The Ireland Women's Sevens squad for the FIRA/AER European Women's Sevens Grand Prix event in Moscow this weekend has been announced.
Ireland will feature in Pool B along with England, Portugal and Belgium, with the pool games taking place at the Luzhniki Olympic Complex on Saturday and the play-offs to follow on Sunday.
Speaking ahead of the tournament, head coach Jon Skurr said: "The preparation for the Europeans has been good. We have made a few changes from Amsterdam with Nicole Cronin and Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe returning to the squad.
"The girls' skills are improving week on week. That said, it is time for us to push on and start to deliver consistent performances.
"We go into this tournament knowing that we have to finish in the top two, excluding the three core teams (Russia, Spain and England), to advance to the Women's Sevens World Series requalification event in September."
IRELAND WOMEN'S SEVENS Squad (FIRA/AER European Women's Sevens Grand Prix Tournament, Luzhniki Olympic Complex, Moscow, Russia, June 7-8):
1. Shannon Houston (Blackrock/Leinster) (capt) 2. Martina McCarthy (St. Mary's/Talent ID Programme) 3. Elaine Ryan (Talent ID Programme) 4. Nicole Cronin (Shannon/Munster) 5. Claire Keohane (UL Bohemians/Munster) 6. Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 7. Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Clanwilliam/Munster) 8. Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock/Leinster) 9. Nikki Caughey (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 10. Siobhan Barrett (Tralee/Munster) 11. Laura Lee Walsh (Talent ID Programme) 12. Susan Vaughan (Railway Union/Leinster)
POOL B - Saturday, June 7
IRELAND v Portugal, 11.28am local time/8.28am Irish time IRELAND v Belgium, 2.28pm local time/11.28am Irish time England v IRELAND, 5.28pm local time/2.28pm Irish time
Tickets are now on sale for the first ever Women's November International Series to be held in the UCD Bowl. Kids go free with any adult tickets. Ireland will face world champions England, top ranked Canada and the Black Ferns of New Zealand.
Tournament Director Garrett Tubridy sets the scene for an exciting weekend of rugby at UCD where 16 Women's Sevens teams will battle it out at for one qualifying spot for the Rio Olympics. Tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.ie/sevens.
Tadhg Furlong reflects on a disappointing day for Ireland against South Africa. However, he will take positives from his first Test start and be ready to build for the final match of the series in Port Elizabeth.
Paddy Jackson is preparing for Ireland's second Test against South Africa on Saturday (kick-off 5pm local time/4pm Irish time). The Ulster out-half has been checking out Ellis Park in advance of the match.
Nicole Cronin, the inaugural Irish Women's Sevens Player of the Year in 2014, is looking to make an impact on her return to the green jersey at this weekend's Rugby Europe Women's Sevens Grand Prix Series in Kazan, Russia.
The Ireland Women's 15-a-side captain Niamh Briggs was part of the Irish Development team that won the Amsterdam 7s title recently. Next up is the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series in Kazan, Russia this weekend and then a shot at Olympic Sevens qualification at UCD on June 25-26.