Leinster Rugby (Irish: Rugbaí Laighean) is one of the four professional provincial club rugby union teams from the island of Ireland. They compete in the United Rugby Championship and the European Rugby Champions Cup.

Leinster Rugby
Founded1879; 145 years ago (1879)
LocationDublin, Ireland
Ground(s)RDS Arena
(Capacity: 18,500)
Aviva Stadium
(Capacity: 51,700)
Coach(es)Leo Cullen
Captain(s)James Ryan, Garry Ringrose
Most appearancesDevin Toner (280)
Top scorerJohnny Sexton (1,646)
Most triesShane Horgan (69)
League(s)United Rugby Championship
2022–23Semi-finals
1st Irish Shield
(1st overall)
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website
www.leinsterrugby.ie

Leinster play their home games primarily at the RDS Arena, although larger games are played in the Aviva Stadium when the capacity of the RDS is insufficient.[1] Before moving to the RDS in 2005, Leinster's traditional home ground was Donnybrook Stadium, in Dublin 4. The province plays primarily in blue with white or yellow trim and the team crest features a harp within a rugby ball, the harp being an ancient symbol of the province found in and taken from the flag of Leinster, although the traditional colours of Leinster Rugby mean the design more resembles the flag of the president of Ireland or the coat of arms of Ireland.

Leinster turned professional along with its fellow Irish provinces in 1995 and has competed in the United Rugby Championship (formerly known as the Celtic League, Magners League and the Pro12 / Pro14) since it was founded in 2001, having previously competed in the annual Irish interprovincial championship.[2]

History edit

Founding (1879–1899) edit

The Leinster Branch was inaugurated at a meeting on 31 October 1879. The meeting was held at Lawrence's premises at 63 Grafton Street and was largely attended. Although this was the formal founding of Leinster as we know it today, with the amalgamation of the Irish Football Union and the Northern Union, the Leinster provincial team had been active since 1879 – when the first interprovincial derby was played against Ulster. The Leinster and Ulster teams also made up the representative Irish team that competed against England in Ireland's first-ever international in 1875. Upon the founding of the union, Munster were also added to the fray in 1879, when their first provincial team was selected and first Munster players represented Ireland.[3][4]

F. Kennedy (Wanderers) was elected first Hon. Secretary of the Branch and C.B. Croker (Lansdowne) first Hon. Treasurer.

The function of the Branch was to organise the game of rugby football in the province. Every year five representatives would be selected to join the IRFU Committee. They would be known as the "Leinster Five" and would pick the Leinster representative teams.

The first Interprovincial matches between Leinster, Ulster and Munster were held in 1875. At this time the matches were played with 20 players a side. Leinster lost to Ulster by a converted try and beat Munster by one goal to nil. Since then there has been a match between these teams annually, with Connacht joining the fold in 1885.

Leinster Schools Interprovincial matches have been taking place since 1888. Leinster Schools beat the Ulster Schools in Belfast on Saturday 7 April by a dropped goal to a try. Their first match against Munster Schools took place on 18 March 1899, when Leinster won by two tries to one.

Amateur period (1900–1990s) edit

The early 1920s led to the creation of the Provincial Towns Cup and the Metropolitan Cup, which are still hard-fought competitions in the Leinster Rugby calendar. Much has changed in rugby over the years, but the original idea of Leinster Club Rugby acting as a feeder for the Leinster Interprovincial side, though now professional, still stands true.

All Interprovincial matches were abandoned during the years of the Great War (1914–1918) and the War period (1939–1945), though unofficial matches were played.[5]

The first major touring side to play Leinster was a team drawn from the New Zealand Army – the Kiwis, in 1946. Although it was not an official touring side organised by the New Zealand Rugby Union, the quality of the match, which was drawn 10 points each, is still remembered to this day.[5]

The first official overseas touring side that came to play Leinster was an Australian touring side in 1957.[5] Since then, Leinster has played against every major touring side from Fiji to France.[5]

Before the days of professional rugby union, there was further emphasis on Irish club rugby as opposed to the provincial game. During these times the provincial sides were purely representative sides and games were far less frequent than now. Between 1946 and 2002 the sides would meet annually to contest the Irish Interprovincial Championship and on rare occasions would be tested against touring international sides. When rugby union was declared 'open' in 1995, these four teams became the four professional teams run by the Irish Rugby Football Union and therefore much of the history of the side has been made in the modern era.

Leinster Lions (1990s–2005) edit

 
Leo the Leinster Lion, team mascot

Leinster became a professional outfit in the mid-1990s. The "Leinster Lions" name came into existence during the 2001–02 season as the result of a joint marketing initiative between Leinster Rugby and its kit sponsors, the Canterbury Clothing Company. Before the start of the 2004–05 season, the 'Lions' was dropped from the name. It is still used for marketing and branding, in particular, the Cubs Club for Junior members of Leinster Rugby.[6] The Leinster mascot is "Leo the Lion". It was also during this time that the song “Molly Malone” became a match fixture to be sung by the fans.[7]

Leinster's first season in the newly formed Celtic League ended in success as the Lions were crowned the inaugural champions, beating rivals Munster Rugby in the 2001–02 final.[8] In 2002–03, they became only the third team in the history of the European Cup to win all their games in pool play. They also went one step further in the playoffs than the previous season by reaching the semi-finals (for the first time since 1995–96), but lost at home against French side Perpignan, which was accompanied by an unsuccessful season in the Celtic League. The 2003–04 season also ended in disappointment as Leinster slumped to their worst ever league performance and failed to qualify from their European Cup group.

Title misses (2004–2007) edit

Leinster improved during the 2004–05 season, finishing 3rd, just three points behind the eventual winners, the Ospreys.[9] Leinster also won all of their pool games in that year's European Cup, and were again among the favourites for the title, however they went out at the quarter final stage to Leicester Tigers.[10]

The next two seasons of the Celtic League were to end in near misses for Leinster, as they lost out on the 2005–06 and 2006–07 league titles on the final day of the season. These seasons also saw progress in the European Cup. In 2005–06, Leinster progressed to the semi-final but were eliminated by Irish rivals Munster at Lansdowne Road and they reached the quarter-final the following year where they were beaten by eventual winners London Wasps.

European and domestic dominance (2008–2014) edit

Increasing attendances at Leinster games led to a move across Dublin 4 from Donnybrook Stadium to the redeveloped RDS Arena.

In 2007–08, Leinster failed to qualify from their European Cup pool, but did end the season as Celtic League champions, sealing the title with a 41–8 victory over the Newport Gwent Dragons in front of their home fans at the RDS.[11]

In the 2008–09 season, Leinster topped their European Cup pool despite away losses to French side Castres and English side Wasps.[12] Victory over Harlequins in the quarter-finals followed, despite the Bloodgate Scandal. Leinster overcame Munster 25–6 in a semi-final in Dublin's Croke Park that broke the world record attendance for a club rugby union game with a crowd of over 82,200.[13] Leinster won the 2009 European Cup Final in Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, beating Leicester Tigers 19–16 to claim their first European crown.[14]

 
The RDS Arena before the 2010 Celtic League Final

In 2009–10 Leinster was eliminated from the European Cup at the semi-final stage by eventual winners Toulouse. Also despite having topped the Pro12 league during the regular season, Leinster lost the first-ever Play-off Final 17–12 on their home ground to the Ospreys.[15]

In the 2010–11 European Cup, Leinster defeated the top English teams (Leicester Tigers, Saracens & Northampton Saints), as well as top French sides, Toulouse (who were the defending European champions), Racing Metro & Clermont Auvergne, (the French Champions).[16] to go on to regain their title as champions of Europe in the 2011 European Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Trailing at half time, Leinster scored 27 unanswered points in the second half to beat Northampton 33–22 and claim their second European crown with the biggest comeback in European Cup final history.[17][18] Leinster were also chasing a Pro12 & European Cup double, but lost 19–9 to Irish rivals Munster in the Pro12 Final.[19]

In 2011–12 Leinster became only the second side ever to retain the title of European Champions. Leinster emerged unbeaten in group play to top their group[20] and went on to defeat the Cardiff Blues 34–3 in the quarterfinals,[21] followed by a 19–15 semifinal victory over ASM Clermont Auvergne.[22] and defeated Ulster in the first all-Irish final 42–14, recording the most points scored and the most tries scored in a European Cup final as well as becoming the first unbeaten side to win the European Cup.[23] Once again, Leinster targeted the double, and faced a repeat of the 2010 Pro12 final against the Ospreys. Leinster's domestic title challenge fell at the final hurdle, conceding a final minute try to slump to a one-point defeat, and unable to complete the double despite topping the table in the regular season.[24]

