Women’s Sevens on Road to Rio

Pictured: Railway Union’s Stacey Flood representing Leinster U-18s against Munster, 2014. Image courtesy of inpho.ie

Pictured: Railway Union’s Stacey Flood representing Leinster U-18s against Munster, 2014.
Image courtesy of inpho.ie

Dublin 4 is represented in Ireland Women’s Sevens Rugby by local girl Stacey Flood, who plays out of Railway Union RFC.

Stacey is a young Outhalf, only 18 years of age, and a natural athlete. She has represented Dublin in Gaelic football on the Ladies Minor team where she played midfield. She plays football out of the GAA club in Irishtown, Clanna Gael Fontenoy. She is also kept busy studying Technology and Business in the National College of Ireland. Stacey is a talent to keep an eye on for the future.

Stacey’s sister Kim also plays rugby, for both Railway Union, who won the Women’s All Ireland Cup earlier this year, and Leinster. She plays on the wing and has also represented Dublin in the National Football League.

Irish Sevens qualification for Rio can be determined by performance in a number of competitions, including the European Championship held in Russia (Kazan) and France (Malemort) over two weekends this June, and in the European and World Repechage competitions yet to be held.

Ireland won the Plate at each weekend of the European Championship and came fifth overall. They played well and brought home silverware but didn’t qualify for Rio.

The ladies are getting considerable tournament experience under their belts and have won many matches. This will aid them in their up-coming qualification attempts.

Along the way, Ireland have beaten Ukraine, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Finland, the Dutch-Swiss Ushizi Warriors, Switzerland, Scotland, Brazil’s Amazonas, and Germany – an impressive tally of victories. Their toughest challenges have been France and Spain, while only narrowly losing out to Canada and England.

Ireland can still qualify for the Rio Olympics based on their performance in next year’s World Series Repechage. Qualification for a place in the World Repechage will be based on performance in the European Repechage to be hosted in Lisbon this July.

Ireland ladies 7s will gain more valuable tournament experience this August at the World Rugby Women’s Sevens qualifier to be held in UCD on the weekend of August 22nd & 23rd.

NewsFour wishes Stacey and the Irish Women’s Sevens team all the best of luck on the road to Rio 2016. We will be following their progress with interest.

By Keith Murphy