Source: Jordan Mansfield - RFU via Getty Images

James Bailey names 12-player squad for Rugby World Cup Sevens

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England Women Sevens head coach James Bailey has named his 12-player squad for the Rugby World Cup Sevens which will take place in San Francisco on 20-22 July.

Abbie Brown captains an experienced side that includes six Olympians and nine members of the Team England squad that won bronze at the recent Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Emily Scarratt is named as vice-captain and alongside Brown will be joined by fellow Commonwealth Games teammates Claire Allan, Jess Breach, Heather Fisher, Deborah Fleming, Natasha Hunt, Alex Matthews and Amy Wilson Hardy.

2017 Rugby World Cup finalist Vicky Fleetwood also joins Bailey’s set-up as do Holly Aitchison, who made her HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series debut in Las Vegas in March 2017, and Sarah McKenna who has been involved with England Women since 2011.

Eighth seed England will face ninth seed Ireland in their first game at 8.12pm (BST) on Friday 20 July with their second game set to take place on Saturday 21 July.

“We have a very tight squad and the players’ willingness to work exceptionally hard for each other has been demonstrated consistently throughout the season,” said England Women Sevens head coach James Bailey.

“The Commonwealth Games illustrated what we are capable of which gives us confidence for the World Cup. We see San Francisco as a celebration of all of the hard work that the entire unit of players has put in this season and as another opportunity to go out there and create some very special memories.”

AT&T Park will host the competition which features the world’s top 24 men’s and 16 women’s teams in a straight knock-out format, meaning that teams will have to win every match to be crowned World Cup winners.

Bailey added: “We’re incredibly excited about the new format of the competition – it’s very different to what we’re used to on the World Series circuit but we’re really looking forward to being a part of it. Our first game against Ireland is going to be tough as they’re a strong outfit, but we’re relishing the opportunity.”

England secured their spot at the Rugby World Cup Sevens via the regional qualification process on the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series in Kazan, Russia last season.

Megan Jones and Emily Scott were unavailable for selection due to injuries sustained this season.

England Women Sevens squad:

Holly Aitchison
Claire Allan
Jess Breach
Abbie Brown ©
Heather Fisher
Vicky Fleetwood
Deborah Fleming
Natasha Hunt
Alex Matthews
Sarah McKenna
Emily Scarratt
Amy Wilson Hardy

Courtesy of the RFU