The 2012–13 campaign proved to be another successful season for Leinster Rugby. The club finished in second place during the regular season of the Pro12 and defeated Glasgow Warriors by a score of 17–15 in their semi-final play-off match on 11 May 2013.[25] On 17 May, Leinster were crowned champions of the European Challenge Cup after defeating Stade Français 34–13 in the final at their home ground, the RDS Arena.[26] Leinster successfully completed the double on 25 May, defeating Ulster 24–18 in the Pro12 final to claim their third league championship.[27][28]

Leinster continued their success in the 2013–14 season by becoming the first team ever to defend the Pro12 title, topping the league in the regular season and defeating Glasgow Warriors 34–12 in their fifth consecutive Pro12 play-off final and also secured their seventh major title in as many years.[29]

Blooding a new generation (2015–2017) edit

Following a remarkable run of seven major trophies in seven years, Leinster's title run came to an end following the 2013–14 season. The 2014–15 season saw a dip in form, with Leinster finishing in fifth place in the league and failing to make the play-offs. Fortunes in the newly formed Champions Cup were better, with the team reaching the semi-final where they were defeated in extra-time by eventual winners, Toulon. At the end of the season, head coach Matt O'Connor left the club by mutual consent with former club captain, Leo Cullen, being named as his replacement. Cullen then brought in ex-England coach Stuart Lancaster as senior coach at the start of the 2016–17 season, which saw a huge improvement from Leinster as well a big group of young players coming through. Despite playing brilliant rugby all season, Leinster failed to win any silverware, falling short in the Champions Cup semi-final to old rivals Clermont and shocked by the Scarlets in the Pro12 Semi-Final at the RDS. However, there was huge optimism amongst the players and supporters as they believed this was only the start of a new generation and perhaps another era of success.

Return to success (2018–present) edit

 
Croke Park before the 2023–24 European Rugby Champions Cup Semi-Final victory against Northampton Saints.

Starting with the 2017–18 season, Leinster won four straight Pro14 championships.[30] In Europe, they won the 2017-18 Heineken Cup, defeating Racing 92 by a score of 15–12 in the final in Bilbao.[31] They were runners-up in the 2018-19 final, losing 20–10 to Saracens F.C.[32] Leinster were knocked out of the Heineken cup competition in the quarter-finals in 2019–20, and again at the semi-finals stage in 2020–21.

The format of the 2021–22 competition was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Leinster won their first round matchup with Bath. However, the day prior to Leinster's second match, an away fixture to Montpellier, the EPCR announced that the match would not go ahead, and instead awarded a 28–0 win to Montpellier.[33] This was despite Leinster having a full squad certified to be COVID-free, named, and ready to travel. The following day, the EPCR announced that all other matches involving French and UK teams from the same second round would be postponed to a future date.[34] Following the EPCR's decision to award Montpellier a 28–0 bonus-point win for their cancelled round two clash, Leinster beat Montpellier by 89–7, with the 82 point margin eclipsing their previous biggest win in Europe set against Bourgoin back in 2004.[35]

Previous season summaries edit

Domestic League European Cup Domestic / 'A' Cup
Season Competition Final Position (Pool) Points Play-offs Competition Performance Competition Performance
1995–96 No competition Heineken Cup Semi-final Interprovincial Championship Champions
1996–97 No competition Heineken Cup 3rd in pool Interprovincial Championship 2nd
1997–98 No competition Heineken Cup 3rd in pool Interprovincial Championship Champions
1998–99 No competition Heineken Cup 4th in pool Interprovincial Championship 3rd
1999–00 No competition Heineken Cup 2nd in pool Interprovincial Championship 3rd
2000–01 No competition Heineken Cup 2nd in pool Interprovincial Championship 3rd
2001–02 Celtic League 1st (A) 21 Champions Heineken Cup Quarter-final Interprovincial Championship Champions
2002–03 Celtic League 5th (B) 18 Did Not qualify Heineken Cup Semi-final No competition
2003–04 Celtic League 8th 47 N/A Heineken Cup 2nd in pool Celtic Cup Quarter-final
2004–05 Celtic League 3rd 57 N/A Heineken Cup Quarter-final Celtic Cup Semi-final
2005–06 Celtic League 2nd 74 N/A Heineken Cup Semi-final No competition
2006–07 Magners League 3rd 61 N/A Heineken Cup Quarter-final No competition
2007–08 Magners League 1st 61 N/A Heineken Cup 3rd in pool No competition
2008–09 Magners League 3rd 52 N/A Heineken Cup Champions No competition
2009–10 Magners League 1st 55 Runner-up Heineken Cup Semi-final British and Irish Cup 2nd in pool
2010–11 Magners League 2nd 70 Runner-up Heineken Cup Champions British and Irish Cup Quarter-final
2011–12 RaboDirect PRO12 1st 81 Runner-up Heineken Cup Champions British and Irish Cup Semi-final
2012–13 RaboDirect PRO12 2nd 78 Champions Challenge Cup* Champions British and Irish Cup Champions
2013–14 RaboDirect PRO12 1st 82 Champions Heineken Cup Quarter-final British and Irish Cup Champions
2014–15 Guinness PRO12 5th 62 Did Not qualify Champions Cup Semi-final British and Irish Cup Semi-final
2015–16 Guinness PRO12 1st 73 Runner-up Champions Cup 4th in pool British and Irish Cup Quarter-final
2016–17 Guinness PRO12 2nd 85 Semi-Final Champions Cup Semi-final British and Irish Cup 2nd in pool
2017–18 Guinness PRO14 1st (B) 70 Champions Champions Cup Champions British and Irish Cup Runner-up
2018–19 Guinness PRO14 1st (B) 76 Champions Champions Cup Runner-up Celtic Cup Champions
2019–20 Guinness PRO14 1st (A) 69 Champions Champions Cup Quarter-final Celtic Cup Champions
2020–21 Guinness PRO14 1st (A) 71 Champions Champions Cup Semi-final Rainbow Cup 4th in pool
2021–22 United Rugby Championship 1st 67 Semi-final Champions Cup Runner-up URC Irish Shield Champions
2022–23 United Rugby Championship 1st 79 Semi-final Champions Cup Runner-up URC Irish Shield Champions

Gold background denotes champions
Silver background denotes runner-up

* After dropping into the competition from the Champions Cup/Heineken Cup

Heineken Cup / Champions Cup edit

Challenge Cup edit

United Rugby Championship edit

Current standings edit

United Rugby Championship edit

2023–24 United Rugby Championship
watch · edit · discuss
Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA TB LB Pts
1   Munster (h,E) 17 12 1 4 454 294 +160 61 34 10 3 63
2   Bulls (h,E) 17 12 0 5 613 419 +194 81 52 10 3 61
3   Leinster (h,E) 17 12 0 5 521 343 +178 76 42 10 2 60
4   Glasgow Warriors (h,E) 17 12 0 5 481 327 +154 70 33 10 2 60
5   Stormers (Q,E) 17 11 0 6 439 324 +115 54 43 6 4 54
6   Ulster (Q) 17 11 0 6 413 380 +33 50 51 5 4 53
7   Edinburgh 17 11 0 6 410 366 +44 47 47 3 2 49
8   Benetton 17 10 1 6 380 394 –14 46 56 5 2 49
9   Lions 17 9 0 8 502 369 +133 65 46 8 5 49
10   Connacht 17 9 0 8 397 399 –2 50 52 4 5 45
11   Ospreys 17 9 0 8 381 420 –39 48 49 7 2 45
12   Cardiff (X) 17 4 1 12 360 381 –21 46 46 3 9 30
13   Sharks (X,E) 17 4 0 13 329 405 –76 45 51 3 6 25
14   Scarlets (X) 17 4 0 13 281 560 –279 33 75 3 3 22
15   Dragons (X) 17 3 0 14 285 579 –294 34 80 1 3 16
16   Zebre Parma (X) 17 1 1 15 319 605 –286 40 88 4 5 15
If teams are level at any stage, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:[37]
  1. number of matches won;
  2. the difference between points for and points against;
  3. the number of tries scored;
  4. the most points scored;
  5. the difference between tries for and tries against;
  6. the fewest red cards received;
  7. the fewest yellow cards received.
Green background indicates teams that are in play-off places and earn a place in the 2024–25 European Champions Cup

Pink background indicates teams that are in play-off places and earn a place in the 2024–25 European Challenge Cup
Yellow background indicates the team that won the 2023–24 European Challenge Cup and thus qualify for the 2024–25 European Champions Cup, but are not in a play-off place
Plain background indicates teams that earn a place in the 2024–25 European Challenge Cup.
Q: qualified for play-offs. H: home field advantage secured for quarter-and semi-final. h; home field advantage secured for quarter-final X: cannot reach play-offs. E: qualified for Champions Cup.

