Earlier this summer, it was confirmed that Connacht will have a team in this year’s Limerick World Club 7s tournament which takes place at Thomond Park on Friday, August 21 and Saturday, August 22.
Former Connacht back Conor McPhillips will take charge of the province’s Sevens squad that will compete in the competition for the first time.
Commenting on the tournament, McPhillips, who himself played for Ireland in the 2001 Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in Argentina, said: “I’m delighted to be heading up the Sevens squad ahead of the tournament in Limerick.
“It’s an exciting time of year for all of our players as they will finally have a chance to play some competitive rugby, whether it’s 15-a-side or Sevens, after a heavy strength and conditioning workload throughout the summer.
“In consultation with Pat (Lam) and the other coaches, we have already identified players who would benefit most from the Sevens game. Naturally, preparation time will be pretty short but it’s just about giving the players some basic shape to help them with the nuances of the Sevens game. The basics are all the same – tackling, ball carrying, rucking – but it’s about executing them under extreme pressure and at a different pace.
“We expect to be competitive in the tournament even if the players don’t have a big background in Sevens. At the end of the day the selected players will come from the Connacht set-up and this is another chance for them to impress the coaches ahead of the regular season.”
Connacht head coach Pat Lam added: “The Sevens tournament affords us another great opportunity to give players a hit out in the build-up to the start of the season. We’re aiming to put out as strong a team as possible for the Sevens so it’s likely to be a mixture of senior and Academy guys outside of those already involved in the 15s friendly against Munster on the Friday night.”
Connacht have been drawn in Pool C of the Limerick World Club 7s competition alongside Ulster, Argentina’s Buenos Aires and South African club Golden Lions.
One and two-day tickets, that also give access to the Munster v Connacht pre-season game (Friday, August 21, Thomond Park, 7.45pm), can be purchased online from ticketmaster.ie.
Connacht Season Ticket holders and Connacht Clan members have been emailed an exclusive two-for-one offer on Friday tickets.