Leinster Junior squad confirmed ahead of interpro series
April 21, 2022 11:41 am Site Editor
The Leinster Rugby Junior team return to Interprovincial action this weekend, following a Covid-enforced break of three years.
The championship was placed on ice since Leinster last won the title in 2019. Now the long wait is over as the Leinster Juniors return to action this year.
They kick off their campaign with a trip to Carrickfergus RFC on Saturday, 23 April, to face Ulster (KO 2.30pm).
That’s followed by another away day, this time against Connacht on April 30 before wrapping up the series against Munster at New Ross RFC on May 7.
Robert McDermott is back for another season as Team Manager and he’s looking forward to this year’s campaign.
He says: “The Leinster Junior team finally took to the pitch on March 9 in Newbridge RFC after 34 months of waiting. The last time the Juniors were on a pitch was in Dundalk in May 2019 where we retained the Interprovincial Championship.
“We are delighted to be back and there has been a great buy in from the players and we had 70 nominations from all the clubs across the province. It was a tough job narrowing the squad down to 35 and all the players deserve great credit for their commitment as they have to jump into their cars after a long day at work to make training. Last weekend we had a training camp in Tullow RFC, and we are grateful to them for their hospitality.”
A former Leinster Branch President, McDermott is joined in the Leinster set up by Cill Dara’s Enda Finn who returns as Head Coach. Maurice Logue of Tullow RFC is back as senior coach. Joe Duffy (Wicklow RFC) returns as Assistant Coach and he is joined by former Leinster Junior player Corey Carty (Co Carlow FC) who has come on board the coaching set-up. Ken Knaggs returns as scrum coach.
The coaches and management have been working hard over the past number of months to ensure that the Leinster Juniors make a successful return. As part of their preparation, the Leinster team have played matches against the Ireland Police team and the Irish Defence Forces team.
Captain for this year’s Junior team is Kilkenny RFC’s Wes Carter, fresh from a Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup win with his club.
“For me Junior rugby is all about representing your local club and I am extremely proud to represent Kilkenny RFC,” he says.
“The club continues to go from strength to strength and the future is very bright. To have the avenue to represent your province from there, is something that Junior players across the country relish.
“My first year with the Juniors was 2016, six years later now and I can’t wait for the 2022 campaign to start. The last two years in particular with the Juniors have been some of the most enjoyable rugby I have played. Winning trophies in rugby is rare but the interprovincial series provides the opportunity to do that.
“We have been delighted to win the last two series and are under no illusions how difficult this year will be. When Enda called me about captaincy, it was an immediate yes, as a group we are really looking forward to the 2022 campaign. Leading the Leinster Juniors out will be an extremely proud day for me. It’s great to have the series back after two years off with Covid.”
Leinster Junior team v Ulster Rugby:
15. Robbie Vallejo (Boyne RFC) VICE-CAPTAIN
14. Eddie Weaver (Seapoint)
13. Ciaran Fennessy (Athy RFC)
12. Matt McKenna (Seapoint)
11. Caomhán Brennan (Co Carlow FC)
10. Craig Miller (Athy RFC)
9. Tristan Brady (Monkstown FC)
1. Eoin Walsh (Gorey RFC)
2. Gordon Shannon (Cill Dara RFC)
3. Dylan Casey (Edenderry RFC)
4. Wes Carter (Kilkenny RFC) CAPTAIN
5. Thomas Culleton (Suttonians RFC)
6. James Ryan (New Ross RFC) VICE-CAPTAIN
7. Ruadhán McDonnell (Monkstown FC)
8. Tom Tracey (Newbridge RFC)
16. Will Jennings (Newbridge RFC)
17. Martin Murphy (Monkstown FC)
18. Michael Tracey (Roscrea RFC)
19. JJ McIlwrath (Cill Dara RFC)
20. Rory Hennessy (Boyne RFC)
21. Jack McDonald (Tullow RFC)
22. Ben Watson (Wicklow RFC)
23. Nick Smith (Boyne RFC)
Junior Interprovincial Fixtures 2022
Saturday, 23 April: Ulster v Leinster – Carrickfergus RFC (KO 2.30pm)
Saturday, 30 April: Connacht v Leinster – Buccaneers RFC (KO 2.30pm)
Saturday, 7 May: Leinster v Munster – New Ross RFC (KO 2.30pm)
Full Leinster Rugby Junior Squad
Craig Miller (Athy RFC), Ciaran Fennessy (Athy RFC), Cal O’Connor (Balbriggan RFC), Paul O’Connor (Balbriggan RFC), Nick Smith (Boyne RFC), Rory Hennessy (Boyne RFC), Robbie Vallejo (Boyne RFC), Caomhán Brennan (Co Carlow FC), Daniel Crotty (Co Carlow FC), JJ McIlwrath (Cill Dara RFC), Gordon Shannon (Cill Dara RFC), Dylan Caey (Edenderry RFC), Andrew Walsh (Gorey RFC), Eoin Walsh (Gorey RFC), Fionn O’Loughlin (Gorey RFC), Mikey Duke (Gorey RFC), Wes Carter (Kilkenny RFC), Jake McDonald (Kilkenny RFC), Martin Murphy (Monkstown FC), Ruadhán McDonnell (Monkstown FC), Tristan Brady (Monkstown FC), James Ryan (New Ross RFC), Will Jennings (Newbridge RFC), Tom Tracey (Newbridge RFC), Michael Tracey (Roscrea RFC), Zach Jungmann (Seapoint), Eddie Weaver (Seapoint), Matt McKenna (Seapoint), John O’Brien (Suttonians RFC), Thomas Culleton (Suttonians RFC), Jordan Leybourne (Tullow RFC), Jack McDonald (Tullow RFC), Stevie Smith (Tullow RFC), Ben Watson (Wicklow RFC), David Nicholson (Wicklow RFC).
Enda Finn (Cill Dara RFC) – Head Coach
Maurice Logue (Tullow RFC) – Assistant Coach
Joe Duffy (Wicklow RFC) – Assistant Coach
Corey Carty (Co Carlow FC) – Assistant Coach
Eoin Stanley (MU Barnhall RFC) – Performance Coach
Ken Knaggs – Scrum Coach
Robert McDermott (Edenderry RFC) – Manager
Damien Curley (Longford RFC) – Logistics
Bláithín Brady (Monkstown FC) – Physio Support
Dr Maurice Carroll (Edenderry RFC)- Team Doctor
Caroline McFadden (Balbriggan RFC) – PRO