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Ireland Women’s Sevens Squad Selected For Kitakyushu Tournament

Ireland Women’s Sevens Squad Selected For Kitakyushu Tournament

IRFU Director of Women’s and Sevens Rugby, Anthony Eddy, has confirmed the Ireland Women’s Sevens squad to compete at the fourth stage of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in Kitakyushu, Japan on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23.

The Ireland Women finished eighth overall at the Las Vegas 7s in early March, the second World Series tournament in a row that the side have made the Cup quarter-finals.

Anthony Eddy has named a panel of 13 players led by captain Lucy Mulhall. Along with their skipper, Ashleigh Baxter, Claire Keohane, who helped UL Bohemians win the Women’s All-Ireland League last week, Stacey Flood, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Sene Naoupu, Audrey O’Flynn, Hannah Tyrrell and Megan Williams are all included again, having been a part of the squad for the USA 7s

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The new additions for Kitakyushu are Kim Flood, Louise Galvin, Katie Heffernan and Emma Murphy.
The 18-year-old Heffernan from Mullingar could make her World Series debut in Japan, having won her first senior Sevens cap last summer at the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series in Malemort, France.

The Women’s World Series come to Japan for the first time, with the action taking place at the new Mikuni World Stadium. Ireland will face Fiji in their opening Pool B game before meeting reigning champions Australia and wrapping up day 1 against Brazil.

All three teams will be familiar to each other as this is the same pool line-up from this season’s Sydney 7s where Ireland defeated both Fiji and Brazil.

The Japanese leg of the series will see Ireland and the Fijians meet for the fourth successive tournament this season – the sides drew in Dubai, Ireland were victorious in Sydney and then Fiji evened the scores as they ran out winners in Las Vegas.

Commenting on the squad announcement, Eddy said: “We have an experienced side travelling to Japan next week for the fourth stage of the World Sevens Series. We’ve managed to make the quarter-finals in the last two tournaments, so that will be a target for us again in Japan. Hopefully we can have a productive day 2 and achieve some really good results.

“The players have worked extremely hard and have shown good improvement all year, so I’m sure they are looking forward to the Japan tournament to build on their performances.

“It will be a challenge however, as we face the ever-improving Brazil, Fiji, who we are very familiar with having met them regularly throughout the series, and Australia, who are the reigning series champions as well as Olympic gold medallists – but it’s a challenge the players are excited about and looking forward to.”

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series – Kitakyushu Sevens, Mikuni World Stadium, Kitakyushu, Japan, Saturday, April 22-Sunday, April 23):

Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster)
Claire Keohane (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum/Leinster) (capt)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union/Munster)
Sene Naoupu (Aylesford Bulls)
Audrey O’Flynn (Ireland Sevens Programme)
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Megan Williams (Ireland Sevens Programme)
Kim Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Katie Heffernan (Mullingar/Leinster)
Emma Murphy (Railway Union/Leinster)

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Fixtures –

Kitakyushu 7s – Pool B:

Saturday, April 22

Ireland v Fiji, Mikuni World Stadium, 11.14am local time/3.14am Irish time
Australia v Ireland, Mikuni World Stadium, 2.20pm local time/6.20am Irish time
Ireland v Brazil, Mikuni World Stadium, 4.42pm local time/8.42am Irish time

Sunday, April 23

Play-Offs

For more information on the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, visit here: http://www.worldrugby.org/womens-sevens-series.