Two Munster players in Ireland squad for Oktoberfest Seven’s

The Oktobrfest 7’s is the first event for the Irish squad this season.

The 12 man squad will be captained by UCD’s Billy Dardis, with three of his college team mates, Will Connors, Hugo Keenan and Harry McNulty joining him.

Hugo Lennox of Leinster U19, who impressed so much in the Ireland Under 18 seven’s side that won the Rugby Europe Under 18’s seven’s title a few weeks ago is also called up to the side for the first time.

Munster have two representitives on the squad in Shane Daly, who has already represented his country at this level and his Cork Constitution and Munster academy team mate Alex McHenry who has been called into the squad for the first time but there is no place for Shannon RFC’s Greg O’Shea who was provisionally named in the Irish sevens squad that would compete this season a few weeks ago.

Ireland will compete in Poll C at the event in Munich alongside Chile and World Seven’s series sides Australia and Fiji, the same Fiji side which won Gold at the Rio Olympics.

Having qualified for the Sevens World Cup next year in the US, the Oktoberfest 7’s is the first event of the season for the Irish as they look ahead to April where they will travel to Honk Kong to try and qualify for the Sevens World series which is the highest accolade in the sport to qualify for.

Head of Sevens Rugby for the IRFU, Anthony Eddy, was speaking ahead of his side’s first tournament of the season and said

“It’s set to be a challenging but exciting season for the Ireland Men’s Sevens programme, as we prepare for two major tournaments in 2018.

“We have a strong group of players on the Sevens panel and we are getting the season underway earlier this year as we’re looking to give the players lots of game-time over the coming months.

“The Oktoberfest tournament will give the players the chance to play against top class opposition and the three pool games will be tough – but it will be important for us to play against sides who are competing on the World Series as often as possible so that the players can test themselves and develop their game as the season progresses.”

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (2017 DHL Oktoberfest 7s, Olympic Stadium, Munich, Germany, Friday, September 29-Saturday, September 30):

Will Connors (UCD/Leinster)
Shane Daly (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Billy Dardis (UCD) (capt)
Ian Fitzpatrick (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster)
Adam Leavy (Galwegians/Connacht)
Hugo Lennox (Skerries)
Alex McHenry (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Harry McNulty (UCD)
Bryan Mollen (Dublin University)
John O’Donnell (Lansdowne)
Mark Roche (Blackrock College)

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Fixtures –

DHL Oktoberfest 7s – Pool C:

Friday, September 29:

Fiji v Ireland, Olympic Stadium, Munich, 1.23pm local time/12.23pm Irish time
Australia v Ireland, Olympic Stadium, Munich, 3.23pm local time/2.23pm Irish time
Chile v Ireland, Olympic Stadium, Munich, 6.44pm local time/5.44pm Irish time

Saturday, September 30:

Play-Offs

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS 2017 Tournament Schedule –

Oktoberfest 7s, Munich, Germany – September 29-30
Elche 7s, Elche, Spain – October 28-29
Silicon Valley 7s, San Jose, USA – November 4-5
Dubai 7s, Dubai, UAE – December 1-2
Hong Kong 7s (World Series Repechage), Hong Kong – April 7-8
Amsterdam 7s, Amsterdam, Netherlands – June 9-10
Rugby World Cup Sevens, San Francisco, USA – July 20-22

 

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Diarmaid Scannell