Monday 17 December 2018

Former Wasps wing among eight new members of Leinster Academy while flanker Connors signs senior contract

Aaron O'Sullivan
Aaron O'Sullivan

Sam Roberts

Leinster Rugby have confirmed Irish-qualified back three player Aaron O'Sullivan will be one of eight players to join the Leinster Academy ahead of the 2018/19 season.

O'Sullivan made his senior debut for English Premiership side Wasps in an Anglo-Welsh Cup match against Newcastle Falcons in November last year, and it had long been rumoured that he was planning a move from the English club's academy to Leinster.

Jack Dunne, Harry Byrne and Michael Silvester were all part of the Ireland squad that competed in the U20 World Championships in France earlier this month, and will also enter their first year of the three-year academy system at the start of next season.

St Micheal's College standouts Ryan Baird and Scott Penney also join the set-up, while Michael Milne from Roscrea and Patrick Patterson from UCD complete next year's class of young players to join Leinster's famous academy system.

Leinster also confirmed that Will Connors has been awarded a professional contract with the first team, and will be one of five Academy players to graduate to the senior side next season.

Vakh Abdaladze, Caelan Doris, Jordan Larmour and Josh Murphy are the other final-year academy players already awarded contracts with the senior side.

Props Oisin Heffernan and Jeremy Loughman will be making the move to Nottingham and Munster respectively, while four other players will be leaving the academy system, including Ireland Sevens internationals Ian Fitzpatrick and Terry Kennedy.

Leinster Rugby Academy Manager Peter Smyth welcomed the new arrivals, and also paid tribute to the group of players departing without a senior contract.

“We are delighted to confirm these players as new additions to the Academy for next season," Smyh said.

“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.”

Leinster Rugby Academy 2018/19

Confirmed Departures:

Ian Fitzpatrick

Oisin Heffernan (to Nottingham Rugby)

Terry Kennedy

Jeremy Loughman (to Munster Rugby)

Sean McNulty

Charlie Rock

Year Three:

Hugo Keenan

Jack Kelly

Conor O’Brien

Jimmy O’Brien

Year Two:

Jack Aungier

Oisín Dowling

Ciarán Frawley

Rónan Kelleher

Gavin Mullin

Tommy O’Brien

Hugh O’Sullivan

Year One:

Ryan Baird

Harry Byrne

Jack Dunne

Aaron O’Sullivan

Michael Milne

Patrick Patterson

Scott Penney

Michael Silvester

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