Sevens Series gives players great chance to gain experience
What an achievement it is for Ireland to have made it into next year's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
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It'll be an unbelievable experience for those players to be a part of it. Furthermore, it'll grow that form of the game in this part of the world immeasurably and it's crucial to have as many access points as possible. We've seen the likes of Nick Timoney and Robert Baloucoune benefit in recent seasons, while Iwan Hughes is the latest member of the Ulster Academy to get a taste for it.
Watching over the weekend, it took me back to my sevens days at the very start of my career.
The side then was used to give some fringe players at the provinces game time but we ended up qualifying for the 2009 World Cup.
Myself, Darren Cave, Felix Jones, Ian Keatley and James Coughlan were all involved in a qualifying competition that took us to places like Hannover, Gdansk and Odense.
I'd make my Ulster debut before the World Cup in Dubai so didn't get to go out...I've never been so delighted and devastated at the same time before.
It's obviously a game that helps massively with conditioning, but also skills like passing and fends too.
It'll be fantastic to see Ireland up against the very best next year.