As the Ireland Men's Sevens programme continues its preparation for the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series in June and July, IRFU director of Sevens rugby Anthony Eddy has named a 14-man squad to take part in a three-day training camp in Portugal which commences today.
Four Connacht-based players are involved with Ed O’Keeffe and Conor Lowndes of the NUIG Connacht Rugby Academy and Galwegians selected alongside Buccaneers duo Jordan Conroy and Shane Layden.
The selected squad will train with the Portugal and Spain Sevens sides over the three days. Included in the squad are Leinster Academy players Hugo Keenan, Terry Kennedy and Jack Power, the Ulster Academy's Nick Timoney and Tom Stapley, Connacht Academy members Lowndes and O'Keeffe and the Munster Academy's Steven McMahon and Greg O'Shea.
There are also a number of club players in the squad, with Conroy (Division 1B's top try scorer with 13 tries) joining his Buccaneers team-mate Layden and UCD's Harry McNulty, John O'Donnell from Lansdowne and Exile Steve Toal-Lennon in making the trip.
Ahead of the training camp, Anthony Eddy said: "This weekend's camp is another important part of our training programme as we work towards the Rugby Europe Grand Prix later in the year.
"Both Portugal and Spain are quality sides, and the players will gain valuable experience from testing themselves against this sort of opposition."
Ireland Men’s Sevens Squad (Portugal Training Camp, February 17-19)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
Shane Layden (Buccaneers)
Conor Lowndes (Galwegians/Connacht)
Steve McMahon (Garryowen/Munster)
Harry McNulty (UCD)
John O'Donnell (Lansdowne)
Ed O'Keeffe (Galwegians/Connacht)
Greg O'Shea (Shannon/Munster)
Jack Power (Clontarf/Leinster)
Nick Timoney (Queen's University/Ulster)
Steve Toal-Lennon (Exile)
Tom Stapley (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
2017 RUGBY EUROPE GRAND PRIX SERIES
Stage 1: Moscow, Russia, June 3-4
Stage 2: Lodz, Poland, June 10-11
Stage 3: Saint-Etienne, France, July 1-2
Stage 4: Exeter, England, July 15-16