"We do it for our families" - Scenes of raw, unconfined joy as Ireland reach Olympics
"Ireland are going to Paris! Book your tickets!"
In the early hours of Sunday morning, even with the clocks an hour further ahead in Toulouse, the Ireland Women's Sevens squad, their coaches, players, friends, family and friends were partying hard.
For the first time in this country's history - albeit with only a recent qualifying window - Ireland will have a women's Sevens side at the Olympic games.
Ireland reached the France 7s quarter finals, only to fall to Australia in a fast-paced encounter. It meant they would face off against Fiji for what was effectively a shoot-out for an automatic Olympics qualifying spot. Inspired by two Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe tries, they beat Fiji 10-5 and the celebrations could begin.
"It's been a journey for us, and I'm just so grateful that we had a team like that around us," said Ireland captain Lucy Mulhall, as she choked back tears.
"Players, family, staff, it's been an amazing year and everyone... our goal is just to grow Sevens rugby in Ireland and there were some young kids here, this weekend, wearing an Ireland Sevens jersey. It means so much. We do it for our families. Rugby has become a family and then all of families have joined it... I'm just so glad that we could make them happy."
"We do it for our families. Rugby's become a family"
Pure joy and exhilaration for Ireland's captain, @LucyMulhall after qualifying for #Paris2024 🥰#HowWeSevens | @IrishRugby pic.twitter.com/S8DQDSNHhr
— HSBC SVNS (@SVNSSeries) May 14, 2023
Ireland celebrate with their fans
Amee Leigh Murphy crowed, later, grabbed the microphone with an 'inside' reference to all that have been involved with this team - 'The cow jumped over the moon!'
Inside the ground, and behind on of the stands, the players partied and sang with the travelling Irish support.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) May 14, 2023
The main cup competition finished up, soon after, with New Zealand crowned the champions.
Ireland will know they are the team to beat when they get to their first ever Olympic games in Paris, next year.
WATCH HOUSE OF RUGBY HERE:
- "Jack had the balls to knock it over, so here we go" - Peter O'Mahony
- Mack Hansen up against three Leinster stars for Players' Player of the Year
- Johnny Sexton's most cherished jersey swap shows how seriously he takes his rugby
- Jack Crowley kicks last-gasp drop goal to seal stunning Munster victory
- The Jacques Nienaber team talk that had Munster players straining at the leash