The IRFU have announced the 7’s squad that will compete in World Sevens Series qualifying tournament in April & at the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens next July.
Due to the importance of the tournaments Ireland will be competing in, a number of players will be prioritising their seven’s commitment over their club and province commitments this season. There is a total of 14 players from across the Ulster Bank League and professional academies that will make up the core squad heading into the new season.
Speaking to Irishrugby.ie, Anthony Eddy, IRFU Director of 7’s rugby, and who recently guided Ireland U18 7’s side to a European championship said
“This is a really positive step and provides a core group of players with an opportunity to focus primarily on Sevens this season, as many of them have already committed so much to the success of the programme over the last couple of years.”
The squad will take part in three different tournaments before the new year which include the DHL Oktoberfest 7’s in Munich, the Silicon Valley 7’S in San Jose, California in November and the Dubai 7’s in early December.
If needs be players from clubs and academies around the country will be added to the panel giving them the chance to represent their country at 7’s level. Eddy added
“The best players interested in being involved will be provided an opportunity to represent Ireland and be part of a very busy and important season for the Ireland Men’s Sevens programme.
“Additional players from the club game and Academy programmes will train with the squad throughout the season, and as the season progresses it will be vital to have depth within the group.
“We are communicating regularly with the club and Academy coaches to minimise disruption, particularly for the core group who have committed to Sevens for the season, but also for players who will be training with the squad and who could potentially represent their country this season.”
Here is the Ireland Men’s 7’s panel in full.
Robert Baloucoune (Enniskillen RFC/Ulster)
Will Connors (UCD RFC/Leinster)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers RFC/Connacht)
Shane Daly (Cork Constitution FC/Munster)
Billy Dardis (UCD RFC)
Ian Fitzpatrick (Lansdowne FC/Leinster)
Hugo Keenan (UCD RFC/Leinster)
Jimmy O’Brien (UCD RFC/Leinster)
Terry Kennedy (St.Mary’s College RFC/Leinster)
Harry McNulty (UCD RFC)
Bryan Mollen (Dublin University FC)
John O’Donnell (Lansdowne FC)
Greg O’Shea (Shannon RFC)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne FC)