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Champions Cup

Leinster Welcome Stars Back for Benetton Clash

Leinster have confirmed their squad for tomorrow’s Champions Cup opening round fixture against Benetton



(Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has named his squad for his side’s Champions Cup opening game against Benetton at the RDS tomorrow at 15 15.

The Irish province have been able to welcome back a host of international stars with the likes of Garry Ringrose, Johnny Sexton, James Ryan and Josh van der Flier in the starting line-up.

It’s an exciting front-row with Cian Healy linking up with youngster Ronan Kelleher and fellow Irish international Andrew Porter, while and come in to the engine-room. 

In the back-row is at blindside-flanker Rhys Ruddock, with van der Flier at openside and Calean Dorius concludes the forwards from No 8. 

In the backs Luke McGrath opens up at scrum-half, pairing up Sexton with who starts at fly-half and captains the side, and they have Ringrose and Joe Tomane outside them in the centre partnership. 

The back-three consists of James Lowe on the left-wing, with Dave Kearney on the right and Jordan Larmour completes the XV from full-back. 

There is experience on the bench too, with the likes of Michael Bent, Scott Fardy, Jamison Gibson-Park and Ross Byrne among the replacements for Cullen to call upon. 

Speaking ahead of the game Irish back-rower Ruddock has warned his side that Benetton won’t be scared of facing the boys in blue in the RDS, despite it being a fortress for them. 

“I don’t think they’ll fear coming to the RDS after the last two years. Beating us two years ago and the draw we managed to scrape against them last year as well. A huge challenge to come and we need to make sure we’re creating moments like that again,” he said. 

Leinster head into the game after an impressive start to the season, winning all six of their opening games in the PRO14, including victory away to their opponents, seeing them sit at the top of Conference A. However, Benetton will want to upset the favourites and put themselves in contention to progress from the pool meaning Leinster will need to be at their best. 

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below.

Starting XV:

15. Jordan Larmour

14. Dave Kearney

13. Garry Ringrose

12. Joe Tomane

11. James Lowe

10. Johnny Sexton © 

9. Luke McGrath

1. Cian Healy

2. Ronan Kelleher

3. Andrew Porter

4. Devin Toner

5. James Ryan

6. Rhys Ruddock

7. Josh van der Flier

8. Caelan Doris


James Tracy, Peter Dooley, Michael Bent, Scott Fardy, Max Deegan, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ross Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin

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

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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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