Ireland 7s coach Anthony Eddy has named his squad for this week’s leg of the HSBC World Sevens Series in Malaga yesterday. The squad features many familiar names but also has some fresh faces.
The most notable inclusion is Tamilore Awonusi, an ex-Kilkenny College man who has recently been plying his trade in Canada for his University team, the Trinity Western Spartans.
Awonusi is a 6 foot 6 winger with pace to burn, and will be a welcome addition to the squad with Jordan Conroy unavailable as he is currently competing on RTE’s 'Dancing with the Stars’.
Awonusi was selected for Ireland 7s Development squad that competed in last month’s Dubai Invitational tournament. Ireland were crowned champions with Awonusi scoring two tries in the final against Samurai International.
From 1:45 to 2:05 in the video below you can watch Awonusi show incredible strength and dexterity as he holds off defenders with the ball in one hand before bagging himself a try a couple of phases later. At 7:20 he gathers Ireland's restart and throws a one-handed offload. At 18:35 he shows off his pace as he runs in a try from his own half.
Below are his Kilkenny College highlights and his highlights from a recent tournament where he lined out for the Trinity Western Spartans.
Captaining Eddy’s squad is Bryan Mollen, with the likes of Mark Roche, Conor Philips, Jack Kelly, and Andrew Smith also named.
Terry Kennedy is included as well and will be looking to add to his tally of 16 tries this season, the highest in the series so far.
The women’s squad has also been announced with familiar names from the 15s side such as Stacey Flood and Béibhinn Parson lining out.
Ireland’s all-time top scorer Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe will also be there at the inaugural Malaga leg, and hoping to add to her impressive record.
Ireland 7s Men's Squad:
Tamilore Awonusi (IQ Rugby)
Niall Comerford (UCD RFC/Leinster)
Sean Cribbin (Suttonians RFC)
Sean Kearns (Ireland Sevens)
Jack Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Ed Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Terry Kennedy (St Mary’s College RFC)
Bryan Mollen (Blackrock College RFC)(Captain)
Chay Mullins (Bristol Bears/IQ Rugby)
Conor Phillips (Young Munster/Munster)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne FC)
Tom Roche (Lansdowne FC)
Andrew Smith (Clontarf FC/Leinster)
Zac Ward (Ballynahinch RFC).
Ireland 7s Women's Squad:
Kathy Baker (Blackrock College RFC)
Megan Burns (Blackrock College RFC)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union RFC)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union RFC)
Katie Heffernan (Mullingar RFC/Railway Union RFC)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union RFC)
Brittany Hogan (Ballynahinch RFC/Old Belvedere RFC)
Erin King (Old Belvedere RFC)
Emily Lane (Blackrock College RFC)
Kate Farrell McCabe (Suttonians RFC)
Anna McGann (Railway Union RFC)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum RFC)(Captain)
Béibhinn Parsons (Blackrock College RFC).
Ireland 7s schedule of play:
Friday 21st January:
- Ireland Women v Spain (10.28am local time/9.28am Irish time)
- Ireland Men v Japan (12.06pm local time/11.06pm Irish time)
- Ireland Men v Germany (4.50pm local time/3.50pm Irish time)
- Ireland Women v Australia (7.35pm local time/6.35pm Irish time)
Saturday 22nd January:
- Ireland Women v Belgium (10.28am local time/9.28am Irish time)
- Ireland Men v Australia (12.33pm local time/11.33pm Irish time)
Sunday 23rd January:
- Play-off and ranking matches.