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Ireland star set for shock change to 7s for the Olympics

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Wednesday May 22, 2024

Ireland star Hugo Keenan is set to return to his roots as he prepares to link up with the Irish 7s squad ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games.

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The incumbent fullback for both Leinster and Ireland, Keenan is arguably the biggest success story of the Ireland 7s program, having spent time with the set-up between 2017 and 2019.

Since moving over to the XV-a-side game, the 27-year-old has gone on to become one of the very best fullbacks in the international game.

Should he come through this weekend’s Investec Champions Cup final against Toulouse unscathed it is reported that he will link up with the Ireland 7s squad for the Madrid SVNS tournament a week later.

When asked about a potential return to the shortened version of the game in November, Keenan said, “No, like, it would be very cool to do.

“I obviously loved my time with the Sevens, I did two and half, three years with them.

“It’s exciting for Dupont and the lads to do it but I’m back with Leinster. My big target this year is that European Cup and yeah, I’m just focusing on that.”

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Keenan is not the first high-profile XVs player to confirm that he will be competing at the Olympics, with French star Antoine Dupont having already appeared on the HSBC SVNS series this year.

For Ireland’s XV head coach Andy Farrell, Keenan’s departure will leave a gap at fullback for his side who will tour South Africa in June where they will face the Springboks in a two test series.

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