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Ulster set to face the Lions in Limerick Sevens debut

By Staff Reporter

The draw for this year's Limerick World Rugby Club 7s has placed Ulster in Pool 3 alongside Connacht, Buenos Aires and Golden Lions of South Africa.

The tournament, at Thomond Park on August 21 and 22, will see 12 teams from around the world go head to head and for the first time all four Irish provinces will take part.

Elite Player Development Officer James Topping will take charge of the Ulster squad with the panel set to be made up of a mix of Hughes Insurance Academy members and club players.

The likes of Ballynahinch's Aaron Cairns and David McGuigan, who have represented Ireland in their recent attempts to qualify for the Rio Olympics, are also likely to be involved.

Leinster were paired with last year's winners Daveta Fiji, as well as Stade France and New York, while hosts Munster will face Wellington, Canadian Maples and San Francisco.

Also announced yesterday was a new TV deal for the Six Nations tournament. BBC and ITV have secured the broadcast rights for six seasons from 2016.

There had been reports that the competition could be taken off free-to-air television but ITV will show the home games of Ireland, England and Italy with the BBC doing likewise for Wales, France and Scotland.

Portadown-born Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport said: "As ITV prepares to bring viewers exclusive, free-to-air live coverage of the Rugby World Cup later this year, we're delighted to be strengthening our ties with the game by bringing audiences the first class, live action and unique atmosphere of the RBS 6 Nations from next year."

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