Leinster Rugby have this morning introduced their coaching team for the season ahead in the Tallaght Stadium, the venue for their upcoming Bank of Ireland pre-season friendly against Ulster on Saturday, 30th August.
Head Coach Matt O’Connor was joined by Team Manager Guy Easterby, Forwards Coach Leo Cullen, Assistant Coach Richie Murphy and Scrum Coach Marco Caputo as they outlined their vision for the season ahead.
“Last season was a season of huge positives for us as a group,” said O’Connor, “but like all teams there are also work ons for us and we have been very focused in our pre-season preparations in terms of where we want to be as a group come the end of the season.
“New additions to the squad like Sean McCarthy and the players stepping up from the Academy have settled very well and are making an impact, while we are obviously looking forward to Kane Douglas and Ben Te’o joining us when their respective contracts come to an end.”
However the games can’t come quick enough for O’Connor, starting this Saturday away to Northampton.
“While the training has been very good and intense, you want to play games and it’s great to get two high profile games ahead of the season. Northampton will provide a good test for us on Saturday. Going to the reigning Amlin Cup and Aviva Premiership champions is an ideal season opener for our boys and then to back that up with a game against Ulster is perfect preparation ahead of the visit to Glasgow in the Guinness PRO12.”
The opportunity to play in Tallaght Stadium against Ulster has also been well received by coaches and players alike.
“Some of the players have played there before and the facilities, the surface and the atmosphere are all superb so it’s a venue that they like to play in. The players have really enjoyed training in Gorey and in Ashbourne over the last few weeks and the chance to play in Tallaght is another extension of that and bringing Leinster Rugby to other places in the province.”
In front of a packed Blue Room in the Tallaght venue, Leinster Rugby CEO Mick Dawson also looked forward to the new season and outlined a number of new initiatives on the commercial front.
“I wish Matt and the coaching team the very best of luck for the season ahead. Matt has assembled a very good group of coaches around him and we are looking forward to supporting them all over the coming months. Guy, Leo and Richie, we are all familiar with but a special welcome to Marco who I know has settled very well already.
“Overall, the pre-season programme has gone very well. We had two very successful open training sessions in Ashbourne RFC and in Gorey RFC and bringing the Ulster friendly to the Tallaght Stadium is another element of that for us. As Matt already alluded to, bringing Leinster Rugby training sessions and games out and about and interacting with supporters all over the province.
“We are delighted to once again be in a position to host Munster Rugby in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 4th October and those tickets go on sale today at 2pm to the general public but we are also launching a new demand based model for ticket sales.
“In summary this will incentivise our supporters to buy early to get the best seats at the best prices for all our home games. Our season ticket will still be the best value offering and we look forward to working closely with the Official Leinster Supporters Club in getting that message across.”
Tickets for the Bank of Ireland pre-season game against Ulster on Saturday, 30th August in the Tallaght Stadium are still on sale at www.leinsterrugby.ie/tickets while tickets for the upcoming Guinness PRO12 games against Scarlets, Cardiff, Munster and Edinburgh will also be on sale from 2pm today.