Biarritz Sevens: Ireland using final world series leg as Olympic preparation

By Michael Hudson

Ireland Sevens star Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe will captain her side in the final round of the 2018-19 HSBC World Sevens Series in Biarritz, France.

Veteran Stacey Flood has returned to the squad after missing the past four tournaments because of injury. Her return is a big boost to the squad.

With nothing else to play for in the world series in terms of Olympic qualification, head coach Stan McDowell is already looking forward to the Rugby Europe Olympic qualifying tournament.

The winners of the Olympic qualifier will secure a place at the 2020 Games in Tokyo and McDowell wants to use the Biarritz Sevens to prepare his player for the task ahead.

“As we reach the final leg of the World Series, we can reflect on four players making their series debuts this season as well as other players in the programme getting more game time and gaining great experience,” McDowell was quoted as saying by THE42.

“With the Olympic repechage in just over a month, Biarritz is another great opportunity for the players to go up against the best in the world and put their best foot forward ahead of the up-and-coming challenges that we’ll encounter at the tournament in Kazan.”

Ireland are eighth on the world series standings after five tournaments on 40 points, 18 points clear of ninth-placed Spain (22 points) and two points behind Russia occupying seventh place (4 2points). Ireland have been drawn against Canada, Australia and Spain in pool B of the Biarritz Sevens.

Ireland sevens squad: Kathy Baker, Claire Boles, Megan Burns, Aoife Doyle, Stacey Flood, Louise Galvin, Eve Higgins, Brittany Hogan, Emily Lane, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (captain), Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird, Hannah Tyrrell.

Main photo: Ireland Rugby

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