First Round Review
Gorey secured a second-round trip to Clondalkin in the Bank of Ireland Leinster Clubs Tom D’Arcy U18 Cup two weeks ago when coming on strong late on to overcome Longford 32-24 at CPL Park.

The Midlands club looked like coping with the absence of their Ireland U18 Clubs international Sam Mills in the back row when Eoin Murtagh’s try and Padraig Boyle’s conversion slipped them ahead 24-20 into the final quarter.

It was then Gorey were able to dig deep to produce two late tries by wing Niall Sheahan and lock Sean Carey, the latter converted by Lukas Kinsella, to seal a passage into the second round which is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

Second Round Preview
Clondalkin RFC v Gorey RFC, Kingswood Farm.
Having moved to spacious new grounds just a stone’s throw away from their previous home, these are exciting times for Clondalkin.

One of the main reasons for the move is in order to find extra space for Clon’s thriving youths and minis section and the U18 D’Arcy Cup squad are setting a fine example for their younger colleagues as the senior youth team in the club.

With a wealth of experience in the coaching set-up through Garry Geoghegan, Colin Lyons, Philly Byrne, Eoin Delaney, Gareth Steed and Conor Lowth, this season has seen a large group of U17s join the squad for their first of two seasons at this level.

They have bedded in beside more experienced players such as captain and out-half/centre Jack Brennan, Leinster U18 hooker Dylan O’Sullivan, powerful back-rowers Jake Dunphy and Manny Muritala and backline speedsters Liam Redmond and Dean Farrell.

The Clon’ backline is really starting to gel, led by the agile trio of Oran Murphy, Cillian Lowth and Thomas Carter.

The style played by Gorey mirrors that of their men’s squad, based on strong defence supported by a fast, attacking back line.

Captained by flanker Joel Shanks, it has several players training with the South-East squad in Tom Stokes, Stephen Hendy, Oren Cullen and Seán Carey.

Versatile wing/centre/full back Neil Byrne has taken the next step to Leinster at representative level, showing his ability in grabbing a brace of tries against Longford in the forest round.

Several players have adapted greatly to positional changes and have offered the Team a lot more options from the starting 15 to impact substitutions.

Competing in Division 1A of the League has been ideal preparation for their ambition to challenge for the D’Arcy Cup.

Mullingar RFC v Boyne RFC, Shay Murtagh Park.
The Myllingar squad, made up predominantly of forwards, has seen multiple players transition to the back division, midfielders Stefan Pedukic, Cormac Oakes and Sean Darcy embracing the challenge.

Hit early in the year with GAA commitments, the team has had to play with the bare minimum on their panel so one would feel that Mullingar hasn´t had the chance to really stretch their legs yet.

Captain Ross Ashmore brings his knowledge and direction to the team. The flanker is joined by six other 18s players who have a wealth of knowledge and skill.

The team shines brighter with the inclusion of U18 Irish club International Jack Boyan and Conor Moore, currently in the Leinster Sub-Academy.

These two lads are the main dangers and their performances are always augmented by a stellar pack and the half-back combination of Ciaran McKenna and Dave Williams.

For the first four years, the Boyne squad produced two teams playing in both the Leinster League and Metro competitions.

Having two teams and a strong squad allowed players to work hard for their place and be rewarded, forcing players to prove their place week in week out.

As numbers declined due to natural age grade fall back as in most sports, the squad was reduced to one team, leaving a versatile bunch of players.

Playing ‘sideline to sideline’ means the pack are hard workers with captain Morgan O’Reilly playing a vital role.

There is serious forward power in the shape of Leinster U18s squad quartet Mahon Ronan, who has played for Ireland U18s, Tadhg Duff, Orama Dauramanzi and Lincoln Deyear.

Enniscorthy RFC v County Carlow FC, Alcast Park.
Enniscorthy aim to move the ball at space, following the philosophy of all teams within the club.

Tight-head Conor Walsh and loose-head Scott O’Connor, a Leinster U18 Clubs squad member, provide set-piece stability.

There is no question that second-row Lee Quigley is the most improved performer, a knock-on of his attitude in training.

Lawrence Power has assumed a major leadership role, setting an impressive example from number eight.

