The Ireland Women’s Sevens squad for the third leg of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens World Series in Kitakyushu, Japan next weekend has been named.
UL Bohemian’s duo Louise Galvin and Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird are joined by Shannon’s Aoife Doyle.
The squad of 13 players will be captained by Lucy Mulhall and includes the uncapped Kathy Baker, who has progressed through the Ireland Sevens pathways at Under-18 and senior Development levels and is set for first her first World Series trip.
Four players, Ashleigh Baxter, Katie Fitzhenry, Hannah Tyrrell and Galvin lined out for the Ireland Women’s 15s team during this year’s Six Nations Championship.
Also Included in the squad are experienced Sevens players Doyle, Stacey Flood, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, who has scored eight tries after two rounds of the current World Series, and Audrey O’Flynn, with Eve Higgins, Katie Heffernan and Nic A Bhaird completing the line-up.
Ireland, who lie eighth in the World Series standings after finishing seventh in Sydney last time out, have been drawn in Pool A for Kitakyushu along with Commonwealth Games silver medallists Australia, Spain and China, the winners of the recent World Series qualifying tournament in Hong Kong.
Speaking about the Japanese leg of the World Series, Ireland Sevens coach Stan McDowell said: “Kitakyushu is set to be an exciting tournament for us. Having finished seventh in Sydney, it’s about looking to progress on so we’ll be looking to put in three good performances on day 1 to set us up for a good day 2.
“Several of the sides at the tournament will have competed at the Commonwealth Games so they will be coming into Japan with good game-time under their belts. It’s about us being prepared and getting off to a good start in our opening game against Spain.”
The Kitakyushu 7s takes place at the Mikuni World Stadium and kicks off next Saturday, with the knockout stages on Sunday. The games will be streamed live on the World Rugby Sevens Facebook page.
The Ireland Sevens jerseys are available to buy online here from Elverys Intersport, official sports retailer of the IRFU.
IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (2017/18 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series – Kitakyushu 7s, Mikuni World Stadium, Kitakyushu, Japan, Saturday, April 21-Sunday, April 22):
Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster)
Kathy Baker (Blackrock/Leinster) *
Aoife Doyle (Shannon/Railway Union/Munster)
Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock/Leinster)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Katie Heffernan (Railway Union/Leinster)
Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum) (capt)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union/Munster)
Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Audrey O’Flynn (Ireland Sevens)
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
* Denotes uncapped player at this level
IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS FIXTURES – KITAKYUSHU 7s:
Saturday, April 21 –
Spain v Ireland, Mikuni World Stadium, 11.14am local time/3.14am Irish time
Australia v Ireland, Mikuni World Stadium, 2.20pm local time/6.20am Irish time
Ireland v China, Mikuni World Stadium, 4.42pm local time/8.42am Irish time
Sunday, April 22 – Playoffs.