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New look England Women’s squad for France Sevens

02 October 2012

  • McLean, McGilchrist and Matthews set to make Sevens debut
  • Matthews sisters line-up in squad for France
England flanker Alex Matthews in action against New Zealand

Photo: RFU Archive

England Women Sevens Head Coach Barry Maddocks has named three uncapped Sevens players in his squad to contest the France International Sevens on October 12-13 at the Centre National de Rugby, in Marcoussis, France.

Seasoned XVs players Katy McLean and Jo McGilchrist are set to make their international Sevens bow alongside the impressive young talent of Alexandra Matthews, who is just 19.

McLean, who has 55 caps, is England’s XVs skipper and will now also captain the Sevens team for this tournament, while both McGilchrist and Matthews will be making a long awaited return from injury.

Matthews, who plays in the backrow for Richmond, is also set to make her Sevens debut alongside big sister Francesca Matthews. The pair have never played international rugby together before.

Fran Matthews’ inclusion will also see her start her first international since 2011 after coming back from injury, alongside Claire Allan who has been out of action since 2010.

England captain and fly half Katy McLean in action against New Zealand at Twickenham

Photo: RFU Archive

Maddocks said: “Our aim for this tournament is to expose even more players to international Sevens rugby to help provide us with the strength and depth we need with a busy year of international rugby in XVs and Sevens ahead.

“Katy, Jo and Alex are all experienced XVs players who have shown an interest in Sevens and this will be their chance to show us what they can do.

“It’s really exciting to have the three of them involved, especially Alex, who I have known since she was 16 as an Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) student at Hartpury College. She is a talented young player with a lot of physical presence and pace.

“Katy is the natural choice for captain for this tournament, given her XVs experience and her performances in the domestic sevens tournaments this year while I am sure Jo will want to make a real impression as she comes back from injury.”

England’s more experienced Sevens players come in the form of Allan, who played in the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens, while the likes of Abigail Chamberlain, Sarah Guest, Sarah McKenna, Katherine Merchant, Leanne Riley, Natasha Brennan and Sally Tuson all ran out for England Sevens last season.

England are joined alongside France, France A, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany in this tournament. All teams will play each other and they will then be seeded one to six, with the top two teams playing off for the Cup.

England Women's Sevens Squad 

Claire Allan (VC) (Richmond)
Natasha Brennan (Wasps)
Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond)
Sarah Guest (Worcester)
Alexandra Matthews (Richmond)
Francesca Matthews (Richmond)
Joanna McGilchrist (Wasps)
Sarah McKenna (Wasps)
Katy McLean (C) (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Katherine Merchant (Worcester)
Leanne Riley (Saracens)
SallyTuson (Bristol)

France Sevens Schedule

Friday, October 12

2.22pm England v Spain
3.22pm England v France A
4.44pm England v Holland
6.06pm England v Germany

Saturday, October 13

9.44am England v France
10.22 Bowl Final
10.44 Plate Final
11.06 Cup Final

All times BST