This weekend, Ireland’s men and women’s sevens squads will look to secure a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next year.
The Ireland women sevens team will be competing at the Rugby Europe Olympic qualifying tournament in Kazan where a first-place finish will guarantee progression to the Olympics next year.
All will not be lost if Ireland fail to win the tournament. If Ireland finish in second or third then that will allow them to take part in next year’s World Rugby Repechage where two additional Olympic spots are on offer.
Ireland Women’s sevens coach Stan McDowell has named 13 players to travel to Kazan this weekend.
Audrey O’Flynn makes a welcome return from injury while Lucy Mulhall captains the squad. The experienced trio of Louise Galvin, Hannah Tyrrell and Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe will also travel and Stacey Flood’s inclusion is also welcomed as she missed a large portion of the season having sat out three World Series legs due to injury before making her return at the final leg in Biarritz.
“The players have had this tournament at the back of their minds all season and now that it’s upon us they are raring to go,” McDowell said.
“There were some very big positives to take from the games in Marcoussis, as well as key learnings to bring into this weekend.
“This tournament is about taking each game as it comes and focusing on each moment during each of these games.”
Ireland have been drawn in a pool with the Czech Republic, Romania and Spain.
The Ireland men sevens squad face a similar path to their female colleagues. Anthony Eddy’s side will guarantee their spot at the Olympics next year if they finish first at the Rugby Europe Olympic qualifying tournament in Colomiers, France, this weekend.
Ireland have been drawn in Pool B alongside Spain, Russia and Ukraine.
Like the women’s side, they will have another opportunity of qualifying for the Olympics at next year’s World Rugby Repechage if they finish in second or third place this weekend.
Ireland’s squad for this weekend’s tournament has yet to be confirmed.
Ireland Women’s 7s Squad
Kathy Baker (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Megan Burns (Tullamore/Leinster)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster)
Brittany Hogan (Railway Union/Ulster)
Emily Lane (Mallow/Munster)
Anna McGann (UCD & Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum) Captain
Amee-Leigh Murphy-Crowe (Railway Union/Munster)
Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (Old Belvedere/Munster)
Audrey O’Flynn (Ireland 7s Programme)
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Ireland Women’s 7s Fixtures:
Kazan 7s – Pool C:
Saturday, 13th July:
Ireland v Romania – 12.06pm local time/10.06am Irish time
Ireland v Czech Republic – 2.51pm local time/12.51pm Irish time
Ireland v Spain – 5.14pm local time/3.14pm Irish time
Sunday, 14th July: