17 June 2024

~6 minutes read

Ballinasloe’s Beibhinn Parsons Confirmed for Paris Olympics Along with Connacht Rugby Duo Andrew Smith and Chay Mullins

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Ballinasloe’s Beibhinn Parsons Confirmed for Paris Olympics Along with Connacht Rugby Duo Andrew Smith and Chay Mullins

Ballinasloe’s Beibhinn Parsons has been selected on the Ireland women’s rugby sevens team for the Paris Olympics.  They’ll compete in the Stade de France from July 28th.

Connacht duo Andrew Smith and new professional Chay Mullins are part of the men’s team that play four days earlier.

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The Olympic Federation of Ireland has officially selected the Men’s and Women’s Rugby Sevens teams who will compete at the Olympic Games in Paris this summer.

Harry McNulty will captain the men’s team, which recently finished second in the World Series. Lucy Rock (formerly Mulhall) has been named as the captain of the women’s team that qualified for their first Olympic Games this summer.

In Paris, the Rugby Sevens events will be held in the Stade de France and are amongst the first competitions at the Paris Olympics. The men’s events run from the 24 – 27 August, and the women’s events from the 28 – 30 July.

Head coaches of the teams, James Topping and Allan Temple-Jones have named their 12-player squads. The men’s team competed in Tokyo 2020, and the participation of both the men’s and women’s teams in Paris is a landmark moment for the sevens programme with the IRFU.

Coming off the back of an impressive season, several Tokyo Olympians are returning for a second consecutive Games, with Ireland’ Men’s XVs international Hugo Keenan and Connacht’s Andrew Smith returning to the programme. The men’s team gained their Olympic qualification for Paris at the European Games in Krakow last summer.

The journey to the Olympics was a lengthy one for the women’s team, having narrowly missed qualification for both the Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games. Captain, Rock, is joined by a strong team of athletes who have played key roles in the qualification for Paris 2024, including Ashleigh Orchard’s inspiring return to the green jersey, just 12 months after giving birth to her daughter, Arabella.

Speaking on the official selection, captain of the men’s team McNulty said,

“It is an incredible honour to lead the squad to this summer’s Olympics. We performed strongly this season with our highest ever finish and it is a great foundation for our prep leading into the Games. We have a lot of competition in the squad and it’s driving everyone to push harder every day.

“Paris is coming along very quickly and we are excited for the weeks ahead. We are working really hard to make sure we are in the best shape, mentally and physically, for the Games to maximise our potential and chase our Olympic medal ambitions.”

Captain for the women’s team Lucy Rock, said,

“This is an incredibly exciting time for the Ireland Sevens programme as two teams prepare to compete in Paris.

“For the Women’s squad, it has been three cycles of hard work, determination and sacrifice to reach this point, and while we are the lucky 12 who get to pull on the Team Ireland jersey this summer, we are representing so much more than ourselves, but the wider squad, our friends, families, former team-mates, backroom staff and everyone who has supported us on the journey.

“To lead this team out at the Olympics will be an extremely proud moment.”

Olympic Federation of Ireland Chef de Mission for Paris 2024, Gavin Noble said,

“We are delighted to officially welcome the Men’s and Women’s Rugby Sevens teams to Team Ireland today. We know that many more than these selected athletes have contributed to the programme, and that the team named today represents the overall progression and success of the sevens programme in Ireland. We are going to the Games with realistic ambitions of strong performances, and we look forward to supporting the athletes this summer.”

David Nucifora, Rugby Sevens Performance Director said,

It is a landmark and proud day for us to confirm our Men’s and Women’s Sevens squads to represent Team Ireland at Paris 2024.

“A huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes for the last number of years for us to reach this milestone, and it is testament to the dedication, talent and resilience of the players and staff in the Ireland Sevens programme – past and present – that we now have the privileged opportunity to be part of Team Ireland for Paris.

“The selected players have worked extremely hard to earn this opportunity, and while it is a proud and hugely exciting moment for them and their families, we must also acknowledge the members of wider Ireland Sevens squads who have missed out on selection through injury or today received disappointing news. They will continue to play an integral role in our preparation for Paris in the weeks ahead.

“The squads will be determined to perform well and represent their country with pride and distinction at the biggest sporting event in the world, and we hope the achievements of our players will help inspire the nation this summer and continue to put the Ireland Sevens programme on the sporting map.

This brings to twenty-eight the official number of athletes who have so far been selected to represent Team Ireland at Paris 2024, a Games that will see us celebrate our centenary competing as a nation at the Olympic Games. The team announcements for each sport will follow over the coming weeks, with the final team announcement scheduled for the beginning of July. The Olympic Games in Paris will run from the 24th July to the 11th August 2024, with the Opening Ceremony taking place on the 26th July.

TEAM IRELAND PARIS RUGBY SEVENS ANNOUNCEMENT:

Men’s Team:

Niall Comerford

Jordan Conroy (Tokyo Olympian)

Hugo Keenan

Jack Kelly (Tokyo Olympian)

Terry Kennedy (Tokyo Olympian)

Hugo Lennox (Tokyo Olympian)

Harry McNulty (Tokyo Olympian)

Gavin Mullin (Tokyo Olympian)

Chay Mullins

Mark Roche (Tokyo Olympian)

Andrew Smith

Zac Ward

Travelling reserves:

Bryan Mollen (Tokyo Olympian)

Sean Cribbin

 

Women’s Team:

Kathy Baker

Megan Burns

Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe

Alanna Fitzpatrick

Stacey Flood

Eve Higgins

Erin King

Vicky Elmes Kinlan

Emily Lane

Ashleigh Orchard

Béibhinn Parsons

Lucy Rock

 

Travelling Reserves

Claire Boles

Amy Larn

17 June 2024; Lucy Mulhall, left, and Harry McNulty during the Team Ireland Paris 2024 team announcement at the IRFU High Performance Centre on the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

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