Former Connacht back Conor McPhillips will take charge of the 7’s squad that will compete in the competition for the first time.
Commenting on the tournament, McPhillips, who himself played for Ireland in the 2001 Rugby World Cup 7’s in Argentina, said:
“I’m delighted to be heading up the 7’s squad ahead of the tournament in Limerick. It’s an exciting time of year for all of our players as they will finally have a chance to play some competitive rugby, whether it’s 15’s or 7’s, after a heavy strength and conditioning workload throughout the summer.
“In consultation with Pat (Lam) and the other coaches we have already identified players who would benefit most from the 7’s game. Naturally, preparation time will be pretty short but it’s just about giving the players some basic shape to help them with the nuances of the 7’s game. The basics are all the same – tackling, ball carrying, rucking – but it’s about executing them under extreme pressure and at a different pace.
“We expect to be competitive in the tournament even if the players don't have a big background in 7’s. At the end of the day the selected players will come from the Connacht setup and this is another chance for them to impress the coaches ahead of the regular season.”
Connacht head coach Pat Lam added:
“The 7’s tournament affords us another great opportunity to give players a hit out in the build up to the start of the season. We’re aiming to put out as strong a team as possible for the 7’s so it’s likely to be a mixture of senior and academy guys outside of those already involved in the 15’s friendly against Munster on the Friday night. “
Connacht have been drawn in Pool C of the Rugby World Club 7’s competition alongside Ulster, Argentina’s Buenos Aires and South African club Golden Lions. The schedule of fixtures will be confirmed by RWC7’s in the coming weeks.
One and Two Day tickets, that also give access to the Munster v Connacht pre-season game (Friday, 7:45pm, Thomond Park), can be purchased online by clicking here. Season Ticket holders and Connacht Clan members have been emailed an exclusive two for one offer on Friday tickets.