Anthony Eddy has named three Olympians in a 13-player squad for Ireland's return to HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in BC Place, Vancouver this weekend.
After the contrasting highs of qualification for Tokyo last summer which was then followed by a poor performance, Eddy will use the upcoming Canada Sevens tournaments in Vancouver and Edmonton to explore the depth of his squad as players are given the opportunity to stake a claim on the World Series stage.
Olympians Bryan Mollen, Mark Roche and Gavin Mullin are included in the travelling party with Mollen named to captain Ireland as they face Great Britain and invitational sides Hong Kong and Jamaica in Pool B in Vancouver from September 18-19.
Leinster's Liam Turner, who played 16 games on the 2020 World Series, and Seán Cribbin also add experience to the squad, while Ireland U20s stars Shane Jennings and Chris Cosgrave are exciting additions having impressed for Richie Murphy's side during this summer's Six Nations.
Ulster Academy winger Ben Moxham, Conor Phillips of Munster and Ed Kelly - the younger brother of Olympian Jack - have been part of the National Sevens programme for the last 12 months and featured during the IRFU HPC International 7s tournament in June, with the back-to-back tournaments in Canada presenting them with the platform to showcase their talents at the start of a new Olympic cycle.
"It is great to have the HSBC World Series back up and running and expose some new players to the quality of this competition,” said Eddy.
“The Canada tournaments provide a great opportunity for some players to put their hand up for future tournaments and the 2022 Series.
“We have some experience in the group and also players new to the World Series, so I am keen to see how some of the new players perform in this environment."
Ireland will open their HSBC Canada Sevens campaign against Hong Kong on Saturday, September 18 (9.44am local time/5.44pm Irish time), before going head-to-head with Jamaica (12.55pm local time/8.55pm Irish time) and Great Britain (4.28 local time/12.28am) later in the day.
The Vancouver tournament will be followed by a second HSBC Canada Sevens event in Edmonton the following weekend, on 25th-26th September.
The two rounds in Canada form the 2021 Series, with the Series title awarded in Edmonton.
Ireland Men's Sevens Squad (Canada Sevens, Vancouver and Edmonton):
Niall Comerford (UCD RFC/Leinster)
Chris Cosgrave (UCD RFC/Leinster)
Seán Cribbin (Suttonians)
Shane Jennings (Buccaneers RFC/Connacht)
Sean Kearns (Irish Sevens)
Ed Kelly (Dublin University)
Steven Kilgallen (UCD RFC)
Bryan Mollen (Blackrock College)(Captain)
Ben Moxham (Ballymena/Ulster)
Gavin Mullin (UCD RFC)
Conor Phillips (Young Munster/Munster)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne)
Liam Turner (Dublin University/Leinster)
Ireland Men's Sevens, Vancouver Fixtures:
Saturday, September 18:
Ireland v Hong Kong (9.44am local time/5.44pm Irish time)
Ireland v Jamaica (12.55pm local time/8.55pm Irish time)
Great Britain v Ireland (4.28pm local time/12.28am Irish time)
Sunday, September 19: