The Ireland Women’s Sevens squad will play Australia in a three-match series at the inaugural Sydney 7s tournament on February 6-7, 2016.
The Ireland Women will spend a week training in Sydney before facing Australia, the winners of last week’s HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series leg in Dubai, three times at Allianz Stadium over the weekend of February 6-7.
IRFU Director of Women’s Rugby and Sevens, Anthony Eddy, believes the trip Down Under will be a very valuable experience for the side, saying: “Getting to train and play with the Australians, one of the top teams in the world, is a great opportunity for us.
“We would have liked a better finish in Dubai, but we learnt a lot last week and the time in Sydney, ahead of the next stage of the World Series in São Paulo, should be really beneficial for us.”
Eddy’s charges opened their World Series account last Thursday with a terrific win over the Olympics-bound USA team, and played four more tough games against top class opposition in the Dubai heat. They finished 12th overall with captain Lucy Mulhall tallying up 25 points and Alison Miller and Louis Galvin scoring three tries each.
As well as trying to cement their place on the World Series circuit, Mulhall and her team-mates are also gearing up for the World Olympic Repechage tournament next June which will decide the final team to qualify for Rio 2016.
In welcoming the announcement by the Australian Rugby Union, Australia Women’s Sevens captain Sharni Williams said: “It’s an understatement to say we are excited to be playing in front of a packed house at Allianz Stadium during the Sydney 7s.
“We all enjoyed playing against Canada on the Gold Coast last October but this will be something else. It was a tough series against the Canadians and we expect the same type of challenge against an up-and-coming Ireland side who are very well-coached.
“From our point of view, we just want to go out there and showcase the game of Women’s Rugby Sevens in the best possible light to a full house at Allianz Stadium.”
In excess of 50,000 tickets have already been sold for the Sydney 7s with some of the most exciting international rugby talent from all over the world descending on the Harbour City for a two-day carnival of Sevens action.
AUSTRALIA WOMEN v IRELAND WOMEN – SYDNEY 7s SERIES:
Match 1 – Saturday, February 6 – Australia Women v Ireland Women, Allianz Stadium, 1.56pm local time
Match 2 – Sunday, February 7 – Australia Women v Ireland Women, Allianz Stadium, 11.18am local time
Match 3 – Sunday, February 7 – Australia Women v Ireland Women, Allianz Stadium, 2.48pm local time