Ireland ‘A’ international Keith Earls has been withdrawn from the Ireland Sevens squad for the FIRA-AER European Sevens tournament which is taking place in Hannover, Germany this weekend.
Keith Earls’ place in the squad has been taken by Shannon clubman Eoghan Grace as Ireland attempt to claim the crown of European champions and also secure a place in the 2009 IRB Sevens World Cup tournament that will take place in Dubai.
The Ireland Sevens squad arrived today in Germany ahead of their first Pool B game on Saturday against the Ukraine, which kicks off at 12pm.
Their next game is the crucial encounter against second seeds Wales at 3.10pm, followed by the game against Italy at 5.40pm and Belgium at 7.30pm (all times are local).
On Sunday, Ireland will play their final game against Poland at 9.50am and following the completion of the pool phases, the top two teams from both pools will go forward to the semi-finals.
Only the top five teams from the overall competition will go forward to the World Cup in Dubai.
The action all takes place in the 50,000-seater AWD-Arena in Hannover and over 30,000 tickets have already been sold, mostly to fans in Germany and the DRV (German Rugby Union) is expecting this to reach near capacity on the day.
IRELAND SEVENS Squad (FIRA-AER European tournament, Hannover, July 12-13):
Cian Aherne (UCD/Leinster)
Richard Briggs (Esher)
Kieran Campbell (club tbc/Connacht) (capt)
Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
James Coughlan (Dolphin/Munster)
Eoghan Grace (Shannon/Munster)
Chris Henry (Malone/Ulster)
Ian Keatley (club tbc/Connacht)
Seamus Mallon (Ballymena/Ulster)
Conor McPhillips (St. Mary’s College/Connacht)
Andrew Maxwell (Edinburgh)
Brian Tuohy (Cornish Pirates)
Coach ? Jon Skurr
Manager ? Hugh McCaughey
Fitness and Conditioning ? Fergal O’Callaghan
Physiotherapist ? Emma Gallivan
Video Analyst ? George Murray
Wales, Ireland, Italy, Belgium, Ukraine, Poland
Portugal, Spain, Romania, Georgia, Russia, Germany