The half-back pairing of scrum-half Tommy Cahill and Jack Kavanagh has really steered the ship, while utility back Rhyan Whelan has developed well.

Back row forwards Danny Kervick and Sean Doyle have made the leap from 16’s to 18’s very quickly and are now vital cogs in the team

Although Carlow has struggled for consistency during the season, they are starting to come together with a better understanding of each other.

Their challenge will begin with Leinster Interpros in scrum-half Noah Cope, prop Tadgh Ronan and centre Cillian Moore.

The front row of Cian Cashman, Ruaidhri Lynam and Ewan Morrissey is a mobile unit, ably supported by locks Harry Forbes, James McGuirke and Jack Hynds.

Winger James Browne is back playing rugby after an absence of 18 months which he has worked so hard to rehabilitate an injury.

Out-half Brian Broderick is central to the game plan, while full-back Conaill Fitzpatrick is a free-running player, who gives great defensive cover at the back.

Wicklow RFC v Dundalk RFC, Ashtown Lane.
It all begins up front for Wicklow where number eight Ivan Mackey is a really hard-working back row forward.

There is balance in the second row where Stephen Duke gets through a huge amount of work and PJ Jameson is a real carrying threat.

Back Row forward Eamonn Goddard has the top tackle count for the team this season, so is crucial for the team defensively.

Wicklow endeavours to play a fast open brand of rugby trying to avail of speedy outside backs, like Alek Richardson and Jack O’Neill.

The east coast club is well led by full-back and captain Conor Luddy and Finn Fitzpatrick, who has the versatility to slot in and deliver anywhere across the back line.

Dundalk have the pleasure of a number of u18s from last year’s squad, added to by a number of solid players from last year’s U17 squad, including Leinster Clubs hooker James Canning, partnered in the front row by the Jones brothers, Lawrence and Jonny.

Captain and lock Fionn Duffy leads the pack and is ably supported by Eoghan Staunton and Ronan McDonnell.

Conall O’Callaghan headlines a backline that looks to have a go when appropriate, using the pace of the elusive Josh Spaight.

The club has done a lot of work on and off the field and is hoping that some of these players will push onto the senior team in the upcoming years.

Navan RFC v Kilkenny RFC, Balreask Old.
Having soldiered through a few difficult seasons results-wise since U13, this group of Navan players turned a corner by winning the Leinster U17 Schools Plate last season.

Through thick and thin this group has battled on and is now beginning to realise its potential.

Captain Oisin Heffernan commands proceedings from the second row as a true leader both on and off the pitch.

The team welcomed new coaches this season in club stalwart Stalwart Peter Clarke as forwards coach and Bernard De Beer as backs coach.

The addition of several of last year’s U18.5 players has bolstered the squad and given depth in key positions.

Even at this stage, Navan are finding new players keen to learn the game, in particular, front-row forwards Kyle Callan and Alessandro Maltese.

Kilkenny has a number of players adapting to new positions as they look to develop their game understanding.

There is a positive feeling generated by the return of Barry Dunne, Marcus Trait, Ruaidhri Galwey and Finn Hogan from injury.

All four are important in providing on-pitch leadership to support that of the captain Joe Muarry.

The back-row forward has been in sensational form this season providing go-forward ball and a real hard edge up front.

Tullamore RFC v Naas RFC, Spollanstown.
Coach John Sheehan has a young, exciting Naas team, improving with every game and favouring a high-tempo, expansive brand of rugby.

Forwards coach Joe Colfer has been driving the set-piece where props Podge Quinn, a Leinster Clubs representative, and George Cosgrave are important.

In between them, hooker Harry Dunne will be keen to show what he has picked up playing for the North Midlands.

Pack leader Eanna Duffy is in the second row and captain Jude Kehoe is Leinster Clubs quality at number eight, flanked by a very promising duo in Zach Kennedy and Jack Dempsey.

Halfbacks Lochlann Cawley and Jack Osborne call the shots at 10 with Jamie McGuire, Alex Craig, Roan Ahearne and John Murray giving plenty of options in the midfield.

Tullamore are having a good season to date with four wins in the second phase of the Premier B League, although two of these wins were very tight affairs against Wexford and Tullow.

The team play a brand of rugby well suited to hard-working forwards and strong running backs. The pack is backboned by front rows Adam Carthy and James Buckley with John Colgan and Tadhg Dowdall effective at back-row.

