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Ireland at full strength for this weekend's Olympic qualifying tournament

A place at Tokyo 2020 is on the line in Kazan.

THE IRELAND WOMEN sevens team is fully locked and loaded for this weekend’s crucial Olympic qualifier in Kazan, as Stan McDowell’s side go in search of a coveted Tokyo 2020 berth. 

A 13-player squad has been named for the trip to Russia, where the overall winners of the Rugby Europe Olympic qualifying tournament earn a direct passage through to next summer’s Games. 

Ireland's Stacey Flood Stacey Flood is set to win her 30th cap. Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

Ireland have been drawn in Pool C alongside familiar foes Spain, Romania and the Czech Republic.

Lucy Mulhall captains the squad, which includes the fit-again Audrey O’Flynn, while Stacey Flood — only just back from injury — is set to win her 30th Ireland sevens cap in Russia. 

There is an experienced and settled look to McDowell’s side, with Louise Galvin, Hannah Tyrrell and Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe all included.

Kathy Baker, Eve Higgins, Anna McGann, Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird, Megan Burns, Brittany Hogan and Emily Lane make up the panel having gained experience during this year’s World Series. 

“The players have had the Olympic qualifier at the back of their minds all season and now that it’s upon us they are raring to go,” McDowell said.

“There were some very big positives to take from the games in Marcoussis last month, as well as key learnings to bring into this weekend. This tournament is about taking each game as it comes and focusing on each moment during each of these games.”

Ireland's Lucy Mulhall Ireland captain Lucy Mulhall. Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

Ireland open their campaign against Romania on Saturday afternoon before further pool games against Czech Republic and Spain, with the play-offs and finals taking place on Sunday. 

While the overall winners earn the main prize of Tokyo 2020 qualification, the second and third-place finishers will advance to next year’s World Rugby Repechage where two more Olympic berths are available.

Ireland sevens squad:  

  • Kathy Baker (Blackrock/Leinster)
  • Megan Burns (Tullamore/Leinster)
  • Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
  • Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
  • Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster)
  • Brittany Hogan (Railway Union/Ulster)
  • Emily Lane (Mallow/Munster)
  • Anna McGann (UCD/Old Belvedere/Leinster)
  • Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum) (captain)
  • Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union/Munster)
  • Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (Old Belvedere/Munster)
  • Audrey O’Flynn (Ireland Sevens Programme)
  • Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster).

Ireland’s fixtures:

Saturday, 13 July

  • Ireland v Romania, 12.06pm local time/10.06am Irish time
  • Ireland v Czech Republic, 2.51pm local time/12.51pm Irish time
  • Spain v Ireland, 5.14pm local time/3.14pm Irish time

Sunday, 14 July

  • Play-offs and finals.

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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