2023–24 United Rugby Championship Regional Shield Pools view · watch · edit · discuss
  Irish Shield
Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA TBP LBP Pts Pos overall
1   Ulster 5 4 0 1 106 97 +9 11 14 0 1 17 6th
2   Leinster 5 3 0 2 96 86 +10 13 9 1 2 15 3rd
3   Connacht 5 2 0 3 97 120 –23 12 15 0 2 10 10th
4   Munster 5 1 0 4 89 85 +4 10 8 1 3 8 1st
    Scottish/Italian Shield
Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA TBP LBP Pts Pos overall
1   Glasgow Warriors 5 4 0 1 121 59 +62 18 3 2 1 19 4th
2   Edinburgh 5 3 0 2 115 93 +22 15 11 1 1 14 7th
3   Benetton 5 3 0 2 112 105 +7 13 15 2 0 14 8th
4   Zebre Parma 5 0 0 5 80 171 –91 8 25 0 2 2 16th
  South African Shield
Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA TBP LBP Pts Pos overall
1   Bulls 5 4 0 1 159 96 +63 20 10 3 1 20 2nd
2   Stormers 5 4 0 1 124 129 –5 13 17 1 0 17 5th
3   Lions 5 2 0 3 131 118 +13 17 14 2 2 12 9th
4   Sharks 5 0 0 5 74 145 –71 9 18 0 3 3 13th
  Welsh Shield
Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA TBP LBP Pts Pos overall
1   Ospreys (C) 5 4 0 1 114 74 +40 16 6 3 0 19 11th
2   Cardiff 5 2 0 3 140 117 +23 17 16 1 3 12 12th
3   Scarlets 5 2 0 3 92 117 –25 12 13 2 1 11 14th
4   Dragons 5 2 0 3 76 114 –38 7 17 0 1 9 15th
If teams are level at any stage, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:[38]
  1. number of matches won
  2. the difference between points for and points against
  3. the number of tries scored
  4. the most points scored
  5. the difference between tries for and tries against
  6. the fewest red cards received
  7. the fewest yellow cards received
Green background indicates teams currently leading the regional shield. Upon the conclusion of the regular season, these teams win their respective regional shields.

European Rugby Champions Cup edit

Pool D

2023–24 European Rugby Champions Cup Pool D
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
  Leinster (2) 4 4 0 0 123 53 +70 17 5 3 0 19
  Stormers (7) 4 3 0 1 102 99 +3 12 12 2 0 14
  La Rochelle (10) 4 2 0 2 111 73 +38 13 9 2 2 12
  Leicester Tigers (15) 4 2 0 2 84 122 –38 10 16 1 0 9
  Sale Sharks (10CC) 4 1 0 3 103 110 –7 13 14 1 1 6
  Stade Français 4 0 0 4 56 122 –66 8 17 0 2 2
Green background (rows 1 to 2) indicates qualification places for a home Champions Cup round of 16.
Blue background (rows 3 to 4) indicates other teams qualified for the Champions Cup round of 16.
Yellow background (row 5) indicates qualification place for the Challenge Cup round of 16.
Plain background (row 6) indicates elimination from 2023–24 European competition.

Starting table — source: European Professional Club Rugby


Honours edit

Honours
Competition Winners Season(s) Runners-up Season(s)
European
European Rugby Champions Cup[note 2] 4 2008–09, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2017–18 3 2018–19, 2021–22, 2022-23
European Rugby Challenge Cup[note 3] 1 2012–13 - -
Domestic
United Rugby Championship[note 4] 8 2001–02, 2007–08, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2017–18,
2018–19, 2019–20, 2020–21
5 2005–06, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2015–16
Provincial
URC Irish Shield[note 5] 2 2021–22, 2022–23 - -
Irish Inter-Provincial Championship[note 6][39] 22 1949, 1950*, 1955*, 1957*, 1959,
1961, 1962, 1964, 1965*, 1972,
1973*, 1976*, 1978*, 1980, 1981,
1982, 1983*, 1984, 1994*, 1996,
1998*, 2002
N/A N/A
'A'-Team
Celtic Cup[note 7] 2 2018–19, 2019–20 - -
British & Irish Cup[note 8] 2 2012–13, 2013–14 1 2017–18

Colours and crest edit

 
Flag of the Province of Leinster

The current crest was introduced in 2005 as Leinster Rugby held no copyright on the previous crest. The new, stylised crest, is made specific to Leinster Rugby as it incorporates the harp with a rugby ball.[40] The Leinster Rugby crest is on all official club merchandise including replica jerseys.

The province's current kit (2018/19) is blue with a pattern of spearheads on the jersey which takes inspiration from the people of Laighean (the ancient Irish name for Leinster), while the alternative kit is green with gold features, the colours seen in the Flag of Leinster, with a pattern of geographical cutouts for its 12 counties. The European kit is 'night navy' with the name of each of the 12 counties visible on the jersey written in the ancient Irish alphabet ogham.

The Leinster jersey also features four stars above the crest, to represent the four European Cup titles won to date.

Stadia edit

RDS Arena edit

 
The RDS Arena

Leinster's current home ground is the RDS Arena.[41] Games were first played at the RDS during the 2006–07 season, initially just for European Cup games. By the following season, however, all games had been moved to the RDS. The RDS has undergone large scale redevelopment since Leinster moved in. The arena now has a mostly seated capacity of 18,500. As the RDS remains a showjumping venue, the North and South stands are removable. A roof has been constructed to cover the grandstand opposite the pre-existing Anglesea stand.[42] The RDS will be Leinster's home until 2027, as a 20-year lease was signed in 2007.[43]

In July 2014, it was announced by the RDS and Leinster rugby that a design competition was being held to develop the arena into a 25,000 capacity world-class stadium, with work expected to commence on the redevelopment in April 2016.[44] The selling of naming rights to the arena will be a key component in funding the project, with an initial budget of €20,000,000 being proposed.[45]

Inside the RDS Arena prior to a Leinster Game

Aviva Stadium edit

 
The Aviva Stadium prior to Leinster game

For bigger games where the RDS does not have sufficient capacity, Leinster play their games at the Aviva Stadium, which has an all-seater capacity of 51,700. These are often key home games in the European Cup or United Rugby Championship games against domestic rivals. In 2010 they first played a home league game against Munster, the first time the stadium sold out,[46] and then against ASM Clermont Auvergne.[47][48][49] Leinster defeated Leicester Tigers at the venue in the 2010–11 European Cup quarter-finals and went on to beat Toulouse in the semi-finals, also held at the Aviva stadium on 30 April 2011, en route to winning their second European Cup.[50] The following season Leinster hosted Munster, Bath and Cardiff at the Aviva Stadium and remained unbeaten at the ground until December 2012 when they lost 21–28 to ASM Clermont Auvergne.

Donnybrook Stadium edit

 
Donnybrook Stadium

Leinster's traditional home over the years has been Donnybrook Stadium in Donnybrook, Dublin 4. Donnybrook consists of a single covered stand and three sides of open terracing. A move across Dublin 4 to the RDS Arena for Leinster was needed to accommodate growing crowds, as the 6,000 capacity stadium had become too small.[51] For this reason, Leinster have signed a long-term lease with the Royal Dublin Society to play home games at the RDS Arena. Donnybrook has since, been improved as a venue with the reconstruction of the grandstand in 2008[52] and remains an important venue for rugby union in Dublin.[5] Due to limited space, it is unlikely that Donnybrook will undergo further redevelopment. Leinster A play their British and Irish Cup games in the stadium and the senior team have continued to hold certain pre-season friendlies in the stadium as well as most Leinster schools cup matches being held at the venue.[53][54]

Supporters edit

Before the advent of professionalism in the Irish game, provincial rugby games were generally poorly attended. During most of the 1990s, Leinster matches regularly attracted crowds of about 500 to 2,000.[55] The decision to structure the game professionally via the provincial network through centralised player contracts and the subsequent on-field success achieved by Leinster and the other provinces resulted in a significant increase in support within a decade.[55] Leinster had 3,700 season ticket holders in 2006, double the number of the previous season.[55] The Official Leinster Supporters Club was formally established as a club in 2007.[56] The last match at the old Lansdowne Road stadium was against Ulster on 31 December 2006 before it was demolished to make way for the new Aviva Stadium, earning the match the moniker of "The Last Stand". Leinster won the match 20–12, with an attendance of 48,000 – a record at the time.[57] A previous attendance record in the Pro12 was also set at Lansdowne Road, for a game between Leinster and Munster which drew a crowd of 30,000.[58] Leinster's supporters were named as 'Player of the Month' for April 2009 following their support in the European Cup Quarter Final against Harlequins at The Stoop.[59]

