England Women Sevens head coach James Bailey has named a 15-player squad that will travel to Marcoussis, France for a two-day training tournament on 27-28 September 2018.
England will play Spain, France and Russia as they prepare for their first HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series tournament in Glendale, Colorado on 20-21 October 2018.
This will be the first time that all seven of the newly contracted players for this season will play together after Lizzie Adam and Celia Quansah made their first appearance in an England jersey in the opening leg of the Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Grand Prix Series this summer and Emma Uren, Abi Burton, Emma Hardy, Ellie Kildunne and Helena Rowland made their England Sevens debuts in Kazan earlier this month.
James Bailey commented: “This two-day training tournament is fundamentally about cohesion for us. With seven new players coming in at the start of the season this will be a brilliant opportunity for us to see how well the players are gelling on the pitch as we build towards our first World Series tournament next month.
“We’ll also be using this tournament as a way of putting into practice some new elements that we’ve introduced into our pre-season training over the past couple of weeks against some world-class competition.”
Heather Fisher has made herself unavailable for selection after announcing this week that she will be taking a break from rugby to mentally recharge with Bailey adding: “We are obviously disappointed not to have Heather Fisher join us for this tournament because she’s an exceptionally talented player but we fully support Heather’s decision and admire her openness and honesty.”
The top four teams from this season’s HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series – which has increased to six rounds – will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. As with Rio 2016, England is the nominated nation to qualify Team GB for the games.
England Women’s Sevens squad for French training tournament:
Courtesy of the RFU