Posted: 4 weeks ago

Olympic Rugby Sevens draw: newcomers Ireland will face tough contest against Australia, GB and South Africa

Lucy Rock and Harry McNulty will captain the Ireland Sevens teams at the Olympic Games in Paris next month (SPORTSFILE/Harry Murphy)

IRELAND’S Women’s Rugby Sevens team have been drawn with recent SVNS Grand Final winners Australia, Great Britain, and fellow Olympic newcomers South Africa in Pool B of the Paris tournament.

Making their much anticipated Olympic debut, the Ireland Women, coached by Allan Temple-Jones and captained by Lucy Rock, can now plan for a fierce and fascinating competition.

Fifth seeds Ireland defeated both GB (31-7) and Australia (19-14) on the way to winning their first SVNS Series tournament in Perth in January. They also played both teams in Madrid recently, losing 33-14 to Australia but overcoming the GB outfit 20-0.

Key to Ireland’s best performances against the Australians has been laying solid foundations in the first half. Tries from Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe and Rock before the break set the tone for that historic final triumph in Perth five months ago.

Neighbours GB have been regular opponents for Ireland on the SVNS Series circuit of late, with the girls in green winning six of the teams’ nine clashes.

There have been play-off victories in Cape Town, Perth, Vancouver, and Madrid this season, and intriguingly they could also meet at next weekend’s final leg of the Rugby Europe Sevens Championship in Hamburg, Germany.

South Africa qualified for the Olympics by winning the Africa Sevens title last year, but suffered SVNS Series relegation earlier this month.

Ireland played the Springbok Women’s Sevens twice during the season, coming out on top in Vancouver, Canada (28-7) and Hong Kong (20-7) with Murphy Crowe notching four tries across the two pool fixtures.

Meanwhile, host nation France have been placed in Pool C as one of the three top ranked teams, and will look to improve on their silver medal at Tokyo 2020 with pool matches against the USA, Japan, and Brazil.

POOL APOOL BPOOL C
New ZealandAustraliaFrance
FijiIrelandUSA
CanadaGreat BritainJapan
ChinaSouth AfricaBrazil

The Men’s tournament will take place from July 24 to 27, with the Women’s event following on July 28 to 30. The Men’s gold medal match, on July 27, will see the first team sport gold medal of the Games awarded.

Inspired by the Paris 2024 brand, the official Gilbert ball design features the Stade de France venue colour system at its core with the famous Olympic rings, Paris 2024, World Rugby, and Gilbert at the centre of each panel.