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They have been operating somewhat under our radar, but Ireland Men Sevens side take part in the final leg of the 2017 Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series this weekend in Exeter.

With three legs already completed the series has been an outstanding success for Ireland men who won the competitions in Moscow and Clermont-Ferrand and came third in Lodz, leaving the team sitting proudly on top of the rankings as they go into the final leg.

Ireland Men Sevens Grand Prix Series Standings

TeamMoscowLodzClermontExeterPoints
Ireland20162056
Russia16201854
Spain18181652
Germany8121434
France1281030
Wales3141229
Italy144422
Georgia66618
England410317
Portugal102113
Belgium23813
Poland1124

 

This is important because the competition gives Ireland a possible gateway into the 2018 – 19 HSBC World Rugby World Series as well as a route to qualify for the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens. Ireland Men Sevens achieved the first objective last time out in Clermont in that they secured a place in the World Series Repechage in Hong Kong in early 2018.

They are also in prime position for a 2018 World Cup spot with effectively a top three finish required here, though there are other possible pathways, depending on the results of others.

Ireland are drawn in Pool A in Exeter alongside France, Belgium and Portugal. They have met all these teams already this series, the head to head results highlighted below.

opponentsplwdlpfpa
Wales33008215
Russia32016461
Germany21014735
Portugal22004522
Spain2200295
Italy1100350
Poland11002810
Belgium1100285
Georgia11001914
England1100195
France110075
total181602403177
% games played100%89%0%11%

 

Ireland have a 100% win record against the three teams in their group, though their only game against France this series was a close affair with only a conversion splitting the teams.

Going on past results it should all come down to the Quarter Finals where Ireland will hope to avoid Russia, the only other team to win one of the legs. If Ireland progress beyond the Quarter Finals then qualification for the World Cup should be a formality.

Ireland Men Sevens Squad

Fionn Carr (Naas)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Billy Dardis (UCD) (capt)
Ian Fitzpatrick (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster)
Adam Leavy (Galwegians/Connacht) *
Harry McNulty (UCD)
Jimmy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
John O’Donnell (Lansdowne)
Greg O’Shea (Shannon)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne)
Nick Timoney (Queen’s University/Ulster)

* Denotes uncapped player

Ireland Men Sevens Fixtures

Saturday, July 15:

Ireland v Portugal, Sandy Park, 11.30am
Ireland v Belgium, Sandy Park, 2.15pm
Ireland v France, Sandy Park, 5pm

Sunday, July 16:

TBC

The Exeter 7s will be broadcast on Sky Sports 5 on Saturday and Sky Sports 3 on Sunday. There will also be live streaming on www.rugbyeurope.tv.

We’ve covered Fionn Carr, Billy Dardis, Hugo Keenan, Jimmy O’Brien, Mark Roach and, of course Nick Timoney in previous articles, mostly U20’s stuff. Just click on their tag below for more information on the players. #loverugby #thefru

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