 
The Leinster Jet

On several occasions Leinster have set the record for the largest Celtic league and Pro12 attendances. On 2 October 2010, Leinster beat Munster 13–9 in the 5th round of the league at the Aviva Stadium. This set a new crowd attendance record for a Pro12 game at 50,645.[60] They subsequently set a new record on 29 March 2014 during a sellout match against Munster in which 51,700 fans were in attendance. This Pro12 record was subsequently surpassed by attendances at the Judgement Day fixtures. During the 2014–15 Pro12 season Leinster had the best support of any club in the PRO12 league with an average attendance of 17,717.[61]

Leinster's European Cup clash against Munster at Croke Park on 2 May 2009 set a world record attendance at the time for a club rugby union game with a crowd of 82,208.[62]

Home attendance edit

Domestic League
European Cup
Total
League Fixtures Average Attendance Highest Lowest League Fixtures Average Attendance Highest Lowest Total Attendance Average Attendance
1995–96 Heineken Cup 2 5,675 7,350 4,000 11,350 5,675
1996–97 Heineken Cup 2 3,750 4,000 3,500 7,500 3,750
1997–98 Heineken Cup 3 6,267 7,000 5,500 18,800 6,267
1998–99 Heineken Cup 3 5,500 8,000 4,000 16,500 5,500
1999–00 Heineken Cup 3 4,833 6,500 3,000 14,500 4,833
2000–01 Heineken Cup 3 8,147 12,000 3,940 24,440 8,147
2001–02 Celtic League 6• 8,926 30,000 3,056 2001–02 Heineken Cup 3 7,500 7,500 7,500 76,056 8,451
2002–03 Celtic League 3 5,500 6,000 4,500 2002–03 Heineken Cup 5 21,600 45,000 6,000 124,500 15,563
2003–04 Celtic League
Celtic Cup
12* 3,173 7,000 1,068 2003–04 Heineken Cup 3 14,963 23,463 7,200 82,965 5,531
2004–05 Celtic League
Celtic Cup
12* 5,038 13,500 2,800 2004–05 Heineken Cup 4 19,891 48,500 5,100 140,020 8,751
2005–06 Celtic League 10 5,814 14,135 1,700 2005–06 Heineken Cup 4 20,932 47,000 11,133 141,868 10,133
2006–07 Celtic League 10 11,892 48,000 3,750 2006–07 Heineken Cup 3 15,861 22,530 6,400 166,503 12,808
2007–08 Celtic League 9 14,361 18,500 9,439 2007–08 Heineken Cup 3 17,820 18,563 16,752 182,709 15,226
2008–09 Celtic League 9 14,728 18,500 10,910 2008–09 Heineken Cup 3 17,680 18,300 16,500 185,592 15,466
2009–10 Celtic League 11 15,835 19,750 11,836 2009–10 Heineken Cup 4 18,709 20,000 17,836 249,021 16,601
2010–11 Celtic League 12 16,849 50,645 9,790 2010–11 Heineken Cup 5 36,229 50,073 17,936 383,333 22,549
2011–12 Pro12 12 18,971 48,365 14,362 2011–12 Heineken Cup 4 33,282 50,340 17,924 360,780 22,549
2012–13 Pro12 12 19,084 46,280 13,235 2012–13 Heineken Cup
2012–13 Challenge Cup
6† 22,369 48,964 9,654 363,222 20,179
2013–14 Pro12 13 19,507 51,700 14,400 2013–14 Heineken Cup 3 28,137 47,370 18,500 338,002 21,125
2014–15 Pro12 11 17,675 43,817 11,322 2014–15 European Rugby Champions Cup 3 29,509 43,958 17,558 282,952 20,211
2015–16 Pro12 12 15,118 43,108 8,612 2015–16 European Rugby Champions Cup 3 25,428 44,925 14,569 257,700 17,180
2016–17 Pro12 12 15,579 40,527 10,792 2016–17 European Rugby Champions Cup 4 30,081 50,266 13,890 307,272 19,205
2017–18 Pro14 11 16,793 46,374 10,115 2017–18 European Rugby Champions Cup 5 34,432 51,700 15,947 356,883 22,305
2018–19 Pro14 12 17,242 50,120 10,057 2018–19 European Rugby Champions Cup 5 34,285 51,700 18,055 378,329 22,255
2019–20 Pro14 7‡ 12,919 18,300 7,967 2019–20 European Rugby Champions Cup 3‡ 25,086 42,041 15,080 165,691 16,569
2020–21 Pro14
Pro14 Rainbow Cup
1‡ 1,200 1,200 1,200 2020–21 European Rugby Champions Cup 0‡ 1,200 1,200
2021–22 United Rugby Championship 11 14,138 32,411 8,559 2021–22 European Rugby Champions Cup 4‡ 26,134 42,067 5,000 260,046 17,336
2022–23 United Rugby Championship 11 18,773 45,436 12,441 2022–23 European Rugby Champions Cup 6 39,377 51,711 15,469 442,765 26,045
 •Only matches in which there was a reported attendance are included.
 *Match figures inclusive of both Celtic League and Celtic Cup fixtures.
 †Match figures inclusive of both Heineken Cup and Challenge Cup fixtures.
 ‡Match figures include fixtures in which COVID-19 restrictions limited attendance, but exclude fixtures in which no spectators were allowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Up to date as of the 2022–23 season.[63]

Key
  Record high
  Record low
* Affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Leinster A edit

Leinster A is the team that represents Leinster in the British & Irish Cup,[64] having won the competition a record two times to date, in the 2012–13 season as well as the 2013–14 season, also becoming the first and only side to ever successfully defend the trophy. Leinster A also compete in the All Ireland Inter-provincial Championship. Pre-professionalism and a formal Celtic league structure, the main Leinster team competed in the AIIPC. Since the advent of professionalism, the provinces have fielded lesser teams to concentrate on the Celtic League. The team is composed of Senior Leinster squad players requiring game time, Development contract & Academy players and, occasionally, AIL players called up from their clubs.

For the 2019–20 season, the Leinster A team is coached by Noel McNamara.[65]

Competition Played Won Drawn Lost % Won Championships
British and Irish Cup 61 46 2 13 75.41% 2012–13, 2013–14
Celtic Cup 15 15 0 0 100.00% 2018–19, 2019–20
Total 76 61 2 13 80.26%

Updated as of 12 April 2021.[66]

Sponsorship edit

From the 2007–08 season to the 2017–18 season Leinster's kits were supplied by Canterbury of New Zealand but for the next five seasons starting with the 2018 -19 season Leinster's kits will be supplied by Adidas. Bank of Ireland, the country's oldest banking institution are Leinster's primary sponsors appearing in the front of their shirt, their sleeves, the top back of their shirt and the front right of their shorts. The Bank of Ireland symbol appeared on Leinster's front right and front left collars. On occasion, the team will wear a shirt adorned with the logo of another sponsor due to a promotion run annually by the bank offering up the sponsorship space to an Irish business by way of a competition to win the right to become a sponsor for a day.[67] During the 2013–14 season the contest was won by Dublin-based meat wholesaler Gahan Meats[68] and for 2014–15 the shirt sponsorship winners were accounting software provider Big Red Cloud.[69] The sponsorship prize package is valued at €50,000 and attracts hundreds of companies keen to be shortlisted each year.[70] The left of Leinster's back shorts had Bank of Ireland between 2009 and 2013 where it was replaced by Bank of Ireland's Twitter address right up until 2015 where it was replaced by Laya Healthcare. The teams 'official airline' is Irelands' CityJet.

Management and coaches edit

Position Name Nationality
Head coach Leo Cullen   Ireland
Senior Coach Jacques Nienaber   South Africa
Assistant coach Robin McBryde   Wales
Backs Coach Andrew Goodman   New Zealand
Contact Skills Coach Sean O'Brien   Ireland
Kicking Coach & Head Analyst Emmet Farrell   Ireland

Current squad edit

Leinster Rugby United Rugby Championship squad[a]

Props

Hookers

Locks

Back row

Scrum-halves

Fly-halves

Centres

Wings

Fullbacks

(c) denotes the team captain, Bold denotes internationally capped players.
* denotes players qualified to play for Ireland on residency or dual nationality.
ST denotes a short-term signing.
Players and their allocated positions from the Leinster Rugby website.[71]
  1. ^ Taking into account signings and departures head of 2023–24 season as listed on List of 2023–24 United Rugby Championship transfers.

Academy squad edit

Leinster Rugby Academy squad[a]

Props

Hookers

Locks

Back row

Scrum-halves

Fly-halves

Centres

Wings

Fullbacks

(c) denotes the team captain, Bold denotes internationally capped players.
* denotes players qualified to play for Ireland on residency or dual nationality.
Players and their allocated positions from the Leinster Rugby website.[72][73]
  1. ^ Taking into account signings and departures head of 2023–24 season as listed on List of 2023–24 United Rugby Championship transfers.

