Aaron Sexton one of five Ulster players included in Ireland squads for World Sevens warm-up
Aaron Sexton is one of five Ulster players included as the Ireland squads have been announced for this weekend's Elche 7s tournament.
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The winger is one of two Ulstermen in the men's squad, joined by Ballynahinch's Iwan Hughes, while Lucinda Kinghan, Claire Boles and Maeve Liston are all named in the women's panel.
Sexton, of course, hit the headlines last season when he broke the record for the fasted speed record by an Ulster player, clocking 10.5m/s (37.8km/h) in the Celtic Cup game versus Cardiff.
He would go on to become the fastest teenager in Europe before giving up his track career to devote his time to rugby, joining the Ulster Academy.
Now he will get the chance to catch the eye in a green shirt this weekend as the build-up to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series event continues.
Ahead of their debut appearance as a core team in Dubai, the Ireland Men have been paired in Pool B alongside Portugal, Scotland and local outfit Viator 7s, while Stan McDowell’s Ireland Women, who opened their campaign with an eighth-place finish in Glendale, will face France, Belgium, Emerging France, Spain and Poland this weekend.
Anthony Eddy has named a 15 player Men’s squad for the tournament, including Cormac Izuchukwu, who top-scored for Ireland at the recent RugbyX tournament and Sexton, who did not play in London.
The Billy Dardis captained side will hope to build further momentum ahead of their season-opener in Dubai following strong performances during pre-season in Chester and at the 02 Arena.
Ireland Women, meanwhile, will be captained by Lucy Mulhall and their travelling squad includes 11 of the players who featured in Glendale last month, as Boles, Kinghan and Liston are handed a big opportunity ahead of the World Series legs in Dubai and Cape Town in December.
"It’s always a really good tournament and the preparation for both the Men’s and Women’s is an excellent building block as we look towards Dubai," Eddy said ahead of the trip to Spain.
Ireland Men open their campaign against Portugal on Saturday morning before further Pool games against Viator 7s and Scotland, while Ireland Women are first in action against France at the Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra.
IRELAND MEN’S SQUAD (Elche 7s - Saturday, November 9 - Sunday, November 10):
Foster Horan (Lansdowne)
Adam Leavy (Lansdowne)
Harry McNulty (UCD)
John O'Donnell (Lansdowne)
Aaron O'Sullivan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Cormac Izuchukwu (Old Wesley)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College - Capt)
Greg O'Shea (Shannon)
Iwan Hughes (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Terry Kennedy (St Mary’s College)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
Aaron Sexton (Malone/Ulster)
Peter Maher (Old Belvedere)
Hugo Lennox (Clontarf)
IRELAND WOMEN’S SQUAD (Elche 7s - Saturday, November 9 - Sunday, November 10):
Kathy Baker (Blackrock/Leinster)
Claire Boles (Railway Union/Ulster)
Megan Burns (Tullamore/Leinster)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union/Munster)
Anna Doyle (Tullow/Leinster)
Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock/Leinster)
Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Katie Heffernan (Mullingar/Railway Union/Leinster)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster)
Lucinda Kinghan (DCU/Ulster)
Emily Lane (Mallow/Munster)
Maeve Liston (Blackrock/Ulster)
Grace Moore (IQ Rugby)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum)(capt)
Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (Old Belvedere/Munster)
ELCHE 7s IRELAND MATCH SCHEDULE
Saturday, November 9:
Ireland Men v Portugal, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 10.40am local time/9.40am Irish time
Ireland Women v France, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 12pm local time, 11am Irish time
Ireland Men v Viator 7s, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 2pm local time, 1pm Irish time
Ireland Women v France Emerging, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 3.20pm local time, 2.20pm Irish time
Ireland Men v Scotland, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 5.30pm local time, 4.30pm Irish time
Ireland Women v Belgium, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 6.30pm local time, 5.30pm Irish time.
Sunday, November 10:
Ireland Women v Spain, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 10.20am local time, 9.20am Irish time
Ireland Women v Poland, Estadio Jose Díaz Iborra, 1.20pm local time, 12.20pm Irish time
Men’s and Women’s Play-Offs and Finals.
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