19 May, 11:13
There are six uncapped players in the Ireland squad for the summer tour to North America that was named this morning. An Emerging Ireland squad has also been selected for the Tblisi Cup in Georgia.
This year's event has attracted more than 60 teams from countries including, England, Fiji, Moldovia and the USA with the tournament winners from 2000, the South Sea Drifters, being joined by fellow Fijian side the Global Babaas. The Babaas make the 12,000-mile journey to participate in the Kinsale Sevens for the first time.
In addition to the Senior Men's event there are also competitions at Senior Women, Junior Men and for the first time the festival sees the introduction of an All Ireland Under 20s Sevens competition. Among the sides competing in the U20s are Cork Constitution, St Mary's College, Shannon, Bruff, Old Crescent, Greystones, Garyowen and Waterpark and has received the backing of the IRFU. Director of Rugby Development, Eddie Wigglesworth said, " I see this Under 20 Sevens as the ideal vehicle for development of individual skills particularly as the emphasis in the modern game centres on power and speed. We in the IRFU are very happy to support this initial entry into what is an internationally recognised tournament and we are confident that the introduction of Under 20s Sevens will be a significant development of the game in this country."
The event kicks off on Friday May 3rd with 10 a side fun competition beginning at 4pm. Teams are required to register at that stage. The senior men's, women's and Under 20 competition begins on Saturday, May 4th with the finals scheduled for Sunday afternoon, May 5th.
The competition was cancelled last year because of the outbreak of Foot & Mouth in England but the break has done little to dampen the enthusiasm either of the organisers or participants, and sponsors, according to Kett, " From the outset the interest in this year's event has been remarkable. We reached our maximum entry level earlier than ever which I believe is a true indication of where this tournament stands within the global rugby network. We in Kinsale RFC are looking forward to the event and I would like to pay tribute to all the hard working members of he club and all our sponsors, who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the festival will be a huge success."