The Early Days at Lansdowne Road
Leinster Rugby are one of the most succesful rugby clubs in Europe right now. To some people it is hard to believe that Leinster were once very average. Their old stadium was Landsdowne Road which was very small and was full of terraces and could only hold a couple of thousand people. The early legends that played there include the likes of Felipe Contepomi, Bernard Jackman and Shane Horgan.
Glory days at RDS
Ever since moving to the RDS Leinster have become a powerhouse in European Rugby. They are now 3x Heineken Cup Champions beating Leicester Tigers in 2010,Northampton in 2011 and Ulster in 2012.
Since becoming Heineken Cup Champions, many players have requested to join Leinster. Isa Nacewa was a great signing in 2008. He could play on the wing or full back. He could have played for Ireland but unfortunately was subbed on for Fiji for two minutes! He is now retired.
The newest signings for Leinster are Sean Cronnin,Zayn Kirchner Jimmy Gopperth Mike Mc Carthy and Kane Douglas.
Sean Cronin is a hooker (no.2) who was recently recruited from Connacht. Hookers are the players who throw the ball in for a line out. They are also at the front of a scrum. Don't be fooled though he is probably the quickest and slimmest hookers you will ever see! He was part of the winning Six Nations squad in 2014.
Zane Kirchner was signed in 2013. He has played for South Africa (The Springboks) many times. He is still quite young but has a lot of experience. Like Isa Nacewa he too can play Full Back or on the Wing. He is known for his crazy hair aswell. He has not made a huge impact but I think he can be a huge asset to Leinster Rugby.
Jimmy Gopperth was snatched up from Newcastle Falcons in 2013. He has replaced Jonothan Sexton who you will read about very soon. Gopperth is one of Leinster's current superstars and hopefully he will stay put........................ unlike Jonothan Sexton!
Mike Mc Carthy
Mike Mc Carthy was signed in 2013. Like Sean Cronin he was signed from Connacht. Mc Carthy can play in the second row either No.4 or No.5. His speciality is the choke tackle which is very simple but effective. He has not yet burst onto the scene of Irish rugby but if he continues to impress, he will become a star.
Kane Douglas was signed in 2014. He is a second row from Australia and is very experienced. Only in his mid 20's he has been capped many times for one of the best countries in world rugby.
In 2012 Leinster's hearts were broken when Jonathan Sexton left the club. He went to Racing Metro 92 in France. The youngster had come through the ranks of the academy and is now one of the finest fly half's in the world.His place was filled by his so called " Apprentice " Ian Madigan and new signing Jimmy Gopperth.
COME BACK JONNY!!!!
The Three Musketeers
In its time Leinster have had some great head coaches. I have hand picked the three most successful of those. My first one is Michael Cheika, without him Leinster would still be an average team. He won Leinster's first ever Heineken Cup and for that he deserves a great deal of thanks. He currently manages Stade Francais in France. The most succesful head coach yet is New Zealand born Joe Schmidt. At his time at the club he won two Heineken Cup's, The Rabo Direct Pro 12 and The Amlin Challenge Cup. He is now the irish coach and won The RBS Six Nations in his first year, well don Joe!!!! The last coach is the current one Matt O'Connor. In his first year he reached The Heineken Cup Quater-Final and won The British and Irish Cup and The Rabo Direct Pro 12.
Leinster Rugby play there home games at The RDS or proparly known as The Royal Dublin Society. The stadium also is famous for hosting showjumping events and occasionally concerts. Sometimes Heineken Cup games are hosted in The Aviva Stadium. Last year the Heineken Cup final was hosted there and typically no Irish team made it to the final!
Leinster's home kit has always been and always will be a traditional shade of dark blue. Meanwhile their away jersey is normally white. And Leinster's Heineken Cup jersey is chopped and changed quite a bit. What your about to see is Leinster's set of jerseys for the 2013/14 season in order of home,away and Heineken Cup jersey.
Here are the list of trophies Leinster Rugby has won:
Heineken Cup x3
Rabo Direct Pro 12 x2
Magners League x1
Celtic League x1
British and Irish Cup x2
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