Sunday 24 September 2017

Independent.ie readers have chosen the greatest Leinster team of the professional era - who makes the cut?

Independent.ie readers have voted for their greatest Leinster team of the professional era.
Independent.ie readers have voted for their greatest Leinster team of the professional era.
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

More than 20,000 votes were submitted by Independent.ie readers and we can now reveal the 15 players that have been voted in Leinster's greatest team of the professional era.

Last week we asked readers to make their selections and 20,408 votes later the team chosen is a formidable one.

While some players dominated voting in their respective positions (Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy and Cian Healy), there was serious competition on the wings, in the second row and for the number two jersey..

Here is the team as selected by our readers.

15. Rob Kearney

Girvan Dempsey was an incredible servant to the province, but the Louth man claimed more than three-quarters of the vote.

2015-01-08_spo_5978420_I1.png
Rob Kearney

14. Shane Horgan

Only six percent separated the Irish winger with the ultra-consistent Isa Nacewa for the right wing slot.

horgan.jpg
Shane Horgan,

13. Brian O'Driscoll

The only surprise was that the three-time Heineken Cup winner only received 98pc of the vote.

BOD72.jpg
Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll celebrates with team-mates Ian Madigan, left, and Cian Healy after the game

12. Gordon D'Arcy

One of the most complete midfield partnerships to grace the professional game, D'Arcy was a shoe-in to partner O'Driscoll.

2014-10-02_spo_3675026_I3.png
Gordon D'Arcy

11. Denis Hickie

With 84pc of the votes the speed merchant was well ahead of Luke Fitzgerald for the number 11 jersey.

images.jpg

10. Jonathan Sexton

Felipe Contepomi will always hold a place in Leinster hearts, but he was no match in the poll for the returning Jonathan Sexton.

753321.jpg
Jonathan Sexton

9. Eoin Reddan

He didn't start in the Champions Cup semi-final defeat to Toulon, but 76pc of readers feel Limerick-born Reddan has been the best number nine over the past 20 years.

SPT_2014-04-02_SPO_062_31201081_I1.JPG
Leinster scrum-half Eoin Reddan

1. Cian Healy

The powerhouse of a prop claimed 92pc of the public vote.

SPT_2014-04-05_SPO_071_31235930_I1.JPG
Leinster need Cian Healy firing on all cylinders if they’re to trump Toulon on their own patch

2. Shane Byrne

One of the most competitive selection calls, the hooker finished ahead of Sean Cronin and Richardt Strauss.

byrne.jpg
Shane Byrne

3. Mike Ross

Stan Wright made his mark during his time at Donnybrook, but Mike Ross has been the cornerstone of both the Ireland and Leinster scrum for some time.

2015-04-10_spo_8468133_I1.png
Mike Ross

4. Leo Cullen

The current Leinster forwards coach edged past Malcolm O'Kelly and Nathan Hines to take the number four jersey.

SPT_20130828_SRB_062_28737900_I1.JPG
Leo Cullen underwent surgery on his Achilles last week

5. Brad Thorn

Another one of the foreign import success stories. The fearsome lock mad e a huge impression on his team-mates, supporters and most importantly, his opponents.

BradThornLeinster2012_large.jpg

6. Rocky Elsom

The Australian only had one year with Leinster, but what a year it was. Eric Miller finished second with six percent of the votes to illustrate how highly thought of the flanker was during the 2008/09 season.

SPT_20130620_SRE_064_27997531_I1.JPG
Rocky Elsom with team-mate Brian O'Driscoll in 2009

7. Sean O'Brien

The Tullow Tank, when fit and available, has been one of the province's star performers over the past three or four years. A bruising and versatile backrower.

2015-04-17_spo_8440074_I1.JPG
Leinster and Ireland rugby star Sean O'Brien

8. Jamie Heaslip

Victor Costello served the number eight jersey with distinction but Jamie Heaslip has arguably been the most consistent Irish rugby player over the past decade. Rarely injured and rarely fails to deliver.

heaslip_app.jpg
Leinster's Jamie Heaslip

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport