Big news from the IRFU today! Ireland, under performance director David Nucifora, are making a push to be significantly better at the sevens game than they are currently. Before the 2015 European Championship, they are embarking on a big scouting mission.
And now an open invitation is being issued to 'all male athletes, from all sports' to attend what are being called 'Talent Identification Days' which are being held in January in fur separate locations around the country.
That's right, 'all male athletes, from all sports'. This small select group now have the chance to go the Olympics as part of the rugby sevens. At the 'TID' days, applicant's speed, power and endurance will be tested.
In a press release issued by the IRFU tooday, Nucifora said,
We are looking for sporting X-Factor and to ensure we leave no stone unturned we are not limiting our search to those already playing club rugby.
Rugby sevens is a game that rewards explosive and agile athletes with good handling skills from any sporting background. Our initial TID will be aimed at putting players through a battery of physical tests to see whether they have the physiological characteristics we require. The best athletes will be selected to then attend a sevens trial day from which an eventual squad of 20 players will be selected to prepare for the European Championships in June 2015.
The big questions is now is how many GAA players and track and field athletes will fancy their chances.