Montpellier make the trip to Dublin this weekend as they take on four time champions Leinster in the Heineken Champions Cup at the RDS. Over the past decade the team from southern France have boasted some of the best squads in clubs rugby with players like Francois Steyn, Nemani Nadolo and even Tomás O'Leary.
However it's another Irish man that's making the headlines in Montpellier this weekend as Drogheda-native Karl Martin is set to make his debut for the club this weekend. The 19-year old is a product of Boyne RFC and Old Belvedere has been on the IRFU's radar for a while now.
He was called up to the Leinster under 18's squad when he was only 15 back in 2017. He has gone on to represent Ireland at under 18's and 19's and could conceivably get a call-up for the under 20's Six Nations next month.
He made the move to France last summer after he wasn't offered a spot in the Leinster academy and rather than joining the sub-academy, Martin chose to sign a three-year contract with Montpellier after their director of rugby Phillipe Saint-André was made aware of his availability through his links in Ireland through the PSA academy. Leinster were said to have wanted to keep Martin on these shores but for one reason or another there wasn't a spot in the academy for him.
Karl Martin usually played at 12 during his time in Ireland but will be deputising at 13 for Montpellier for their trip to the RDS where he'll face off against Garry Ringrose and Ciaran Frawley in the centres for Leinster.
— Boyne RFC (@BoyneRFC) January 14, 2022
Karl Martin isn't the only Irish expat playing in the Champions Cup this weekend as flanker Will Hickey has been named on the bench for the Ospreys match against Racing 92. The former St. Michael's captain moved to Wales last year as competition in the back-row is incredibly competitive in Ireland at the moment.