The Ireland Women Sevens squad has been announced for the fourth round of the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series which takes place in Kitakyushu, Japan on 22nd and 23rd April 2017.

The squad sees four changes from the Las Vegas round with Kim Flood, Louise Galvin and Emma Murphy rejoining the squad. Katie Heffernan also travels for the first time in the World Series. Heffernan’s inclusion takes the squad up to thirteen players and should she get a start she will become the 19th person used this season.

The full squad for Japan, together with thier season stats, is shown below:

 PLAYER MATCHES
PTS TRY CON
Ashleigh Baxter 17 5 1 0
Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe 16 65 13 0
Hannah Tyrrell 15 5 1 0
Megan Williams 17 30 6 0
Stacy Flood 17 30 6 0
Lucy Mulhall 17 50 2 20
Emma Murphy 8 0 0 0
Kim Flood 10 6 0 3
Louise Galvin 5 0 0 0
Claire Keohane 3 0 0 0
Audrey O’Flynn 5 0 0 0
Sene Naoupu 5 0 0 0
Katie Heffernan 0 0 0 0

To date the team has made a small but significant improvement on last season. It is significant that they have qualified for the Cup proper over the last two rounds but, they are just about holding on and still have to win a game in the Cup knockout stages.

My guess that they’ll be targeting a win on Day Two this time round.

Of course, they still have to qualify for the Cup in Day One but I think they they do have a fair chance. They are in the same Pool as Australia, Fiji and Brazil for the second time this season and recent history points to a convincing win against Brazil. They have also beaten and drawn with Fiji in previous rounds, though their last meeting was a substantial win for the rapidly improving Fijians.

While it’s unlikely that they’ll overly trouble Australia I think that if they can keep it tight against Australia and Fiji, they should get through with a big win against Brazil.

The previous results for this season are shown below:

Dubai
New Zealand 27 5 Ireland
France 24 14 Ireland
Fiji 17 17 Ireland
USA 5 28 Ireland
Spain 12 14 Ireland
Sydney
FIji 12 19 Ireland
Australia 29 0 Ireland
Brazil 5 33 Ireland
USA 17 5 Ireland
France 21 19 Ireland
Russia 17 12 Ireland
Las Vegas
USA 21 24 Ireland
Fiji 31 5 Ireland
Spain 14 14 Ireland
USA 20 12 Ireland
Russia 20 5 Ireland
France 15 5 Ireland

 

The draw works in Ireland’s favour in that they play Brazil last on Day One and they should have a good idea of what result is required to progress to the Cup. If you want to follow Ireland’s progress the matches should be broadcast on World Rugby’s Facebook and YouTube feeds but, be warned, it’s an early start with the first match kicking off at 3:14 am!

Ireland Women Sevens Fixtures, Saturday 22nd April

Fiji @ 3.14am UK/Ire
Australia @ 6.20am UK/Ire
Brazil @ 8.42am UK/Ire

#SUFTUM