Ireland U18 international Captain Darragh Brennan, who captained Leinster, leads from the front, at either prop or back row.

The back line provides finishing pace with Leinster and Irish international Páidí Farrell on the wing and the hard-running Simon Drea at centre.

The captain’s twin brother Séan Brennan and Jimmy Hyland also provide finishing ability in the back three.

Wexford Wanderers RFC v Tullow RFC, Park Lane.
Leadership within the Wexford team is shared between some of the more experienced players, namely Pearse Conway, Connor Fahy, Fionn O’Callaghan and Sean Whelan.

In October 2021, Fahy was selected for the South-East Leinster Squad, progressing to Leinster and even playing for the Ireland U18 Clubs against Italy last summer

In October 2022, Fahy was joined on the South-East squad by Sam Turner, Daniel Furlong and Alex O’Connor.

In addition, Sean Logue, Hugh Roche and Joshua Rossiter are currently a part of the South-East Leinster Programme, reflecting their strength in depth.

Wexford base a lot of what they do around physicality, varying their game when the opportunity presents itself out wide.

There is no club that plays more for the club crest on the shirt than Tullow.

The main strength of the team comes between the back-row and half-backs, number eight Fionn Hickey a strong ball carrier.

Flankers Ryan Byrne and Ben Lawless are non-stop workers, who are always close to the action.

Hooker Shane Murphy is a fiery character and the two Toms Byrne and Hughes are solid in the second row.

Out-half Peter Burgess is an elegant footballer who has the happy knack for knowing when to run, pass and kick.
The communication of full-back Tom Dillon is essential in keeping the defence intact.

Athy RFC v Ravens RFC, The Showgrounds.
Athy secured Premier status in the League before Christmas with some convincing wins to take a fair degree of confidence into the Cup.

The Kildare club is keen to have a good cup run this year as a lot of the players missed two cup seasons due to Covid-19 and many will be moving on to senior rugby next season.

The North Midlands Area league champions like to play a fast expansive style of rugby while executing the basics around the set piece.

Athy have talent in abundance with a number of players such as Andy Doyle and James Harris representing Ireland U18 Clubs this season.

Further, they are able to call on players representing Leinster U18 Clubs and North Midlands Area team at various levels, like James Walsh.

The Ravens, an amalgamation of Roscrea and Birr, is a young team that works hard for each other with great fighting spirit.

Captain Jack McNamara sets the tone at openside in a back row with Shane Maher and Alex Mullins.

Front rowers Matthew Bergin, Jack Byrne and James Ryan will be tasked with delivering a stable platform at the scrum.

Halfbacks Ryan Stone and Adrian Dockery, at ten, will take on the responsibility for keeping the Ravens on the front-foot.

COACHES – Kevin Tynan, Stephen Talbot, Keith O’Brien, Tadhg Kelleher.
CAPTAIN – Andy Doyle.
SQUAD – Adam Healy, Adrian Casey Gray, Alan Behan, Andrew Doyle, Anthony Hope, Byran Dunne, Callum Lang, Colm Moran, Conor Kelly, Cormac Gleeson, Darragh Byrne, Dylan O’Donohoe, Dylan Rafferty, Harry Bradbury, Jack Dooley, Jack Henry, Jack O’Brien, James Harris, James Walsh, Jamie Kelly, John King, Joseph Fennin, Karol Donohoe, Luke Eyre, Luke Sheerin, Oisin Grufferty, Oran Kelleher, Patrick Julian, Ronan Delamere, Ross Harris, Ruairí Scully, Ryan McDonnell, Sean Hope, Tom Bride, Tyrone Kelly.

COACHES – James O’Neill, Conor Duff, Tony Carley, David Gough, Richard Shuttleworth, David Monahan.
CAPTAIN – Morgan O’Reilly.
SQUAD – Aidan Clarke, Alex Hermitage, Ben Kelly, Brody McNeece, Byron Carolan, Conor Nesbitt, Conor Moroney, Daniel O’Neill, Emmet Byrne, Jack Carley, Jamie Byrne, Joe McArdle, Jude Woods, Lincoln Deyear, Loclainn Harris, Lorenzo Smith, Luke Carley, Mahon Ronan, Mark Berney, Morgan O’Reilly, Orama Dauramanzi, Rian Kindlon, Rory O’Kelly, Ruaidhri O’Gorman, Saul Maher, Senan Gough, Tadhg Duff, Tadhg Martin, Tom Feeham, Tom Stanley.