Results versus representative sides edit

Scores and results list Leinster's points tally first.
Date Opponent Location Result Score Notes
17 December 1902   Canada Dublin Won 13–6 Match Report[74]
17 November 1945   New Zealand Kiwis[note 9] Lansdowne Road, Dublin Drew 10–10 Details of Tour
27 November 1957   Australia Lansdowne Road, Dublin Lost 8–10 Match Programme
Match Ticket
1 February 1961   South Africa Lansdowne Road, Dublin Lost 5–12 Match Programme
Match Report
22 January 1964   New Zealand Lansdowne Road, Dublin Lost 8–11 Match Programme
Match Report
7 December 1966   Australia Lansdowne Road, Dublin Lost 3–9 Match Programme
15 November 1972   New Zealand Lansdowne Road, Dublin Lost 9–17 Match Programme
15 September 1973   Fiji Lansdowne Road, Dublin Won 30–9 Match Programme
13 November 1974   New Zealand Lansdowne Road, Dublin Lost 3–8 Match Programme
Match Highlights
21 October 1978   Argentina Lansdowne Road, Dublin Lost 13–24 Match Report
30 December 1979   Italy Donnybrook, Dublin Won 26–10 100 year anniversary
8 October 1980   Romania Donnybrook, Dublin Won 24–10 Match Programme
Match Report
8 November 1989   New Zealand Lansdowne Road, Dublin Lost 9–36 Match Programme
Match Report
17 October 1992   Australia Lansdowne Road, Dublin Lost 11–38 Match Programme
Match Report
12 November 1994   United States Donnybrook, Dublin Won 26–15 Match Programme
24 August 1999   Argentina Donnybrook, Dublin Lost 22–51 Match Report
24 August 2019   Canada Tim Hortons Field, Hamilton Won 38–35 Match Report
18 November 2022   Chile Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin Won 40–3 Match Report

Records against European Cup and URC opponents in the professional era (1995–present) edit

Against Played Won Drawn Lost % Won
  Agen 2 2 0 0 100.00%
  Aironi 4 4 0 0 100.00%
  Benetton 28 24 2 2 85.71%
  Bath 13 11 0 2 84.62%
  Biarritz 6 4 0 2 66.67%
  Bordeaux 2 1 0 1 50.00%
  Border Reivers 10 7 0 3 70.00%
  Bourgoin 4 3 0 1 75.00%
  Bridgend 2 2 0 0 100.00%
  Bristol 2 2 0 0 100.00%
  Brive 2 2 0 0 100.00%
  Bulls 4 2 0 2 50%
  Cardiff Blues 37 29 2 6 78.38%
  Cardiff RFC 1 1 0 0 100%
  Castres 8 6 1 1 75.00%
  Celtic Warriors 2 0 0 2 0.00%
  Cheetahs 4 3 0 1 75%
  Clermont Auvergne 9 5 0 4 55.55%
  Connacht* 44 35 0 9 79.55%
  Dragons 39 30 0 9 76.92%
  Ebbw Vale RFC 1 1 0 0 100.00%
  Edinburgh 43 28 1 14 65.12%
  Exeter Chiefs 5 5 0 0 100.00%
  Glasgow Warriors 55 37 2 16 67.27%
  Gloucester 4 3 0 1 75%
  Harlequins 3 2 0 1 66.67%
  La Rochelle 5 2 0 3 40.00%
  Lions 3 2 0 1 66.67%
  Leicester Tigers 15 10 0 5 66.67%
  Llanelli RFC 1 1 0 0 100%
  London Irish 2 0 1 1 0.00%
  Lyon 2 2 0 0 100.00%
  Montpellier 8 6 1 1 75%
  Munster* 54 35 1 18 64.81%
  Milan 3 2 0 1 66.67%
  Newcastle Falcons 2 2 0 0 100.00%
  Newport RFC 4 4 0 0 100.00%
  Northampton Saints 11 10 0 1 90.91%
  Ospreys 42 26 3 13 61.9%
  Pau 1 1 0 0 100.00%
  Perpignan 1 0 0 1 0.00%
  Pontypridd RFC 2 2 0 0 100%
  Racing 92 5 5 0 0 100.00%
  Sale Sharks 3 2 0 1 66.67%
  Saracens 5 3 0 2 60.00%
  Scarlets 43 29 2 12 67.44%
  Sharks 4 3 0 1 75.00%
  Southern Kings 3 3 0 0 100.00%
  Stade Français 6 3 0 3 50.00%
  Stormers 3 0 1 2 0.00%
  Swansea RFC 3 3 0 0 100.00%
  Toulon 4 0 0 4 0.00%
  Toulouse 14 8 0 6 57.14%
  Ulster* 54 39 3 12 72.22%
  Wasps 11 6 1 4 54.55%
  Zebre 18 18 0 0 100%
Total 666 476 21 169 71.47%
 *Matches played as part of the Irish Interprovincial Rugby Championship, separate from Celtic League fixtures, are not included in this table.
†Results do not include the cancelled Montpellier vs Leinster 2021-22 Heineken Cup fixture in which Montpellier were awarded a 28–0 victory due to positive Covid tests in the Leinster squad.

Correct as of 18 May 2024.[75]

Since the inception of the Celtic league, Leinster have dominated their Irish provincial rivals Ulster, with a 39–11 win–loss record. Similarly, Leinster enjoy a 35–9 win–loss ratio against western province Connacht. Leinster also hold a 35–18 head-to-head advantage against arch-rivals Munster, in one of the most intense derbies in world rugby. Of the United Rugby Championship sides, Munster have the most competitive record against Leinster; all of the league's other sides have substantial losing records against Leinster. The Welsh side, Celtic Warriors competed in the Celtic league during the first couple of seasons and have a winning record against Leinster of two wins and zero defeats.

Among European teams, of those who have played at least three games against Leinster, only two enjoy a winning record. La Rochelle lead Leinster 3–2 and RC Toulon have a commanding 4–0 head-to-head lead. These are the only European clubs who have played against Leinster at least three times who have a winning record against them.

Records against Irish Provinces (1946–present) edit

Against Played Won Drawn Lost % Won
  Connacht 104 81 4 19 77.88%
  Munster 112 62 5 45 55.36%
  Ulster 111 67 6 38 60.36%
Total 327 210 15 167 64.22%

Correct as of 18 May 2024.

Notable players edit

See also Category:Leinster Rugby players.

Club captains edit

Professional era only

Captain Season(s) Championships/Notes
Kurt McQuilkin 1997–98 Interprovincial Championship: 1 (1998)
Gabriel Fulcher 1998–99
Liam Toland 1999–00 – 2000–01
Reggie Corrigan 2001–02 – 2004–05 United Rugby Championship: 1 (2002)
Interprovincial Championship: 1 (2002)
Brian O'Driscoll 2005–06 – 2007–08 United Rugby Championship: 1 (2008)
Leo Cullen 2008–09 – 2013–14 European Cup: 3 (2009, 2011, 2012)
Challenge Cup: 1 (2013)
United Rugby Championship: 2 (2013, 2014)
Jamie Heaslip 2014–15
Kevin McLaughlin 2015 Retired mid-season due to injury
Isa Nacewa 2015–16 – 2017–18 European Cup: 1 (2018)
United Rugby Championship: 1 (2018)
Johnny Sexton 2018–19 – 2022–23 United Rugby Championship: 3 (2019, 2020, 2021)
Irish Shield: 2 (2022, 2023)
James Ryan
Garry Ringrose
2023–24 –

British & Irish Lions edit

The following Leinster players have also represented the British & Irish Lions.[39] Bold indicates tour captain.

