IRFU Director of Sevens and Women’s Rugby, Anthony Eddy, has announced the Ireland Women’s Sevens squad to compete in the first leg of the Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Grand Prix Series in Kazan, Russia this weekend.
Ireland have been drawn in Pool B with hosts Russia, Italy and Belgium. There are four changes to the squad that competed in the final stage of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in Clermont-Ferrand last month.
Nicole Cronin has successfully recovered from a series of injuries that have hampered her over the last number of months and having come through the Amsterdam 7s tournament, she will make her first appearance in a green jersey since last year. Also returning from injury is Louise Galvin who has completed her rehab on a broken leg.
Ireland 15-a-side captain Niamh Briggs, who played in the 2013 European Women’s Sevens Grand Prix Series, will make her first senior Sevens appearance of the year, having competed with the Irish Development side at the Kinsale, Guildford and Amsterdam 7s over the last number of weeks. The experienced Shannon Houston is the fourth player added to the side.
Matches from the European Grand Prix Series in Russia on Saturday and Sunday will be streamed live via www.rugbyeurope.tv.
Speaking ahead of the squad departure’s for Kazan, Anthony Eddy said: “It’s a very busy period for the Women’s Sevens programme at the moment. We have had teams competing in Clermont, Amsterdam, Guildford and Kinsale over the past number of weeks and it has given important game time to the players.
“The European Championships are a very important fixture on our calendar. With the likes of GB7s, Russia, France and Spain all involved. it’s set to be a good test for us.
“The World Series games can be very physical, so we have decided to give some of the players a rest this week, but this will be a great opportunity for the other players coming in to show what they can do. With Olympic and World Series qualification on the line in UCD at the end of the month, it’s important that we have all of our players in peak condition for that.”
The European Championships will be the final competitive tournament the girls in green will compete in before the Women’s Global Olympic Qualifying event takes place in UCD in Dublin on June 25-26 – tickets for which are available here from Ticketmaster.
IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (2016 Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Grand Prix Series, Kazan, Russia, Saturday, June 11-Sunday, June 12):
Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster)
Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Nicole Cronin (Shannon/Munster)
Aoife Doyle (Railway Union/Munster)
Kim Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Shannon Houston (Blackrock/Leinster)
Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum/Leinster) (capt)
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Megan Williams (St. Mary’s)
Match Schedule –
Saturday, June 11
Ireland v Italy, 11.50am local time/9.50am Irish time
Ireland v Belgium, 2.05pm local time/12.05pm Irish time
Russia v Ireland, 4.50pm local time/2.50pm Irish time
Sunday, June 12