The Ireland Men’s Sevens squad has been named for the upcoming European Games in Krakow, as James Topping‘s side bid to book their ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The Ireland Head Coach has selected an unchanged 13-player squad for the trip to Poland, where the winner of the tournament will secure their place at next summer’s Games.
Harry McNulty once again captains the squad, with World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year, Terry Kennedy, included having made his return to the green jersey at the opening leg of the Rugby Europe Championship last weekend.
Ireland Men finalised their preparations for the European Games with a strong performance in Portugal, claiming the Algarve 7s title, and they will need to be at their best in Krakow later this month (25-27 June) as 12 teams battle it out for Olympic qualification.
Topping’s side are bidding to achieve back-to-back Olympic qualifications following their maiden appearance at Tokyo 2020, while Ireland Women have already made history by qualifying for their first Olympics courtesy of a fifth place finish in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Commenting ahead of the tournament, Head Coach Topping said: “Coming off the back of the World Series season, we have been building towards the European Games in Krakow as we bid to follow the Ireland Women and book our place at the Paris Olympics.
“As we saw in Portugal last weekend, it will be a very competitive tournament with 12 teams all heading to Poland with one ambition in mind. We know there will be no margin for error and the group understands we will need to be at our best to give ourselves the best possible chance of success.”
Rugby Sevens at the European Games takes place at the Henryk Reyman Stadium in Krakow, with the Pool action kicking off on Sunday, 25th June. The Pool draw and fixture schedule will be confirmed in due course.
Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Krakow 2023, Gavin Noble, said: “This Rugby team is one of our priority sports for Krakow. This is a brilliant opportunity for the team to qualify, and judging from recent performances, we know that they are in great shape to achieve that. We are delighted that the Women’s team has already qualified, and wish the Men’s team the best of luck with their Paris qualification goals.”
IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (European Games, Krakow, Sunday, June 25-Tuesday, June 27, 2023):
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers RFC)
Niall Comerford (UCD RFC/Leinster)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College RFC)
Jack Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Terry Kennedy (St Mary’s College RFC)
Liam McNamara (IQ Rugby)
Harry McNulty (UCD RFC)
Bryan Mollen (Lansdowne FC)
Gavin Mullin (UCD RFC)
Dylan O’Grady (UCD RFC)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne FC)
Andrew Smith (Clontarf FC/Leinster)
Zac Ward (Ballynahinch RFC).