- First tournament for new England 7s programme
- Allan returns to international action
Photo: Getty Images
The England Women’s Squad to compete in Rugby Rocks at the Richmond Athletic Ground on June 4 has been announced.
England, who are competing in their first tournament as part of a new development programme, will play Puma, Pink Baa Baas, Saracens and Wooden Spoons in the opening rounds. Other teams taking part include Sweden, English Premiership champions Richmond, as well as Irish and Welsh internationals in representative teams.
Rugby Rocks brings together the country's best mens and womens sevens team ahead of an evening of big name music with The Pigeon Detectives and XFM DJs topping the bill.
Barry Maddocks will coach the England 7s team with former England scrumhalf Susie Appleby as assistant coach.
Maddocks has named Richmond’s Claire Allan in the 12-woman squad. Rugby Rocks will mark Allan’s return to international action after missing last year’s Rugby World Cup with an ACL injury. Other experienced players include Michaela Staniford, who competed in the Rugby World Cup 7s in 2009, and Sonia Green, who has previously captained the England 7s team.
Maddocks said: "This is a really exciting period for the England 7s team. We had a lot of interest in the Open Trial process with over 100 players registering. We had a real mix of players attending, from experienced players to those new to the sport. It was an invaluable experience and we are very happy with the squad we have selected.
"Now we are at the start of a new development process, so this really is a blank canvas. We have three experienced 7s players in this squad, in Claire Allan, Michaela Staniford and Sonia Green, and we are hoping their experience will rub off on the less experienced players and build their confidence.
"Expectations for this tournament really is to use it to develop our players; it is not about winning. This is the start point for us, which is similar to what the England men did some years back, and we will build towards the future giving these players some invaluable experiences."
England 7s Rugby Rocks Squad
Claire Allan (Richmond)
Natasha Brennan (Wasps)
Jenny Brightmore (Worcester)
Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)
Charlotte Keane (Worcester/Hartpury College)
Ruth Laybourn (Leo Ladies)
Sophie Nicholas (Lichfield)
Michaela Staniford (Wasps)
Lydia Thompson (Worcester)
Sally Tuson (Bristol)
Charlotte Wild (Lichfield)
England Playing Schedule in Rugby Rocks
England v Puma (KO 10.10)
Pink Baa Baas v England (11.30)
Saracens v England (1.30pm)
Wooden Spoons v England (2.10pm)
Finals/Ranking game (4.50pm)