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Munster Rugby Confirm Greencore Academy Squad For 2023/24



Munster Rugby can confirm five new additions to the Greencore Academy ahead of the 2023/24 season.

The new Academy recruits are Dylan Hicks, Shay McCarthy, Ben O’Connor and Ireland U20 Grand Slam winners Brian Gleeson and George Hadden.

As previously confirmed, Patrick Campbell and Cian Hurley will progress from the Academy to the senior squad ahead of the new season with Edwin Edogbo moving up ahead of the 2024/25 campaign.

See player bios for the new Academy additions below and scroll down for the full 2023/24 Greencore Munster Rugby Academy squad.

Brian Gleeson

Position: No. 8

Age: 19 (5/02/2004)

The powerful back-row forward came up through the ranks at Thurles RFC and Rockwell College and has been involved in Munster underage sides for a number of years.

Gleeson was still eligible for the Ireland U19s this season but earned a place in the Ireland U20s side for the 6 Nations and was a standout performer as they clinched the Grand Slam, winning two Player of the Match awards.

He has featured for Garryowen in Division 1A of the AIL this season and has also represented Tipperary in hurling at underage level.

George Hadden

Position: Prop

Age: 20 (20/02/2003)

From Gorey RFC in Wexford, Hadden started all five games at loosehead prop for the Ireland U20s this season as they won the Grand Slam.

Hadden has represented Leinster at underage level and plays his club rugby with Clontarf RFC.

George Hadden celebrates with his family at Musgrave Park after helping the Ireland U20s beat France.

Dylan Hicks

Position: Out-half

Age: 18 (25/01/2005)

Bantry Bay RFC and Colaiste Pobail Bheanntraí out-half Dylan Hicks joins the Academy straight out of school after a very successful season.

Hicks helped Bantry Bay win the Bank of Ireland Munster Clubs Boys U18 Cup in March two months after playing a part in Colaiste Pobail Bheanntraí’s first-ever win in the Pinergy Munster Schools Senior Cup.

This year has also seen Hicks play for the Munster U18 Clubs team and get capped by the Ireland U18 Schools side.

Dylan Hicks runs in a try for the Munster U18s against Ulster.

Shay McCarthy

Position: Wing

Age: 20 (6/11/2002)

Shay McCarthy joins the Academy having trained with the squad since the start of the year.

McCarthy lined out for the Ireland U20s in 2022 and came up through the ranks at Richmond RFC and has featured extensively for Young Munster RFC in recent seasons.

Shay McCarthy in action for the Ireland U20s last year.

Ben O’Connor

Position: Full-back

Age: 19 (20/08/2004)

A talented sportsman, O’Connor joins the Academy having won two All-Ireland medals with Cork in hurling – at minor level in 2021 and U20 level at the weekend.

He has flourished at PBC and played a leading role as they won this year’s Pinergy Munster Schools Senior Cup title.

He was a Schools Senior Cup finalist with PBC last year and has lined out for Munster and Ireland at U19 level this season.

Ben O’Connor helped PBC to the Pinergy Munster Schools Boys Senior Cup title in March.

2023/24 Greencore Munster Rugby Academy Squad

Year 3: Tony Butler, Ethan Coughlan, Mark Donnelly, Edwin Edogbo, Daniel Okeke.

Year 2: Fionn Gibbons, Darragh McSweeney, Evan O’Connell, Jack Oliver, Ruadhán Quinn, Kieran Ryan.

Year 1: Brian Gleeson, George Hadden, Dylan Hicks, Shay McCarthy, Ben O’Connor.

As with previous seasons, there may be more additions to the Academy squad throughout the campaign.

Images & Content from Munster Rugby

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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