Kieran Campbell says it is a ‘great honour’ for him to be selected as Ireland captain for the 2009 Rugby Sevens tournament and he will be ‘absolutely delighted’ to lead his country in Dubai.
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Speaking at the team hotel in Dublin, where the Ireland squad have been based prior to this weekend’s warm-up tournament in Portugal, Ireland Sevens captain Kieran Campbell gave his thoughts on the tournament and what it means for the players involved.
“There’s a great opportunity for the guys going and we’re all looking forward to it,” said the Connacht scrum half.
“We’ve been working hard for the past six weeks for this. The warm-up tournament gives us a chance to get the basis for what we’re going to do in Dubai laid down and give everyone a good chance to gel together.”
Campbell heads up an Irish squad of 12 players of which Munster provides the biggest representation with five players on board.
“It’s nice having a smaller group. It does build long-lasting friendships and it’s a side of rugby that’s still important…that guys get the opportunity to bond and get to mix with each other,” he added.
“And with only 12 of you you certainly get to know each other pretty well!”
Given that Ireland do not field a team on the IRB World Sevens circuit, Campbell knows his side will be up against it in Dubai but the Irish players will relish the challenge presented by Australia, Samoa and Portugal in Pool D.
“Our pool opponents have been on the circuit, they’re very, very well prepared. Portugal have done very well.
“Australia and Samoa speak for themselves. It’s certainly going to be a hard task for us in an experienced group like that.
“But with the group of players we have, we’ve a great opportunity to pull off some shocks.”