IRFU Director of Sevens Rugby, Anthony Eddy, has named a new and exciting looking Ireland Men’s Sevens squad to take part in the first tournament of the 2016/17 season at the Dubai Sevens Men’s International Invitational on December 2-3.
UCD’s Harry McNulty and St. Mary’s back Steve Toal-Lennon both competed at the Olympic Repechage in Monaco back in June and joining them in the squad for Dubai are experienced Sevens internationals Nick Timoney and Terry Kennedy. The National Sevens programme welcomes back Kennedy after he missed most of last season’s Sevens tournaments as he was representing the Ireland Under-20s.
Shannon’s Luke O’Dea and Lansdowne’s John O’Donnell, who both won Ireland Sevens caps at the Rugby Europe Trophy tournament last season, are also included along with Buccaneers winger Jordan Conroy and David Busby. Conroy and the Ulster Academy’s Busby both gained valuable experience through the Sevens programme last season.
New to the Sevens programme this season are two of Kennedy’s former-Ireland Under-20 team-mates in Cork Constitution and Munster’s Shane Daly (pictured below) and Jimmy O’Brien of UCD and Leinster.
Galwegians scrum half Conor Lowndes is also new to the Sevens set-up and has earned selection for Dubai, as has former Connacht winger and current Naas star Fionn Carr. The 30-year-old won 110 caps for Connacht, as well as 38 with Leinster, and was part of the westerners squad that won the GUINNESS PRO12 last season.
On confirmation of the squad for Dubai, Anthony Eddy said: “With a number of players who were involved with the Ireland Sevens squad last season seeing an increased involvement within their provinces this year – the likes of Leinster’s Adam Byrne, Tom Daly, Barry Daly and Rory O’Loughlin and Munster’s Dan Goggin and Alex Wootton have all featured in PRO12 games this season – there is the opportunity for a new group of players to experience what the game of Sevens has to offer.
“Dubai marks the beginning of the new campaign for us, and while our main programme will begin in the New Year as we look towards the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series, Dubai gives everyone the chance to get out and play in a competitive environment.
“We are in a pool with Germany’s Development side, Zambia and Georgia. This will be a very competitive and challenging pool. It will give us the opportunity to see what stage of development we are at with this group of players.”
IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (DUBAI 7s INTERNATIONAL INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai, Friday, December 2-Saturday, December 3):
David Busby (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Fionn Carr (Naas)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
Shane Daly (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Conor Lowndes (Galwegians/Connacht)
Harry McNulty (UCD)
Jimmy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
Luke O’Dea (Shannon)
John O’Donnell (Lansdowne)
Nick Timoney (Queen’s University/Ulster)
Steve Toal-Lennon (St. Mary’s College)
Ireland Men’s Sevens Management
Anthony Eddy – IRFU Director of Sevens
Stan McDowell – Head Coach
James Topping – Team Manager
Marian Earls – S&C Coach
Barry Smith – Physiotherapist
Vinny Hammond – Performance Analyst
Sam O’Byrne – Media & Communications
IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS FIXTURES – DUBAI 7s INTERNATIONAL INVITATIONAL:
Friday, December 2 –
Ireland v Germany Development, 2pm local time/10am Irish time
Ireland v Zambia 7s, 4.20pm local time/12.20pm Irish time
Ireland v Georgia 7s, 6.20pm local time/2.20pm Irish time
Saturday, December 3 –