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Ireland Development Teams Ready For International Action In Dubai

Ireland Development Teams Ready For International Action In Dubai

Ireland Development Teams Ready For International Action In Dubai

Dylan O'Grady in action for Ireland U20s last summer. ©INPHO/Ben Brady

The Ireland Men’s and Women’s Sevens squads, sponsored by TritonLake, will this weekend take part in the Dubai Invitational Tournament, presenting a number of young players with an exciting opportunity to showcase themselves in a green jersey on the world stage.

Two 12-player squads arrived in Dubai on Tuesday evening ahead of three days of tournament action at the iconic Sevens Stadium, joining the Ireland Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams, who return to HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series action in the desert from Friday.

Coached by former Australis Sevens international Sam Myers, the Ireland Men’s Development squad includes Ireland U20 Grand Slam winners Aitzol King and Dylan O’Grady, while Billy Dardis, Fergus Jemphrey and Tom Roche all add World Series experience to the group.

Mark Lee, who captained Ireland U18 Men’s Sevens at the Rugby Europe U18 Sevens Championship in Poland during the summer, is also included.

Ireland Men will open their Dubai Invitational campaign against France Sevens on Thursday at 3.40pm local time/11.40am Irish time.

Four members of the Women’s National Talent Squad (WNTS) have been selected for Ireland Women this weekend, with this tournament providing young players with an invaluable exposure to high-level competition.

Éabha Nic Dhonnacha, Alanna Fitzpatrick, Eva Sterritt and Aoife Dalton, who made her Ireland XVs debut during the Summer Tour of Japan, are all part of Katie Fitzhenry‘s squad in Dubai, while there are a number of players who make the step up from the Ireland U18 Women’s Sevens squad.

Nic Dhonnacha and Sterritt both featured during Ireland’s third place finish at the Rugby Europe U18 Women’s Sevens Championship in Prague in July, as did Amy Larn, Robyn O’Connor, Ellen Boylan, with the Dubai tournament a great opportunity to expose players to high level competition.

Vicky Elmes Kinlan, who won World Series silver and bronze medals with Ireland in 2022, was part of the Ireland Development squad in Dubai 12 months ago, and the 19-year-old is again included in Aiden McNulty‘s World Series squad for this weekend’s 2023 campaign opener.

Ireland Women are first in action in the Invitational Tournament at 12pm local time/8am Irish time on Thursday, as they go head-to-head with Scion Rugby.

You can keep up to date with all the fixtures and results here, while there will be a tournament report on IrishRugby.ie on Saturday.

Ireland Men’s Development Squad: Sion Cowdy, Billy Dardis, Sean Galvin, Hubert Gilvarry, Will Goddard, Dylan O’Grady, Mark Lee, Fergus Jemphrey, Aitzol King, Liam McNamara, Connor O’Sullivan, Tom Roche.

Ireland Women’s Development Squad: Ashleigh Baxter, Claire Boles, Aoife Dalton, Eabha Nic Dhonnacha, Alanna Fitzpatrick, Heather Kennedy, Amy Larn, Roisin McBrien, Ellen Boylan, Robyn O’Connor, Molly Saunders, Eva Sterritt.


Dubai Invitational Tournament: 

Thursday, December 1 –

  • Ireland Women v Scion Rugby, 12pm local time/8am Irish time
  • Ireland Men v France Sevens, 3.20pm local time/11.20am Irish time
  • Ireland Women v 7 Fantastics, 4pm local time/12pm Irish time
  • Ireland Men v 7 Fantastics, 7pm local time/3pm Irish time

Friday, December 2 –

  • Ireland Men v Zimbabwe Cheetahs, 12.40pm local time/8.40am Irish time
  • Ireland Women v Spain ‘A’, 1.40pm local time/9.40am Irish time.