Dublin-based Leinster are one of four Irish professional sides competing in Europe’s premier competitions, and have become one of the true power-houses of northern hemisphere rugby. Based at the 18,500 seater RDS Arena they also use the Aviva Stadium on occasion, with its 51,700 capacity allowing them greater scope to host important matches.
While the original uniform of Leinster Rugby sides was predominantly green the side now plays in a kit that is blue and gold and features a logo in the shape of a harp. The side has it’s origins in 1875, when the four provincial unions of Ireland first competed against one another. The club was originally known as the ‘Leinster Lions’ during its early days as a professional entity, and while the name has since been shortened Leo the Lion has remained as the club mascot.
In recent years Leinster has reigned supreme both locally and in the wider European-based competitions, snaring the Heineken Cup title in 2009, 2011 and 2012 and finishing first or second in the Celtic League/Pro12 competition on 6 occasions since 2002.
From a list of esteemed players none stand out more than Brian O’Driscoll, the player regarded as one of Irish Rugby’s best of all time, and a man whose loyalty to the club has never been questioned. Leinster has also hosted some notable foreigners in their time, including All Black Brad Thorn, Wallabies’ loose forwards Rocky Elsom and Owen Finegan, and gigantic South African prop Ollie Le Roux.