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PREVIEW: Some Big Hitters Return for Leinster’s Trip to Edinburgh

Leinster will welcome back some key men as they head to Edinburgh

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Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

After a three-week break the Guinness Pro14 is back and with it so are a host of Leinster players as they prepare for battle against Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield on Friday at 19 35.

The big names to be included are Joe Tomane, Luke McGrath and Dan Leavy, who all return from long spells out and are all included in the starting XV.

The game will provide them with a chance to build their fitness and put themselves in contention for a place in the 23 for next week’s Champions Cup quarter-final against Ulster.

In the front-row sees Ed Byrne, Sean Cronin and Michael Bent knuckle-down. Cronin will be hoping to prove between now and the end of the season that he should take a seat on the plane to Japan for this year’s World Cup after being dropped during the Six Nations.

Josh Murphy and Mick Kearney are in the second-row. While captain Rhys Ruddock is at blindside flanker, fit-again Leavy at openside and Max Deegan at No 8 in a formidable looking back-row.

McGrath makes a welcome return at scrum-half and was due to join Ross Byrne, who is at fly-half. He has been a late withdrawal which sees Ciaran Frawley move from 15 to 10. Tomane starts at 12, with Noel Reid standing at outside centre.

The back-three is made up of Barry Daly on the left-wing, Fergus McFadden on the right and Jimmy O’Brien starts at full-back.

With the likes of Bryan Byrne, Jack McGrath, Andrew Porter and Conor O’Brien among the subs Leinster will be hoping to continue their impressive run at the top of Conference B.

Speaking ahead of the game Leinster veteran McFadden has talked about how impressed he’s been with the younger players that have come through the ranks this season.

“To be fair to a lot of the young guys that have come in, with the academy system the way it’s set up they seem to be ready made to just play at a high-level, which is great,” he said.

The away side will be wary of an Edinburgh team that welcomes back the likes of Darcy Graham, Hamish Watson, Ben Toolis and WP Nel from the Scottish camp and John Barclay who will make his debut for the side.

Leinster start the game in first place in Conference B, 22-points above second-place Benetton, and will be looking to continue their impressive form. However, Edinburgh currently sit in fifth in the conference, seven points adrift of the play-off spots and will be eager to cut the gap when the host the reigning champions.


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Squad Update | Team News Ahead Of Zebre At Musgrave Park

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The Munster squad returned to training at the HPC today (Tuesday) ahead of Saturday’s BKT United Rugby Championship round 3 game against Zebre at Musgrave Park (5.05pm).

Buy match tickets here.

Nine Munster players are in Bloemfontein with Emerging Ireland: Thomas Ahern, Diarmuid Barron, Jack Crowley, Shane Daly, Antoine Frisch, John Hodnett, Calvin Nash, Roman Salanoa and Josh Wycherley.

As confirmed by the IRFU at the weekend, Alex Kendellen has been ruled out of the Emerging Ireland tour and will complete his return-to-play protocols.

Injury Update in association with Laya Healthcare

Jean Kleyn sustained a concussion against Dragons on Sunday and will follow the graduated return-to-play protocols.

Peter O’Mahony (ankle) is expected to return to training later this week.

Keith Earls was removed with a suspected hamstring injury. He will be further assessed by the medical team this week.

In a positive update, Rory Scannell (nose) will return to squad training this week.

Unavailable: Gavin Coombes (groin), RG Snyman (knee), Jack Daly (knee), Andrew Conway (knee).

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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Additional terracing confirmed for October interpros

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Following huge demand for tickets, Connacht Rugby can confirm that temporary terracing will be installed for both BKT United Rugby Championship interpros against Munster and Leinster next month.

The game against Munster on Friday 7th October is set to be a momentous occasion as the club plays its first fixture on the new state-of-the-art, artificial surface.

Just seven days later neighbours Leinster visit the West of Ireland, in what will be another crucial game in the context of the overall season.

The terraces will be located at the Bohermore and College Road ends of the ground, bringing the capacity of The Sportsground up to 8,129.

Tickets for both games are on sale now at connachtrugby.ie/tickets, and supporters are urged to act quickly to avoid disappointment.

We are also now offering our fans a special October Interpros bundle. This bundle will guarantee your place in The Sportsground for these can’t-miss October games.

Images & Content from – Connacht Rugby


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Academy Update | September 2022

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We spoke to Greencore Munster Rugby Academy Manager Ian Costello last week for the first update of the new season from the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy.

New recruits Fionn Gibbons, Darragh McSweeney, Evan O’Connell, Jack Oliver, Ruadhan Quinn and Kieran Ryan have all hit the ground running and seen game-time at various levels over the past number of weeks.

19-year-old second year Academy member and UCC clubman Edwin Edogbo made his senior debut against Dragons on Sunday becoming the first Cobh Pirates player to line out for Munster in the professional era. Edwin missed all of last year due to an achilles injury but impressed in pre-season and was rewarded with a debut in Wales.

Hear the latest from Costello below.

Munster A v Connacht A last week…

“It was a good run-out. They had played a game the week before and our game against Ulster had been cancelled so they were a bit more clinical.

“We dominated possession and territory but they were more accurate, we were a little bit rusty at key times but it was a good exercise overall.”

New recruits…

“Kieran Ryan and Darragh McSweeney, the two props, are getting on really well. Ruadhan Quinn obviously hit the ground running with 78 minutes against Gloucester in pre-season, which was great for him to get a senior run-out. Evan O’Connell was released back to the Munster U19s and he played the Interpros with them and they won two out of three.

“Jack Oliver played his first game for Munster in a long time against Connacht A and he had a club run-out with Garryowen the week before. It was his first time playing in seven months so it was great to have him back as well. Fionn Gibbons had his first run-out since joining us against Connacht too.”

Academy players Tony Butler, Edwin Edogbo, Cian Hurley, Daniel Okeke, Conor Phillips getting game-time in pre-season games…

“It’s fantastic. And to have so many players away with Emerging Ireland now, it gives our lads the chance to push for a squad spot in the URC for the next three games.

“We’ll be stretched a bit at senior level with the 10 guys selected for Emerging Ireland so we’d be hopeful there will be a couple of Academy players in the mix over the next couple of weeks and anyone who isn’t in the mix will be playing with their club.

“On the injury front, Patrick Campbell (toe) was injured with the Ireland U20s over the summer and he’s a couple of weeks away.

“Daniel Okeke tweaked his hamstring in the A game last weekend so hopefully he won’t be out for too long.”

AIL season kicking off this weekend…

“The players will all go back to their clubs this week and hopefully the majority of the lads will be playing in AIL round one, if they’re not involved in the URC.

“We have been drip-feeding the lads back with their clubs so a number of guys have been training with their clubs over the last few Tuesdays so we try to keep them connected to their club as much as possible.”

Summer training camps for underage sides…

“We had a residential camp in UL over the summer. We put a lot of time, effort and resources into a three-week residential camp. We brought 15 under-20 players to train with the U19s. The U20s don’t have an Interprovincial tournament so they’re essentially the guys we’re looking at to move onto the next level. Guys like Daniel Hurley trained with them, he’s back from a cruciate injury, Shay McCarthy who had gone away with the Ireland U20s…these are the kind of guys we’re looking at long-term as well.

“We brought that group of 15 to train with 30 U19s so that was class. Off the back of those training camps, the Munster U18s won the Interpros, the U19s won two out of three so there’s a lot of good players emerging out of that and it was good to validate it with winning an Interpro as well.”

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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