The Leinster Rugby Juniors management team have been working hard over the past few months, putting together the squad for this year’s Junior Interprovincial Series.

The team manager is former Leinster Rugby Branch President and Edenderry man Robert McDermott. The coaching line-up is led by head coach Enda Finn of Cill Dara RFC, with assistant coaches are Maurice Logue (Tullow RFC) and Eoin Sheriff (Gorey  RFC).

Sheriff, a former Leinster, Saracens and London Irish player, has been coaching with Gorey since his retirement.

“Myself and the other coaches, Maurice and Eoin, are very much looking forward to the Interprovincial Series,” Finn said ahead of this year’s campaign,”but it’s fair to say our preparations have been greatly hampered by the ‘Game of Thrones’ style never-ending winter.

“This has manifested itself in less time with players, and of course delays in the Towns Cup which has limited the number of players available for selection, who are all naturally focused on their clubs.

“Leaving those quibbles aside, we are happy with the quality of player available and we have completely refreshed the squad this year casting a very wide net and the lads involved are bringing a fantastic energy and intensity to training.

“To me, attitude is everything and I like to think we have it in abundance with this bunch of players. With Connacht and Ulster away and only one home game against Munster, it won’t be an easy series but we are confident if we can come away from Ballinrobe with the win, we will be using that as a springboard and we will be heading to Ulster in May with it all to play for.”

The squad had a training game recently against a North Midlands side and travelled to Wexford for a two-day camp. This would not have been possible without the support from all who attended the Leinster Junior dinner in January.

Almost 300 people from rugby clubs all across Leinster attended the dinner to celebrate Junior Rugby in the province and to support the Leinster Junior Interprovincial team. The dinner also saw the presentation of the inaugural Sean O’Brien Hall of Fame Award.

The team captain is Longford RFC’s Kieran O’Gorman who is in his second year playing with the Leinster Juniors.

The Junior Interprovincial series kicks off on Saturday, 28th April, with Leinster facing Connacht Juniors at Ballinrobe RFC. The following weekend, on Saturday, 5th May, Leinster will play Munster Juniors at Coolmine RFC. Then on Saturday, 12th May, the Leinster Junior team will play Ulster Juniors in their final fixture, to be played at UUC RFC (Coleraine). The kick-off time for all matches is 2.30pm.

2018 Junior Interprovincial Series – Fixtures

Saturday, 28th April (both KO 2.30pm)

Connacht Juniors v Leinster Juniors (Ballinrobe RFC)
Munster Juniors v Ulster Juniors (Muskerry RFC)

Saturday, 5th May (both KO 2.30pm)

Leinster Juniors v Munster Juniors (Coolmine RFC)
Ulster Juniors v Connacht Juniors (Ards RFC)

Saturday, 12th May (both KO 2.30pm)

Munster Juniors v Connacht Juniors (Old Christians RFC)
Ulster Juniors v Leinster Juniors (UUC RFC)

Leinster Rugby Juniors – Backroom team

Head coach – Enda Finn (Cill Dara RFC)
Assistant coach – Maurice Logue (Tullow RFC)
Assistant coach – Eoin Sheriff (Gorey RFC)
Backs coach – Paul Brady (Portlaoise RFC)
Scrum coach – Ken Knaggs (Leinster Rugby CRO)
Performance coach – Eoin Stanley (MU Barnhall RFC)
Logistics – Damien Curley (Longford RFC)
Doctor – Dr Paul Turick (Longford RFC)
Physiotherapist – Blaithin Brady (Monkstown FC)
Video analyst – Richie Nicholls (Tullow RFC)