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Latest Women’s Sevens Contracts Confirmed As Olympic Qualification Commences

Latest Women’s Sevens Contracts Confirmed As Olympic Qualification Commences

The Irish Rugby Football Union has announced the list of female players who have been contracted under the Sevens Programme as the squad set its sights on qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

23 female players have been contracted for the 2018/19 season, which sees the Ireland Women’s squad competing on two fronts to secure Olympic qualification via the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series and Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series.
Anthony Eddy, IRFU Director of Women’s & Sevens Rugby, commented: “It is a huge year for both the Women’s and Men’s squads as we strive to qualify both teams for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The World Series is a massive competition for the Women’s programme providing access to top class international opposition across the season and it takes on added significance this year as a direct qualification route for the Olympics. 
“The Women’s squad will also be competing on the Rugby Europe Grand Prix circuit next summer which is another qualification route for the Tokyo Olympics.”

Stacey Flood in action for the Ireland Women's Sevens
IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora said: “This investment reflects Irish Rugby’s ambition for Ireland Sevens to be represented at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in two years’ time. The 23 Women’s player contracts and the establishment of match payments for the Women’s 15s squad is reflective of the IRFU’s strategic goals to develop the Women’s game over the coming years. 
“Full-time 15s contracts are not being considered at present as the greatest level of investment within the Women’s game will be focused on developing and enhancing the player pathway experience, creating greater access to the game and driving participation.”
The Ireland Men’s Sevens squad contracts for the 2018/19 season will be confirmed following the completion of the Celtic Cup. The Men’s squad are also targeting Olympic qualification this season as well as seeking to secure a place on the World Series.

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IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS – Qualification Route To 2020 Tokyo Olympics:

– Finish as a top four-ranked team in 2018/19 Women’s Sevens Series
– Top ranked team from 2019 Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series
– Top ranked team from World Repechage tournament (Second and third highest-ranked teams from Rugby Europe qualify)

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS – Full-Time Contracts:

Kathy Baker (Blackrock/Leinster) *
Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster)
Aoife Doyle (Shannon/Railway Union) *
Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock/Leinster)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster) *
Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster) *
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union/Munster) *
Audrey O’Flynn (Ireland Sevens Programme)
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS – Development Contracts:
Claire Boles (Railway Union/Ulster) *
Megan Burns (Tullamore/Leinster) *
Anna Doyle (Tullow/Railway Union/Leinster) *
Katie Heffernan (Mullingar/Railway Union/Leinster) *
Brittany Hogan (Railway Union/Ulster) *
Claire Keohane (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Lucinda Kingham (Monaghan/Ulster) *
Emily Lane (Mallow/Munster) *
Anna McGann (Old Belvedere/Leinster) *
Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (Old Belvedere/Munster)
Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Railway Union/Leinster) *
Dorothy Wall (Fethard/Munster) *
* Denotes player from Under-18 Sevens Development programme

USA (Denver), Infinity Park, Glendale, October 20-21
DUBAI, Sevens Stadium, Dubai, November 29-30
AUSTRALIA (Sydney), Spotless Stadium, Sydney, February 1-3
JAPAN (Kitakyushu), Mikuni World Stadium, Kitakyushu, April 20-21
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FRANCE (Paris), Stade Jean-Bouin, Paris, May 31-June 3