Connect with us


The Big Interview: Caelan Doris



Ahead of tomorrow’s BKT URC Quarter-Final against Cell C Sharks, Caelan Doris sat down for The Big Interview that features in the Official Matchday Programme. You can buy the programme on Saturday for €6 in and around Aviva Stadium.

For Leinster and Ireland, the 25-year-old has only tasted defeat once in Aviva Stadium. That came in 2020, as Leinster lost to Saracens behind closed doors in the Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Finals.

With fans in attendance in the stadium, Doris has yet to taste defeat in either blue or green.

What is it about the Lansdowne Road venue that brings out the best in the EPCR Player of the Year nominee?

“There is a homely feel to the stadium”, he says. “It’s in our backyard, and I’ve played there a fair bit. Whether it’s an Ireland game for a Leinster one, the turnout is always huge, and the support is so special.”

“There is familiarity to the place, with some home comforts too. Even something like knowing the changing rooms is important. Playing in somewhere like the Aviva, allows us to fully focus on the match, as we are familiar with the settings.”

With 11 appearances to his name already this season, Doris lines out in the URC for the first time since New Year’s Day, when Leinster defeated Connacht in the RDS.

Despite an absence of league in over four months, he says the responsibility is there to build on the work done that saw Leinster enter the Play-Offs as top seeds.

“The URC has been such a squad effort this season. We’ve used over 60 players, including some Sub-Academy lads in South Africa, and the Academy players throughout the year.”

“Everyone has played their part, including all the staff. It’s been a massive collective effort to get us to this point.”

In his last four games, Doris has started in all three back row positions, but no matter the position, he sees it as an “honour” to wear the shirt.

“We’re all aware of some of the great players who have worn the shirt. We’re trying to build on that legacy and lay the foundations for future players to thrive.”

“We want to inspire the players of the future, in the same way we have been inspired by previous players.”

Doris is part of a back row unit that has some of the best strength in depth in the squad. He sees it as a pivotal reason the players continue to push each other.

“Having so many great players in training makes us all want to get better and push the standards across the board.”

“The daily competition has been fundamental to improving the standards in the back row.”

“The group has a pretty varied skill set, so we all share the workload on the field. It works pretty well that way.”

“We’re not too reliant on players doing one particular thing. Obviously, players have their strengths, but everyone is capable of doing a few different jobs, which helps.”

While memories of last Saturday’s win are strong, the focus turned quickly to this evening’s match against Cell C Sharks. Having lost to South African opposition in last year’s BKT URC Semi-Finals, the team is ready for a physical battle.

“The Sharks are incredibly abrasive”, Doris admits. “They have tremendous athletes in the forward pack, with some brilliant speed and athleticism in the backs.”

A familiar face awaits Doris pre-match, as he and his teammates will meet Noel McNamara. A former Leinster Academy Manager, McNamara is now working with the Sharks as their Attacks and Backs Coach.

“They are incredibly well coached in attack by Noel. I would have had a lot of dealings with him at underage levels and in the Academy. He knows us very well, and is a great coach.”

“The Sharks try to keep the ball alive. They are similar to Toulouse, with their offload mindset. It’ll be a big challenge!”

You can read the full interview with Caelan Doris in Saturday’s Official Matchday Programme.

Images & Content from Leinster Rugby


Fourie and Orie return for Vodacom URC Grand Final



Springbok forwards Deon Fourie and Marvin Orie make their return to the DHL Stormers team for the Vodacom United Rugby Championship Grand Final against Munster at DHL Stadium on Saturday.

Both players missed the semifinal due to injury, but will take their places in the DHL Stormers starting line-up for the showpiece match, which kicks off at 18h30 on Saturday.

Tickets for this match sold out in a matter of hours last week, so there will be a capacity crowd and heavy traffic congestion in the area. Please plan to get to DHL Stadium at least three hours before kick-off.

Spectators are urged to park remotely and catch a free MyCiTi bus from the UCT, Century City, CTICC or Civic Centre and Thibault Square bus stations

Gates at DHL Stadium open at 15h30 ahead of kick-off at 18h30. The beer garden in the stadium will be open both before and after the game with a DJ playing live and plenty of activations for fans inside the stadium, so get there early to make sure you don’t miss any of the action. CLICK HERE for all you need to know ahead of the game.

The backline that started in the semifinal win against Connacht is unchanged, with Clayton Blommetjies on the bench in place of the injured Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.

Fourie and Orie come in, which means that hooker Joseph Dweba and lock Ruben van Heerden are the only starting forwards that did not feature in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship Grand Final at DHL Stadium last season.

DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that it is a major boost to have the likes of Fourie and Orie back for the Grand Final.

