Ulster’s Brittany Hogan and Claire Boles have both made the Ireland Sevens Squad for the penultimate round of the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series which takes place in Langford, Canada this weekend. (11- 12th May 2019).
Twenty year old Hogan, who captained Team FRU Sevens last season, has made 16 appearances (12 this season) for Ireland Sevens in the series to date and has become an integral part of this season’s “younger” squad, making her fourth successive tournament appearance.
Boles, also twenty, will be making her third appearance at a tournament this season having missed out on the series in Dubai and Sydney due to her involvement with Ireland XV in the Six Nations. The Enniskillen native has made 25 appearance’s to date in this competition with 9 appearances this season.
While the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series is an important competition in its own right it has an extra bit of spice for the European teams involved as it is their last but one run out, in this competition, before the Rugby Europe Olympic Repechage.
With the European teams tightly bunched from 5th to 9th place in this season’s standings Ireland along with France, England, Russia and Spain will all be looking to make an impact as Hogan told The FRU this morning.
This is our second last leg of this year’s series but, with only Biarritz and a leg of the Euros in Marcoussis left before the Olympic Qualifiers, Canada is very important for game time as a squad and putting our own hands up individually for selection for the Olympic qualifying games.
Canada will be a testing tournament for a young irish side which features two 19 year olds in Eve Higgins and Megan Burns. There are six 20 year olds including Hogan and Boles with Kathy Baker joining the squad alongside Katie Heffernan, Emily Lane and Anna McGann.
Experienced captain Lucy Mulhall misses out, due to injury, and Aimee Leigh Murphy Crowe takes over the captaincy. Crowe, along with Louise Galvin, Aoife Doyle and Hannah Tyrrell, brings additional experience to the squad. Deirbhile Nic A Bhaird also returns for her second successive tournament after involvement in the Six Nations.
Ireland find themselves in a tough group with Olympic Champions Australia and hosts Canada though they should have some respite with invitational side Brazil also in their group. Having won the last round in Japan, the hosts will be keen to make up further ground on series leaders New Zealand and Australia will be looking for a return to form after finishing outside the top four in Japan.
Ireland Women’s 7s Squad: Kathy Baker, Claire Boles, Megan Burns, Aoife Doyle, Louise Galvin, Katie Heffernan, Eve Higgins, Brittany Hogan, Emily Lane, Anna McGann, Amee-Leigh Murphy-Crowe (C), Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird, Hannah Tyrrell.
Ireland Fixtures Pool A – Day 1. Saturday 11th May 2019
Ireland v Australia – 7:06pm (UKIRE)
Ireland v Canada – 10.12pm (UK/IRE)
Ireland v Brazil – 12:34am – Sunday (UK/IRE)