Anthony Eddy, the IRFU Director of Sevens and Women’s Rugby, has today announced his 13-player Ireland Men’s Sevens squad for the next HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series double-header in Los Angeles and Vancouver.
Ulster Academy scrum-half Graham Curtis is included in the travelling squad for the first time, having featured for the Ireland Development side in Dubai back in December.
Otherwise, Eddy has been able to maintain consistency in his selection as Ireland bid to build on their seventh-place finish at the Sydney Sevens when the 2019/20 Men’s World Series resumes with back-to-back tournaments in America and Canada.
Ireland, once again captained by Billy Dardis, will depart Dublin today ahead of this weekend’s LA Sevens, which takes place at the Dignity Health Sports Park, the home of MLS side LA Galaxy.
While Foster Horan, named Intersport Elverys Players’ Player of the Tournament from Hamilton, is unavailable through injury, there is an experienced core to the Ireland squad, with the likes of Harry McNulty, Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy, Adam Leavy, Bryan Mollen, Greg O’Shea and Mark Roche all included.
Curtis, a former Ireland Under-19 international, joins Leinster Academy players Aaron O’Sullivan and Liam Turner in the 13, while Skerries RFC man Hugo Lennox and Jack Kelly complete the panel.
Drawn in Pool B, Eddy’s side will open their LA Sevens campaign against Canada on Saturday (kick-off 11.13am local time/7.13pm Irish time), before further pool clashes with Kenya (2.31pm local time/10.31pm Irish time) and the Blitzboks (7.05pm local time/3.05am Irish time) that day.
The knockout games and play-off matches will take place on Sunday and as the LA Sevens is a standalone Men’s event, the competition reverts back to the standard quarter-final format with the top two from each Pool advancing through.
After four legs of their debut season as a World Series core team, Ireland currently sit ninth on the overall standings and Eddy hopes his side can build further momentum over the next two tournaments in LA and then Vancouver.
“The group has prepared well for the LA and Vancouver legs and I think they are excited to get back to the old format of competition where they will play three games during the day,” he said.
“The turnaround from Sydney has been short but they are well rested and keen to show improvement from the last leg.”
You can follow all the build-up to the LA Sevens on IrishRugby.ie and on IRFU social media channels throughout the week, while the action will be live on Sky Sports and on the RTÉ Player to viewers in the Republic of Ireland.
Ireland Men’s Squad (Los Angeles 7s – Saturday, February 29-Sunday, March 1, Vancouver 7s — Saturday, March 7-Sunday March 8):
Aaron O’Sullivan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Adam Leavy (Lansdowne)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College)(captain)
Bryan Mollen (Blackrock College)
Graham Curtis (Malone/Ulster)*
Greg O’Shea (Shannon)
Harry McNulty (UCD)
Hugo Lennox (Skerries)
Jack Kelly (Dublin University)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
Liam Turner (Dublin University/Leinster)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College).
*Denotes uncapped player
Los Angeles Sevens Ireland Men’s Match Schedule:
Saturday, February 29
- Ireland v Canada, Dignity Health Sports Park, 11.13am local time/7.13pm Irish time
- Ireland v Kenya, Dignity Health Sports Park, 2.31pm local time/10.31pm Irish time
- Ireland v South Africa, Dignity Health Sports Park, 7.05pm local time/3.05am Irish time
Sunday, March 1