Jump to main content


Squads Announced For O2 Challenge

Squads Announced For O2 Challenge

Some of the finest emerging young players in Irish rugby will be the envy of many when they get the opportunity to be part of the first game to be played at the new Aviva Stadium on Saturday, July 31.

The O2 Challenge match will be played between two composite teams selected of young players from the Irish provinces with a Leinster-Ulster team to play a Connacht-Munster selection.

Leinster and Ulster were the first representative teams to play at the old Lansdowne Road nearly 134 years ago on December 16, 1876.  

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

While they were rivals for that match, they will be joining forces on this occasion which will allow rugby stakeholders the chance to be the first to experience a game at the Aviva Stadium.

Already over 40,000 tickets have been snapped up for the game and are priced at only €;10 for entry to the Aviva Stadium, with a limited number still available for purchase online  – click here.

Primarily selected from the current Academies in each of the provinces, the Leinster-Ulster team will be guided by former Irish internationals and Ulster Academy coaches Johnny Bell and Gary Longwell, alongside Leinster Academy coach Colin McEntee.

The Connacht-Munster team will be coached by Connacht’s Nigel Carolan and Munster Academy coaches Ken O’Connell and Ian Sherwin.

The squads are littered with players earmarked as possible provincial and international stars of the future and some have already reached representative honours.

Sam Coghlan Murray, Danny Qualter, Shane Buckley, Paddy Jackson, Aaron Conneely and James Rael were all members of the Ireland Under-18 Schools team during the 2009/10 season just past, with Conor Carey and second row Aaron Spring featuring in the Ireland Under-18 schools team the previous season, while Gareth Quinn-McDonogh was a member of the Ireland Under-20 squad that won the Six Nations Championship last season. 

Andrew Boyle and Jonny Murphy both lined out for the Ireland U-18 Clubs side this season, while Callum Boland and Shane Leydon are two of a number of players to have represented the Ireland U-18 Clubs side in the past.

The teams for the game will be announced in the week ahead of the game.

LEINSTER-ULSTER Squad (O2 Challenge, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, July 31):

Andrew Boyle (Leinster)
Conor Carey (Ulster)
Paddy Carroll (Leinster)
Sam Coughlan Murray (Leinster)
Peter du Toit (Leinster)
Craig Gilroy (Ulster)
Ian Henderson (Ulster)
Robert Hynes (Leinster)
Paddy Jackson (Ulster)
Alex Kelly (Leinster)
Stephen Lecky (Ulster)
Paddy Marks (Ulster)
Cathal Marsh (Leinster)
Luke Marshall (Ulster)
Michael McAuley (Ulster)
Mark McGroarty (Leinster)
David McGuigan (Ulster)
Emmet McMahon (Leinster)
Martin Moore (Leinster)
Jonny Murphy (Ulster)
Conor Spence (Ulster)
James Tracy (Leinster) 

Leinster-Ulster Management –

Johnny Bell (Coach)
Colin McEntee (Coach)
Gary Longwell  (Manager)
John McKibben (Manager)
Dave Fagan (Fitness Advisor)
Emma Gallivan (Physiotherapist)
Jessica O’Brien (Squad Co-ordinator)

CONNACHT-MUNSTER Squad (O2 Challenge, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, July 31):

Ronan Barry (Munster)
Callum Boland (Connacht)
Shane Buckley (Munster)
Shane Leydon (Connacht)
Luke Cahill (Munster)
Aaron Conneely (Connacht)
Jack Costigan (Munster)
Mark Dolan (Connacht)
Johnny Holland (Munster)
Daniel Horgan (Munster)
Lucas Kunz (Munster)
Tadhg Leader Connacht)
Eoin McKeon (Connacht)
Ian Mullarkey (Munster)
Paul Mullen (Munster)
Rob O’Herlihy (Munster)
Danny Qualter (Connacht)
Gareth Quinn-McDonogh (Munster)
James Rael (Munster)
Ben Sargent (Munster)
Aaron Spring (Connacht)
Kieran Stokes (Munster)
Sean Wooton (Connacht) 

Connacht-Munster Management –

Nigel Carolan (Coach)
Ken O’Connell (Coach)
Ian Sherwin (Manager)
Antoine Mobian (Fitness advisor)
Paudie Roche (Fitness advisor)
Damien Mordan (Physiotherapist)
Nicola Lyons (Squad Co-ordinator)

Related Links –

Buy tickets for the O2 Challenge – click here.

In Pics: Aviva Stadium Official Opening

Stadium Map – click here