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Ireland Rugby Tour of USA and Japan
The squad contains 8 uncapped players – John Cooney, Dave Heffernan, Rory O’Loughlin, Andrew Porter, James Ryan, Rory Scannell, Jacob Stockdale and Kieran Treadwell.
Ireland Head Coach, Joe Schmidt, commented, “With eleven players due to tour with the British and Irish Lions, plus a number of injuries to experienced internationals, the summer tour squad includes plenty of youth.
“There is a real freshness to the group, including the coaching staff, so we’re looking forward to what will be a very challenging summer tour.”
The tour will also see three young Irish coaches spend time with the national team. Racing92′s Ronan O’Gara will accompany the team for the New Jersey leg of the tour with Leinster’s Girvan Dempsey with the group for the first week in Japan and Munster’s Felix Jones working with the team for the final week of the tour in Tokyo.
Irish Blind Tennis Team to compete overseas for first time
Eight blind Irish tennis players will make history this week as they will be the first Irish Blind Tennis team to compete overseas.
They will be participating in the International Blind Tennis Association’s Championship in Alicante, Spain. Playing against athletes from fifteen countries across Australia, the Americas, and Europe; the team will take on well-established nations such as Japan, where the game originated in the 1980s.
This incredibly skilful form of tennis is one of the newest sports in Ireland. It was launched by President Michael D Higgins a year ago at Mayfest, the annual Sports weekend organised by Vision Sports Ireland (VSI). Rahim Nazarali, the Sports Development Officer of VSI, describes it as the fastest ever growing sport for the blind community in Ireland.
Updates from Alicante will be available on the Tennis Ireland (www.tennisireland.ie) and Vision Sports Ireland (www.visionsports.ie) websites. Blind Tennis in Ireland is currently based in several tennis clubs in Dublin and Belfast and will shortly expand to Galway, Sligo, Navan and Cork. The growth and development of the sport has been possible through significant funding support from Sport Ireland.
Swim Ireland – Ireland’s biggest World Championships team since 2009
Oliver Dingley, Shane Ryan and Nicholas Quinn will spearhead Swim Ireland’s biggest World Championships team since 2009 in Budapest in July.
Seven athletes were announced today in the squad that will travel to Hungary for the FINA World Championships.
Dingley will be Ireland’s first diver at a World Championships in many years. The 23 year old became Ireland’s first Olympic Diver last year in Rio in 68 years. He has been preparing for this year’s Worlds by competing in the FINA Diving World Series, an exclusive event for those that finished in the top eight at the Rio Games. Dingley will also have the opportunity to fine tune his dives at the LEN European Diving Championships in Ukraine in June along with Jack Ffrench.
For the first time in history, Ireland will have two divers at the World University Games, with both Jack Ffrench and Natasha McManus hitting qualification scores in the 1 metre and 3 metre Springboard events to qualify.