Year Tour Series Result Players
1888  New Zealand
 Australia
No Test
1891  South Africa 3–0
1896  South Africa 3–1 Thomas Crean
Robert Johnston
1899  Australia 3–1
1903  South Africa 0–1–0
1904  Australia
 New Zealand
3–0
0–1
1908  New Zealand
 Australia
0–2–1
No Test
1910  South Africa 1–2
1910  Argentina 1–0
1924  South Africa 0–3–1
1927  Argentina 4–0
1930  New Zealand
 Australia
1–3
0–1
1936  Argentina 1–0
1938  South Africa 1–2 George J. Morgan
1950  New Zealand
 Australia
0–3–1
2–0
Karl Mullen
1955  South Africa 2–2 Tony O'Reilly
Robin Roe
1959  Australia
 New Zealand
2–0
1–3
Niall Brophy
Ronnie Dawson
Bill Mulcahy
Tony O'Reilly (2)
1962  South Africa 0–3–1 Niall Brophy (2)
Bill Mulcahy (2)
1966  Australia
 New Zealand
2–0
0–4
1968  South Africa 0–3–1 Ronnie Dawson (2)
1971  New Zealand 2–1–1 Mike Hipwell
Sean Lynch
Fergus Slattery
1974  South Africa 3–0–1 Tom Grace
John Moloney
Fergus Slattery (2)
1977  New Zealand 1–3 Willie Duggan
Philip Orr
1980  South Africa 1–3 Ollie Campbell
Rodney O'Donnell
Philip Orr (2)
John Robbie
Tony Ward
1983  New Zealand 0–4 Ollie Campbell (2)
Hugo MacNeill
1989  Australia 2–1 Paul Dean
Brendan Mullin
1993  New Zealand 1–2 Vince Cunningham
Nick Popplewell
1997  South Africa 2–1 Eric Miller
2001  Australia 1–2 Brian O'Driscoll
Malcolm O'Kelly
2005  New Zealand 0–3 Shane Byrne
Gordon D'Arcy
Denis Hickie
Shane Horgan
Brian O'Driscoll (2)
Malcolm O'Kelly (2)
2009  South Africa 1–2 Gordon D'Arcy (2)
Luke Fitzgerald
Jamie Heaslip
Rob Kearney
Brian O'Driscoll (3)
2013  Australia 2–1 Cian Healy
Jamie Heaslip (2)
Rob Kearney (2)
Seán O'Brien
Brian O'Driscoll (4)
Johnny Sexton
2017  New Zealand 1–1–1 Tadhg Furlong
Robbie Henshaw
Jack McGrath
Seán O'Brien (2)
Johnny Sexton (2)
2021  South Africa 1–2 Jack Conan
Tadhg Furlong (2)
Robbie Henshaw (2)
Ronan Kelleher
Andrew Porter

Notable overseas players edit

The following is a list of non-Irish qualified representative Leinster players:

Nation Player Season(s)
  Argentina Felipe Contepomi 2003/04 – 2008/09
Mariano Galarza 2010
Juan Gomez 2007/08 – 2008/09
  Australia Shaun Berne 2009/10 – 2010/11
Kane Douglas 2014/15
Rocky Elsom 2008/09
Scott Fardy 2017/18 – 2020/21
Owen Finegan* 2006/07
Joe Tomane 2018/19 – 2019/20
Lote Tuqiri 2013
Chris Whitaker* 2006/07 – 2008/09
  New Zealand Matt Berquist 2011/12
David Holwell 2005, 2008
Jimmy Gopperth 2013/14 – 2014/15
Charlie Ngatai 2022/23 –
Ben Te'o 2014/15 – 2015/16
Brad Thorn* 2012
  South Africa Jason Jenkins 2022/23 –
Zane Kirchner 2013/14 – 2016/17
Ollie Le Roux 2007/08
CJ van der Linde* 2008/09 – 2009/10
Heinke van der Merwe* 2010/11 – 2012/13
Rest of the World  Vasily Artemiev 2006/07
 Adam Byrnes 2005/06
 Will Green 2005/06 – 2006/07
 Nathan Hines 2009/10 – 2010/11
 Isa Nacewa 2008/09 – 2012/13;
2015/16 – 2017/18
 Stan Wright 2006/07 – 2010/11
 Michael Ala'alatoa 2021/22 – Present
 Fosi Pala'amo 2006/07
  Vakh Abdaladze 2017/18 – Present
* indicates World Cup winners
† Ben Te'o subsequently represented England at international level

Head coaches (professional era) edit

As of 18 May 2024[note 10]
Coach Season(s) GP* W D L Win % Loss % Championships / Notes
  Jim Glennon[76] 1995/96 – 1996/97 14 9 0 5 64.29% 35.71% Interprovincial Championship (1996)
  Mike Ruddock[77] 1997/98 – 1999/00 34 16 0 18 47.06% 52.94% Interprovincial Championship (1998)
  Matt Willams[78] 2000/01 – 2002/03 46 31 3 12 67.39% 26.09% United Rugby Championship (2002)
Interprovincial Championship (2002)
  Gary Ella[79] 2003/04 30 14 2 14 46.7% 46.7%
  Declan Kidney[80] 2004/05 26 17 1 8 65.38% 30.77%
  Gerry Murphy[81] 2004/05 3 2 0 1 66.67% 33.33% Interim Coach
  Michael Cheika[82] 2005/06 – 2009/10 134 88 4 42 65.67% 31.34% European Cup (2009)
United Rugby Championship (2008)
  Joe Schmidt[83] 2010/11 – 2012/13 99 77 3 19 77.78% 19.19% European Cup (2011, 2012)
European Challenge Cup (2013)
United Rugby Championship (2013)
  Matt O'Connor[84] 2013/14 – 2014/15 61 40 5 16 65.57% 26.23% United Rugby Championship (2014)
  Leo Cullen 2015/16 – Present 258 201 4 53 77.91% 20.54% European Cup (2018)
United Rugby Championship (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)
United Rugby Championship Coach of the year (2018, 2022)
Irish Shield (2022, 2023)
Total 1995 – Present 705 495 22 188 70.21% 26.67%
 *Games played are inclusive of matches played against touring international sides, but do not include friendlies against club opposition.
 †Glennon was the Leinster head coach for two separate spells between 1992 and 1998, but only matches during the professional era are included in this table.[76]

Personnel honours and records edit

(correct as of 18 May 2024)[85]

Bold indicates active player

World Rugby Player of the Year edit

Inaugurated 2001

Season Nominated Winner
2001 Brian O'Driscoll
2002 Brian O'Driscoll (2)
2004 Gordon D'Arcy
2007 Felipe Contepomi
2009 Jamie Heaslip , Brian O'Driscoll (3)
2014 Johnny Sexton
2016 Jamie Heaslip (2)
2018 Johnny Sexton (2) Johnny Sexton
2022 Johnny Sexton (3), Josh van der Flier[86] Josh van der Flier[87]

World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year edit

Inaugurated 2015

Nominated (3 nominees per year)

Season Nominated Winner
2018 Jordan Larmour
2022[86] Dan Sheehan

World Rugby Junior Player of the Year edit

Inaugurated 2008 - awarded to World Rugby Under 20 Championship player of the tournament

Season Nominated Winner
2014 Garry Ringrose
2016 Max Deegan Max Deegan

Europe edit

All players listed below are Irish unless otherwise noted.

ERC European Dream Team
The following Leinster players were selected in the ERC European Dream Team, an all-time dream team of Heineken Cup players over the first 15 years of professional European rugby. (1995–2010). Both O'Driscoll and Elsom were part of the 2008–09 Heineken Cup winning team.

Season(s) Player Position
2008–2009   Rocky Elsom* Flanker
1999–2014 Brian O'Driscoll Centre

* Elsom had the fewest Heineken Cup appearances in the team and was the only member born outside of Europe

European Player of the Year

Awarded annually since 2010-11

Season Nominated Winner
2010–11 Seán O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip,   Isa Nacewa[88] Seán O'Brien
2011–12 Rob Kearney, Johnny Sexton[89] Rob Kearney
2012–13 Jamie Heaslip (2)[90]
2013–14
2014–15 Jamie Heaslip (3)[91]
2015–16
2016–17 Garry Ringrose
2017–18   Scott Fardy, Tadhg Furlong, Johnny Sexton (2)[92]
2018–19 Seán Cronin, Tadhg Furlong (2), Garry Ringrose (2)
2019–20 Tadhg Furlong (3), Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose (3)
2020–21
2021–22 Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier, James Lowe[93] Josh van der Flier[93]
2022–23 Caelan Doris (2), Josh van der Flier (2), Garry Ringrose (4), Jamie Osborne[94]

European Cup Team of the Year
The following Leinster players were selected on the European Cup team of the year.

All players listed below are Irish unless otherwise noted. Inaugurated 2020-21.

Season Irish players Foreign players
2020–21 Rónan Kelleher, Josh van der Flier
2021–22 Rónan Kelleher (2), Tadhg Furlong, Ross Molony, Josh van der Flier (2), Johnny Sexton, James Lowe, Garry Ringrose, Hugo Keenan

Rugby Champions Cup player records

Statistics do not include European Rugby Challenge Cup matches. Updated as of 4 May 2024.[95][96][97]

Rugby Champions Cup Individual Season Records

The players listed above were the top try-scorers and points-scorers for the European Rugby Champions Cup in a given season.[98]

United Rugby Championship edit

All players listed below are Irish unless otherwise noted. Inaugurated 2006-07.

United Rugby Championship Team of the Year
The following Leinster players were selected on the Pro 14 team of the year.

