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Ireland Men’s Sevens player Adam Leavy, alongside teammate Jack Kelly, became the latest Olympians and the first batch of rugby Olympians that St Michael’s College in Dublin has nurtured when they faced South Africa on Monday morning.
Leavy is part of a conveyor belt of talent over at St Michaels that includes Kelly, his brother Dan Leavy and James Ryan.
The school’s list of past Olympians includes a rower and a tennis player and the 25-year-old is honoured to put his name amongst theirs.
“Myself and Jack Kelly will be the third and fourth Olympians that have gone through the school which is amazing – it’s an amazing title to have to my name,” said Leavy.
The Sevens star could have crafted an Olympic career out of shot-putting but became more involved with rugby instead as he grew up.
He feels that the Ireland side’s chemistry will help them throughout their Olympic campaign.
The squad includes five ‘originals’ and many others that have been involved for several years.
“[The programme] has only been together for six years or so now, a lot of us have been in it since the start. I would have joined back in 2017 so there’s a huge amount of gelling in the squad and the connection will definitely stand to us.”
The tight-knit and accepting group will compete in their first Olympic Games in Tokyo this year.
Their hard work over the years paid off in June when they beat France in June at the Stade Louis II in Monaco to book their spot in Japan.
“Monaco was a crazy, crazy experience. Personally, all the emotions kind of hit me at once. I think I broke down at one stage – my brother was slagging me saying the hayfever was at me.”
Qualification was this Ireland side’s main focus since initially missing out in 2019 and to achieve it without their families there annoyed the former St Michael’s student.
Their families will not be able to get over to Tokyo either but Leavy understands that the restrictions are for the best.
On top of the games that lie ahead, against South Africa and the USA, Leavy is prepared for the downtime that this Ireland side will have.
“I have a few anime things on the hard drive, [I’ll] get involved with the culture and learn a bit of Japanese while I’m at it.”
The group will be able to keep each other company, as they have done many times before, perhaps through anime nights courtesy of Leavy.
Their chemistry can help them on and off the pitch as it has shown to do in the past.
With the side constantly improving, they can only go forwards at the Olympics, no matter how they do.
“[Our relationships are] definitely going to stand to us in a big way when we’re in the troughs.”
Ireland face the USA in the second round of pool games on Monday, July 26th at 10:30 am.