Lucy Mulhall looks to Olymoic games

Ahead of her side’s crunch Global Sevens Qualification tournament in UCD this weekend, Ireland Women’s Sevens captain Lucy Mulhall believes that qualifying for the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio would represent a huge step forward for the game in Ireland.

Lucy Mulhall looks to Olymoic games

In addition to securing a place in the Brazilian capital this summer, Ireland’s continued participation in the World Series will also come into sharp focus, and Mulhall acknowledged that staying on the global circuit is a major priority.

“I think the sport itself after the Rio Olympics this year is just going to grow and grow and grow. I personally want Ireland to be part of that and we want to be there as well,” Mulhall stated on Wednesday.

“This weekend is also about the World Series. Sevens is the World Series; the Olympics is every four years but you have the Series every year. We want to be up there playing the best teams all year long.

“It would require a really, really good performance [this weekend] and that's exactly what we're looking for. That would be brilliant and the Olympics is probably the best sporting event in the world, so it would be huge for us.”

Growing up, Mulhall’s sporting prowess was primarily restricted to the GAA fields, and she has represented Wicklow at senior level in Ladies Football. However, as she explains, an approach from IRFU development coach Stan McDowell led to her getting involved in the Sevens programme.

“Stan McDowell, the development coach, actually emailed me and I had never heard of the sport of rugby sevens before. I did my research and watched a few games and I thought 'this looks like a cool sport.’

“Then I went to Amsterdam in May two years ago on a trial tournament and I loved it. I just think it's a really honest sport. Seven people on the field, you can't hide or shirk away from your responsibility or your work.”

In a squad that features several international stars from the Irish 15s side, the role of captain is a huge responsibility for Mulhall. However, although she considers it to be a huge honour, she was quick to pin-point the leadership that exists throughout the set-up.

“I had done a bit in GAA, but I guess I joined this sport at the age of 21 and became captain at 21 so it was pretty new to me. It's obviously a huge honour, but it's not like I'm doing it myself either.

“There's a lot of leaders on the team. In a game of sevens, because there are only seven players on the field, you require seven leaders. We all help each other out and on our team we encourage each other,” Mulhall added.

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