The Ireland Men’s 7s management team have confirmed their 12 man squad to take part in the second round of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series in Lodz, Poland this weekend.
Ireland were overall winners last weekend at the opening round in Moscow, defeating Spain 12-0 in the final.
It is the first season that the side have competed at this level, having progressed through the lower tiers over the past two seasons.
Munster’s Greg O’Shea has been called into the squad and he is set to win his first Ireland 7s cap this weekend.
Billy Dardis will again captain the team and he is joined by UCD teammates Hugo Keenan and Harry McNulty. McNulty was Ireland’s top try-scorer in Moscow, with six tries to his name.
Lansdowne trio Ian Fitzpatrick, John O’Donnell and Mark Roche are include once again, as is Clontarf wing Mick McGrath, St. Mary’s Terry Kennedy, Naas man Fionn Carr, Buccaneers’ winger Jordan Conroy and Ulster and Queen’s back-rower Nick Timoney.
Ireland have been drawn in Pool A with Germany, Poland and Portugal.
Ahead of the squad departing for Poland, Director of Rugby 7s, Anthony Eddy said;
“We got off to a really good start last weekend in Moscow, and winning the trophy at our first ever Grand Prix event was a real positive for the Sevens Programme.
The players have been working hard over the past number of weeks in training and it was great to see them go out and perform.
However this competition is played over four stages, so we’ve looked at areas we can improve on for this weekend and hopefully we can go to Poland and get another good result.”
The Grand Prix offers Ireland the chance to qualify for the Sevens Rugby World Cup in San Francisco next summer.
The tournament offers two places to nations outside of those who are already pre-qualified from the 2013 Moscow World Cup or via this season’s World Rugby Sevens Series.
The European sides who have already qualified are England, France, Scotland and Wales.
Russia are the only European side on the Series who are outside of automatic qualification, so they, along with the likes of Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Georgia look set to be Ireland’s main competition for the top two places.
Ireland Men’s 7s Squad – Rugby Europe Grand Prix – Round 2: Lodz, Poland
Fionn Carr (Naas)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
Billy Dardis (UCD) Captain
Ian Fitzpatrick (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Mick McGrath (Clontarf)
Harry McNulty (UCD)
John O’Donnell (Lansdowne)
Greg O’Shea (Shannon/Munster)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne)
Nick Timoney (Queen’s University Belfast/Ulster)
Ireland Fixtures – Pool A 10th June 2017 – Lodz, Poland
Ireland v Poland – 11.50am (local time) / 10.50am (Irish time)
Ireland v Germany – 2.13pm (local time) / 1.13pm (Irish time)
Ireland v Portugal – 4.58pm (local time) / 3.58pm (Irish time)