The Ireland Men’s 7s Squad was announced yesterday for the first leg of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix which takes place this weekend in Moscow.
Why is this important?
It’s all about the Olympics this summer for Ireland’s Men and Women’s Sevens Squads with the European Olympic Qualifying tournaments for both teams being held in July.
The men’s Olympic Qualifier will be held on 13th – 14th July in Colomiers, France and this leg of the European Grand Prix will decide the seedings for the Olympic qualifiers.
Ireland go into this competition as the number one seeds, but all is not as it seems. Ireland had to win the Rugby Europe Grand Prix last season to get into the Hong Kong 7s this season to qualify for the 2020 World Rugby Sevens Series, which they achieved.
Teams such as England, Spain, France, and Wales, who were already in the World Series would not have fielded full strength teams last season , using it more as a development competition.
However, with Olympic Qualification now up for grabs, all the teams will be operating at full strength, apart from, possibly, Wales who will combine with England and Scotland to form Team GB for the Olympic qualifier. There will also be strong challenges from Russia and Germany.
With Anthony Eddy moving across to almost exclusively handle the men’s side it appears that Ireland are putting all their Olympic eggs in one basket with the mens side the priority.
What are the Pools.
As top seeds Ireland are in Pool A, with a somewhat convoluted but generally favourable draw through to the finals on Day 2 should they top thier Pool on Day 1.
The Pools are as follows.
|POOL A||POOL B||POOL C|
Be aware, with eight of the 12 teams going through to predetermined quarter finals there can be a bit of strategic maneuvering by the teams in Day 1!
When are Ireland playing.
Ireland’s Day 1 matches are as follows.
Ireland v Romania – 10.00am (UK/IRE)
Ireland v Italy – 12.45pm (UK/IRE)
Ireland v France – 3.30pm (UK/IRE)
Live streaming of the games will be available via www.rugbyeurope.eu/moscow-
Who’s in the team?
The are no Ulster players in the team.
It’s pretty much the strongest team available, as you would expect. The players and their World Series experience is shown below.
|World Series Stats|
|Shane Daly||Cork Constitution||9||0||0||0||0|
|Jack Kelly||Dublin University||12||20||4||1||0|
|Terry Kennedy||St Mary’s College||15||35||4||0||0|
|Bryan Mollen||Blackrock College||22||30||6||1||0|
|Mark Roche||Blackrock College||16||52||2||0||0|
Greg O’Shea (Shannon) is the only bolter with Mick McGrath (Clontarf) and
Peter Sullivan (Lansdowne) missing out..