Ireland Men and Women’s squads announced for Elche Sevens

Ireland Men and Women’s squads announced for Elche Sevens
Aaron Sexton

As the countdown to the first combined HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series event of the 2020 season continues, the Ireland Men’s and Women’s teams will fine-tune their preparations at the annual Elche 7s tournament this weekend.

Ahead of their debut appearance as a core team in Dubai, the Ireland Men have been paired in Pool B alongside Portugal, Scotland and local outfit Viator 7s, while Stan McDowell’s Ireland Women, who opened their campaign with an eighth-place finish in Glendale, will face France, Belgium, Emerging France, Spain and Poland this weekend.

Anthony Eddy has named a 15 player Men’s squad for the tournament, including Abbey Insurance Ulster Academy’s Aaron Sexton and Iwan Hughes. Cormac Izuchukwu, who top-scored for Ireland at the recent RugbyX tournament in London is also included.

The Billy Dardis-captained side will hope to build further momentum ahead of their season-opener in Dubai following strong performances during pre-season in Chester and at the 02 Arena.

Ireland Women, meanwhile, will be captained by Lucy Mulhall and Ulster’s Lucinda Kinghan and Maeve Liston have been selected.

Their travelling squad includes 11 of the players who featured in Glendale last month, as Claire Boles, Luncida Kinghan, Maeve Liston and Grace Moore are handed a big opportunity ahead of the World Series legs in Dubai and Cape Town in December.

“It’s always a really good tournament and the preparation for both the Men’s and Women’s is an excellent building block as we look towards Dubai,” Eddy said ahead of the trip to Spain.

Ireland Men open their campaign against Portugal on Saturday morning before further Pool games against Viator 7s and Scotland, while Ireland Women are first in action against France at the Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra.

IRELAND MEN’S SQUAD (Elche 7s – Saturday, November 9 – Sunday, November 10):

Foster Horan (Lansdowne)
Adam Leavy (Lansdowne)
Harry McNulty (UCD)
John O’Donnell (Lansdowne)
Aaron O’Sullivan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Cormac Izuchukwu (Old Wesley)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College)(capt)
Greg O’Shea (Shannon)
Iwan Hughes (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Terry Kennedy (St Mary’s College)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
Aaron Sexton (Malone/Ulster)
Peter Maher (Old Belvedere)
Hugo Lennox (Clontarf)

IRELAND WOMEN’S SQUAD (Elche 7s – Saturday, November 9 – Sunday, November 10):
Kathy Baker (Blackrock/Leinster)
Claire Boles (Railway Union/Leinster)
Megan Burns (Tullamore/Leinster)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union/Munster)
Anna Doyle (Tullow/Leinster)
Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock/Leinster)
Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Katie Heffernan (Mullingar/Railway Union/Leinster)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster)
Lucinda Kinghan (DCU/Ulster)
Emily Lane (Mallow/Munster)
Maeve Liston (Blackrock/Ulster)
Grace Moore (IQ Rugby)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum)(capt)
Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (Old Belvedere/Munster)


Saturday, November 9:
Ireland Men v Portugal, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 10.40am local time/9.40am Irish time
Ireland Women v France, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 12pm local time, 11am Irish time
Ireland Men v Viator 7s, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 2pm local time, 1pm Irish time
Ireland Women v France Emerging, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 3.20pm local time, 2.20pm Irish time
Ireland Men v Scotland, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 5.30pm local time, 4.30pm Irish time
Ireland Women v Belgium, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 6.30pm local time, 5.30pm Irish time.

Sunday, November 10:
Ireland Women v Spain, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 10.20am local time, 9.20am Irish time
Ireland Women v Poland, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 1.20pm local time, 12.20pm Irish time
Men’s and Women’s Play-Offs and Finals.