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Leinster sign three Ireland U20 players up as part of academy intake for 2018/19

Six players have left the system, while Will Connors has been awarded a senior contract.

THREE MEMBERS OF Ireland’s U20 World Championship squad have been awarded places in the Leinster academy for next season, with the province today announcing its roster for the 2018/19 campaign.

Michael Silvester Michael Silvester impressed for Ireland U20s last season. Source: World Rugby Pool Pics/Pascal Rodriguez/INPHO

Michael Silvester, Jack Dunne and Harry Byrne are among a group of eight players who will begin pre-season with Leinster next month, entering the first of three years in the academy system.

There is a notable inclusion in Ireland underage international Aaron O’Sullivan, who has been recruited from Wasps having made his senior debut for the Aviva Premiership side back in November.

The back-three player lined up against a Leinster U18 club side last summer for an Exile XV, impressing in a 29-24 win for the visitors at Donnybrook.

St Michael’s College duo Ryan Baird and Scott Penney were two of the standout performers in last season’s Leinster Senior Schools Cup and go straight into the academy having completed their Leaving Certificate.

Tighthead prop Michael Milne made a big impression at schools level with Roscrea while scrum-half Patrick Patterson is also recruited after playing for UCD last term.

“We are delighted to confirm these players as new additions to the academy for next season,” Leinster academy manager Peter Smyth 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.”

Ryan Baird Ryan Baird is a powerful and athletic second row. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Leinster, meanwhile, have also confirmed the departure of six players from their academy system, while flanker Will Connors — who made three Pro14 appearances last year — has been awarded a senior contract for next season.

Connors becomes the fifth player to graduate from the academy after it was confirmed last month that Vakh Abdaladze, Caelan Doris, Jordan Larmour and Josh Murphy will all start the new season on their first professional contracts.

Oisin Heffernan is leaving for Nottingham, Jeremy Loughman for Munster and Ian Fitzpatrick, Terry Kennedy, Sean McNulty and Charlie Rock have left to pursue other opportunities.

Smyth added: “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 academy 2018/19:

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
Michael Milne
Aaron O’Sullivan
Patrick Patterson
Scott Penney
Michael Silvester.

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