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First World Cup Match-Ups Confirmed For Ireland Sevens Teams

First World Cup Match-Ups Confirmed For Ireland Sevens Teams

First World Cup Match-Ups Confirmed For Ireland Sevens Teams

The Ireland Men's Sevens team booked their World Cup place last weekend courtesy of wins over Poland, Portugal, Italy and Georgia ©INPHO/Stefan Constantin

The Ireland Men’s Sevens team (sponsored by TritonLake) will meet Portugal in their Rugby World Cup Sevens opener in September, following today’s unveiling of the tournament schedule.

Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 – Match Schedule

The Ireland Women will face Brazil, familiar opponents from the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, when the three-day tournament gets underway in Cape Town on Friday, September 9.

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It is the same ‘winner-takes-all’ knock-out competition format first introduced at the 2018 Sevens World Cup, meaning every match counts as teams will need to win every time they hit the pitch.

If the Ireland Women win their round of 16 clash with Brazil, they will face either New Zealand, the reigning champions, or Colombia in the Championship quarter-finals on day two.

The Ireland Men, if they get past Portugal in that pre-round of 16 fixture, will renew rivalries with England in the round of 16 on day one.

The winners of that game will return to Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, September 10 for a quarter-final against top seeds South Africa, unless Germany or Chile upset the hosts in the previous round.

The two Ireland sides booked their World Cup places through last weekend’s European Qualifier, with James Topping’s men actually beating Portugal 29-0 in the pool phase in Bucharest.

However, the Portuguese provided the shock of the weekend when they knocked out European champions Spain to qualify for Cape Town. Ireland captain Billy Dardis says it was a tough qualifying route.

Speaking after clinching their World Cup spot with a hard-fought 17-12 win over Georgia, he said: “Playing one-off games, we’ve learnt a lot from the World Series qualifier in Hong Kong, or the Olympic qualifier in Monaco, that anything can really happen.

“It was pretty tight there. A lot tighter than we had hoped. Big credit to Georgia, they came out fighting. We let them into the game early, with a silly knock-on. Gave them access and they’re big, physical guys.

“We did well to weather the storm, get two tries on the board before half-time and to come away with the win is pretty nice. It’s cool to have Cape Town to look forward to now.

“After a break, we’ve three weeks of training and then into LA (for the final leg of the World Series) and then down to Cape Town. That’s a really exciting few weeks. A World Cup in Cape Town will be pretty special.”

Coached by Aiden McNulty, the Ireland Women (sponsored by TritonLake) will head to South Africa in buoyant mood after their best ever World Series finish of fourth, including two tournament medals, and a strong summer campaign that saw them win the final Rugby Europe leg in Krakow.

Captain Lucy Mulhall, who led Ireland to a 17-14 victory over Brazil in Toulouse in May, commented: “It was a tough couple of weeks (of European action). It was great just to get game-time on the back of the World Series.

“We got a good few girls some game-time through that, so I think it meant competition was really high for the squad which is always a really important thing leading into a competition (like a qualifier).

“We have some time off now, then a couple of weeks of tough training I’m sure, like a pre-season, to lead into the World Cup. Go there and hopefully do something special.”

The seedings for both men’s and women’s competitions, which have 24 and 16 teams respectively, were based on points accrued during the World Series in 2020 and 2022.

Teams who do not participate on the World Series were seeded using their rankings gained in the 2020 Challenger Series, in conjunction with regional ranking positions (ending in July 2022).

World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “The release of the match schedule with 50 days to go is a really exciting moment on the road to Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 in Cape Town.

“Players, teams and fans can now fine-tune their plans and prepare for what promises to be a truly spectacular three day showcase of world class Sevens.

“With its iconic location, and passionate, international fanbase, the first Rugby World Cup in South Africa since that special event in 1995 promises to be another must watch, history making celebration of rugby’s power to unite and inspire people from all countries and backgrounds.

“Sevens is an incredibly fast, skilful, dynamic and dramatic sport, which continues to grow in popularity around the world following a second highly impactful Olympic Games competition in Tokyo last year.”

Remaining tickets are available at www.rwcsevens.com and Ireland fans are urged to support the teams from the first day of action on Friday, September 9, as the unique competition format means every match counts.


Friday, September 9 –


IRELAND MEN v PORTUGAL, Cape Town Stadium, 8.45am local time/7.45am Irish time


IRELAND WOMEN v BRAZIL, Cape Town Stadium, 1.54pm local time/12.54pm Irish time