Ireland Sevens set for Dubai stage
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Ireland Sevens head coach Anthony Eddy has named a new breed of players to take part in the first tournament in the 2016/2017 Sevens World Series in Dubai.
International Sevens experienced campaigners Nick Timoney and Terry Kennedy will be joined by Harry McNulty and Steve Toal-Lennon who both competed at the Olympic Repechage in Monaco back in June.
Luke O'Dea and John O'Donnell, who both won Ireland Sevens caps at the Rugby Europe Trophy tournament last season are also included along with Buccaneers wing Jordan Conroy and David Busby. Conroy and Ulster both gained valuable experience through the sevens programme last season.
New to the sevens side this season are two of Kennedy's former-Ireland Under-20 players in Cork Con and Munster centre Shane Daly and Leinster centre Jimmy O'Brien. Connacht and Galwegians scrumhalf Conor Lowndes is also new to the sevens circuit but has earned selection in the Dubai squad.
Eddy has also included former Connacht wing and current Naas player Fionn Carr. Carr won 110 caps for Connacht, as well as 38 with Leinster and was part of the Connacht side that claimed the Pro12 title last season.
Commenting on his team selection, Eddy said: "With a number of players who were involved with the Ireland Sevens squad last season seeing an increased involvement within their provinces this year - the likes of Leinster's Adam Byrne, Tom Daly, Barry Daly and Rory O'Loughlin and Munster's Dan Goggin and Alex Wootton have all featured in Pro12 games this season, there is the opportunity for a new group of players to experience what the game of rugby sevens has to offer.
"Dubai marks the beginning of the new campaign for us, and while our main programme will begin in the New Year as we look towards the Rugby Europe Series, Dubai gives everyone the chance to get out and play in a competitive environment.
"We are in a pool with Germany's Development side, Zambia and Georgia. This will be a very competitive and challenging pool. It will give us the opportunity to see what stage of development we are at with this group of players,"
Ireland: David Busby, Fionn Carr, Jordan Conroy, Shane Daly, Terry Kennedy, Conor Lowndes, Harry McNulty, Jimmy O'Brien, Luke O'Dea, John O'Donnell, Nick Timoney, Steve Toal-Lennon