Ireland’s women sevens rugby team look to qualify for 2016 Rio Olympics

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Updated: February 3, 2014

Ireland women’s sevens side to look  to prepare, hopefully, for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games albeit of course the sport is very new in Ireland and there remains the not unimportant task of qualifying for Rio in the first place.

So let us start by looking at the forthcoming tournament in Atlanta where Ireland face a daunting task in the ‘Group of Death’ that includes both New Zealand and England.

The Women’s Olympic Sevens squad to participate in the Atlanta Rugby Sevens event on the 15th – 16th February as part of the 2013/14 IRB Women’s Sevens World Series – has been named.

 

The squad includes three new players who have been identified as part of the IRFU’s on-going talent identification programme.  The programme, which is open to the wider athletic and team sport community, offers elite athletes the opportunity to join an Olympic programme in what is a new and exciting international female sport.

 

Ireland have been drawn in a strong group in Pool B alongside New Zealand, England and The Netherlands and Aisling Naughton, Aoife Doyle, Elaine Ryan, Laura Walsh, Megan Williams, Nicola Cronin and Susan Vaughan travel to the USA to make their  international sevens debuts.

 

Head Coach, Jon Skurr said

 

“A lot of hard work has gone in to get us to this point so far.  It’s a big year for Irish women’s rugby, there’s a lot going on and one of our jobs is to extend the player base that we’ve got, so that we’ve got more people competing, which is why our talent identification process is so important.

 

“We’ve got a number of new caps going. It’s going to be tough, but I feel we’re really going to progress as the season goes on as these players develop their ability to play international rugby at the top level.”

 

Team Captain Shannon Houston said,

“It is so exciting and such a privilege to represent Ireland on the international stage.  Taking part in the World Series is daunting but we know that by working together and working hard that we can take on anyone.”

 

IRELAND OLYMPIC WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (ATLANTA 15-16 FEB):

 

First Name          Surname              Club       Province

1              Aisling   Naughton            TALENT ID PROGRAMME

2              Aoife     Doyle    Shannon              Munster

3              Christine Arthurs              Tralee   Connacht

4              Claire     Keohane              UL Bohs                Munster

5              Elaine    Ryan      TALENT ID PROGRAMME

6              Laura     O Mahony           Tralee   Munster

7              Laura     Walsh    TALENT ID PROGRAMME

8              Megan  Williams               Saracens              Exiles

9              Niamh   Ni Dhroma          Buccaneers         Connacht

10           Nicole   Cronin   Shannon              Munster

11           Nikki      Caughey              Harlequins          Ulster

12           Shannon              Houston               Blackrock             Leinster

13           Siobhan                Barrett  Tralee   Munster

14           Susan    Vaughan              Railway Union   Leinster

 

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