Friday 23 August 2019

WATCH: ' It won't sink in for a while, it's class' - Ireland qualify for 2020 World Rugby Sevens Series

Ireland celebrate after winning the Qualifiers final against Hong Kong on day three of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens at the Hong Kong Stadium on April 07, 2019. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Ireland celebrate after winning the Qualifiers final against Hong Kong on day three of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens at the Hong Kong Stadium on April 07, 2019. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Tony Considine

A 28-7 victory over Hong Kong this morning ensured that Ireland will be a core team in the 2020 World Rugby Sevens Series.

The irish team had beaten Jamaica and Russia their pool and drew with Uruguay. Russia were beaten again in the quarter-final before a semi-final 19-10 win against Germany. The victory in the qualifying tournament will give Ireland a timely confidence boost as they face into Olympic qualifiers later this year.

"When you reflect on the last 16 to 24 months, it's been a long, hard road,”  said Ireland captain Billy Dardis.

“We're just delighted with this. We all just stood on the pitch there and couldn't move. We're just speechless, it's class.

"We've got the Olympic qualifiers in the next few months. So, that's our next aim: to qualify for that this summer - that would be two big boxes ticked."

Player of the tournament Jordan Conroy added: "To get the Player of the Tournament and win was amazing. I wouldn't have got it done without the lads.

"They bloody well worked their asses off to get that ball out to the wing. We reaped the rewards through that hard work - I just finish, you know.

"We're happy to finally get onto the global stage of the World Series with the big boys."

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The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross has also passed on his congratulations to the team.

"I would like to congratulate the team for their excellent performance in winning the World Rugby Sevens Series Qualifier Tournament and their victory over Hong Kong in the final,” Minister Ross said. 

"This team has come agonisingly close to achieving qualification over recent years, so it is fantastic to see them take their place at the highest level of international Sevens Rugby.

"I would like to commend the players and their coaching team led by Anthony Eddy and Stanley McDowell for their hard work and dedication to achieve this outstanding result."

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