IRFU Director of Women’s and Sevens Rugby, Anthony Eddy, has named the Ireland Women’s Sevens squad to travel to Malemort, France to compete in the second leg of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series this weekend.
The squad contains two new caps, Chloe Blackmore and Katie Heffernan, who have both come through the Under-18 player development programme and will play in their first senior Sevens competition this weekend.
Both players competed at last year’s Rugby Europe Under-18 Sevens Championship where Blackmore was team captain.
Ireland have been drawn in Pool C with GB Lions, whom they lost out to in the 3rd-4th place play-off of the first leg in Kazan in June, as well as Italy and Belgium. They will face Italy in their first game of the day, followed by Belgium, and will end day 1 against GB Lions.
The Grand Prix tournament will be Ireland’s last competitive tournament before taking part in the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, which starts in Dubai on December 1.
Ahead of the squad’s departure for France, Eddy said: “There is a good balance to the squad that has been selected for this weekend’s tournament in Malemort.
“Ten of the players who have been selected competed in the World Rugby Women’s Sevens last season, so they are all aware of what is required to do well at a tournament such as this.
“We then have two new caps in Chloe Blackmore and Katie Heffernan. They have both come through the player development pathway and are very promising players.
“We’re in a challenging pool with GB Lions, Italy and Belgium, all of whom will have their own strengths, but the squad have had a very positive pre-season and have been training hard, so they are all looking forward to getting back onto the field and competing.”
IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Grand Prix Series – Second Leg, Malemort, France, September 24-25):
Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster)
Chloe Blackmore (St. Mary’s/Munster) *
Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock/Leinster)
Kim Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Katie Heffernan (Mullingar/Leinster) *
Claire Keohane (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum/Leinster) (capt)
Amee-Leigh Crowe (Railway Union/Munster)
Audrey O’Flynn (Talent ID)
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Megan Williams (St. Mary’s)
* Denotes new caps
IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS FIXTURES –
Day 1 – Saturday, September 24
Ireland v Italy, 11.22am local time/10.22am Irish time
Ireland v Belgium, 2.07pm local time/1.07pm Irish time
Ireland v GB Lions, 4.52pm local time/3.52pm Irish time
Day 2 – Sunday, September 25
Games will be broadcast live via www.rugbyeurope.tv.