Ireland return to London 7s with eye on upcoming Olympic qualifier

Uncapped Lansdowne flyer Peter Sullivan and Kerry man Jack Daly will hope to win their first international Sevens caps in Twickenham.

Captain Billy Dardis leads the celebrations after Ireland beat England to seal bronze at last year's tournament.
Captain Billy Dardis leads the celebrations after Ireland beat England to seal bronze at last year's tournament.
Image: Andrew Fosker/INPHO

IRELAND SEVENS ANNOUNCED themselves on the big stage in their invitational run to bronze at last year’s London 7s tournament.

This year, with a World Series berth secured, Anthony Eddy will hope to see his side further prove their credentials ahead of a Rugby Europe Olympic qualifier in July.

12 nations will qualify for the 2020 Olympic tournament, the second time Sevens will be played at the Games. The top four teams from the World Series will qualify automatically and then six regional qualifying tournaments will reward a winner with a berth in Japan before the final two places are awarded through a world repechage.

Ireland missed out on Rio 2016, but have made leaps and bounds forward in the game since and success last month in Hong Kong — to qualify for next year’s World Series — was the latest evidence of quality.

At this weekend’s London leg of the World Series, Ireland will again play as an invitational side and will be pitted against New Zealand, hosts England and Scotland at the pool stage (kicking off from 12.04 Saturday, Sky Sports).

Eddy has included three uncapped players in his 13-man squad. AIL Division 1A’s top try-scorer Peter Sullivan is included along with Jack Kelly, who made his senior Leinster debut this season, and Kerry man Jack Daly.

“To win the tournament in Hong Kong and secure a place on next season’s World Series was a great outcome for all the hard work many players have contributed over a short time,” said Eddy as he unveiled his squad for the trip across the Irish.

“It is great to have the opportunity in London and Paris to test ourselves against the top sides in the world as we build towards the Rugby Europe Olympic Qualification tournament in July.

“We’ll be up against quality opposition in our pool, so it will be a real challenge, particularly as core teams are fighting for a Top 4 position to secure Olympic qualification through the series.”

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Ireland Men’s squad for London 7s:

Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
Jack Daly (Garryowen/Munster) *
Billy Dardis (Terenure College)(captain)
Foster Horan (Lansdowne)
Jack Kelly (Dublin University/Leinster) *
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College)
Adam Leavy (Lansdowne)
Hugo Lennox (Clontarf)
Mick McGrath (Clontarf)
Harry McNulty (UCD)
Bryan Mollen (Blackrock College)
Peter Sullivan (Lansdowne)*
Mark Roche (Blackrock College)

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Sean Farrell

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