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Leinster's Keenan returns to Ireland 7s squad for Olympic qualifier

Anthony Eddy has named his squad for this weekend’s tournament in Colomiers.

HUGO KEENAN AND Foster Horan have returned from injury to be named in Ireland’s men’s sevens squad for this weekend’s crunch Olympic qualifying tournament in France.

Leinster back Keenan, who has been awarded a senior contract at the eastern province for the 2019/20 season, is included in Anthony Eddy’s 13-man squad for the trip to Colomiers.

Hugo Keenan and Gavin Thornbury Keenan won five Pro14 appearances last season. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The overall winner of the tournament will earn a place at Tokyo 2020, while the teams finishing second and third will have a final opportunity to qualify for the Games via the World Rugby Repechage next year.

Billy Dardis will again captain Ireland as they go in pursuit of that coveted Olympic berth, with experienced players Ian Fitzpatrick, Terry Kennedy, Harry McNulty and Mark Roche, who have all been part of the IRFU sevens programme since 2015, included.

The return of Keenan, who made five Pro14 appearances for Leinster last season, and Horan is a boost, while Jack Kelly is retained in the panel after making his international sevens debut at the London leg of the World Series in May.

Prolific winger Jordan Conroy, Shane Daly, Adam Leavy, Greg O’Shea and Bryan Mollen make up the squad, with Ireland paired in Pool B alongside Spain, Russia and Ukraine. 

“The season so far has had a lot of positives for this group, with success in Hong Kong and additional learning opportunities in London and Paris on the World Series, but one of the key targets for this season is Olympic qualification,” Eddy said.

“There are some very strong sides competing in Colomiers at the weekend, but they are sides that we have come up against over the past numbers of seasons so the players are aware of what’s ahead of them and what needs to be done to achieve their goal of qualification.” 

Ireland squad:

  • Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
  • Shane Daly (Cork Constitution/Munster)
  • Billy Dardis (Terenure College) (capt)
  • Ian Fitzpatrick (Lansdowne)
  • Jack Kelly (Dublin University/Leinster)
  • Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College)
  • Foster Horan (Lansdowne)
  • Adam Leavy (Lansdowne)
  • Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster)
  • Harry McNulty (UCD)
  • Bryan Mollen (Blackrock College)
  • Greg O’Shea (Shannon)
  • Mark Roche (Blackrock College)

Fixtures:

Saturday, 13 July:

  • Ireland v Ukraine, 12.44pm local time/11.44am Irish time
  • Ireland v Russia, 3.29pm local time/2.29pm Irish time
  • Ireland v Spain, 6.36pm local time/5.36pm Irish time

Sunday, 14 July:

  • Play-offs and finals.

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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