The event kicks off on Friday in Limoges, South West France. It will be the first time Ireland will have competed in any sevens competition at international level. The Irish squad includes senior skipper Sarahjane Belton and scrum-halves Louise Beamish and Tania Rosser. Leinster flanker Orla Brennan is one of three forwards in the squad, with Joy Neville and Rachel Boyd, also backrowers, named as well. Ireland are placed in Division A where there are 16 countries competing. They will face Sweden, Norway and Russia in their pool games. There are 26 teams competing overall in the tournament. England head into the competition as strong favourites as they are bidding for their third successive title. Ireland coach Stephen McIvor will take charge of an Irish women s side for the first time at the tournament.
He was a full-time senior coach with Blackrock and Corinthians for five years and also spent some time last year in Kazakhstan coaching their International Women s team. He said: I am aware of the girls abilities but is difficult with sevens to gauge how strong other teams are and so we will take every opposition as they come. Former Irish international player Rachel Reid will travel as the squad manager.
FIRA European Sevens Squad to travel to Limoges France May 26/27
Sarah Jane Belton, Louise Beamish, Lynne Cantwell, Orla Brennan, Grace Davitt, Rachel Boyd, Joy Neville, Tania Rosser, Christine Robb, Joanne O Sullivan.
Coach: Stephen McIvor
Manager: Rachel Reid