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22nd May 2024

Hugo Keenan reportedly set to return to Ireland Sevens squad ahead of Olympics


Hugo Keenan is set to feature for the Ireland Sevens squad in the Paris Olympics.

Keenan (27) has been a mainstay in the Irish international rugby team since his debut in 2020, having spent almost three years in the Ireland Sevens programme beforehand.

The Dubliner was first called into the Sevens squad in 2017 with his pace and fitness seen as a major asset in the sevens game.

He helped the Ireland Sevens team qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 but didn’t play in the tournament where they finished third in their group.

According to The 42, he will feature in the upcoming Olympic games this summer meaning that he will miss Ireland’s tour of South Africa, as well as Leinster’s URC play-offs.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport last November, Keenan said that it would be ‘very cool’ to play in the Olympics but said his focus was on the European Cup with Leinster.

Keenan will play for Leinster in their upcoming European Cup final against Toulouse, having missed the semi-final with a hip injury. He returned to action for Leinster in their URC loss to Ulster last weekend.

Hugo Keenan of Ireland after his side’s defeat in the Steinlager Series match between the New Zealand and Ireland at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

“No, like, it would be very cool to do,” he said last November, “I obviously loved my time with the Sevens, I did two and half, three years with them.

“I’d like to think I helped them qualify for the last one in Tokyo [in 2021]. My last ever Sevens event was the qualifier to get them into the World Repechage.

“Yeah, 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.

“My dad’s missing the Sevens circuit anyway, he loved the trips over to Hong Kong and all the piss-ups that went along with it. I’m sure he’ll be in Paris on that bandwagon in 2024 anyway.”

Keenan is widely regarded as one of the best full backs in world rugby having become a key player in the Ireland team over the last five years.

His return to the Sevens programme is seen as a huge boost to the chances of James Topping’s side, who will be in atction in the Olympics from 24 to 27 July.

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