THE IRELAND MEN’S 7s continued their preparations for their Olympic qualifiers with a 10th-place finish at the Paris 7s, which was the final leg of this season’s World Series.
Competing as an invitational side after last week’s strong showing in London, they finished this event with two wins out of three and lost out to Canada by 28-12 in the Challenge Trophy final.
Anthony Eddy’s charges were hit with the injuries heading into that decider, as Greg O’Shea, Mick McGrath, Peter Maher and Shane Daly were all ruled out after picking up knocks over the course of the weekend.
The loss of those players allowed some young talent to get their opportunity to impress.
Lansdowne winger Peter Sullivan led the Irish scoring with four tries, including a brace in the 24-12 victory over Scotland, while Leinster Academy player Jack Kelly’s finished with three including two against Australia.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Cormac Izuchukwu marked his first Ireland 7s cap with a try against Scotland.
Ireland’s final two matches in the French capital saw them operate with just a two-man bench, which left them facing a tough ask against fully-loaded Canada in the final.
They got off to a bad start after a scrappy kick-off led to a Mike Fuailefau try inside just 20 seconds.
Hugo Lennox and Ian Fitzpatrick inspired Ireland to produce a response which led to a try from Harry McNulty.
But Canada took control again through back-to-back tries from captain Harry Jones and Josiah Morra to leave them leading 21-5 at half-time.
Billy Dardis touched down for Ireland in the second half to bring them back into contention before Adam Zaruba clinched a last-minute try to seal a 28-12 win.
Ireland are now facing into their Olympic qualifiers in July.
Source: Irish Rugby Twitter.
Jack Daly (Garryowen/Munster)
Shane Daly (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College) (capt)
Ian Fitzpatrick (Lansdowne)
Cormac ‘Izzy’ Izuchukwu (Old Wesley) *
Jack Kelly (Dublin University/Leinster)
Hugo Lennox (Clontarf)
Harry McNulty (UCD)
Peter Maher (Old Belvedere) *
Mick McGrath (Clontarf)
Bryan Mollen (Blackrock College)
Greg O’Shea (Shannon)
Peter Sullivan (Lansdowne)
* Denotes uncapped player at this level
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