The RDS and Leinster Rugby have this morning confirmed a new 25-year agreement that will see the RDS Arena continue to be the home of Leinster Rugby.

The first Leinster Rugby game to be played at the iconic Ballsbridge stadium was in September 2005 when Leinster beat Cardiff Rugby 34-15.

It wasn’t until two years later that the first lease was signed, and the venue became Leinster’s permanent home venue. The team duly celebrated the partnership and their new home with a 23-8 win against Edinburgh Rugby in September 2007.

The new agreement, announced today, provides clarity and secures the RDS Arena as the home for current and future Leinster Rugby fans, as well as the team and the Leinster Rugby Branch.

Leinster Rugby CEO, Mick Dawson, said, “The decision to move to the RDS Arena in 2007, is one of the best decisions Leinster Rugby ever made.

“We had a brilliant home down in Donnybrook but for us to grow as a club, as an organisation, we needed a bigger ground and better facilities and that is what we got with the RDS Arena.

“It’s not just about the ground though, as the RDS, as an organisation, have been a brilliant partner over the last 15 years and I am delighted that we have agreed new terms that provides clarity and certainty for Leinster Rugby supporters and for the club for the years ahead.

“It’s a hugely exciting time on and off the pitch and I am confident that in early 2023, we will be able to provide a further update, together with the RDS, on the next stage of our plans for the RDS Arena.

“Today is about securing the future, first and foremost, and I am very grateful to Geraldine Ruane, and the RDS Executive, for their help in getting this finalised.”

Speaking about the new partnership RDS CEO, Geraldine Ruane said, “Our relationship with Leinster Rugby really is a true partnership which has grown from strength to strength over the last 15 years and it is great that today we are announcing a further deepening of our partnership for the next 25 years.

“Leinster Rugby fans have truly embraced the RDS as their home and we are always looking at ways to enhance the fans’ experience and the new fan zone, The Laighin Den, is another great example of our partnership.

“I would like to thank Mick Dawson, and all the team in Leinster Rugby who have helped to make this agreement happen and I would also like to wish Mick all the very best in his retirement as CEO of Leinster Rugby. He leaves with an outstanding legacy.”

Since 2007, the RDS Arena has hosted the majority of Leinster Rugby’s home games in domestic competitions, in addition to the Heineken Champions Cup, as well as hosting the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Schools Senior Cup Final each year.

It has hosted a number of show-piece finals with Leinster Rugby winning the PRO14 Final in 2021 against Munster, the PRO12 Final against Glasgow in 2014 and the PRO12 and Challenge Cup Finals in 2013.

The RDS Arena has also hosted high-profile concerts and events, such as FAI Cup Finals, the Special Olympics and of course, the annual Dublin Horse Show.