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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 13 December, 2018

Naoupu and Baxter among exciting Ireland 7s squad chasing World Cup qualification

Anthony Eddy’s squad are in France for the next two weekends, competing on two fronts.

Baxter at the World Series qualifier in UCD in 2015.
Baxter at the World Series qualifier in UCD in 2015.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS squad are off to France this weekend for the first of two legs of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix.

The Grand Prix — in Malemort this weekend and Kazan, Russia, on 8 July — offers two qualification spots for next summer’s Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, but Ireland will face competition in the pool stage from England who are the only other core World Series side not currently qualified for the World Cup.

Anthony Eddy’s 14-strong squad is led by captain Lucy Mulhall with 15-a-side stars Ashleigh Baxter, Sene Naoupu, Hannah Tyrell and Kim Flood bolstering the depth.

On top of the 12 women who featured in Langford last time out, Megan Williams returns to the squad and Anna McGann will hope to earn her senior debut.

After Malemort the squad will compete in the final round of the Word Series season at the Clermont 7s next weekend (24 June) safe in the knowledge that they have already secured their place in the tournament next season.

Ireland Women’s 7s Squad for Malemort and Clermont 7s

Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke RFC / Ulster)
Chloe Blackmore (St. Mary’s College RFC/Munster)
Claire Keohane (UL Bohemian RFC / Munster)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union RFC / Leinster)
Kim Flood (Railway Union RFC / Leinster)
Louise Galvin (UL Bohemian RFC / Munster)
Katie Heffernan (Mullingar RFC / Railway Union RFC (dual status) /Leinster)
Anna McGann (UCD RFC / Leinster)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum RFC / Leinster) (captain) 
Amee-Leigh Murphy-Crowe (Railway Union RFC / Munster)
Sene Naoupu (Aylesford Bulls)
Audrey O’Flynn (Ireland 7s Programme)
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere RFC / Leinster)
Megan Williams (St. Mary’s College RFC)

Ireland fixtures Rugby Europe 7s Grand Prix (Malemort), 17 June

v Italy, 10.06am (Irish time)
v Portugal, 12.51pm (Irish time)
v England, 3.14pm (Irish time)

Ireland fixtures World Rugby 7s Series (Clermont), 24 June

v USA, 1pm (Irish time)
v New Zealand,  2.06pm (Irish time)
v Japan,  4.29pm (Irish time)

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Previously>> Huge markers laid down as Ireland beat England and Fiji in 7s

‘Great day for the family,’ but whirlwind tour leaves little time for Scannell brothers to celebrate

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Sean Farrell

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