HomeRugbyRugby IrishIRFU University 7s Competition - First Tournament in Galway on February 28th

IRFU University 7s Competition – First Tournament in Galway on February 28th

IRFU Launches University 7s Competition – First Tournament in Galway on February 28th. 

The IRFU has announced a launch of a new University 7s competition this Spring, demonstrating its ongoing commitment to the development of the Women’s Pathway.

Expanding Opportunities Across Ireland

Following the establishment of Centre of Excellence hubs at six universities in 2023, the IRFU University 7s will take place across four tournament days in February and March, featuring a team from each province. The University of Galway (28th February), Queen’s University (6th March), the University of Limerick (13th March), and SETU Carlow (20th March) will each host a round.

Enhancing Pathways for Female Athletes

The introduction of the University 7s to the domestic calendar will provide Women’s National Talent Squad (WNTS) players with access to competitive Sevens game-time, acting as a transition from the underage U16 and U18 Inter-Provincial Sevens Series to senior representation.

Intense Competition Across Provinces

Leinster (DCU and SETU Carlow), Munster (UL), Connacht (University of Galway and ATU Sligo), and Ulster (Queen’s University) will compete over four tournament weeks, with each round featuring six fixtures in a round-robin format. An IQ Rugby team will also compete at Queen’s University.

Building a Sustainable Talent Network

Developed in line with the IRFU’s vision of building a sustainable talent identification network, the addition of the University 7s tournament to the Pathway structure aims to attract female athletes within the university system to rugby, with the Sevens format providing a perfect gateway to the sport and allowing WNTS Pathway Staff to work with and develop new talent.

Excitement Surrounding the Launch

Audrey O’Flynn, IRFU High Performance Project Manager, expressed excitement about the launch of the University 7s, stating that it is a key addition to the women’s pathway calendar. Gillian McDarby, IRFU Head of Women’s Performance and Pathways, added that the University 7s competition aligns with the squad’s preparations for the 2024 Paris Olympics and reflects the ongoing efforts to strengthen the Pathways structure.

Preparation for International Competitions

As part of their preparation for the Singapore leg of the HSBC SVNS Series, the Ireland Women’s Sevens squad will attend the third round of the University 7s in Limerick on 13th March, competing in an inter-squad hit out. Head Coach Allan Temple-Jones emphasized the importance of the University 7s tournament in inspiring new generations of young girls to play rugby and looks forward to attending the University of Limerick as part of what promises to be a brilliant four weeks of Sevens.

Global Representation

Following the conclusion of the University 7s, a National Universities team will be selected to represent Ireland at the 2024 World University Championships in France in June.

Upcoming Announcements

Fixtures and squad lists for the University 7s will be announced later this month.

IRFU University 7s 2024:

  • 28th February: University of Galway
  • 6th March: Queen’s University Belfast
  • 13th March: University of Limerick
  • 20th March: SETU Carlow.


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