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Mulhall And Dardis Ready To Scale New Heights At Sevens World Cup

Mulhall And Dardis Ready To Scale New Heights At Sevens World Cup

Billy Dardis and Lucy Mulhall 8/9/2022

Ireland Sevens captains Billy Dardis and Lucy Mulhall are pictured with the Rugby World Cup Sevens trophies in Cape Town ©INPHO/Travis Prior

The awe-inspiring Table Mountain provided the backdrop to the traditional captains’ photocall as excitement reaches fever pitch ahead of the start of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town on Friday.

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Joining the other 38 team captains at the event, Lucy Mulhall and Billy Dardis donned Ireland’s brand new Canterbury kit for RWC Sevens 2022. The new jerseys are available to buy from Intersport Elverys.

An anticipated record-breaking crowd of more than 150,000 fans, attending across the three days of the tournament, will create an unforgettable atmosphere at Cape Town Stadium this weekend.

It all begins on Friday morning with the Ireland Men (sponsored by TritonLake) taking on Portugal in the curtain raiser (kick-off 8.45am local time/7.45am Irish time). With no pool phase, the winner-takes-all knockout format means every match counts.

If James Topping’s charges advance, they will meet England in the round of 16 (kick-off 2.39pm local time/1.39pm Irish time). The prize on offer is a Saturday night quarter-final with hosts South Africa the likely opponents.

The Ireland Women, led by Wicklow native Mulhall, begin their World Cup run against fellow World Series side Brazil at 1.54pm local time/12.54pm Irish time on Friday.

The winners progress to a Saturday quarter-final, knowing that defending champions New Zealand could await them. Each session will contain some mouth-watering clashes as the Bowl, Challenge Trophy and Championship rounds are played out.

Thrilled to be captaining her country for the second time at a Sevens World Cup, Mulhall said: “Preparations have been good. We were in Stellenbosch last week, training against the USA, France and South Africa so that was good to get a hit-out against other opposition.

“This week has been about getting some precision on what we want to execute tomorrow.

“I’ve heard about the atmosphere that’s here at Cape Town Stadium and how passionate all the fans are, so we can’t wait to get out there. It’s all been about the World Cup since the end of the World Series, qualifying and then prep for it.

“Now we’re ready to get out there. Knowing that we have Brazil (first), you really get up for the game because we know how good they are, how fast they are, what they’re going to bring.

“So it’s just about us getting in there nice and early and setting the tone. We’ve done all our homework now, so it’s just about us executing our own game-plan.”

Dardis, who led the Ireland Men to Challenge Trophy success at the last World Cup in 2018, commented: “It’s going to be extremely exciting, but with it being a knockout, you can’t look too far past that first game.

“Hopefully we can maintain that momentum that we’ve built up throughout the year and put on a really good performance.

“Incredibly proud (to captain the team). As captain I only play a small role these days. With all the leaders in the squad, I don’t have to do too much. I’ve become just a speaker on behalf of the team!

“It’s incredible to see what Irish Sevens has done over the last five or six years. To go from really the basement of Europe to a World Cup, to qualify for the World Series and to go to the Olympics, and to become one of the top six, seven, eight in the world, it has been pretty cool.

“It will be a big one for us (the first game against Portugal) and hopefully we can just be a little bit poker faced about it. Go about our work, nail down our detail, be really clinical and do the job.”

All of Ireland’s games are live on the RTÉ Player in the Republic of Ireland, while there will be coverage across Irish Rugby social media channels and on IrishRugby.ie. A full list of broadcasters is available here.

The last remaining tickets for the RWC Sevens are available here.