- McLean, Matthews and Packer set to make WSWS debuts
- England drawn against New Zealand, Netherlands and Trinidad & Tobago in pool stages
Photo: Getty Images
England’s Katy McLean, Alexandra Matthews and Marlie Packer are set to make their Women’s Sevens World Series (WSWS) debuts on February 1-2 when Houston, Texas hosts round two of the series.
McLean and Matthews featured for England in an uncapped tournament in France last season while Marlie Packer is set to pull on the England Sevens shirt for the very first time. The trio are part of a 17-woman training squad that is preparing for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow in June.
Richmond’s Alice Richardson will captain England in Houston with Lichfield’s Emily Scarratt named as vice-captain. Richardson and Scarratt are joined in the squad by some seasoned Sevens players including Michaela Staniford, Heather Fisher, Katherine Merchant and Joanne Watmore.
England Women’s Sevens Head Coach Barry Maddocks said: “I am really excited to include Katy, Alex and Marlie in this squad. The three of them are already really good rugby players but they have still got a lot to learn about sevens rugby. This is a great opportunity for them and I am sure they will do themselves proud. I am certainly really excited to see how they do in Houston.”
England head into round two of the WSWS on the back of a seventh place finish in Dubai after fielding a young side for the opener. This time around England have more experience but they face a tough start after being drawn against New Zealand, the Netherlands and Trinidad & Tobago in their pool.
Maddocks added: “This is a really tough pool undoubtedly but for us this tournament is about measuring where we are in relation to our opponents as we continue to prepare and build for the RWC Sevens. It is going to be hard but we will focus on each game as it comes and I know the players will put every effort into putting ourselves into the best possible place we can be at this stage of our journey.”
England WSWS team
Heather Fisher (Worcester)
Sarah Guest (Worcester)
Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)
Ruth Laybourn (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Alexandra Matthews (Richmond)
Katy McLean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Katherine Merchant (Worcester)
Marlie Packer (Bristol)
Alice Richardson (C) (Richmond)
Emily Scarratt (VC) (Lichfield)
Michaela Staniford (Wasps)
Joanne Watmore (Worcester)
WSWS RND 2 Houston, Texas
England v Netherlands, KO 8.10pm GMT
England v Trinidad & Tobago, KO 10.54pm GMT
England v New Zealand, KO 1.38am GMT