Season Irish players Foreign players
2006–07 Jamie Heaslip, Gordon D'Arcy, Denis Hickie   Felipe Contepomi
2007–08 Jamie Heaslip (2), Leo Cullen, Bernard Jackman, Malcolm O'Kelly   Felipe Contepomi (2),   Ollie Le Roux,   Stan Wright
2008–09 Jamie Heaslip (3), Brian O'Driscoll   Rocky Elsom
2009–10 Jamie Heaslip (4), Brian O'Driscoll (2), Leo Cullen (2)
2010–11 Jamie Heaslip (5), Richardt Strauss, Seán O'Brien, Mike Ross   Isa Nacewa
2011–12 Richardt Strauss (2)   Isa Nacewa (2)
2012–13 Ian Madigan
2013–14 Seán Cronin, Jordi Murphy, Rhys Ruddock[99]
2014–15
2015–16 Josh van der Flier   Isa Nacewa (3),   Ben Te'o
2016–17 Jack Conan, Dan Leavy
2017–18 Andrew Porter, Jack Conan (2), Jordan Larmour  Scott Fardy,  James Lowe
2018–19  Scott Fardy (2)
2019–20 Will Connors, Max Deegan  Scott Fardy (3)
2020–21[100] Michael Bent, Dave Kearney, Scott Penny
2021–22[101] Ross Byrne
2022–23[102] Ross Byrne (2), Scott Penny (2), Dan Sheehan

United Rugby Championship Player Records

Category Player Total
Tries Dave Kearney 48
Appearances Devin Toner 191
Points Johnny Sexton 887
Successful Conversions & Penalties Johnny Sexton 312

Updated 04 March 2023[103]

United Rugby Championship Golden Boot
The Golden Boot is awarded to the kicker who has successfully converted the highest percentage of place kicks during the 22-week regular Pro12 season. To be eligible, the player must have taken at least 20 kicks at goal. The prize has been awarded annually since 2012. (Percentage success rate in brackets)

Season Winner Percentage
2011-12 Johnny Sexton 90%
2012-13 Ian Madigan 87%
2014-15 Ian Madigan 87%

United Rugby Championship Individual Awards

Category Player Season Total
Top Try Scorer Shane Horgan, Girvan Dempsey (Joint) 2001–02 7
Jamie Heaslip (Joint) 2006–07 7
Barry Daly 2017–18 12
Scott Penny (Joint) 2020–21 9
Top Point Scorer Felipe Contepomi 2005-06 287
Felipe Contepomi (2) (Joint) 2008-09 161
Ian Madigan 2012–13 186
Players' Players of the Year Dan Sheehan 2022-23 N/A
Young Player of the Year Joey Carbery 2016–17 N/A
Jordan Larmour 2017–18 N/A
Caelan Doris 2019–20 N/A
Scott Penny 2020–21 N/A
Coach of the Year Leo Cullen 2017–18 N/A
Leo Cullen (2) 2021–22[104] N/A

United Rugby Championship Team Awards

  • 2010–11: Fairplay Award
  • 2011–12: Fairplay Award

End-of-season club awards edit

Season Player of the Year Young Player of the Year Supporters' Player of the Year
2006–07 Gordon D'Arcy Luke Fitzgerald, Felix Jones
2007–08 Bernard Jackman Luke Fitzgerald Keith Gleeson
2008–09[105] Rocky Elsom Cian Healy Felipe Contepomi
2009–10[106] Jamie Heaslip Rhys Ruddock Shane Jennings
2010–11[107] Isa Nacewa Eoin O'Malley Shane Horgan
2011–12[108] Rob Kearney Ian Madigan
2012–13[109] Ian Madigan Jordi Murphy
2013–14[110] Jack McGrath Marty Moore
2014–15[111] Seán Cronin Jack Conan, Peter Dooley
2015–16[112] Ben Te'o Josh Van Der Flier
2016–17[113] Luke McGrath Joey Carbery Isa Nacewa
2017–18[114] Dan Leavy James Ryan Dan Leavy
2018–19[115] James Ryan Max Deegan Seán Cronin
2019–20[116] Garry Ringrose Caelan Doris
2020–21[117] Robbie Henshaw Ronan Kelleher Josh van der Flier
2021–22[118] Josh van der Flier Dan Sheehan Ciarán Frawley
2022–23[119] Caelan Doris Scott Penny Garry Ringrose

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Leinster awarded a walkover as Toulon were unable to field a team following positive COVID-19 test results in the squad
  2. ^ Formerly known as Heineken European Cup
  3. ^ Formerly known as European Challenge Cup
  4. ^ Formerly known as Celtic League / Magners League / Pro12 / Pro14
  5. ^ Contested from 2022 to present
  6. ^ Contested from 1946 to 2002 – Bold indicates Grand Slam; * indicates shared title; years shown are season ending years
  7. ^ Contested from 2019 to 2020
  8. ^ Contested from 2009 to 2018
  9. ^ Representative side consisting of New Zealand soldiers who completed military service in World War II. Much of the squad went on to represent the All Blacks.
  10. ^ Original research sourced from http://www.leinsterrugby.ie/team/results/index.php

