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McNulty And Roche Make Dubai Dream Team

McNulty And Roche Make Dubai Dream Team

McNulty And Roche Make Dubai Dream Team

Scrum half Mark Roche started all six of Ireland's games in the Dubai desert ©INPHO/Isaac Lawrence

Harry McNulty and Mark Roche have earned HSBC Dream Team recognition, following their efforts in steering the Ireland Men’s Sevens team (sponsored by TritonLake) to silver medal success in Dubai.

The ever-durable and influential McNulty captained the Ireland Men to a stellar silver – their second in five HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments – as they moved up to fourth in this season’s standings.

The lynchpin forward, who was part of the Rugby World Cup Sevens Dream Team earlier this year, hoovered up numerous restarts and lineouts over the weekend, while bringing a physical presence to the Irish defence and attack.

Wily scrum half Roche, also one of the ‘Originals’ from 2015, made some big plays at the Emirates Dubai 7s, including running in that memorable extra-time winner against the USA in a tense quarter-final.

The Lansdowne clubman scored 19 points and was an important link man in some of Ireland’s best moves, as well as launching some skyscraper restarts.

Joining McNulty and Roche in gaining a Dubai Dream Team place are Ricardo Duarttee, Branco du Preez and Siviwe Soyizwapi from title winners South Africa, USA flyer Perry Baker, and top try scorer Akuila Rokolisoa from New Zealand.

Ireland’s Aaron O’Sullivan and Hugo Lennox also featured on the longlist for the second leg’s Dream Team, which was chosen with the help of a team of experts in Dubai before the public vote decided the final line-up.

Ireland captain Lucy Mulhall and Eve Higgins were in the running for the Women’s Dream Team, with Higgins getting the nod following her contribution of five tries and consistent performances in the desert.

The Ireland Men’s and Women’s Sevens squads move on to the HSBC Cape Town Sevens this week, with James Topping’s charges returning to the scene of their historic Rugby World Cup Sevens bronze medal win.

McNulty and his team-mates head up Cape Town’s Pool B which also contains Samoa, who were beaten quarter-finalists in Dubai, Japan and 2022 Challenger Series champions Uruguay. The pool stages get underway on Friday.