in due course. MRSC members will be contacted directly regarding a pre-sale.

Sign up to our mailing list here and be the first to receive information on tickets.

Buy a Season Ticket here.

2024 Crusaders Ireland and UK Fixtures

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Munster Rugby v Crusaders, Venue TBC, 5pm;

Friday February 9, 2024

Bristol Bears v Crusaders, Ashton Gate, 7.30pm;

Images & Content from Munster Rugby

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Champions Cup

Leinster drawn in Pool 4 in the 2023/24 Champions Cup



The draw for the pool stages of the 2023/24 Champions Cup took place earlier this afternoon in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Leinster Rugby have been drawn in Pool 4, alongside La Rochelle, Stade Francais, Leicester Tigers, DHL Stormers and Sale Sharks.

Leo Cullen’s team will face La Rochelle, Stade Francais, Leicester Tigers and Sale Sharks in the four pool matches, with two matches at home, and two matches away.

The top-four teams from each pool will advance to the Round of 16, with the fifth-placed teams moving into the EPCR Challange Cup.

All fixture details will be confirmed in due course.

2023/24 weekends
Round 1 – 8/9/10 December 2023
Round 2 – 15/16/17 December 2023
Round 3 – 12/13/14 January 2024
Round 4 – 19/20/21 January 2024

Round of 16 – 5/6/7 April 2024
Quarter-Finals – 12/13/14 April 2024
Semi-Finals – 3/4/5 May 2024
EPCR Challenge Cup Final – Friday 24 May 2024, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Champions Cup Final – Saturday 25 May 2024, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Images & Content from Leinster Rugby

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Champions Cup

Munster Learn Champions Cup Opponents



Munster will face Bayonne, Exeter Chiefs, Toulon and Northampton Saints in the pool stages of the 2023/24 Champions Cup.

Munster were drawn in Pool 3 which also includes the Glasgow Warriors.

Munster were drawn as a Tier 1 side alongside La Rochelle, Toulouse and Saracens.

The four highest-ranked clubs from each of the pools will qualify for the knockout stage.

Fixture details will be confirmed at a later date.


Pool 1


Union Bordeaux-Bègles

Vodacom Bulls

Bristol Bears

Connacht Rugby


Pool 2

Stade Toulousain

Cardiff Rugby

Bath Rugby

Racing 92


Ulster Rugby

Pool 3

Munster Rugby

Aviron Bayonnais

Glasgow Warriors

Exeter Chiefs

RC Toulon

Northampton Saints

Pool 4

Stade Rochelais

Stade Francais Paris

Leicester Tigers

DHL Stormers

Leinster Rugby

Sale Sharks

2023/24 WEEKENDS

Round 1 – 8/9/10 December 2023

Round 2 – 15/16/17 December 2023

Round 3 – 12/13/14 January 2024

Round 4 – 19/20/21 January 2024

Round of 16 – 5/6/7 April 2024

Quarter-finals – 12/13/14 April 2024

Semi-finals – 3/4/5 May 2024

EPCR Challenge Cup final – Friday 24 May 2024, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Champions Cup final – Saturday 25 May 2024, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Images & Content from Munster Rugby

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