England Women Sevens squad travel to Langford, Canada today for the penultimate leg of the World Rugby HSBC Women’s Sevens Series ahead of the weekend’s competition (27-28 May).
Assistant coach James Bailey has made six changes to the side. Lauren Cattell, Katie Mason and Kelly Smith, who all made their debut in the World Series in Dubai, re-join the squad alongside Chantelle Mielle and Lotte Clapp, who made their debuts in Sydney and Las Vegas this year, and Natasha Brennan.
Drawn in Pool A, England faces USA, Netherlands and New Zealand in the opening stages.
Bailey said: “It’s exciting to see how the squad has developed over the course of this season. With so many players have made their debuts in the World Series this year, we want to continue to give them opportunities to progress, learn and build experience as we pursue our overall goal to earn qualification for the World Cup next year.”
Bailey has appointed Team GB Olympian Alice Richardson-Watmore as captain of the side for Langford, with Abbie Brown unavailable for selection due to injury.
Bailey added: “While it’s disappointing for Abbie that she won’t be joining the squad in Langford, this is a great opportunity for Alice, who has consistently demonstrated her leadership skills, both on and off the field, to lead the squad in Canada.”
Going into this fifth leg of the six-tournament series, England sits in eighth place in the overall standings, two points behind France and ten points above Ireland.
The top four teams from the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, not including the four pre-qualified teams, will earn their place in the Women’s Sevens World Cup in San Francisco in July 2018. Eight more teams, including two European, will qualify through the regional championship placings.
Sunday’s medal matches are scheduled to be broadcast live on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports Mix from 11 pm. All other games will be available via live stream on WorldRugby.org.
England Women squad, Langford
Alice Richardson-Watmore ©
Jo Richardson –Watmore
Schedule Pool A (all times in BST and games available via WorldRugby.org)
Saturday 27 May
v USA, 6.30pm
v Netherlands, 9.14pm
v New Zealand, 12.20am