Irish International Leo Cullen has been confirmed as captain of Leinster Rugby for the coming season, while Connacht have named no less than three captains for the new campaign.

This will be the sixth consecutive season for Cullen to skipper Leinster having initially been handed the role when he succeeded Brian O'Driscoll back in 2008.

There had been speculation that the torch would be passed to either Kevin McLaughlin and Gordon D’Arcy this season, but new head coach Matt O’Connor has kept faith with Cullen.

Meanwhile Connacht have taken the unusual step of naming three players as captain for the forthcoming season.

Gavin Duffy, John Muldoon, and Michael Swift have been named by head coach Pat Lam as Club Captains, brining their experience and leadership skills to the role.

Lam explained the decision and said: "Each week we will put out our best, available team and will decide on the match day captain to lead us on the pitch.

"We have a larger leadership group working below the Club Captains which encourages players to take on more responsibility and allows us to build on the standards and progression of Connacht Rugby.

"There are a number of leaders here and I believe that we can all support each other very well over the coming season."