Tokyo 2020: Team Ireland profiles - Men’s Rugby Sevens

Ireland secured last ditch qualification for Olympics in Monaco last month

The Irish Rugby 7’s squad. Back row, from left: Gavin Mullin, Adam Leavy, Jack Kelly, Harry McNulty, Terry Kennedy, Jordan Conroy, Bryan Mollen. Front row, from left, Hugo Lennox, Foster Horan, Billy Dardis, Mark Roche, Greg O’Shea and Ian Fitzpatrick. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

The Irish Rugby 7’s squad. Back row, from left: Gavin Mullin, Adam Leavy, Jack Kelly, Harry McNulty, Terry Kennedy, Jordan Conroy, Bryan Mollen. Front row, from left, Hugo Lennox, Foster Horan, Billy Dardis, Mark Roche, Greg O’Shea and Ian Fitzpatrick. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

 

Jordan Conroy

Jordan Conroy. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Jordan Conroy. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Age: 27

Position: Winger

Club: Buccaneers

The flying winger dabbled in soccer and athletics before setting into rugby, playing for Tullamore in the All Ireland League. He first appeared in the 7’s team in 2016 and has played in 21 competitions across the world. One of the best finishers in the game and Ireland’s leading try scorer, he is a regular selection for tournament Dream Teams and a key player in Tokyo.

Billy Dardis

Billy Dardis. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Billy Dardis. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Age: 26

Position: Halfback

Club: Terenure

Team captain, he came through UCD, having begun in Naas RFC and Newbridge College, where he also played GA. He later went to Terenure College, focussing on rugby. He was in the Leinster Academy for a few years and was part of the 7’s team that missed out on Rio 2016. Captained Ireland at the 2018 World Cup 7’s finishing with 32 points, second highest of all players.

Foster Horan

Foster Horan. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Foster Horan. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Age: 28

Position: Prop

Club: Lansdowne

He debuted for the Irish team in 2018 at the London Sevens. Played youth rugby with Gorey before attending Kilkenny College. An outside centre with the Irish Under-20s, he played in the 2012 U-20 Rugby World Cup in South Africa, where Ireland finished fifth. At 90kg in weight and 180cm tall, he plays in the much more mobile position of prop in the 7’s game.

Greg O’Shea

Greg O’Shea. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Greg O’Shea. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Age: 26

Position: Back

Club: Shannon

Love Island winner in 2019, he left the UK and red carpets for life as a rugby player. From Limerick, his mum and dad Carol and Niall were both international sprinters. Began his rugby in Shannon and Crescent College, where he won the achools senior cup. He left the Munster Academy and began playing with the Irish 7’s team in the 2017 season.

Harry McNulty

Harry McNulty. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Harry McNulty. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Age: 28

Position: Forward

Club: LA Giltinin

Born in Bahrain to Irish parents, he began playing rugby in that country but currently plays with the LA Giltinin in Major League Rugby in the USA with brother Sean. He also played ice hockey in New York with the Rye Rangers, where he lived for 10 years. Went to Rockwell College, Trinity and the Munster Academy. He is also an accomplished photographer.

Terry Kennedy

Terry Kennedy. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Terry Kennedy. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Age: 25

Position: centre

Club: St Mary’s College

Has played for the 7’s team since 2016 and is another member of the Irish team that won the 2017 Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series. He was the top scorer with nine tries in the Moscow Seven’s tournament in 2018. Another one of the group that came through the Irish Under-20 system and was a member of the squad that were runners up in the U-20 Rugby World Cup in 2016.

Ian Fitzpatrick

Ian Fitzpatrick. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Ian Fitzpatrick. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Age: 26

Position: Forward

Club: Lansdowne

In rugby 15’s played as a fullback in the Leinster academy. Also played with the Leinster under-20 team and was a member of the Ireland squad that played in the 2014 Junior World Cup. Has come back strongly after suffering a setback in the summer of 2016 when he injured his knee and had to undergo surgery. Began his 7’s career with Lansdowne RFC.

Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Jack Kelly. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

 

Age: 23

Position: Prop

Club: Dublin University

A fluent French speaker, the former St Michael’s pupil played alongside Dan Leavy and James Ryan. A law student in Trinity, he made his debut in 2019 at the London Sevens. Had a breakout season during the 2019-2020 World Rugby Sevens Series, Ireland’s first season as a core team, where he led all Irish forwards with nine clean breaks and eight tries.

Adam Leavy

Adam Leavy. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Adam Leavy. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Age: 25

Position: Prop/Hooker

Club: Lansdowne

A brother of Leinster and Ireland flanker Dan, he played for St Michael’s College on the wing. At the 2019 Hong Kong Sevens, he helped Ireland gain a place as a core team for the 2019-20 World Rugby Sevens Series. Leavy also competed at the 2019 London Sevens, where Ireland secured wins against core teams England, Scotland, and Canada to finish in sixth.

Hugo Lennox

Hugo Lennox. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Hugo Lennox. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Age: 22

Position: Halfback

Club: Skerries

A graduate of Skerries Community College and Skerries RFC - where Ciaran Frawley also played his early rugby. Took up a place in Maynooth College studying Business Management before the call from Anthony Eddy in 2017. A small but teak tough outhalf, his play making abilities and slick passing at pivot have seen him develop into a key member of the squad.

Gavin Mullin

Gavin Mullin. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Gavin Mullin. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Age: 23

Position: Prop

Club: UCD

Has the genes, as his father Brendan was a prominent Irish centre in the 1980s. A standout player in school at Blackrock he played Ireland U-20s and joined the Leinster Academy for three years. He didn’t get a lot of game time there gaining just two caps off the bench. But his attacking style was picked up and he joined the 7’s set up last summer. Just finished a UCD business and law degree.

Mark Roche

Mark Roche. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Mark Roche. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

 

Age: 28

Position: Halfback

Club: Lansdowne

Played with Blackrock and went on to play for the Ireland U-20s in the 2013 Junior World Cup. He has played scrumhalf for the 7’s since 2015, the same year he won the AIL with Lansdowne and is one of the most experienced in the squad. He started at scrumhalf for the Ireland team that finished third at the 2018 London Sevens and was selected on the tournament Dream Team.

Bryan Mollen

Bryan Mollen. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Bryan Mollen. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Age: 25

Position: Prop/Centre

Club: Blackrock

The son of a Dutch diplomat father and school teacher mother, he was born in Kenya and moved around the world for various stages of his life, picking up rugby in Australia. Living in Berlin, he was sent to Blackrock College. At Trinity, Tony Smeeth put his name forward for 7’s and he never looked back. Now in his third year and one of the core group of players.

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