The Ireland Women's Sevens squad are gearing up to compete in round two of the 2018-19 HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series.
This round takes place in Dubai and confidence will be sky-high in the Irish camp after their strong opening round in the USA last month.
A last minute try saw last year’s HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series champions Australia agonizingly beat Ireland 21-19. Despite the disappointment, Ireland finished an impressive sixth – the second highest ranked European team in the tournament.
Ireland will look to improve on their impressive start as they are drawn into a Pool A, alongside New Zealand, Russia and invitational side Kenya.
Lucy Mulhall who was in scintillating from in the opening round will once again captain Ireland. The Seven’s superstar who once captained Wicklow to an All-Ireland Junior Football title, has been captained of the Irish Seven’s team since 2015.
Railway Union and Ulster’s Brittany Hogan is set for her Seven’s World Series debut after being capped for the first time last September, at the Rugby Europe Grand Prix in Kazan.
Hogan has come through the Ireland 7s pathway, representing Ireland at U18s level. The Ulster woman was given the honour of receiving her first National team jersey by her U18’s coach, Stan McDowell in September.
Other notable team news sees Louise Galvin return to the squad after she missed out on the opening round of the Series in Colorado last month due to injury.
This season’s Seven’s HSBC series has huge importance for the Irish dream of competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, as it represents one pathway for teams to book their spot in Tokyo. The top four teams at this year’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will secure automatic qualification.
Ireland kick-off their campaign in Dubai against Russia on Thursday 28th November (9.28am Irish time). Following this they take on Kenya (12.24pm) and New Zealand (3.43pm).
Ahead of the tournament, IRFU Director Anthony Eddy said:
"We are all looking forward to the tournament, the girls have had a good preparation and I think they are now just excited about playing again and competing at this level."
Ireland Women's Sevens Squad
Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster)
Aoife Doyle (Shannon/Railway Union/Munster)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster)
Brittany Hogan (Railway Union/Ulster)
Anna McGann (UCD/Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum) (capt)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union/Munster)
Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (Old Belvedere/Munster)
Audrey O'Flynn (Ireland Sevens)
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)