7 Jun, 15:39
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
Leinster were formed in 1875, one of the four provincial rugby teams in Ireland. Since rugby went professional, these four teams became the four professional teams, still run by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU).
In amateur days the four provinces played against each other in the Interprovincial Championship and also played touring sides (usually midweek).
The Leinster 'Lions' roared into existence during the 2001/02 season, the result of a joint marketing initiative between Leinster Rugby and its kit sponsors, the Canterbury Clothing Company (CCC).
Leinster play in Donnybrook and have development plans to build a new 12,500 capacity stadium - from its existing 7,500 packed participating pilgrims!
The Lions train in the adjacent Old Belvedere Rugby Club and the David Lloyd Riverview Centre. 14 of the current squad are in the full Irish international squad with many others on 'A' duty.
Within Donnybrook itself there are two bars, in the Bective Rangers and Old Wesley Clubhouses. Until the new stadium is built the Lions will use Old Belvedere for pre and post match functions. Nearby bars include Kiely's (La Finezza Restaurant upstairs), Madigan's and Long's.
Jury's Burlington Hotel is also a popular watering hole and its Anabel's Nite Club is a favourite among rugby fans worldwide. Furama (Chinese), Casa Pasta (Italian) and Khan's Balti house (Indian) are across the road and three takeaways are within 5 minutes walk.
Tickets and merchandise are sold in different retail outlets both in Donnybrook and in Dublin's city centre. The Club Shop on Grafton Street and Magee's on adjacent Wicklow Street provide a comprehensive range and Elvery's on both Dawson Street and Suffolk Street are also worth a stop. On match days the Club have a retail shop at the ground - open 90 minutes before kick-off.
Should the Leinster Lions have a game at Lansdowne Road then add the Berkeley Court and Jury's Hotels, Crowe's and Paddy Cullen's to the list of bars plus the two clubhouses inside the ground at Lansdowne and Wanderers - no shortage of meeting places!
Their website, www.leinsterrugby.ie is again one of the four provincial sites, recently revamped by the IRFU.
The amateur Leinster sides previously played in a plain navy jersey with white shorts and navy socks. The Leinster Harp is an ever-present on the jersey.
The capacity at Donnybrook is currently 7,500 - and it is always packed to capacity
The Lions have three season tickets currently on offer - the 150 Club, the Lions Club and the Blue and Gold Club. Special tickets for schoolchildren are provided and old-fashioned cash is sometimes taken at the turnstiles.
Fans sing 'Molly Malone', 'Rare 'Aul Times' and join in the U2 and Thin Lizzy songs that buzz around the ground.
Being a provincial side many other Leinster and Irish songs are added to the 'play list' and team mascot, Liam the Lion, has no trouble in raising a chorus!
Leinster are the inaugural Celtic League Champions (01/02) and current Guinness Interprovincial Champions.
Leinster has won the Interprovincial Championship twenty-two times, three times as professionals.
Leinster has participated in the Heineken Cup every year. They reached the semi-final in 1995/96 and the quarterfinals in 2001/02 and 2002/03 (At least?).
Shane Byrne was the first Leinster player to win 100 caps (Montferrand at home). In the last 18 months (to December 02) 'Munch' also got married, got his first full cap (and then 12 more!) and became a father to twins - busy eh?
Skipper Reg Corrigan is the only other married player - Nathan Spooner is next - in Brisbane in February.
Victor 'Ned' Costello has a number of business interests and a number of sports cars inclusding a Porshe boxster , A SAAB and a off road Jeep
Gordon D'Arcy is the latest player to get personalised boots? He wears Adidas boots similar to those worn by England football captain David Beckham
Denis Hickie and Emmett Byrne only eat food from their own kitchen - transported in sealed containers!
Aidan McCullen aka 'Jack Brown' is a resident DJ on a cool Dublin radio station He plays hip hop and is famous for his scratching ability.
Leinster fans will tell you Brian O'Driscoll - or Drico as he is nicknamed - is God.
Peter McKenna, a solicitor, and Liam Toland, an Army lieutenant, represent the Players' Union.
The three 'Aussie Amigos' - Nathan 'Spoons' Spooner, Adam 'Mags' Magro and Christian 'Christy' Warner all played previously under coach Matt Williams at New South Wales.
Team Quizmaster Ben Willis is related to Jane Austen - not a lot of people know that!
David Quinlan graduated from Oxbridge with a degree in criminology and Mal O'Kelly completed a Masters in Engineering - a bright bunch!
Shane Byrne is the most capped player - with 102 appearances and over 40 in the Heineken Cup.
Chris Pim was the captain on the dawn of professionalism.
Brian O'Meara is from Cork and formally played for Munster too - 'Bommer' as he is known amongst friends is 'alright though!'
Keith Gleeson was born in Dublin before his family emigrated to Australia when he was 8. He nearly has the Dublin accent perfected (Oh Jaysus)!
Leinster's assistant coach is Willie Anderson from Dungannon & Ulster, a former Irish captain.
Leinster's scrum coach is dentist Roly Meates, a former coach of Ireland.
Leinster's Manager is Ken Ging, who played hooker for Munster vs Australia in 1967.