Leinster have confirmed that no fewer than seven up-and-coming players have been awarded Senior contracts.
Ross Byrne, Joey Carbery, Nick McCarthy, Rory O’Loughlin, Andrew Porter, James Ryan and Peadar Timmins have all made the jump from Leinster's academy.
Between them, they have played 55 times for the province.
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen said:
They have been performing well over the last few seasons with their clubs in the AIL or with Leinster ‘A’ in the British & Irish Cup but we have also seen them perform on a daily basis in training and at the very highest level with Leinster and Ireland.
From Nick playing against Toulon in the Champions Cup in the Aviva Stadium, to Joey playing his part in the historic victory over New Zealand in Chicago, to Peadar making his first senior start at the weekend, to James captaining Ireland to their place in an Under 20s World Cup Final. They have taken it all in their stride.
UCD's Byrne has played 17 times for Leinster, scoring 54 points. Clontarf man Carbery has lined out for Leinster three times fewer, but has three senior international caps. McCarthy of UCD has played three times for the province. Old Belvedere's O'Loughlin has scored eight tries in 16 appearances. Andrew Porter of UCD has one try in seven, while his clubmate Timmins has one fewer cap. 20-year-old Ryan - the youngest of the seven and tipped for stardom after captaining Ireland to an under-20s World Championship final last year - is yet to make his pro debut.