Head coach Charlie Hayter has named his England Women’s Sevens squad for the 2019/20 season.
12 of the 15-player group featured throughout 2018/19 as the side secured Olympic qualification on behalf of Great Britain in a memorable Rugby Europe qualifier in Kazan, Russia.
Abbie Brown will captain the squad for a second consecutive season while Heather Fisher, Megan Jones, Alex Matthews and Deborah Fleming add vital experience following the retirement of Claire Allan at the end of last season.
There are also three new names included.
Sydney Gregson, who made her World Series debut in Biarritz in June, links up with the group after spending last season at Tyrrells Premier 15s champions Saracens.
Beth Wilcock joins from Harlequins and featured in England U20s’ Tri-Nations Cup matches in July while uncapped Jodie Ounsley is a new addition to the programme and was awarded a Sevens contract in August 2019 following a spell at Loughborough Lightning.
More recently, Ounsley was part of James Cooper’s squad who finished runners-up at Rugby Europe Women’s U18 Sevens Championship in Jarocin.
The 2019/20 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series has increased from six to eight rounds for the first time in its history, with six of those being combined men’s and women’s events.
Drawn in Pool A, England begin their campaign in Glendale, Colorado, USA [5-6 October, 2019] and will face New Zealand, Russia and Japan.
After working with men’s head coach Simon Amor and former women’s head coach James Bailey across the men’s and women’s programmes last season, Hayter takes over the reins.
On naming the squad Hayter said: “We’re really excited for the new season to get underway.
“More rounds and tournaments will give vital experience to this young group and taking sevens to new audiences will only help to grow the game at home and across the globe.
“It’s also great to see six of our World Series rounds combined with the men and the programme extended overall.
“The majority of this group were with us last season and did exceptionally well to secure Olympic qualification.
“We’re looking forward to continuing our hard work and seeing how they, along with our new recruits, perform on the World Series circuit this time out.”
Holly Aitchison, Abbie Brown (C), Abi Burton, Heather Fisher, Deborah Fleming, Sydney Gregson, Megan Jones, Ellie Kildunne, Alex Matthews, Jodie Ounsley, Celia Quansah, Helena Rowland, Emma Uren, Beth Wilcock, Amy Wilson Hardy
Courtesy of the RFU