- Richmond's Abi Chamberlain named as England Sevens captain
- Fiona Davidson and Harriet Millar Mills set to make debuts
Photo: Getty Images
England Women’s Sevens Head Coach Barry Maddocks has named his squad to compete in the opening round of the all-new IRB Women’s Sevens World Series at the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, November 30- December 1.
Richmond’s Abigail Chamberlain has been handed the captaincy armband and will captain a young England side which includes the likes of Richmond’s Fiona Davidson and Lichfield's Harriet Millar Maills who are set to make their international sevens debuts. Meanwhile, players such as Georgina Roberts, Natasha Brennan, Isabelle Noel-Smith and Sarah McKenna will be looking to build on their handful of Sevens caps.
Maddocks said: “This tournament is a massive opportunity for several of our less experienced players to put their hats in the ring and show what they can do before a world cup sevens year in 2013. We are trying to develop as much strength and depth across our Elite Playing Squad (EPS) as possible as that will be hugely important ahead of 2013 and 2014, for the Women’s XVs World Cup.
“I am also delighted to be able to give Abi Chamberlain this captaincy opportunity, and Sarah Guest who I have named as vice-captain. As the more experienced players in the team I will be looking at them to show strong leadership qualities and help our less experienced players in this tournament.”
England, who are winners of two out of three IRB Challenge Cup tournaments in the 2011/12 season, in Hong Kong and London, head Pool A and face three tough matches against Spain, South Africa and 2016 Olympic hosts, Brazil.
Defending Dubai champions Canada head Pool B and face matches on day one against recent champions of Oceania, New Zealand, round three hosts China and Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 hosts, Russia.
Reigning Rugby World Cup Sevens champions Australia will contest Pool C against two core sides set to host rounds of the Series, USA and Netherlands, as well as European powerhouse France.
Maddocks added: “We have got a tough pool for sure. Playing the likes of Spain, who were easily the second best team in Europe last year is going to be a massive challenge in the group stages and South Africa are always very physical. This tournament is certainly going to be a challenge for us but it is one we are looking forward to.”
England Women Sevens Squad
Natasha Brennan (Wasps)
Abigail Chamberlain (C) (Richmond)
Sarah Guest (VC) (Worcester)
Ruth Laybourn (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Jane Leonard (Wasps)
Sarah McKenna (Wasps)
Isabelle Noel-Smith (Bristol)
Georgina Roberts (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Leanne Riley (Worcester)
Emily Scott (Thurrock)
Harriet Millar Mills (Lichfield)
Fiona Davidson (Richmond)
IRB Women’s Sevens World Series
Round 1 – UAE: Dubai, November 30 – December 1, 2012 – 7he Sevens Stadium
Round 2 – USA: Houston, Texas, 1-2 February, 2013 - BBVA Compass Stadium
Round 3 – China: Guangzhou, 30-31 March 2013 - Guangzhou University Town Stadium
Round 4 – Netherlands: Amsterdam, 17-18 May 2013 - NRCA Stadium