Keenan named in Ireland sevens squad for Olympics

Ireland's Hugo Keenan

Ireland have named full-back Hugo Keenan in their men's sevens squad for this summer's Paris Olympics.

Leinster back Keenan joins French superstar Antoine Dupont as one of the most recognisable names from the XVs team to be part of the July tournament.

Connacht wing Andrew Smith is also selected in a 12-strong Ireland squad.

Both Keenan and Smith were previously part of the sevens programme and reintegrated back into James Topping's squad last month.

Harry McNulty, who is one of seven players set to become a double Olympian after also competing at the Tokyo Games, will captain Ireland Men, while Lucy Rock will lead Ireland Women as Allan Temple-Jones' side prepare for their maiden Olympic appearance in Paris.

The men's squad are coming off the back of an impressive World Series season as they finished second in the overall standings.

The Rugby Sevens events will be held in the Stade de France, with the men's competition running from 24-27 July and the women's tournament from 28-30 July.

First time men's and women's teams have both qualified

The men’s team gained their Olympic qualification for Paris at the European Games in Krakow last summer.

The journey to the Olympics was a lengthy one for the women’s team, having narrowly missed qualification for both the Rio and Tokyo editions of the Games.

McNulty, Terry Kennedy, Jordan Conroy, Hugo Lennox, Jack Kelly, Gavin Mullin and Mark Roche are in line to represent Team Ireland for the second consecutive Games, having been part of the Tokyo squad.

Niall Comerford, Chay Mullins and Zac Ward are also set for their Olympic bows having been integral members of the squad during the SVNS Series campaign.

Bryan Mollen and Sean Cribbin have been named as travelling reserves.

Experienced women's squad

Ashleigh Orchard's inspiring return to the green jersey continues as she earns selection to the women's squad just 12 months after giving birth to her daughter, Arabella.

Having played key roles in qualification for Paris, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Stacey Flood, Emily Lane, Béibhinn Parsons, Erin King, Vicky Elmes Kinlan, Eve Higgins, and Megan Burns are all included.

Kathy Baker has made a strong comeback from a long-term knee injury and teenager Alanna Fitzpatrick - who made her senior debut last summer - completes the travelling squad.

Former Meath gaelic footballer Vikki Wall, a double All-Ireland winner who switched from AFLW to rugby in Seprember 2023, has missed out.

Claire Boles and Amy Larn have been selected as travelling reserves.

The pool draws for the rugby sevens tournament will take place on 23 June.

Squads for Paris

Ireland men's sevens squad - Niall Comerford, Jordan Conroy, Hugo Keenan, Jack Kelly, Terry Kennedy, Hugo Lennox, Harry McNulty, Gavin Mullin, Chay Mullins, Mark Roche, Andrew Smith, Zac Ward.

Ireland women's sevens squad - Kathy Baker, Megan Burns Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Alanna Fitzpatrick, Stacey Flood, Eve Higgins, Erin King, Vicky Elmes, Emily Lane, Ashleigh Orchard, Béibhinn Parsons, Lucy Rock (capt).