COACHES – Garry Geoghegan, Colin Lyons, Philly Byrne, Eoin Delaney, Gareth Steed, Conor Lowth.
CAPTAIN – Jack Brennan
SQUAD – Josh Apps, Michael Branigan, Jack Brennan, Jack Campbell, Thomas Carter, Shane Cleary, Jack Daly, Nathan De Botte, Josh Domican, Pádraig Downey, Jake Dunphy, Shane Elliot, Dean Farrell, Dylan Freeman, Rían Gannon, Liam Goodwin, Luke Groome, Adam Kelly Kinsella, Aaron Kenealy McCabe, Conor Langabeer, Naglis Lisauskas, Cillian Lowth, Cian Mannion, Liam McCusker, Manny Muritala, Oran Murphy, Luke Murray, Pádraig Ó Ciardha, Corey O’Byrne, Dylan O’Sullivan, Jack Quinn, Liam Redmond, Sam Ryan, Daniel Steed, James Sweeney, Elliot Walsh, Cillín Walsh Philips.

COACHES – Alan Gordon, Terry Cassidy, Mark Lynam, Tom Ronan, Brian Broderick.
CAPTAIN – Noah Cope.
SQUAD – George Cassidy, Noah Cope, Tadhg Ronan, Tadhg Moore, Cian Cashman, Adam Connolly, Aaron Gordon, James McGuirke, Oscar Siney, Patrick Wade, Jack Doyle, Jody Doyle Hutton, Conor George, Alex Gordon, Ewan Morrissey, Jack Hynds, Cillian Moore, Brian Broderick, Ruaidhri Peters Lynam, James Murphy, Lorcan Millward, Anesu Musanhi, James Browne, Harry Byrne, Ryan Griffin, Conaill Fitzpatrick, Daniel Walsh, Paul Akinola, Micheal Drea, Ali Yousaf Peters, Patrick Kelly, Sean Byrne, Tadgh McGrath, Harry Forbes.

COACHES – John McDonnell, Declan McCabe, Jimmy Canning, Jonny Gray, TC Campbell
CAPTAIN – Fionn Duffy
SQUAD- James Canning, Dillon Cronin, Fionn Duffy, Jacob Dunleavy, Jake Fee Collins, Daniel Gregory, Deshawn Ighodaro, Lawrence Jones, Jonny Jones, Marco Jordaan, Cian Kelly, Tadhg King, Donal Lavery, Leo MacRuairi, Robert Malone, Ryan Martin, Jamie Matthews, Matthew McArdle, Ronan McDonnell, Conall O’Callaghan, Ruben O’Rourke, Darragh Quinn, Oran Rafferty, DD Reilly, Will Smith, Josh Spaight, Eoghan Staunton, Lorcan Ticehurst, Max Valentine, Rory Wallace, Luke Woods.

COACHES – Craig Blyth (head coach), Henry Chamney, James Curley Doyle, Issac Wheelock, Liam Spratt.
CAPTAIN – Conor Walsh.
SQUAD – Cillian Hanrahan, Dylan Cooper, Scott O’Connor, Lee Quigley, Conor O’Brien
Danny Kervick, Sean Doyle, Zack Creane, Gavin O’Connor, Conor Walsh, Lawrence Power, Luke Wheelock, Sean Downes, Killian Hanrahan, Paraic Waters, Tommy Cahill, Adam Power, Robbie Chapman, Kevin Barron, Rhyan Whelan, Jack Kavanagh, James Leech, Cian Bolger, Cathal Kehoe, Darragh Breen.

