Wednesday 28 September 2016

Ireland Sevens set to target GAA stars in Olympics talent search

Published 20/05/2015 | 02:30

Attending the launch of the Ireland Men’s Sevens Squad were Matthew D’Arcy (St Mary’s), Tom Daly (Lansdowne) and Cian Aherne (Lansdowne)
Attending the launch of the Ireland Men’s Sevens Squad were Matthew D’Arcy (St Mary’s), Tom Daly (Lansdowne) and Cian Aherne (Lansdowne)
IRFU Sevens chief Anthony Eddy was impressed by the performance of a number of Gaelic footballers during the initial search for players earlier this year

The IRFU hope to attract some of the GAA's top players through their talent identification programme in their bid to qualify an Ireland Sevens team for the Olympics.

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A number of Gaelic footballers impressed the union's Sevens chief Anthony Eddy during the initial search for players earlier this year and, while all of the players named in the 27-man squad announced yesterday come from rugby backgrounds, he expects more GAA players to make the breakthrough.

"Absolutely it is," he said when asked if the GAA was a potential recruitment ground. "We've recruited pretty heavily through the women's game there.

"There is an opportunity to have those players transfer. It's about being patient and allowing them to learn the game. There were a couple of Gaelic footballers that did really well, they definitely had the athleticism to play the game but it was probably just around the contact that let them down.

"There's some really good athletes playing that game. Once this season's over we'll go back again, revisit and try and include some of those players."

Irish Independent

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