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Ireland Rugby Men’s Sevens star Greg O’Shea is excited to be going to the Olympics as part of Ireland’s first Olympic Sevens team – the Irish Men’s Sevens side.
Ireland qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo last month when they won the Monaco Repechagé to obtain the final qualifying spot.
He spoke of the squad’s excitement at the fact that they are headed to the Olympics.
“We are just really happy like. We are just so delighted that it’s all paid off, ” O’Shea said.
Tokyo has become a recent aim for the side after spending two year’s of their time and energy preparing for the Repechagé.
The side trained the whole way through the pandemic together, other than the beginning of the pandemic, as previously stated by captain Billy Dardis.
The hard work over the last two years towards the goal of becoming Olympians has made the last few weeks all the more poignant for O’Shea.
“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster,” the 26-year-old said.
“I wasn’t picked for Monaco, which is fair enough – I hadn’t really been training and I wasn’t at peak performance.
“Then, a couple of injuries happened, I got in and then I started most of the games and played most of the minutes in Monaco and then I got picked for Tokyo.
“It’s just been a whirlwind of emotion but I just got to stay grounded and do my bit for the team and hopefully play a lot in Tokyo.”
🏉 TEAM IRELAND RUGBY SEVENS TEAM ANNOUNCED☘️
For the first time in history #TeamIreland will field a rugby team in the Olympic Games!!
It's all down to our #Ireland7s team dominating in Monaco💪👌
— Team Ireland (@TeamIreland) July 6, 2021
The former Crescent College student has been part of the IRFU Sevens programme since 2017 and has built a relationship with the core of the squad in his four years there.
His eyes have always been firmly set on rugby, regardless of the exposure his Love Island win in 2019 brought him.
The 26-year-old chose rugby over numerous ventures he could have taken up after the win on ITV’s famous show and to have the prospect of being an Olympian within reach is something that validates his choice.
The Limerick native said: “It’s the pinnacle of sport. Personally, it’s what I’ve been working towards the last couple of years. I said no to a lot of other opportunities outside of rugby and it’s would make it all worth it once I cross that whitewash.”
It was not a difficult choice for him as his relationship with the Irish Sevens squad was strong and he knew they could continue to expand their potential.
The Irish fly-half is confident that his side can perform on the world stage in a group filled with quality opponents.
Anthony Eddy’s Olympians will face South Africa, the USA and Kenya in the pool stage of the Olympic tournament and have won in the past against them.
O’Shea believes the side can go far if they’re focused and possibly win a medal.
“It would just make the last 6 years all worth it…we want to be among the best in the world as well and I think we can do it.”