The Ireland Men’s Sevens squad will be an invitational team at the upcoming London and Paris legs of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, taking on top class opposition at Twickenham (June 2-3) and Stade Jean Bouin (June 9-10).
The London Sevens match schedule for Anthony Eddy’s side was revealed today, as the Ireland men get their first taste of World Rugby Sevens Series action since 2004 when their predecessors competed in the Dubai and George tournaments.
Australia, Wales and Spain will be Ireland’s Pool B rivals in the English capital next month, all familiar opponents for Eddy’s charges over the past year. They were silver medallists in last summer’s Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series, defeating Wales on three occasions and Spain twice.
But they will meet both teams at their peak in London, particularly Spain who were Cup quarter-finalists in the last two World Series rounds in Hong Kong and Singapore. Australia were runners-up in Singapore and currently lie fourth in the overall standings, while the Spanish are 13th and the Welsh 14th.
Ireland will open their London campaign against Australia on Saturday, June 2 (kick-off 10.36am), meeting them for the first time since a 17-7 pool defeat at the Oktoberfest 7s in Munich earlier this season. The clashes with Spain (1.20pm) and Wales (4.26pm) complete their day one schedule at Twickenham.
Click here to buy London Sevens tickets and support the Ireland Men’s Sevens team at the home of English Rugby.
Captain Billy Dardis and his team-mates, whose jam-packed summer schedule is all leading towards July’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco, will also begin their European Grand Prix Series challenge on May 19-20, with the first tournament taking place in Moscow.
Ireland will have Germany, Portugal and Poland for company in Pool B in Russia, and the four-legged Rugby Europe event, which concludes in Lodz in September, gives them the opportunity to advance to next year’s World Series qualifier in Hong Kong.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “This year’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series has been one of the most competitive yet, in what has been an exciting year for Sevens with the Commonwealth Games recently taking place, and Sevens’ flagship event, the Rugby World Cup Sevens, still to come in July in San Francisco.
“As teams enter into the penultimate round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, we are looking forward to watching a spectacular display of fast-paced, high-octane rugby at Twickenham Stadium.”
The Ireland Sevens jerseys are available to buy online here from Elverys Intersport, official sports retailer of the IRFU.