Hannah Tyrell. INPHO/OISIN KENIRY
Irish international rugby player Hannah Tyrell believes that the IRFU will continue to back sevens rugby despite the impact of the the Covid-19 pandemic. The World Rugby Sevens Series involved standalone tournaments in eight different countries, which proved impossible to conclude as the virus spread throughout the world. This year’s competition ended after five rounds, with Ireland in 10th place, and rounds in Dubai and South Africa have already been removed from next year’s competition. IRFU chief executive Philip Browne has described the association as being in ‘a highly precarious financial situation’ which could lead to some tough decisions in the near future.
However, Tyrrell, who has announced her retirement from the sevens format, having been part of the setup since 2014, thinks it is an invaluable second path to the professional game for 15s players. Tyrrell said: ‘‘Over the past couple of years the IRFU have given us every backing, and from what I have heard over the last couple of months they are still continuing to back the sevens programme.. We have seen in the men’s game how some of those lads have come from sevens and transitioned into provincial 15’s teams. The 30 year-old Clondalkin native, who has made 103 appearances for her country says she now wants to concentrate on 15-a-side Rugby and is hoping to get back into the Irish team.
-- Sean Creedon