Source: David Rogers/Getty Images for GB Sevens

A New-Look GB Sevens Squad

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Scott Forrest ha announced the 13 players who will take part in the Canadian Fast Four tournament starting this week.

They include some surprises:

Abbie Brown (co-captain)
Megan Jones (co-captain)
Abi Burton
Alicia Maude
Amy Wilson Hardy
Celia Quansah
Chantelle Miell
Emma Uren
Grace Crompton
Heather Cowell
Jasmine Joyce
Jodie Ounsley
Shona Campbell

The new faces include the familiar and the unfamiliar: Heather Cowell, Quins’ outstanding try-scorer, at last gains international recognition; Grace Crompton has been getting encouraging notices for her appearances for Bristol Bears; Alicia Maude steps up after appearing for England U18s in the 2019 European Sevens Cup; Shona Campbell has done well to impress the selectors as the sole representative from Scotland.

Only six remain from Tokyo: the co-captains, Burton, Quansah, Uren and Joyce, but other regulars return, Wilson Hardy, Ounsley and Miell. This marks quite a changing of the guard. But it also indicates the uncertainties still surrounding Team GB. Last weekend Amy Wilson Hardy was playing for Wasps at Loughborough, watched by members of the Sevens squad who train there. Holly Aitchison played for Saracens; she does not reappear on the list.

The tournament was announced over a month ago; the team is posted four days before it begins. There must be good reason for this delay in publicity.

Like so many other tournaments of the past year and more, the Fast Four has suffered a withdrawal: the French team are unable to travel (though they were greeted by the French President, Emmanuel Macron at the Élysee Palace yesterday) and have been replaced by Mexico. This is horribly parallel to the Quest for Gold tourney in Los Angeles in June. There too Mexico came in as last-minute substitutes. The organisers were so concerned about the one-sided results on the first day (USA 71 Jamaica 0; GB 76 Mexico 0), that they rejigged the second day to avoid more unwelcome results.

Fortunately the other two competing nations, Canada and the USA, will provide the sort of stern opposition that makes the adventure worthwhile. But the organisers have learned from the Los Angeles experience. Although the first day’s programme is there in detail, the second is not. We can expect a similar adjustment if the results turn out as one-sided as in the Quest for Gold.

Team GB, making a first appearance in the Vancouver Sevens under this identity, face Mexico first. That will give Forrest the chance to blood some of his newcomers against less than menacing opponents.

Canada’s Squad:

Olivia Apps (Lindsay, ON) — Lindsay RFC
Fancy Bermudez-Chavez (Edmonton, AB) — Nor’Wester Athletic Association
Emma Chown (Barrie, ON) — Aurora Barbarians
Alysha Corrigan (Charlottetown, PEI) — CRFC/Saracens
Chloe Daniels (Sutton, ON) — RC Academy / Queens University
Olivia De Couvreur (Ottawa, ON) — Ottawa Irish
Renee Gonzalez (Toronto, ON) — UVIC
Asia Hogan-Rochester (Toronto, ON — N/A
Breanne Nicholas (Blenheim, ON) — London St. Georges
Arielle Normandin-Leclerc (Montreal, QC) — Town of Mount Royal Rugby
Ella O-Regan (Victoria, BC) – Castaway Wanderers / UVIC
Temitope Ogunjimi (Calgary, AB) — Calgary Hornets RFC
Sabrina Poulin (Saint-George de Beauce, QC) — Town of Mount Royal Rugby

Mexico’s Squad:

Alessandra Bender
Daniela Rosales
Isabela Gonzalez
Jennifer Salomonj
Laura Rodriguez
Maria Arsuaga
Marie Potes
Rosa Rivera
San Juanita Fetuuaho
Tania Grijalva
Vanessa Rodriguez
Zoe Tuyu

The American squad has not yet been announced.

Vancouver: September 18-19
Edmonton September 25-26