Squad announced as Ireland 7s prepare for World Series in Dubai

The 13-man squad will make their debut as a core team on the HSBC World Rugby Men’s Sevens Series.

Ireland's Billy Dardis.
Ireland's Billy Dardis.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

BILLY DARDIS HAS been named as captain for Ireland’s debut as a core team on the HSBC World Rugby Men’s Sevens Series in Dubai.

The first combined event of the 2019/20 season will see the Ireland Men join the top table of Rugby Sevens, having previously made four appearances as an invitational side, with the Ireland Women’s team also competing at the tournament.

Dardis will captain the 13-man squad, with Terry Kennedy, Mark Roche, Foster Horan and Harry McNulty also included having been part of the initial Men’s Sevens panel in 2015.

Ireland qualified for the event in Hong Kong last April, and Adam Leavy, Bryan Mollen, Greg O’Shea, Jordan Conroy and John O’Donnell all keep their place in the squad.

Leinster Academy back Aaron O’Sullivan is set to win his first Sevens cap in Dubai. He makes the squad having made his Ireland U20 debut against England at last summer’s U20 World Championship in Argentina.

Ireland will play the United States, Australia and Scotland in Dubai next week, as they begin their charge to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

“The players have been looking forward to this for a long time and are delighted to be recognised as a core team on the World Series,” said Anthony Eddy, the IRFU’s director of Sevens rugby.

“They will be very keen to put in a performance that justifies all the hard work they have done to reach this point.

“We are well aware of the level of competition on the World Series and we also recognise we have to lift our performance on a consistent basis. There are no easy games at this level so we have to be well prepared.”

Ireland men’s squad:

Aaron O’Sullivan (Blackrock/Leinster)*
Adam Leavy (Lansdowne)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College)(captain)
Bryan Mollen (Blackrock College)
Foster Horan (Lansdowne)
Greg O’Shea (Shannon)
Harry McNulty (UCD)
Hugo Lennox (Skerries)
Jack Kelly (Dublin University)
John O’Donnell (Lansdowne)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College)

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Match schedule:

Pool B
5 December:
Ireland v USA, The Dubai Sevens Stadium, 6.12pm local time/2.12pm Irish time

6 December:
Ireland v Australia, The Dubai Sevens Stadium, 11.58am local time/7.58am Irish time

Ireland v Scotland, The Dubai Sevens Stadium, 5.50pm local time/1.50pm Irish time

7 December:
Men’s Play-Offs & Finals, The Dubai Sevens Stadium, TBC.

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Ciarán Kennedy

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