The Ireland Women’s Sevens squad, sponsored by TritonLake, has been named for this weekend’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series finale in Toulouse, as Allan Temple Jones‘ side chase history and a first ever Olympic Games qualification.
With just one Round of the 2023 Series remaining, Ireland Women currently occupy the fourth and final automatic qualification berth for Paris 2024, as the race for qualification goes down to the wire at Stade Ernest Wallon (12-14 May).
After six dramatic Rounds of action, New Zealand, Australia and USA have secured their place at next summer’s Olympics, with Ireland, Fiji and Great Britain vying for that final golden ticket to the Games ahead of this weekend’s France Sevens.
Ireland Women are sitting in fifth place in the overall World Series standings (64), two points ahead of sixth place Fiji (62) and four ahead of Great Britain (60). As France, the Olympic hosts, are set to finish fourth, fifth place would be enough for Ireland Women to achieve the ultimate goal of qualification.
Head Coach Temple Jones has selected a strong 13-player squad for Toulouse, as they prepare to face Australia, hosts France and Brazil in Friday and Saturday’s Pool action. Lucy Mulhall will captain the team once again, with the experience of Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Stacey Flood and Eve Higgins set to be crucial on a high-stakes weekend.
Ireland Women open their France Sevens campaign against the host nation on Friday morning (10.28am Irish time), before going head-to-head with Australia under the lights in Toulouse (7.05pm Irish time). They conclude their Pool games against Brazil on Saturday morning (9.43am Irish time).
After two near misses, Ireland Women have worked incredibly hard in recent years to put themselves in this position heading into the final leg of the 2023 Series, but Murphy Crowe says the squad need to remain focused on the task ahead this week.
“It’s important we didn’t get side tracked by what’s at stake,” the winger said ahead of the squad’s departure for Toulouse on Sunday. “We all know the target is Olympic qualification but for us the focus must remain on the process this week and ensuring we produce our best performance of the season.
“While there is a lot riding on the outcome in Toulouse, we know it is not the be-all and end-all as we still have two more potential routes for Olympic qualification, but the Series offers the first and that’s our big target this week. We are in a good place and have put in some good work over the last couple of weeks to go out and fight for every inch.”
You can watch all the action on the World Rugby Sevens Series website and app, while there will be live updates throughout the weekend on the Irish Rugby Twitter and Instagram channels.
The Ireland Men’s Sevens squad for Toulouse will be announced on Tuesday morning.
IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (HSBC France Sevens, Stade Ernest Wallon, Friday, May 12 – Sunday, May 14, 2023):
Kathy Baker (Blackrock College RFC)
Claire Boles (Railway Union RFC)
Megan Burns (Blackrock College RFC)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union RFC)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union RFC)
Katie Heffernan (Railway Union RFC)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union RFC)
Erin King (Old Belvedere RFC)
Emily Lane (Blackrock College RFC)
Kate Farrell McCabe (Suttonians RFC)
Anna McGann (Railway Union RFC)
Lucy Mulhall (Wicklow RFC) (capt)
Béibhinn Parsons (Blackrock College RFC)
IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Schedule –HSBC France Sevens:
Friday, May 12 –
- Ireland Women v France – 11.28am local time/10.28am Irish time
- Ireland Women v Australia – 8.05pm local time/7.05pm Irish time
Saturday, May 13 –
- Ireland Women v Brazil – 10.43am local time/9.43am Irish time.
Saturday, May 14 –
- Play-off matches.