Anna Doyle and Dorothy Wall, who co-captained the Ireland Women’s Under-18s to European bronze earlier in the year, head up a strong Irish team for this weekend’s opening leg of the Under-18 Home Nations Sevens tournament in Edinburgh.
The two-legged tournament involving Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales is a new addition to the summer schedule of international Sevens, and gives some of Irish Rugby’s emerging Sevens talent another opportunity to shine in the green jersey. The second leg will take place at the University of Birmingham on July 21-22.
Nine members of the history-making Ireland squad that claimed bronze at April’s European U-18 Sevens Championship in Vichy are included – captain Anna Doyle, Dorothy Wall, Ballinasloe duo Meabh Deely and Beibhinn Parsons, Tullamore starlet Megan Burns, IQ Rugby representative Alexandra Dunne, and Monaghan pair Lucinda Kinghan and Kelly McCormill.
Doyle and Parsons top-scored in that tournament with five tries each, while the returning Aoibheann Reilly and Westport’s Lily Brady bring the Connacht contingent in the squad to four, and Kells speedster Molly Fitzgerald, who played for Leinster in this past season’s IRFU 15s and Sevens Interprovincials, is set for her Ireland bow.
Ireland, who are coached by Adam Griggs and managed by Elaine Ryan, will come up against some of the players who were involved in last September’s UK School Games, which the girls in green won with a 19-10 final victory over Wales. They kick off the Edinburgh tournament tomorrow morning against England (10.22am) before playing Wales (12.22pm) and hosts Scotland (3pm).
Day one on Saturday is played in a round robin format, and the knockout matches will follow on Sunday to determine the final placings. The tournament at Peffermill Playing Fields is free for supporters to attend, with catering available in the clubhouse. The games run from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and from 10am until 1pm on Sunday.
IRELAND UNDER-18 WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (Under-18 Home Nations Sevens Tournament – Round 1, Peffermill Playing Fields, Edinburgh, Scotland, Saturday, July 7-Sunday, July 8):
Maggie Boylan (Carrick-On-Suir RFC/Munster)
Lily Brady (Westport RFC/Connacht)
Megan Burns (Tullamore RFC/Leinster)
Meabh Deely (Ballinasloe RFC/Connacht)
Anna Doyle (Tullow RFC/Leinster) (capt)
Alexandra Dunne (Denston College/IQ Rugby)
Molly Fitzgerald (Navan RFC/Leinster)
Lucinda Kinghan (Monaghan RFC/Ulster)
Kelly McCormill (Monaghan RFC/Ulster)
Beibhinn Parsons (Ballinasloe RFC/Connacht)
Aoibheann Reilly (Ballinasloe RFC/Connacht)
Dorothy Wall (Fethard RFC/Munster)
UNDER-18 HOME NATIONS SEVENS – ROUND 1 FIXTURES:
Saturday, July 7 –
Scotland v Wales, 10am
Ireland v England, 10.22am
England v Scotland, 12pm
Ireland v Wales, 12.22pm
Scotland v Ireland, 3pm
Wales v England, 3.22pm
Sunday, July 8 –
Semi-Final 1: 3rd-Placed Team v 2nd-Placed Team, 10am
Semi-Final 2: 1st-Placed Team v 4th-Placed Team, 10.22am
3rd-4th Place Play-Off, 12pm