COACHES – Nevil Copeland, Darren Cullen, Blake Sunderland, Ciaran Furlong.
CAPTAIN – Joel Shanks.
SQUAD – Liam Brannigan, Conner Brennan, Sean Brennan, Brandan Byrne, Neil Byrne, Sean Carey, Will Cooper, Alex Cousins, Brendan Coyne, Patrick Crotty, Oren Cullen, Sean Doyle. Eoin Dunne, Anthony Dwyer, Thomas Furlong, Jake Galvin, David Griffiths, Matthew Griffiths, Stephen Hendy. James Holmes, Ciaran Kavanagh, Sean Killoran, Lukas Kinsella, Aaron Lett, Jack McKeon, Sean Meleady, Harry Murphy, Kevin O’Brien, Sean O’Connor, Aidan O’Gara, Jack Power, Reece Price, Conor Robinson, Max Ryan, Joel Shanks, Oliver Shannon, Niall Sheahan, Kyle Slator, Tom Stokes, Lewis Sunderland, Sean Traynor.

COACHES – Garry Doyle, Simon O’Hara, Sean O’Boyle, Bernie Bass
CAPTAIN – Joe Muarry
SQUAD – Dan Hughes, Barry Dunne, Donal Kealy, Hugh Greaney, Zach Evans, Conor Coogan, Ronan Bass, Joe Greene, Marcus Bowen, Marcus Trait, Mark Power, David Langton, Joe Muarry, Max Coffey, Jamie O’Brien, John Drennan, Dan Ring, Sean Dunne, Ben Crow, Liam Thompson, Adam Mathews-Downing, Diarmuid Mathews-Downing, Caleb Hogan-Eyre, James Coogan, Ruaidhri Galwey, William Nugent, Sean Knox, Cameron McFarlane, Finn Hogan, Alex Reynolds, Josh Dennehy

COACHES – Daniel McHugh (head coach), Micheál Bannon, Jimmy Murphy (Manager).
CAPTAIN – Lolu Adejinmi.
SQUAD – Kevin Byrne, Eoin Murtagh, Jack Patton, Lolu Adejimin, Ryan D’Arcy, Sam O’Rourke, Daniel Egan, Seamus Hanley, Jude O’Rourke, David Bannon, Sam Mills, John Boyle, Padraig Boyle, Stephen Sheridan, Ryan Britton, David Sullivan, James Grehan, Joel Gilanders, Ciaran McNally, Adam Glennon, Dan Devlin, Darragh Caslin, Diarmuid Caslin.

COACHES – Clare O’Brien, Peter McKenna, Tony Doolan.
CAPTAIN – Ross Ashmore.
SQUAD – Michael Murtagh, Hugh Rock Maxwell, Ciaran Geoghan, Paulie Farrell, Ciaran Byrne, Tom Svienty, Michael Kenny, Raivo Belkovskis, Conor O´Malley, Cian Walsh, Cormac Oakes, Jack Boyan, Max Ripley, Ross Ashmore, Ciaran McKenna, Dave Williams, Liam Bridgeman, Sean Darcy, Stefan Pedukic, Oisin McGauran, Conor Moore, Jude Auld, Louie Greene, Dylan Briody, Darragh Lynch, Jason Reilly, Michael Curley, Paulius Daugela, Jack Forde.

COACHES – John Sheehan (head coach), Joe Colfer, Cian Leame, Alan Burke (Manager).
CAPTAIN – Jude Kehoe.
SQUAD – Jude Kehoe, George Cosgrave, Ben Ashby, Jamie McGuirk, Dylan Duffy, Gavin Duffy, Shay Duffy, Tadgh Reid, Padraic Cullen, Roan Aherne, Daniel Muldoon, Oisin Bolger, Thomas Costello, Alex Craig, Charlie Morrissey, Scott Cooke, Scott Whelan, Aaron Humphreys, Jack Dempsey, Jack Osborne, Jack Byrne, Jake Bourke, Eanna Duffy, Harry Dunne, Cameron Lythe, Daire McDonnell, David Weld, Lochlann Cawley, John Murray, Conor Smyth, Zach Kennedy, Rian Scully, Padraic Quinn and Philip Byrne.

COACHES – Gerry Sweeney (head coach) Peter Clarke, Bernard De Beer.
CAPTAIN – Oisin Heffernan.
SQUAD – Oisin Heffernan, Conor Brady, Daragh Nangle, Kyle Callan, Evin Hartnett, Allesandro Maltese, Josh Smith, Michael Farrell, Max Shivmangal, Cillian Sweeney, Conor Browne, Finn McNally, Cian Egan, Jamie Callaghan, Billy O’Neill, Shane O’Connor, Noah Kavanagh, MacDara De Paor, Cian O’Sullivan, Harry Cahill, Alex Barrett, Matthew Conlon, Joshua Williamson, Pierre Walton, Mark Jordan, Jack Owens, Adam O’Sullivan, Mathew Clinton.

