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Keenan joins host of international stars in bid for Olympic glory

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Wednesday May 22, 2024

Sevens rugby is in the midst of an incredible revival, with the short game reaching peaks of interest not seen since the late 90s.

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Back in the early days of professional rugby, and venturing further into the amateur days, the sport of sevens rugby was well known for attracting some of the most famous and talented athletes in the international 15s game. The very best in the world were regularly testing themselves against the finest finishers on the sevens circuit as they became dual legends in both variations.

Simply look at the likes of David Campese tearing it up for Australia in both codes during the amateur era, or even look back at the the famous Middlesex Sevens tournament which consisted of some of the finest names in English rugby – across league, union and sevens.

Recent times have, however, seen viewership and participation of the faster game diminish in favour of the more established and higher funded, full-sized version.

That was, until the past year, when World Rugby released its revamped SVNS Series which unloaded the game on a host of new venues, attracting bigger and more established names back to the arena.

They say life is full of ‘swings and roundabouts’, and this summer the sevens game will be on the high end of a seesaw as Antoine Dupont and colleagues showcase the game to an excited Paris crowd at the Summer Olympics.

Its already been announced that Newcastle flyer Adam Radwan and Aussie legend Michael Hooper will be looking to book their flights over to Paris to compete, but today it’s been reported that an Irish speedster may be joining them.

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Hugo Keenan has announced his intentions to don the Irish shirt for a “once in a lifetime” opportunity according to the Irish publication, ‘The 42’. Should he come through this weekend’s Investec Champions Cup final against Toulouse unscathed, then has been suggested that he will link up with the Ireland 7s squad ahead of the Madrid SVNS tournament a week later.

The 27-year-old has performed internationally in both the 7s and 15s in the past, but is set to return to 7s for the first time since 2019 instead of joining Ireland on their 15s tour of South Africa this summer.

Fans have been reacting to this news, with many excited about the possibility of the greatest in the 15s game competing on another stage.

There have been frustrations voiced from some in the community, however, suggesting that those joining for the Olympics are making selections unfair on those previously in the squads, with one fan saying: “So he takes the place of someone who actually got us qualified. Just not fair!”

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Let us know who you would love to see in the Olympics.

Also feel free to critique our dream sevens team below:

RugbyDump’s Dream Six Nations Sevens Team | Rugbydump

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