References edit

  1. ^ "Leinster to play two matches at Aviva". The Irish Times. 8 August 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  2. ^ "Irish Interprovincial rugby championship". BBC Sport. 1 September 2000.
  3. ^ "History". Irish Rugby. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  4. ^ "Team History Archive". Irish Rugby. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e "About Leinster Rugby: The Branch". Leinster Rugby. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Lions get off to a roaring start". Irish Times.
  7. ^ "10 Things Only Real Leinster Rugby Fans Know To Be true". EVOKE.ie. 2 June 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Leinster win Irish battle". BBC Sport. BBC. 15 December 2001. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  9. ^ "Pro12 History". Celtic Rugby.
  10. ^ O'Sullivan, John. "Sad as Leinster fail to show". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012.
  11. ^ "RaboDirectPRO12 : History : Season 2007-2008". Archived from the original on 26 September 2011.
  12. ^ "Castres 18–15 Leinster". RTÉ News. 12 December 2008.
  13. ^ Thornley, Gerry (2 May 2009). "Leinster bring all the emotion, the intelligence and the rugby". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2 May 2009.
  14. ^ Thornley, Gerry (23 May 2009). "Leinster soar highest in bluest of blue days". European Club Rugby. Retrieved 23 May 2009.
  15. ^ "RaboDirectPRO12 : History : Season 2009-2010". Archived from the original on 26 September 2011.
  16. ^ "Clubs | Heineken Cup | ERC | Official Website : Leinster". Archived from the original on 25 February 2014.
  17. ^ "Heineken Cup: Leinster 33–22 Northampton". RTÉ Sport. 21 May 2011. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  18. ^ "Heineken Cup Final live: Leinster's victory forges one of the greatest comebacks in Heineken cup final history to beat Northampton". IrishCentral.com. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  19. ^ "RaboDirectPRO12 : History : Season 2010-2011". Archived from the original on 26 September 2011.
  20. ^ "ERC : Heineken Cup : Pools : Pool 3". Archived from the original on 12 October 2010.
  21. ^ "ERC : Match Centre : Heineken Cup : Leinster power into last four". Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  22. ^ "ERC : Heineken Cup : Fixtures : Fixtures". Archived from the original on 8 October 2010.
  23. ^ "ERC : Match Centre : Heineken Cup : Leinster enter record books". Archived from the original on 16 September 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  24. ^ "RaboDirectPRO12 : History : Season 2011-2012". Archived from the original on 3 June 2012.
  25. ^ "Leinster Rugby 17 – 15 Glasgow Warriors". RaboDirectPRO12. 11 May 2013.
  26. ^ "Fourth title for Leinster". ERC Rugby. 17 May 2013. Archived from the original on 7 June 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  27. ^ "RaboDirect Pro 12 final: Leinster lift title with victory over Ulster". 25 May 2013.
  28. ^ "Leinster hold on to win PRO12 title". ESPN. 25 May 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  29. ^ "Leinster refusing to let their era end". Irish Independent. 1 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  30. ^ "Leinster 16-6 Munster: Holders secure fourth straight Pro14 title by seeing off Irish rivals". BBC Sport. 27 March 2021. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  31. ^ "Leinster lift fourth European Cup after 15-12 victory over Racing 92". European Professional Club Rugby. 12 May 2018. Archived from the original on 15 May 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  32. ^ "Saracens lift third Heineken Champions Cup after victory over Leinster". European Professional Club Rugby. 11 May 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  33. ^ "Heineken Champions Cup – Round 2 result decision". EPCR. 16 December 2021. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  34. ^ "EPCR statement – Round 2 matches". EPCR. 17 December 2021. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  35. ^ "Leinster demolish Montpellier by 82 points in record-breaking European win. In 2024, they reached the played on the Croke Park surface for the first time where they beat Northampon 20-17 to qualify for the final of the European Champions Cup for the second consecutive season". the42. 16 January 2022. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  36. ^ Due to scheduling complications arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, only 2 group games were played in a once off revised format of the competition. Therefore, an additional round of 16 knock-out stage was added as a compromise mid-competition.
  37. ^ League Format (3) "Competition Rules". United Rugby Championship. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  38. ^ League Format (3) "Competition Rules". United Rugby Championship. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  39. ^ a b The Ireland Rugby Miscellany (2007): Ciaran Cronin
  40. ^ About Leinster Rugby:Harp Archived 21 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine Leinster Rugby
  41. ^ RDS Arena, Dublin WorldStadia.com
  42. ^ Grandstand Roof on Course for new season Leinster Rugby, 19 July 2008
  43. ^ "Leinster Rugby : OLSC : Supporters Questions for the Chief Executive". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
  44. ^ "Latest News - the Official Home of Leinster Rugby".
  45. ^ "Here's everything you need to know about the RDS redevelopment". 11 July 2014.
  46. ^ "The University Observer » Spirited Leinster overcome Munster at the Aviva Stadium - Ireland's Award-Winning Student Newspaper". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011.
  47. ^ "Leinster Rugby : Leinster Squad Update..." Archived from the original on 16 December 2010.
  48. ^ Leinster have the last word at old Lansdowne Road Western Mail, 1 January 2007 – at Encyclopedia.com
  49. ^ Munster pack some punch Munster pack some punch, 23 April 2006
  50. ^ "Leinster 32 Toulouse 23". Archived from the original on 4 May 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  51. ^ Sport goes on scoring Archived 21 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Marketing – Ireland's Marketing & Media Monthly Magazine
  52. ^ Directions & Maps: How to Find Us Leinster Rugby
  53. ^ Leinster name side to face Queensland Archived 1 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine RTÉ Sport, 29 August 2008
  54. ^ Tickets remaining for London Irish this Friday... Leinster Rugby, 24 August 2009
  55. ^ a b c "Leinster Rugby Comes of Age". The Dubliner Magazine. 18 February 2007. Archived from the original on 6 May 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  56. ^ Official Leinster Supporters Club Leinster Rugby
  57. ^ Leinster win The Last Stand at Lansdowne Archived 16 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine BreakingNews.ie, 31 December 2006
  58. ^ Miller-less Leinster earn corn The Irish Times – Leinster Rugby
  59. ^ Leinster Supporters earn Bank of Ireland honour Leinster Rugby, 26 April 2009
  60. ^ Leinster bench changes the attack the Irish Times – Leinster Rugby, 2 October 2010
  61. ^ "Home Attendance RaboDirect PRO12 14/15". Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  62. ^ "Munster v Leinster". ERC. 20 April 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  63. ^ "ALL FIXTURES & RESULTS". Leinster rugby. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  64. ^ "Leinster 'A' Results and Fixtures". Leinster Rugby. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  65. ^ Farrell, Sean (12 December 2019). "Ben Healy and Scott Penny lead Munster and Leinster for A fixture". The42. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  66. ^ "TEAM STATISTICS". Leinster rugby. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  67. ^ "Leinster Sponsor for a Day Competition". Leinster Rugby. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  68. ^ "Bank of Ireland Sponsor for a Day Winners 2013/2014". Bank of Ireland. Archived from the original on 15 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  69. ^ "Big Red Cloud Winners of Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Sponsor for a Day". Big Red Cloud. 18 December 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  70. ^ "Sponsor for a Day SME Competition Great Exposure". Independent.ie. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  71. ^ "Leinster Rugby: Senior Squad". Leinster Rugby. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  72. ^ "Meet the Academy - Year One 2022/23". Leinster Rugby. 8 July 2022. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  73. ^ "Leinster Rugby confirm year one academy players for 2023/24". Leinster Rugby. 3 May 2023. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  74. ^ "Star-studded club XVs, France against the Soviet Union and Welsh cap games against the Barbarians". espnscrum. Retrieved 8 December 2023.
  75. ^ "Overall European Record". EPCR. Retrieved 10 December 2023.
  76. ^ a b "Balls Remembers: A Profile Of The First Leinster Heineken Cup Team In 1995". balls. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  77. ^ "SLAM DUNKED: Mike Ruddock". Irish Independent. 3 February 2007. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  78. ^ "Williams replaces McGeechan". BBC Sport. 4 June 2003. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  79. ^ "Ella let go by Leinster board". RTE. 24 May 2004. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  80. ^ "Kidney returns to lead Munster". The Irish Times. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  81. ^ "Ireland's problem is age - and a tiny pool getting smaller". Irish Independent. 7 May 2005. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  82. ^ "Michael Cheika leaves Leinster for Stade Français". The Guardian. 19 March 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  83. ^ "Leinster's Joe Schmidt is appointed new Ireland coach". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  84. ^ "MATT O'CONNOR TO LEAVE LEINSTER RUGBY". Leinster Rugby. 20 May 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  85. ^ "HISTORIC PLAYER STATISTICS". www.leinsterrugby.ie. Retrieved 2 March 2024.
  86. ^ a b "Johnny Sexton and Josh van der Flier nominated for World Rugby Player of the Year". the42. 14 November 2022. Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  87. ^ "Ireland's Josh van der Flier named World Rugby men's player of the year". the42. 20 November 2022. Retrieved 20 November 2022.
  88. ^ "Season 2010-2011 : European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR)". Archived from the original on 14 June 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  89. ^ "Player of the Year | ERC | Official Website : Season 2011-2012". Archived from the original on 30 November 2013.
  90. ^ "Jonny Wilkinson named European Player of the Year - BBC Sport". BBC Sport.
  91. ^ "News".
  92. ^ "Revealed: Leinster dominate European Player of the Year shortlist". 24 April 2018.
  93. ^ a b "Leinster's Josh van der Flier wins European rugby player of the year award". the42. 28 May 2022. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  94. ^ "2023 EPCR Player of the Year award – nominees announced". EPC Rugby. February 2023. Retrieved 7 May 2023.
  95. ^ "Top try scorers Investec Champions Cup / Heineken Champions Cup / Heineken Cup". EPCR. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  96. ^ "Most appearances in Investec Champions Cup / Heineken Champions Cup / Heineken Cup". EPCR. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  97. ^ "Top points scorers Investec Champions Cup / Heineken Champions Cup / Heineken Cup". EPCR. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  98. ^ "Tournament Statistics". EPCR. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
  99. ^ "RaboDirect PRO12 Dream Team". RaboDirect PRO12. 5 May 2014. Archived from the original on 6 May 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  100. ^ "The Media Votes are in - Who made the Guinness PRO14 Dream Team?". Pro14 rugby. Archived from the original on 21 April 2021. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  101. ^ "Five Ireland internationals included in URC team of the year". the42. 7 June 2022. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  102. ^ "URC Awards: 2022/23 Elite XV Has Been Named". United Rugby. Retrieved 15 May 2023.
  103. ^ "Leinster Guinness PRO12 Player Records". Guinness Pro12. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
  104. ^ "Cullen named URC Coach of the Year". the42. 14 June 2022. Retrieved 14 June 2022.
  105. ^ "Leinster Annual Awards Ball Winners". 8 May 2009.
  106. ^ "Heaslip takes top honour at Leinster Awards Ball". 20 May 2010.
  107. ^ "Nacewa bags top honour at Leinster Awards Ball". 6 May 2011.
  108. ^ "Sportsfile - Leinster Rugby Awards Ball - 613741".
  109. ^ "Madigan scoops Player of the Year at Leinster awards ball". 5 May 2013.
  110. ^ "United Rugby Championship".
  111. ^ "PHOTOS: 2015 Leinster Rugby Awards Ball". 10 May 2015.
  112. ^ "PHOTOS: 2016 Leinster Awards Ball". 8 May 2016.
  113. ^ "Leinster Rugby 2017 - Award Winners". 29 April 2017.
  114. ^ "The Winners - Leinster Awards Ball 2018". 25 April 2018.
  115. ^ "Awards Ball 2019 - the Winners!". 29 April 2019.
  116. ^ "Ringrose and Doris win Leinster rugby player awards after Pro 14 title-winning season". 14 October 2020.
  117. ^ "END OF SEASON AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED". Leinster rugby. 9 July 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  118. ^ "2022 BANK OF IRELAND LEINSTER RUGBY AWARDS BALL". Leinster rugby. 5 June 2022. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
  119. ^ "2023 BANK OF IRELAND AWARDS BALL". irishrugby.ie. 29 May 2023. Retrieved 11 November 2023.

External links edit