GRR on X  GRR on Facebook GRR in Instagram GRR Vimeo Library GRR on YouTube RuggaMatrix America Podcasts Support GRR on Patreon

Ireland's Meteoric Rise in World 7s Will be On Display in LA

irish rugby tours

Ireland's Meteoric Rise in World 7s Will be On Display in LA

David Barpal photo.

One of the most interesting teams on the Sevens World Series circuit has to be Ireland.

A country that didn't really invest time or energy into 7s until just a few years ago, Ireland is now a world power. Leveraging their talent pool, some money, and an overall national appreciation for the skills that engender 7s success, Ireland went from playing in zero World Series events in 2017 to finishing 3rd in the Rugby World Cup 7s in 2022.

Ireland wasn't a full World Series member until 2020 but in 2018 they played in two events, London and Paris. In London they finished 3rd, beating England in the 3rd-4th game, and made the quarterfinals in Paris. Not bad for a team that had no experience at that level. A year later it was the same deal—London and Paris only—and the result were good, but not as good as 2018. Still, when Ireland joined the World Series as a full member they had played only four tournaments in recent years.

LA Sevens Tickets are on Sale Now>>

In 2020 they made the quarterfinals in three of the six tournaments before the season was shut down. That included a 6th-place finish in Los Angeles. At that tournament in 2020 Billy Dardis said that trying to qualify for the European Championships and also maybe ... maybe! for the Olympics was what they were hoping for.

"The Olympics would be ... incredible," said Dardis. "That's the dream."

They qualified, and took 10th, but then exploded for for Superb 2022 season—their first really full World Series season—finishing 5th in the World Series, and taking third (3rd!) in the World Cup.

Along the way Terry Kennedy led the World Series in tries with 50 and last week was named World Rugby Men's 7s Player of the Year. 

At the upcoming LA 7s in February, fans will be able to see an Ireland team that has shot to the top of the international 7s conversation. With a very short runup they are now a World Series contender, have produced the best player in the World, and are just flat really fun to watch.

At the LA 7s, Kennedy was all talk about his teammates and the growth of the team as a unit. But he did find singular praise for the tournament in general.

"It's been great; I feel like the last time we were hear we probably didn't the whole buzz of it as much, so this time we really made an effort to get out and about and see the place," Kennedy said about LA as a whole. But the tournament, too, impressed.  "It's great, top-notch, yeah really impressed."

We could say that about Ireland's efforts, too.

See Ireland and the other 15 international teams at the LA 7s on February 25-26 at Dignity Health Sports Park. For tickets and information go to:

Tickets are on sale now.