“Both Deon and Marvin have been outstanding for us this season and they will add a lot both in terms of their ability and leadership on Saturday.

“We have a lot of respect for Munster, the truth is that we have never beaten them, so while we are thrilled to be playing at home we know it will be a big challenge against a good team.

“This will be the biggest crowd for any DHL Stormers match and it should be an amazing occasion for the team, our passionate supporters and the city of Cape Town.

“We are so grateful for the support that we enjoy and what this team means to so many people. We will do our best to soak up the atmosphere, enjoy every moment and play the kind of rugby that got us here,” he said.

DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Hacjivah Dayimani, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements: 16 JJ Kotze, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Ben-Jason Dixon, 20 Willie Engelbrecht, 21 Marcel Theunissen, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Clayton Blommetjies.

Content & Images from – Stormers Rugby

Continue Reading

Champions Cup

Munster Rugby Departing Players Confirmed



Munster Rugby can confirm the full list of players who will depart the province at the end of the 2022/23 campaign.

It was confirmed earlier this season that Malakai Fekitoa (Benetton) and Ben Healy (Edinburgh) will join new clubs ahead of the 2023/24 season.

Additionally, we can confirm that Liam O’Connor, Eoin O’Connor, Paddy Kelly, Oli Morris and Academy player Conor Phillips have completed their time at the province.

Eoin O’Connor will move abroad for a new playing opportunity.

Liam O’Connor has been advised to retire on medical grounds following successful surgery for a recent neck injury.

Paddy Kelly has retired from professional rugby on medical grounds due to a concussion sustained earlier in the season.

Paddy has received specialist medical care since the concussion, and despite all efforts, the decision to retire was made in the best interests of his long-term health.

Prop Liam O’Connor made 34 Munster appearances since his debut against Stade Francais in the Champions Cup in January 2016.

A product of the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy and former CBC student, O’Connor won the British & Irish Cup with Munster A in 2017.

He made 11 appearances in the first 12 games of the 2017/18 campaign but sustained a long-term knee injury against Ospreys in December 2017.

The Cork Constitution clubman helped Munster to a memorable victory over South Africa A at Páirc Uí Chaoimh earlier this season.

Eoin O’Connor came up through the Academy and was one of 12 players to make their senior Munster debuts in the Champions Cup win over Wasps in December 2021.

The former Waterpark RFC man moved up to the senior squad ahead of the 2022/23 season and made four senior appearances for Munster.

He has featured extensively for Young Munster in the AIL over the past number of years.

A former St Munchin’s College student, lock Paddy Kelly departs after one year as part of the senior squad having come through the Academy.

Centre Oli Morris departs after joining Munster in October when Worcester Warriors went into administration.

Winger Phillips departs after three years in the Academy that included two senior appearances. A former Crescent College student, he is also an Ireland 7s international and plays his club rugby with Young Munster.

Chris Farrell, James French and Dan Goggin all departed for new playing opportunities earlier this season.

A big thanks to all of our departing players for their contributions to Munster Rugby and we wish them all the best for the future.

Images & Content from Munster Rugby

Continue Reading


Munster v Barbarians Double-Header At Thomond Park



Munster Rugby will face the Barbarians at Thomond Park in a historic double-header for the province with the women’s and men’s squads facing respective invitational sides on Saturday, September 30.

The current Interprovincial Champions will get the action underway at 2pm while the men’s side will kick-off at 4.30pm.

A festival of rugby awaits in what will be a great family occasion for the Limerick venue, having last hosted the Barbarians in November 2017. It was on the same day that history was created as the first-ever Barbarian’s women’s fixture took place, with Munster providing the opposition.

While this will be the first time the men’s sides face each other, the world’s most famous invitation side previously played Tonga and Ireland on their visits to Thomond Park.

The occasion will see players secure valuable game-time ahead of the respective club seasons commencing with an exciting showcase of attacking, adventurous rugby in store for supporters.


Enjoy a fun-filled day of rugby at Thomond Park with double the action and double the value with our Family ticket packs starting from €40 for 2 Adults and 2 Children.

2023/24 MRSC members and 10-Year Ticket Holders will receive a 10% discount on all ticket categories for a limited time with further details emailed to priority groups.

Tickets are available to buy online here, or from the ticket offices at Musgrave Park and Thomond Park.

Season Tickets & MRSC Memberships for next season are available here.

Did you know?

October 17, 2009: Thomond Park previously hosted a provincial double-header with the women’s squad playing Ulster in the Interpros and the men’s squad playing Benetton Treviso in the Heineken Cup.

November 10, 2017: Thomond Park hosted a historic double-header of Barbarians matches with the Baa-baas men’s and women’s sides facing Tonga and Munster respectively.

Images & Content from Munster Rugby

Continue Reading