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RDS to remain as the home of Leinster Rugby

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The RDS and Leinster Rugby have this morning confirmed a new 25-year agreement that will see the RDS Arena continue to be the home of Leinster Rugby.

The first Leinster Rugby game to be played at the iconic Ballsbridge stadium was in September 2005 when Leinster beat Cardiff Rugby 34-15.

It wasn’t until two years later that the first lease was signed, and the venue became Leinster’s permanent home venue. The team duly celebrated the partnership and their new home with a 23-8 win against Edinburgh Rugby in September 2007.

The new agreement, announced today, provides clarity and secures the RDS Arena as the home for current and future Leinster Rugby fans, as well as the team and the Leinster Rugby Branch.

Leinster Rugby CEO, Mick Dawson, said, “The decision to move to the RDS Arena in 2007, is one of the best decisions Leinster Rugby ever made.

“We had a brilliant home down in Donnybrook but for us to grow as a club, as an organisation, we needed a bigger ground and better facilities and that is what we got with the RDS Arena.

“It’s not just about the ground though, as the RDS, as an organisation, have been a brilliant partner over the last 15 years and I am delighted that we have agreed new terms that provides clarity and certainty for Leinster Rugby supporters and for the club for the years ahead.

“It’s a hugely exciting time on and off the pitch and I am confident that in early 2023, we will be able to provide a further update, together with the RDS, on the next stage of our plans for the RDS Arena.

“Today is about securing the future, first and foremost, and I am very grateful to Geraldine Ruane, and the RDS Executive, for their help in getting this finalised.”

Speaking about the new partnership RDS CEO, Geraldine Ruane said, “Our relationship with Leinster Rugby really is a true partnership which has grown from strength to strength over the last 15 years and it is great that today we are announcing a further deepening of our partnership for the next 25 years.

“Leinster Rugby fans have truly embraced the RDS as their home and we are always looking at ways to enhance the fans’ experience and the new fan zone, The Laighin Den, is another great example of our partnership.

“I would like to thank Mick Dawson, and all the team in Leinster Rugby who have helped to make this agreement happen and I would also like to wish Mick all the very best in his retirement as CEO of Leinster Rugby. He leaves with an outstanding legacy.”

Since 2007, the RDS Arena has hosted the majority of Leinster Rugby’s home games in domestic competitions, in addition to the Heineken Champions Cup, as well as hosting the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Schools Senior Cup Final each year.

It has hosted a number of show-piece finals with Leinster Rugby winning the PRO14 Final in 2021 against Munster, the PRO12 Final against Glasgow in 2014 and the PRO12 and Challenge Cup Finals in 2013.

The RDS Arena has also hosted high-profile concerts and events, such as FAI Cup Finals, the Special Olympics and of course, the annual Dublin Horse Show.

Images & Content from Leinster Rugby


Champions Cup

Squad Update | Munster Prepare For Toulouse At Thomond

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The Munster squad started their training week on Tuesday ahead of Sunday’s Champions Cup opener against Toulouse at Thomond Park (3.15pm).

A bumper crowd will attend the fixture with tickets from €25 available here. A Family Pack of 4 tickets costs just €50.

11 Munster players were in AIL action for their clubs at the weekend.

In Division 1A, Dan Goggin, Conor Phillips, Eoin O’Connor and Fionn Gibbons featured for Young Munster as they beat Shannon at Thomond Park with Phillips among the tries.

Ethan Coughlan, Kieran Ryan and Darragh McSweeney lined out for Shannon.

Cian Hurley and Jack Oliver lined out for Garryowen as they were defeated by Ballynahinch at Dooradoyle.

In Division 1B, James French helped Highfield defeat UCC at Woodleigh Park.

In Division 2A, Ruadhan Quinn was a try-scorer for Old Crescent as they defeated Ballymena.

Evan O’Connell featured for UL Bohemian as they were beaten by Navan.

On the injury front, Conor Murray returns to training this week after recovering from the groin injury he sustained on his 100th Ireland cap against South Africa last month.

