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Dardis Primed For Big Finish To ‘Rollercoaster’ Season

Dardis Primed For Big Finish To ‘Rollercoaster’ Season

Billy Dardis in action for the Ireland 7s

A ‘rollercoaster’ HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series campaign comes to a close for the Ireland Men’s Sevens team in Los Angeles this weekend.

James Topping’s side sit fith overall and will be aiming to finish on a high before travelling on to Cape Town for the Rugby World Cup Sevens two weeks later.

We caught up with team captain Billy Dardis at the IRFU High Performance Centre prior to the squad’s departure. He told Irish Rugby TV:

LA is a big opportunity for us. One to finish that World Series season off on a high, hopefully, and then to get some really good quality game time before we go to the World Cup. Everyone wants to go to the World Cup and perform.”

The squad, announced on Monday, includes a number of players who have come in to the IRFU Men’s Sevens programme alongside a core group who took Ireland to the Olympics in Tokyo last year.

Dardis is conscious of his role as captain in helping the new players to settle in, explaining: “That’s a regular thing with Sevens, the turnover of players. We’ve seen it through the years.

“In recent years we’ve maintained that core of seven to ten guys. It’s brilliant then when you get that sprinkling of Academy players coming in and see them blossom. Guys like Andrew Smith, Hugo Keenan and Jimmy O’Brien.

“They build confidence and game-time as players. It’s great to be part of that process and manage that with guys coming from the Energia AIL or abroad.

“I love helping the young lads, it can be daunting. It’s about taking them under your wing, helping them settle and then letting them get up to speed with the game.”

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (HSBC LA Sevens, Dignity Health Sports Park, Los Angeles, August 27-28, 2022):

Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers RFC)
Niall Comerford (UCD RFC/Leinster)
Sean Cribbin (Suttonians RFC)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College RFC) (capt)
Ed Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Jack Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College RFC)
Hugo Lennox (Skerries RFC)
Matt McDonald (IQ Rugby)
Harry McNulty (UCD RFC)
Bryan Mollen (Blackrock College RFC)
Chay Mullins (IQ Rugby)
Aaron O’Sullivan (Blackrock College RFC)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne FC)
Andrew Smith (Clontarf FC/Leinster)

IRELAND SEVENS Schedule (HSBC LA Sevens, Dignity Health Sports Park, Los Angeles, August 27-28, 2022):

Saturday, August 27:

  • Ireland v France, 10.48am local time/6.48pm Irish time
  • Ireland v Wales, 2.09pm local time/10.09pm Irish time
  • Fiji v Ireland, 6.05pm local time/2.05am Irish time

Sunday, August 28:

  • Play-Offs

All matches live on the World Rugby stream here.