10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Rugby Sevens is now an Olympic sport and set to feature in RIO in 2016.
In 2013 the Ireland Women's Sevens Team will be competing in the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.
With support from the Irish Sports Council, the IRFU have made the decision to commit to a long term Women's Sevens Programme with the express goal of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The programme will entail an investment of over €1.1 million per annum to create a high performance squad with the aspiration to qualify and successfully compete in Rio in 2016.
In addition to qualification for the Rio games, the strategic aims of the new IRFU Olympic Sevens programme are to:
- Raise the profile of Irish female team sport
- Increase female participation in the game of rugby
- Position rugby as the sport of choice for young women
With the decision to commit to the Rio 2016 qualification programme, and to ensure long term success in 15-a-side and Sevens, the IRFU will continue to operate a sport-transfer Talent Identification Programme (TID) open to all players and athletes who have the potential to play elite women's rugby.
It is important to note that you do not need to have any previous rugby experience to attend the screening camps.
7s Rugby matches last only 14 minutes and are played over two 7 minute halves. Due to the short nature of the game 7s athletes will play between 3 and 4 games a day over two day tournaments.
The 7s rugby athlete needs to be fast agile and skilful. They also need to display high levels of fitness and durability in order to be able to play multiple games over two days.
Your capacities in some of these areas will assessed at the screening days. Further details of the types of assements you will undergo will be provided at a later date.
Candidates must be females aged between 18 and 27 years of age and posses the following attributes:
• Good handling and evasion skills
• Good Fitness levels
• Good decision making skills
• Desire and determination for success
• Irish Qualified (Holder of an Irish passport/ parent or grandparent with an Irish passport/ living in Ireland for 36 months or more consecutively)
Check out some of the highlights from last season's Mission To Moscow when the Ireland Women qualified for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2013.