"We do it for our families."
Ireland Women's 7s have made history by booking automatic qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The crucial game was against Fiji in the fifth-place semi-final on the last day of the HSBC France Sevens in Toulouse this morning (May 14). Thanks to a brace of tries from Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Ireland defeated Fiji 10-5, ensuring that they would finish fifth in the overall Women's World Series Rankings.
This guaranteed Ireland will join the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and hosts France in the Stade de France from July 24-30, 2024.
Though Ireland Men made the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, this is the first time either Irish side has achieved automatic qualification.
The last few days were a nerve-racking battle to get to this point as Ireland defeated France and Brazil in the group stages but lost to Australia in the quarterfinal.
Fortunately, Murphy Crowe's tries — the 163rd and 164th of her career — led Ireland to victory. Murphy Crowe is ranked fourth on the World Series all-time list for most tries scored.
Ireland Captain Lucy Mulhall said of the win, "It's been a journey for us. I'm just so grateful to have a team like that around us — players, family, staff."
"It's been an amazing year and our goal is just to grow Sevens in Ireland. It's great to see some young kids here wearing an Ireland Sevens jersey. The support means so much."
"We do it for our families. Rugby has become a family and all our families have joined it, so they've all got to know each other and have a great weekend. I'm just so glad we could make them happy again."
Ireland was back on the pitch for the fifth-place play-off with Japan and was defeated 0-14. However, it hardly overshadows the team's achievement.
IRFU Chief Executive Kevin Potts said, "On behalf of the IRFU and the wider Irish rugby community, I would like to offer my congratulations to the players, led by inspirational Captain Lucy Mulhall, and management of the Ireland's Women's Sevens team on their qualification for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris."
"A huge amount of hard work has gone on behind the scenes for the last number of years to reach this historic milestone, and it is testament to the dedication, talent, and resilience of the players that they have qualified for the Olympics."