Ireland Men 7s go forward to the Olympic Repechege in Monaco this weekend with a travelling team of 14 confirmed yesterday.
The last truly competitive game for the team was back in March 2020 in the World Rugby Sevens Series and head coach Anthony Eddy has placed his faith in the players involved that competition with 11 of the players involved named in the squad.
Series regulars, Aaron O’Sullivan, John O’Donnell and Liam Turner miss out on selection with bolters Ian Fitzpatrick, Sean Cribbin and Aaron Sexton forcing their way into the squad after a couple of hit outs against Team GB and the USA.
Ireland 7s Olympic Repechage Squad
We had been following that last World Series with the expectations of the Repechage and Olympics last year so we have some stats on how the players involved were performing. We’ve added the stats to the repechage squad below.
|Jack Kelly||Dublin University||26||2||28||8||40|
|Billy Dardis||Terenure College||23||5||28||3||113|
|Harry McNulty||LA Giltinis||25||0||25||4||20|
|Terry Kennedy||St Mary’s College||23||2||25||17||85|
|Greg O’Shea||Shannon RFC||8||17||25||5||25|
|Bryan Mollen||Blackrock College||0||12||12||0||0|
How the Repechage Works
There are 10 teams in the Men’s Repechage and they have been drawn into two pools of five teams, including one team from each of five pre-determined bands.
Teams will play against all four opponents in their pools with the top two teams from each pool progressing through to the knockout stages, culminating in the final with the winner booking their place on the plane to Tokyo.
Ireland’s pool fixtures are as follows, all times UK/IRE
Saturday, 19 June
- 08:50 Ireland v Zimbabwe
- 11:12 Ireland v Mexico
- 14:24 Ireland v Tonga
Sunday, 20 June
- 12:17 Ireland v Samoa
The Semi Finals should follow from 15:23 on the Sunday with the Final scheduled for 18:07 the same day.
The expectations are for a France v Ireland final with France the favourites to qualify. France finished in 6th place in the truncated 2020 World Rugby Sevens Series some four places, and 23 points, above Ireland in 10th place.
Samoa are the team most likely to disrupt the expected final though they appeared to have gone off the boil slightly in the last Series with a 13th place finish, some 16 points behind Ireland.
None of the other teams are in the World Series and in theory shouldn’t be in the reckoning though Tonga, in Ireland’s group and Hong Kong, in France’s group could cause problems if the more experienced sides take their eye off the ball. In fact, Hong Kong are expected to qualify for the semifinals, along with France, and are Ireland’s likely opponents should Ireland win their group.
Ireland met France twice in the 2020 World Rugby Sevens Series the results as follows.
|Hamilton, Jan 2020||France||17||–||7||Ireland|
|Vancouver, Mar 2020||France||22||–||21||Ireland|
Ireland and Samoa only met once with Ireland taking that one.
|Cape Town, Dec 2019||Ireland||28||–||14||Samoa|
Who To Look Out For
Speedsters Jordan Conroy and Sexton should bring plenty of thrills with trademark long range run-ins the expectation. However, Terry Kennedy seems to have made the position of playmaker his own over the last 16 months and if he is on form and on the ball then Ireland should do very well.
The kicking of Billy Dardis and Mark Roche will become more important as the tournament progresses.