Munster and Leinster add four U20 Grand Slam stars to Champions Cup squads
Leinster and Munster have added players from Ireland's U20 Grand-Slam winning team to their respective squads ahead of the knock-out stages of the Heineken Champions Cup.
The U20s secured the grand slam with a 36-24 win over England and some of the team's key players have been rewarded as a result of their contributions.
Scrum half Fintan Gunne was one of the team's most impressive performers throughout the campaign and, along with centre Hugh Cooney and hooker/captain Gus McCarthy, he has been added to the Leinster squad by the team's manager Leo Cullen.
McCarthy and Cooney were both part of Blackrock College's Leinster senior cup winning team in 2022, with McCarthy having skippered the school to glory. Gunne, meanwhile, came through the St Michael's school.
Leinster will take on Ulster in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday April 1, in their eagerly anticipated round of 16 meeting. Leo Cullen will be without key men Johnny Sexton and Garry Ringrose for that game, in a blow that will test the depth of his squad.
Meanwhile, Munster boss Graham Rowntree has added two hookers to his squad in Max Clein and Danny Sheahan, with Sheahan also having been part of the under-20 Grand Slam winning team. He is a nephew of former Munster and Ireland player Frankie Sheahan.
The Champions Cup round of 16 takes place on the weekend April 1, with the fixtures as follows.
HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP – Round of 16
Friday 31 March
Leicester Tigers v Edinburgh Rugby
Saturday 1 April
Sharks v Munster
DHL Stormers v Harlequins
Leinster Rugby v Ulster Rugby
Stade Rochelais v Gloucester Rugby
Sunday 2 April
Exeter Chiefs v Montpellier
Saracens v Ospreys
Stade Toulousain v Vodacom Bulls
- Ireland vs. England: All the talking points, biggest moments and player ratings
- Garry Ringrose in the form of his life and Ireland's captain-in-waiting
- Brian O’Driscoll puts into words what whole nation is feeling about Johnny Sexton
- Peter O’Mahony’s comments on Owen Farrell should take no one by surprise
- James Lowe challenges Ireland's Grand Slam winners to scale even greater heights
- Three Ireland stars nominated for Six Nations Player of the Championship