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Eddy Names Sevens Squads For Elche Tournament

Anthony Eddy has named his squads for this weekend's tournament in Elche. ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Anthony Eddy has named his squads for this weekend's tournament in Elche ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

As the countdown to the first combined HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series event of the 2019/20 season continues, the Ireland Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams will fine-tune their preparations at the annual Elche 7s tournament this weekend.

Ahead of their debut appearance as a core team in Dubai, the Ireland Men have been paired in Pool B with Portugal, Scotland and local outfit Viator 7s, while Stan McDowell’s Ireland Women, who opened their World Series campaign with an eighth place finish in Glendale last month, will face France, Belgium, Emerging France, Spain and Poland this weekend.

Anthony Eddy has named a 15-player Men’s squad for the tournament, including Ulster Academy winger Aaron Sexton and Cormac Izuchukwu, who top-scored for Ireland at last week’s RugbyX tournament in London.

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The Billy Dardis-captained Ireland side will hope to build further momentum ahead of their season opener in Dubai following strong performances during pre-season in Chester and at the 02 Arena.

The Ireland Women, meanwhile, will be captained by Lucy Mulhall, and their travelling squad includes 11 of the players who featured in Glendale last month, as Claire Boles, Luncida Kinghan, Maeve Liston and Grace Moore are handed a big opportunity ahead of the World Series legs in Dubai and Cape Town in December.

Speaking ahead of the trip to Spain, Eddy, the IRFU’s Director of Sevens and Women’s Rugby, said:

It’s always a really good tournament and the preparation for both the Men’s and Women’s teams is an excellent building block as we look towards Dubai.”

The Ireland Men open their tournament against Portugal on Saturday morning before further pool games against Viator 7s and Scotland, while the Ireland Women are first in action against France at the Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra.

IRELAND MEN’S SQUAD (Elche 7s – Saturday, November 9-Sunday, November 10):

Foster Horan (Lansdowne)
Adam Leavy (Lansdowne)
Harry McNulty (UCD)
John O’Donnell (Lansdowne)
Aaron O’Sullivan (Blackrock/Leinster)
Cormac Izuchukwu (Old Wesley)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College) (capt)
Greg O’Shea (Shannon)
Iwan Hughes (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
Aaron Sexton (Malone/Ulster)
Peter Maher (Old Belvedere)
Hugo Lennox (Clontarf)

IRELAND WOMEN’S SQUAD (Elche 7s – Saturday, November 9-Sunday, November 10):

Kathy Baker (Blackrock/Leinster)
Claire Boles (Railway Union/Ulster)
Megan Burns (Tullamore/Leinster)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union/Munster)
Anna Doyle (DCU/Leinster)
Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock/Leinster)
Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Katie Heffernan (Mullingar/Railway Union/Leinster)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster)
Lucinda Kinghan (DCU/Ulster)
Emily Lane (Mallow/Munster)
Maeve Liston (Blackrock/Ulster)
Grace Moore (IQ Rugby)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum) (capt)
Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (Old Belvedere/Munster)

ELCHE 7s IRELAND MATCH SCHEDULE:

Saturday, November 9 –

Ireland Men v Portugal, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 10.40am local time/9.40am Irish time
Ireland Women v France, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 12pm local time/11am Irish time
Ireland Men v Viator 7s, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 2pm local time/1pm Irish time
Ireland Women v France Emerging, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 3.20pm local time/2.20pm Irish time
Ireland Men v Scotland, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 5.30pm local time/4.30pm Irish time
Ireland Women v Belgium, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 6.30pm local time/5.30pm Irish time.

Sunday, November 10 –

Ireland Women v Spain, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 10.20am local time/9.20am Irish time
Ireland Women v Poland, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 1.20pm local time/12.20pm Irish time
Men’s and Women’s Play-Offs & Finals, Estadio Jose Diaz Iborra, tbc