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Ireland U-18 Sevens Squads Selected For Rugby Europe Action

Ireland U-18 Sevens Squads Selected For Rugby Europe Action

Ireland U-18 Sevens Squads Selected For Rugby Europe Action

Cork native Gene O'Leary Kareem will captain the Ireland Under-19 Men's Sevens team this weekend ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

The Ireland Under-18 Men’s and Women’s Sevens squads have been named for this weekend’s Rugby Europe Under-18 Sevens Championship action.

The U-18 Men’s Sevens Championship takes place in Macolin, Switzerland, while the U-18 Women’s tournament is being staged in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.

Ireland Under-18 Men’s Sevens head coach Kieran Hurrell has selected a 12-player squad following a series of weekend training camps at the IRFU High Performance Centre, with Gene O’Leary Kareem captaining the side.

Five of the travelling party are members of the National Talent Squad (NTS). They get their European campaign underway against hosts Switzerland on Saturday (kick-off 9.44am Irish time), before further pool matches against Germany (12.44pm Irish time) and Czechia (3.28pm Irish time).

“We have been really impressed with the talent and skill-set of all players who have been involved in camps over the past three weeks,” said Hurrell.

“With such a small window to work together and 90% of our group not having played Sevens before, we have had to maximise our development as a squad, and create a shared understanding and vision for Switzerland, while creating an enjoyable environment for players to express themselves.”

The Ireland U-18 Women’s Sevens squad, meanwhile, travel to Prague. They are coached by former Ireland 15s and Sevens international Katie Fitzhenry.

Many of the players have impressed in the recent U-18 Sevens Interprovincial Series, while the success of the Ireland Women’s Sevens team in qualifying for the Paris Olympics has been a major inspiration for the next generation.

“We have had a good period of preparation leading into Rugby Europe. There’s been really good competition for places coming off the back of the Interprovincial Series, leading to a high standard of training and preparation,” commented Fitzhenry.

“Now these 12 players have their opportunity to pull on the green jersey and further develop in the Sevens game, testing their skill-sets against their peers on the international stage. We’re looking forward to the challenge as a group.”

The Ireland Under-18 Women face Poland in their opening match on Saturday (kick-off 8.44am Irish time), before going head-to-head with England (1.28pm Irish time).

All of the fixtures, results and pool tables can be found on the Rugby Europe website (Men’s here and Women’s here), while a live stream will be available via Rugby Europe TV here.

IRELAND UNDER-18 MEN’S SEVENS Squad (2023 Rugby Europe U-18 Men’s Sevens Championship, National Sports Centre, Macolin, Switzerland, Saturday, July 15-Sunday, July 16):

Connor Fahy (Good Counsel College/Wexford Wanderers RFC/Leinster)
Fraser Cunningham (RBAI/Ulster)
Gene O’Leary Kareem (Presentation Brothers College Cork/Munster)
Jack Dunne (Belvedere College/Leinster)
Luke Murphy (Ardscoil Rís/Munster)
Matthew Te Pou (St. Munchin’s College/Munster)
Oisin Minogue (St. Munchin’s College/Munster)
Orin Burke (Presentation College Athenry/Monivea RFC/Connacht)
Paidi Farrell (St. Mary’s Secondary School Edenderry/Tullamore RFC/Leinster)
Tim Deering (Skerries Community College/Skerries RFC/Leinster)
Tom Murtagh (Clongowes Wood College/Leinster)
Zach Allen (Bandon RFC/Munster)

IRELAND UNDER-18 WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (2023 Rugby Europe U-18 Women’s Sevens Championship, Rugby Klub Petrovice, Prague, Czechia, Saturday, July 15-Sunday, July 16):

Caitriona Finn (UL Bohemian RFC/Ballina-Killaloe RFC/Munster)
Emily Foley (Ballina RFC/Connacht)
Emma Brogan (Navan RFC/Leinster)
Hannah Clarke (Tuam/Oughterard RFC/Connacht)
Katie Corrigan (Tullow RFC/Leinster)
Lucia Linn (Loughborough University/IQ Rugby)
Lyndsay Clarke (Ennis RFC/Munster)
Molly Boote (Connemara RFC/Connacht)
Niamh Crotty (Dolphin RFC/Munster)
Niamh Murphy (Cill Dara RFC/Leinster)
Robyn O’Connor (Wexford Wanderers RFC/Leinster)
Tara O’Neill (Cooke RFC/Ulster)