The Ireland Men’s Sevens management team have named a 13-man squad to prepare for the London Sevens this weekend, the penultimate leg of this season’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Ireland are the invitational team at the final two HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments of the 2017/18 campaign – this weekend in London and next week in Paris.
Anthony Eddy’s men travel to the English capital having retained the Moscow 7s title two weeks ago in the opening round of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series. They are drawn in Pool B for the London event, along with Australia, who were the Sydney champions and Singapore runners-up this season, Spain and Wales.
Shannon’s Greg O’Shea is again included in the squad as he keeps his place following the trip to Moscow earlier this month.
Billy Dardis captains the group which shows two changes to that 13-man panel, with Dardis’ UCD club-mate Jimmy O’Brien and the uncapped Foster Horan, a recent Ulster Bank League title winner with Lansdowne, coming into the squad.
UCD also have representation from Hugo Keenan and Harry McNulty, who is set for his 13th Ireland Men’s Seven cap this weekend, while Horan’s Lansdowne club-mate Ian Fitzpatrick will win his 12th.
Speedsters Robert Baloucoune, Jordan Conroy and Terry Kennedy are all London bound – Conroy and Kennedy scored 17 tries between them in Moscow – and O’Shea, John O’Donnell, Bryan Mollen and Mark Roche complete the line-up.
Speaking ahead of the tournament, Ireland Sevens coach Stan McDowell said: “It’s a busy time for this team at the moment, and everyone was very pleased with the result in Moscow. There’s two fantastic learning opportunities coming up over the next two weekends.
“The players will gain exposure to the top teams in the world in London and Paris, and it is a fantastic way to add to our preparations for the Sevens Rugby World Cup in San Francisco this July.”
Following the Ireland men’s first World Sevens Series appearances since 2004, Eddy’s charges are next in action in Marcoussis in France for the second round of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series (June 30-July 1) and the following week they compete at the third round in Exeter (July 7-8).
The Ireland Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams will both compete at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco over the weekend of July 20-22 at AT&T Park. The final round of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series takes place in Lodz, Poland on September 8-9.
IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (2017/18 World Rugby Sevens Series – London Sevens, Twickenham Stadium, London, Saturday, Saturday, June 2-Sunday, June 3):
Robert Baloucoune (Enniskillen/Ulster)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
Billy Dardis (UCD) (capt)
Ian Fitzpatrick (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Foster Horan (Lansdowne)
Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Harry McNulty (UCD)
Bryan Mollen (Dublin University)
Jimmy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
John O’Donnell (Lansdowne)
Greg O’Shea (Shannon)
Mark Roche (Blackrock College)
IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Fixtures:
Saturday, June 2 –
Australia v Ireland, Twickenham Stadium, 10.36am
Spain v Ireland, Twickenham Stadium, 1.20pm
Wales v Ireland, Twickenham Stadium, 4.26pm
Sunday, June 3 –