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MONTHLY // PLAYER REVIEWS WOMEN’S SEVENS


PHOTOGRAPHY: PAPAYA PHOTOGRAPHY


JO O’SULLIVAN -AKA SPARKLES POSITION: FLY HALF, CENTRE AGE: 29 HEIGHT: 5FT 4 WEIGHT: 70KG


CLUB: RICHMOND RFC SEVENS: IRELAND, WOODEN SPOONS, PINK BA BA’S, MOODY COWS, SUSIE SALOON


I was born in Limerick, Ireland and moved to Kent, England when I was 2 years old, think my folks wanted a life with electricity and church- free Sundays. I’ve always been a tomboy; I had to stop playing football at 14 due to shin-splints and took to playing 15s and 7s when I was 19 at Loughborough University. My 7s Debut was for Moody Cows in Dubai


in 2006; I was there dressed up as an Egyptian Mummy and happened to be passing the


Moody Cows who had lost a few players due to injury, I have no idea why they let me take to the field (minus the fancy dress) but have never looked back since, we went onto win the open tournament that weekend. Since 2006, I have played in Dubai 7s 5 times, it’s by far my pick of tournaments – it’s the perfect blend of being able to spectate and play top level sevens as well as party with players and fans from all over the world. I’ve been fortunate in that sevens has taken me throughout Europe – Limogues in France with the Irish women’s team for the European Championships, Copenhagen, Kinsale, Amsterdam and Rome. Having retired from Ireland at 15s, 7s has


become my focus, I ear-mark the IRB and Seven’s Series tournaments as ‘serious’ and the UK tournaments as more social. Sevens has given me the opportunity to play with ladies from all over the world, players such as Mandy Marshack and Rachel Burford who has set the sevens world on fire. Currently Ireland don’t have the funding


necessary to back a 15s and a 7s squad however the Shamrocks Warriors, a club that has been set up for sevens exclusively are keen to feature on the sevens stage so watch this space!


Wooden Spoons, Pink Ba Bas and Moody


Cows include players from club and country who play hard but also respresent their charity/cause well off the pitch. The post-tournament festivities are the icing on the cake for me; a drink, a dance and some banter are a must ! My favourite sevens player: of old Serevi, of new Tomasi Cama, on the Super Sevens Series Ramea Karma. My best Sevens memory is playing for Wooden Spoons against England at West Country this year, we won by a try and it was try-line to try-line action, a great advert for the women’s game. My favourite tournament is the Glastonbury of


sevens, Solstice Sevens in Nottingham. I wouldn’t advise you to go purely for the rugby, instead of champagne Solstice has more of a Cava feel about it, the karaoke, Midland ales and Sambuca Olympics are stand-outs. The women’s sevens game has really


progressed, we are now at a point where tournaments are running simultaneous elite and open women’s leagues, in Kinsale this year there were 20 women’s teams, the sport really has exploded onto the scene. With the prospect of sevens hitting the Commonwealths and the Olympics, the future of women’s sevens is very exciting indeed.


56 / www.ukrugbysevens.com / Issue 4


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