Leinster have confirmed their Academy list for the 2018/19 season with eight new players starting pre-season training in UCD this summer.
The list of Year One players includes Michael Milne (CC Roscrea), Jack Dunne (Dublin University), Ryan Baird (St. Michael’s College), Scott Penny (St. Michael’s College), Patrick Patterson (UCD), Harry Byrne (UCD), Aaron O’Sullivan (Wasps) (pictured below) and Michael Silvester (Dublin University).
Dunne, Byrne and Silvester were all part of Noel McNamara’s Ireland Under-20 squad that competed in the recent World Rugby U-20 Championship in France. Leinster have also announced that six players are leaving the Leinster Academy system to pursue other opportunities.
Peter Smyth, the Leinster Rugby Academy Manager, said: “We are delighted to confirm these players as new additions to the Academy for next season. Having dealt with them all individually over the last few years and having seen their development at first hand, they are a credit to their families, their clubs and schools but above that to themselves.
“They have applied themselves brilliantly and I look forward to welcoming them to UCD and seeing them develop as players and as young men in a new environment.
“Finally, I’d like to thank those leaving the Academy system for their efforts over the last few years and to wish them every success with their future endeavours.”
Meanwhile, promising back rower and Ireland Sevens international Will Connors has been promoted from the Academy to Leinster’s senior set-up and becomes the fifth player to have done so ahead of the new season.
The province revealed in May that Vakh Abdaladze, Caelan Doris, Jordan Larmour and Josh Murphy had been promoted from the Academy and will start the 2018/19 season on their first professional contracts. Former Clongowes Wood College pupil Connors now joins that list.
The 22-year-old Connors made his Leinster senior debut in the GUINNESS PRO14 in February against Edinburgh and played on three occasions during the province’s PRO14 title-winning campaign.
The departing players from the Leinster Academy are: Ian Fitzpatrick, Oisin Heffernan (to Nottingham), Terry Kennedy, Jeremy Loughman (to Munster), Sean McNulty and Charlie Rock.
LEINSTER RUGBY 2018/19 ACADEMY PANEL:
Year Three –
Year Two –
Year One –