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Ireland Under-18 Sevens Squads Announced For European Championships

Ireland Under-18 Sevens Squads Announced For European Championships

Ireland Under-18 Sevens Squads Announced For European Championships

Ireland Under-18 Women's Sevens captain Caitrion Finn is pictured with her fellow captains at the tournament launch in Strasbourg ©Christophe Voegele/Rugby Europe

The Ireland Under-18 Men’s And Women’s Sevens squads will head to Strasbourg this weekend for the Rugby Europe U-18 Sevens Championships.

Coached by Kieran Hurrell who is assisted by Michael Hodge, the Ireland U-18 Men’s Sevens team will play Romania and Lithuania on Friday. They will complete the pool phase against Germany on Saturday before heading into the play-offs.

There are no returning players from last year’s silver medal-winning squad, but Daniel Ryan and Cal Traynor Russell was both part of the training panel in 2023.

Laois youngster Jack Deegan played for the Ireland U-18 15s side at the U-18 Six Nations Festival in Parma over Easter.

Notably, there are two Iveragh Eagles players selected in Conall Cournane and Michael O’Sullivan, with the Cahersiveen club only founded in 2009.

Sydney-based speedster Billy Blair leads a quartet of players recruited through the IQ Rugby programme, which also includes the team captain, Harlequins Under-18 player Hamish Milhench (pictured below with the other nations’ captains).

Meanwhile, Ballina-Killaloe starlet Caitriona Finn is back for her third European campaign, captaining the Ireland U-18 Women’s Sevens team in Strasbourg.

Finn helped the class of 2022 to bronze medal success, and also featured twelve months ago when the girls in green finished fifth.

Coached by Emily McKeown who is assisted by Reg Tayler, the Ireland U-18 Women are set to play defending champions France in their opening match on Saturday morning.

They will then complete day one with games against Belgium and Czechia, and day two will see them face Poland, Spain, and Portugal.

Like Finn, Niamh Crotty, Lyndsay Clarke, Emily Foley, and Emma Brogan have experience of last year’s tournament, while Foley, Síofra Hession, and Jemima Adams Verling are proud representatives of Connacht’s impressive 15s and Sevens Interprovincial title-winning teams.

Inishowen’s Erin McConalogue, the 2024 Ulster Girls Youth Player of the Year, is one of seven players who donned the green jersey for the Ireland 15s team at this year’s U-18 Six Nations Festival.

Also set to join her brother as an underage international is Clontarf’s Ava Usanova, who played for Leinster in this season’s Interprovincial Sevens Series. Her older sibling, prop Alex, is currently away with the Ireland Under-20 Men at the World Rugby U-20 Championship in South Africa.

Speaking about the Rugby Europe tournaments in Strasbourg, Wayne Mitchell, the IRFU’s National Talent Squad & Talent ID Manager, said: “It’s a huge year for Sevens with our Men and Women heading to the Olympics and raising the profile of the game.

“These U-18 tournaments present an opportunity for the next generation of young players to continue their development while aspiring to follow in the footsteps of the senior teams.”

You can follow the action on the Rugby Europe website here.

IRELAND UNDER-18 MEN’S SEVENS Squad (2024 Rugby Europe U-18 Men’s Sevens Championship, Strasbourg Alsace Rugby, Strasbourg, France, Friday, July 5-Sunday, July 7, 2024):

1. Hamish Milhench (Dulwich College/Harlequins/IQ Rugby) (capt)
2. Ivor Fenton (Kilkenny College/Leinster)
3. Eoin Conlon (CBS Mullingar/Mullingar RFC/Leinster)
4. Conall Cournane (Coláiste na Sceilge/Iveragh Eagles RFC/Munster)
5. Daragh O’Dwyer (Gonzaga College/Leinster)
6. Jack Deegan (Cistercian College Roscrea/Athy RFC/Leinster)
7. Johnny O’Sullivan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
8. Michael O’Sullivan (Blackrock College/Iveragh Eagles RFC/Munster)
9. Cal Traynor Russell (CBC Monkstown/Leinster)
10. Freddie Bracken-Smith (Eton College/Saracens/IQ Rugby)
11. Nathan Bottomley (St. Paul’s School, London/IQ Rugby)
12. Billy Blair (St. Joseph’s College, Sydney/IQ Rugby)
13. Daniel Ryan (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)

IRELAND UNDER-18 WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (2024 Rugby Europe U-18 Women’s Sevens Championship, Strasbourg Alsace Rugby, Strasbourg, France, Saturday, July 6-Sunday, July 7, 2024):

1. Ava Usanova (Clontarf FC/Leinster)
2. Caitriona Finn (Ballina-Killaloe RFC/UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
3. Niamh Crotty (Dolphin RFC/Munster)
4. Síofra Hession (Creggs RFC/Connacht)
5. Jemima Adams Verling (Creggs RFC/Connacht)
6. Lyndsay Clarke (Ennis/Kilrish RFC/Munster)
7. Grace Kingston (Bantry Bay RFC/Munster)
8. Erin McConalogue (Inishowen RFC/Ulster)
9. Mary McDonagh (Newman College, Hove/IQ Rugby)
10. Emily Foley (Ballina RFC/Connacht)
11. Clara Dunne (Wicklow RFC/Leinster)
12. Emma Brogan (Navan RFC/Leinster)


Friday, July 5 –

Ireland U-18 Men v Romania, 1.06pm local time/12.06pm Irish time
Ireland U-18 Men v Lithuania, 5.06pm local time/4.06pm Irish time

Saturday, July 6 –

France v Ireland U-18 Women, 10.44am local time/9.44am Irish time
Ireland U-18 Men v Germany, 1.06pm local time/12.06pm Irish time
Belgium v Ireland U-18 Women, 2.34pm local time/1.34pm Irish time
Ireland U-18 Women v Czechia, 5.18pm local time/4.18pm Irish time
U-18 Men’s Ranking Play-Offs

Sunday, July 7 –

U-18 Men’s Ranking Play-Offs
Ireland U-18 Women v Poland, 10.44am local time/9.44am Irish time
Spain v Ireland U-18 Women, 1.06pm local time/12.06pm Irish time
Ireland U-18 Women v Portugal, 3.50pm local time/2.50pm Irish time