The Ireland Men’s 7s squad to compete at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco has been confirmed by IRFU Director of Sevens Rugby Anthony Eddy.
The tournament features the world’s top 24 men’s and 16 women’s teams and will be played on 20-22 July at AT&T Park in San Francisco’s Bay Area.
The tournament format is a knock-out style draw, meaning teams will have to win every match in order to be crowned World Cup winners.
The opening round is an initial knock-out qualifier featuring the nations ranked ninth to 24th, while the top eight seeds progress automatically to the round of 16.
Ireland were ranked 16th and will face Chile in their opening fixture, with the winners going on to face World Series Champions South Africa in the last 16, while the losers will move into the Bowl Quarter-Finals.
All of the players selected in the 13-man squad have helped Ireland win the opening two rounds of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix in Moscow and Marcoussis, while they picked up the bronze medal last weekend in Exeter.
The squad is captained by UCD’s Billy Dardis, and he is joined by UCD clubmates Hugo Keenan, Harry McNulty and Jimmy O’Brien.
There are three Lansdowne players in the side, with Ian Fitzpatrick, Foster Horan and John O’Donnell all members of the All-Ireland League winning club.
Buccaneers wing Jordan Conroy, scored 11 tries in 10 appearances across the London and Paris 7s this season, and St. Mary’s College man Terry Kennedy has scored 16 tries over two Rugby Europe Grand Prix events.
Shannon’s Greg O’Shea is named in the side, as is Cork Constitution centre Shane Daly.
Enniskillen’s Robert Baloucoune and Dublin University’s Bryan Mollen complete the squad.
The Men’s 7s have made great progress over the past number of seasons. They entered the lowest tier of Rugby Europe in 2015, and have made their way up the levels to reach the Grand Prix series last season, where their top 3 finish saw them qualify for the Rugby World Cup Sevens, as well as the World Series Qualification tournament in Hong Kong, which took place in April. Ireland narrowly lost out in the semi-finals to eventual winners Japan.
The side was invited to compete at the final two rounds of the World Sevens Series in London and Paris this season, and left London with a Bronze medal, a first for an invitational side on the Series and finished in the top 8 in Paris.
Ireland Men’s 7s Rugby World Cup Sevens Squad
Friday 20th July 2018
Pre-Round of 16 Fixture
Ireland v Chile – 3.35pm (local time)/11.35pm (Irish time)
Saturday 21th July 2018
Sunday 22nd July 2018