Buccaneers winger Jordan Conroy has been included in the 12-man Ireland 7s squad that travel to Moscow this weekend for the opening round of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series.
Conroy, who was recently named Connacht Rugby’s Senior Club Player of the Year and Ulster Bank League 1B Player of the Year, has scored 19 tries this season with his club Buccaneers.
This will be the first season that this side Irish Men’s 7s compete at this level in Europe and the competition offers Ireland the chance to qualify for the Sevens Rugby World Cup in San Francisco next summer.
The Rugby Europe Grand Prix offers two places to nations outside of those who are already pre-qualified from the 2013 Moscow World Cup or via this season’s Sevens World Series.
The European sides who have already qualified are England, Wales and France and Scotland.
Russia are the only European side on the Series who are outside of automatic qualification, so they, along with the likes of Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Georgia look set to be Ireland’s main competition for the top two places.
Fionn Carr, who holds the record for most tries with Connacht, is also included alongside Conroy with Billy Dardis captaining the squad. He is joined by UCD teammates Hugo Keenan, Jimmy O’Brien and Harry McNulty in the squad; Keenan and O’Brien were both involved at the U20 Championships this time last season, as was St. Mary’s College’s Terry Kennedy.
Lansdowne provide three of the players with Ian Fitzpatrick, John O’Donnell and Mark Roche included.
Queen’s University and Ulster back-rower Nick Timoney and Mick McGrath, who was top try scorer in Division 1A in 2014, 2015 and 2016, complete the squad.
Ireland have been drawn in Pool A for the opening round in Moscow, with Georgia, Germany and Wales.
Speaking ahead of the side departing for Russia, Director of Rugby 7s Anthony Eddy said;
“The players involved in the programme this season have been working hard in training over the past number of weeks in build up to the Grand Prix Series.
“They’ve competed against some strong opposition at the likes of the Dublin 7s and the Amsterdam 7s as part of preparation for the Series and I know they’re looking forward to getting out there and playing this weekend.
“We’re in a tough pool for the opening round, with Wales performing well on the World Sevens Series this season, while Germany have a strong Sevens programme in place and Georgia are always a strong and physical side, so it will be important that the players are focused throughout each game as we look to get things off to a good start.”
Ireland Men’s 7s Squad – Rugby Europe Grand Prix – Round 1: Moscow
Fionn Carr (Naas)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
Billy Dardis (UCD)
Ian Fitzpatrick (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Mick McGrath (Clontarf)
Harry McNulty (UCD)
Jimmy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
John O’Donnell (Lansdowne)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne)
Nick Timoney (Queen’s University Belfast/Ulster)
Ireland Fixtures – Saturday 3rd June 2017 – Moscow
Ireland v Wales – 10am (local time) / 8am (Irish time)
Ireland v Germany – 1.07pm (local time) / 11.07am (Irish time)
Ireland v Georgia – 3.52pm (local time) / 1.52pm (Irish time)