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Dublin: -1°C Thursday 6 May 2021
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Ireland handed favourable draw for Dublin-hosted sevens tournament

An absolutely crucial sevens event takes place in the UCD Bowl next month.

IRELAND HAVE BEEN drawn in a manageable pool for the first-ever Women’s Sevens Dublin next month.

The Irish side will take on South Africa, Hong Kong and Mexico in Pool C of a competition that offers teams the opportunity to qualify for the 2015/16 World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series.

Jenny Murphy, Louise Galvin and Lucy Mulhall Jenny Murphy, Louise Galvin and Lucy Mulhall will be driving Ireland's hopes of success in Dublin. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

The top two finishers at the Dublin tournament – which takes place in the UCD Bowl on 22 and 23 August – will grab those highly-coveted positions on the global sevens circuit.

Such an achievement would naturally boost the Ireland’s Women’s Sevens programme, providing them with a full season of world-class preparation for next June’s World Olympic Repechage.

Ireland secured their place in that tournament by finishing second at the European Olympic Repechage two weekends ago.

Only the winner of next summer’s World Olympic Repechage will advance into the 2016 Rio games, meaning IRFU director of sevens Anthony Eddy is understandably keen for his team to return to the world circuit for 2015/16.

South Africa did take part in the series last season, although they performed poorly and were 12th of 13 teams in the final standings. Nonetheless, they look like the biggest threat to Ireland’s hopes of topping Pool C in Dublin next month.

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In Pool A, 2014/15 world series competitors Brazil will plan to emerge as group winners against Wales, Japan and Samoa, while Pool B features relegated world series sides China and the Netherlands alongside Kenya and Colombia.

“It’s massively important to get on to the world series circuit, it’s our number one goal, that way we are playing against the best teams in the world,” said Eddy in an IRFU statement. “If we are going to have a shot at the world Olympic Repechage we are going to have to play at the best level.”

Lucy Mulhall Mulhall and co. have ambitions of competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

“In our pool we face South Africa who are a team that have been on the world circuit for a couple of years now (and) are one of the teams that have been relegated from last season. They will be desperate to perform at this event and get back on the series circuit. We are definitely up for the challenge and it’s great to have the tournament at home.”

“With 12 countries competing in this event from all over the world, this is a great opportunity to give the game more exposure in Ireland.”

Women’s Sevens Dublin pools:

Pool A: Brazil, Wales, Japan, Samoa
Pool B: China, Netherlands, Kenya, Colombia
Pool C: South Africa, Ireland, Hong Kong, Mexico

Tickets for the Women’s Sevens Dublin are on sale at www.ticketmaster.ie at a cost of €5, with children free.

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Murray Kinsella

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