Mike Haley is expected to complete his return to play protocols this week with a view to returning to full team training.

Simon Zebo sustained a low-grade knee injury against Edinburgh and will begin rehabilitation with the medical department. He will be unavailable for the coming weeks.

Continuing to rehab: Stephen Archer (ankle), Tom Ahern (shoulder), RG Snyman (knee), Fineen Wycherley (shoulder), Paddy Kelly (head), Jack Daly (knee), Jack O’Sullivan (knee), Andrew Conway (knee), Keynan Knox (knee).

Tickets

Champions Cup Round 1

Sunday, December 11

Munster Rugby v Stade Toulousain, Thomond Park, 3.15pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 10

Monday, December 26

Munster v Leinster, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 12

Friday, January 6

Munster v Emirates Lions, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

Champions Cup Round 3

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Munster Rugby v Northampton Saints, Thomond Park, 3.15pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 14

Friday, February 17, 2023

Munster Rugby v Ospreys, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 15

Friday, March 3, 2023

Munster Rugby v Scarlets, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 16

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Munster Rugby v Glasgow Warriors, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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Rowlands to leave at end of season

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Dragons RFC can confirm that Wales international second row Will Rowlands will leave the club at the end of the current season.

The 31-year-old, who joined the Men of Gwent ahead of the 21/22 season and has made 16 appearances for the club, has agreed terms with a club outside of Wales for the 23/24 season.

Dai Flanagan, Head Coach of Dragons RFC, commented: “We’re obviously disappointed to be losing a player of Will’s quality, but despite the best efforts of ourselves, Will’s representative and the WRU over the last 12 months or so, we were unable to reach agreement on terms for the future.

“Since arriving in Gwent, Will has been a hugely positive influence on our group, captaining the side and being named Wales’ player of the year.

“We know that he’ll continue to give his absolute all to the club for the remainder of his time with us and he will always be welcome at Rodney Parade.”

Will Rowlands also commented: “I am sad to be leaving Dragons RFC at the end of this season but would like to thank everyone involved with the club for their support over the past 18 months.

“It has been a pleasure to play at Rodney Parade and I know that the future is bright for this club. It’s home to some truly talented players and I really believe in the vision of Dai and the other coaches. I have no doubt that we are just beginning to see the seeds of that in the performances of the team, and that they will go from strength to strength.

“It is still my great hope that I will be able to represent my country in the World Cup 2023, if called upon.”

Content & Images from – Dragons Rugby


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Owen Williams agrees deal with Ospreys as injury replacement

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Today, the Ospreys announced that Owen Williams will join the team as an injury replacement in a deal that will see the ex-Worcester man join the club as cover for Gareth Anscombe, who was regrettably injured on international duty.

With the injury to Gareth Anscombe and Stephen Myler also currently out injured, the agreement will give the Ospreys much needed depth at the fly-half position.

Capped three times at international level, Williams provides invaluable experience and leadership qualities that will contribute massively to the team as the second half of the season approaches.

Head Coach Toby Booth said: “For us to compete at the highest level, it is hugely important that we have quality depth where we need it. Signing Owen not only provides injury cover for us, but also improves us a group.

“Jack Walsh has done a great job stepping up at 10 in some huge games for us over the last few weeks, but ultimately with Gareth’s injury, we needed to reinforce in that area. Owen can play 10 or 12 and brings a wealth of experience with him from his time in Premiership. I have no doubt that he will make a positive impact in a variety of areas for us.”

Excited about the prospect of joining the Ospreys, Owen Williams said: “I’m really looking forward to getting started here, the Ospreys have a rich history and a great squad that are capable of going on and becoming a real force.

“I spoke with the coach before making my decision, and it was clear to me that he had a plan for how I will fit in to the wider vision for the team going forward. It’s been a while since I’ve played my rugby in Wales, but I can’t wait to be back in the region where it all started for me.”

The Ospreys are set for their first Heineken Champions Cup fixture against Leicester Tigers on Sunday, the same team where Williams made over 100 appearances and scored over 600 points during his time there.

Image & Content Source – Ospreys Rugby


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