This time last year Adam Byrne, Ross Byrne, Joey Carbery, Tom Daly and Rory O’Loughlin shared just eight senior Leinster Rugby appearances between them.

All five have made great strides this season, with Daly and O’Loughlin making their senior debuts and four of the five also starting games in the Champions Cup.

Ross Byrne, Carbery and O’Loughlin have also been awarded senior contracts for next season, along with four other Academy players.

Leinster Rugby Academy

Speaking at the launch of Rugby Players Ireland – the new name for IRUPA – Johnny Sexton highlighted the impact that these young players have had this season.

“Guys have come in, like Garry Ringrose, Adam (Byrne), Locko (Rory O’Loughlin) – I thought at the start of the year we looked really thin on the ground with backs when Luke (Fitzgerald) retired and Ben Te’o left and Redser (Eoin Reddan) retired, I was thinking ‘Jesus, we’re in a bit of trouble here’.

“Rory O’Loughlin, Adam Byrne, Tom Daly, Joey Carbery have just sort of come on. Maybe it’s just that they got their chance, and maybe we could throw the young guys in a bit more, I’m not sure. But we badly needed it and thankfully they came through like they did.

“Ross (Byrne) obviously as well, and Luke McGrath, and that’s only the backs I’m talking about, so it’s been great.”

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