COACHES – Darren McNamara, John Delaney, Brendan Heffernan, Brendan Burke.
CAPTAIN – Jack McNamara.
SQUAD – Alex Mullins, Kevin Barry, Kevin Bourke, Jack Byrne, Sam Carey, Rian Carroll, Aran Corcoran, Matthew Costello, Paddy Crampton, Robert Crampton, Liam Delaney, Max Delaney, Adrian Dockery, Patrick Dooley, Kealan Franks, James Grey, James Grogan, Rugare Havetitya, Caelum Larkin, Shane Maher, Cormac Murray, Adam Pardy-Power, Joseph Stapleton, Ryan Stone, Jamie Tallon, Paul Tallon, Gary Wallace, James Ryan, Jack McNamara.

COACHES – John Burns (head coach), Ciaran Ennis, Tom Dully, Robbie Champ, Pat Scully, P.J. Crowley (Manager).
CAPTAIN – Darragh Brennan.
SQUAD – James Buckley, John Gannon Guilfoyle, Ryan O’Keefe, Adam Carthy, Darragh Brennan, David O’Rourke, Alex Kelly, Tom O’Shaughnessy, John Colgan, Emmet Dunne, Tadgh Dowdall, Ciarán Crowley, Adam Molloy, Peter Feely, Rory Lynch, Jack Bates, Simon Drea, Páidí Farrell, Séan Brennan, Jimmy Hyland, Andrew Jaffray, Dáire Early, Dean Broderick, Oisin Murphy, Feidhlim Moran, Jack Burns.

COACHES – Denis O’Brien, Thomas Fereira, Peter Lawless, Derek Hughes, Alan Byrne, Tony Nolan, Dionne Byrne.
SQUAD – Harry Agar, Aidan Brophy, Darren Maher, Thomas Nolan, Iarla Osman, Jaden Qin, Oskar Sitarz, Michael Ryan, Cathal Gorman, Peter Burgess, Sean Smith, Max Coulahan, Thomas Fitzgerald Rogers, Dumiso Siziba, Stephen Doyle, Adam Denton, James Walshe, Jimmy Mallin, Aaron Metcalfe, Clark Burgess, Fionn Hickey, Ben Lawless, Ryan Byrne, Tom Byrne, Tom Hughes, Conor Elliot, Shane Murphy, Adam Nolan, Adam Burgess, Rory McColl, Cameron Ferreira, Conor Kelly, Shane Cormican, Jack O’Brien, Tom Dillion.

COACHES – James O’Connor, Aidan Buckley, Noel Richards, Brian Hogan, Sheila Gaynor (Manager).
CO-CAPTAINS – Pearse Conway, Connor Fahy.
SQUAD – Jack Berry, Ash Cernius, Pearse Conway, Jack Cullen, Daniel Doyle, James Doran, Paidi Doyle, Pearce Doyle, Connor Fahy, Daniel Furlong, Cillian Gondard, Dermot Hogan, Christy Joss, Alex Kiedrowski, Jake Kavanagh, Sean Logue, Diarmuid Murtagh, Evan Murphy, Jimmy Murray, William Miller, William Murphy, Alex O’Connor, Fionn O’Callaghan, Jack Quigley, Hugh Roche, Joshua Rossiter. Joshua Botha, Sam Turner. Duncan Wratten, Sean Whelan.

COACHES: Andrew Flood, Graham Burleigh, Johnny Hopkins, Dylan Byrne.
CAPTAIN: Conor Luddy.
SQUAD: Conor Luddy, Alek Richardson, Scott Fitzpatrick, Finn Fitzpatrick, Adam Ralph, Oisin Beirne, Jack O’Neill, Euan Gallagher Doyle, Jack Noble, Justin Lowe, Conor Mitchell, Charlie O’Boyle, Jack Nestor, Ben Cross, Stephen Duke, Eamonn Goddard, Ryan McConnell, Ivan Mackey, Shane Carlin, Liam Nicholson, PJ Jameson.