Ireland Sevens Squads Named For First World Series Double-Header Of 2023

The Ireland Men’s and Women’s Sevens squads, sponsored by TritonLake, have been named for the upcoming HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series double-header in New Zealand and Australia.

After a short break for the festive period, the 2023 Series kicks back into gear this weekend at Hamilton’s FMG Stadium Waikato, as Ireland Men and Women sharpen their focus on the ultimate ambition of Olympic qualification.

The extended 14-player squads have been based in Tauranga for the last week, building and preparing for the first of crucial back-to-back tournaments in Australasia, with Hamilton marking the fourth event in a busy 11-stop Men’s Series and the third stop in the Women’s Series.

Coming off the back of December’s double-header in Dubai and Cape Town, Ireland Men currently sit ninth in the Series standings and are boosted by the return of World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year, Terry Kennedy, to the squad for Hamilton.

Kennedy, who was last season’s World Series top try scorer, is included in Head Coach James Toppings‘ extended panel, while Billy Dardis also returns to captain the side. Uncapped duo Will Goddard and Liam McNamara are named in the squad having featured for the Ireland Development side in Dubai before Christmas.

Eve Higgins 11/12/2022

Ireland Men reached the Cup Final in Dubai but failed to progress from their Pool a week later in Cape Town. Topping’s side will be hoping to bounce back strongly when they go head-to-head with USA, Uruguay, and Japan in Pool C this weekend.

Meanwhile, Ireland Women’s Head Coach Aiden McNulty has called up XVs international Natasja Behan for the first time for the January double-header. Behan made her Ireland Test debut during the Summer Tour of Japan and after featuring for Blackrock College during their Energia All-Ireland League success, boosts McNulty’s options heading into a crucial period in the season.

Ireland Women – who are currently fifth in the Series standings – have been paired in Pool C alongside Brazil, Spain and USA, who they faced in the Cape Town bronze medal final.

You can watch all the World Series action live on the World Rugby Sevens website.

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (HSBC New Zealand Sevens, FMG Stadium Waikato, January 21-22, 2023):

Niall Comerford (UCD RFC/Leinster)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers RFC)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College)(capt)
William Goddard (IQ Rugby)
Ed Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Jack Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Terry Kennedy (St Mary’s College)
Liam McNamara (IQ Rugby)
Harry McNulty (UCD RFC)
Bryan Mollen (UCD RFC)
Chay Mullins (Connacht/IQ Rugby)
Aaron O’Sullivan (UCD RFC)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne FC)
Andrew Smith (Clontarf FC/Leinster)

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (HSBC New Zealand Sevens, FMG Stadium Waikato, January 21-22, 2023):

Kathy Baker (Blackrock College RFC)
Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC)
Megan Burns (Blackrock College RFC)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union RFC)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union RFC)
Claire Boles (Railway Union RFC)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union RFC)
Erin King (Old Belvedere RFC)
Vicky Elmes Kinlan (Wicklow 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 SEVENS Schedule – New Zealand Sevens:

Friday, January 20 –

  • Ireland Men v Uruguay, 8.54pm Irish time
  • Ireland Women v Brazil, 9.38pm Irish time

Saturday, January 21 –

  • Ireland Men v USA, 12.44am Irish time
  • Ireland Women v Spain, 1.18am Irish time
  • Ireland Men v Japan, 3.50am Irish time
  • Ireland Women v USA, 4.12am Irish time

Saturday, January 21 –

  • Play-off matches.
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