James Bailey has named his side for the final round of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in Clermont-Ferrand, France this weekend (24 – 25 June).
England will field a number of development players while six names have joined the squad directly from the Rugby Europe Women’s Grand Prix Series in Malemort. Katie Mason, who captains the side, Deborah Fleming, Kelly Smith, Lotte Clapp, Holly Aitchison and three-time try scorer Olivia Jones were all part of the fourth-placed team last weekend.
Alongside Jones, Lottie Holland, Sophie Tandy and Jess Breach have all represented England at U20 level in the past two seasons.
Following their eighth-place finish in Langford last time, England are drawn in Pool B alongside Russia, Canada and Brazil, kicking-off against Rugby Europe Women’s Grand Prix Series winners Russia at 11.44am BST on Saturday.
All games will be available via WorldRugby.org livestream with the finals on Sky Sports Mix.
England Women Sevens coach James Bailey said: “Our goal for this weekend is to give international sevens experience to more players as part of our ongoing aim to build the strength and depth of our programme.
“It’s exciting to see how the squad continues to develop and with so many players having made their debuts on the World Series this year, we want to continue to give them opportunities to progress, learn and build experience.
“We were pleased with our performance in Malemort, and while this weekend will throw up new challenges, it will be another valuable learning opportunity for this young squad.”
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. Going into the final leg of the six-tournament series, England sit in eighth place in the overall standings, 10 points behind France and eight above Ireland.
Eight more teams, including two European, will qualify through the regional championship placings.
England Women Sevens squad, Clermont-Ferrand
Katie Mason ©
Schedule Pool B (all times in BST and games available via WorldRugby.org)
Saturday 24 June
v Russia, 11.44am
v Canada, 2.50pm
v Brazil, 5.12pm
Report courtesy of England Rugby