- Claire Allan takes over captaincy
- Three players set for England debuts
England Women’s Sevens Head Coach Barry Maddocks has named a much-changed side for next weekend’s final round of the European Sevens Series in Marbella, Spain (June 15-16).
Maddocks has made nine changes to the team that won round one last weekend in France, leaving out experienced Sevens players such as Michaela Staniford, Joanne Watmore, Emily Scarratt and Heather Fisher.
Instead, England will be captained by Claire Allan and three players are set to make their England Sevens debuts – Lauren Cattell, Julie Hope and Amy Wilson Hardy. Cattell has seven XVs England caps whilst Wilson-Hardy has played for England U20s and the Sevens Development team. Hope, meanwhile, impressed at the England Sevens Open Trials this year.
Maddocks, whose side are competing in their final international tournament ahead of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow later this month (June 28-20), said: “I’ve said all along that we would be using these tournaments for players to put their hands up for Rugby World Cup selection and this will be their last chance.
“This is again a much-changed squad but I am really excited by it. Claire Allan has been vice-captain a few times now so this is a natural step-up for her to take, whilst the likes of Natasha Hunt, Kay Wilson and Fran Matthews will add some real experience. We have also got some young and fresh talent coming in, in the likes of Lauren and Emily Scott, who have really impressed this season.”
England are set to take on Portugal, France, Germany, Ireland and Scotland in the pool stages. They head into the final round as top seeds and with 20 points after their win in Brive, whilst Russia sit second and Spain third. The overall series winner will be determined by the team with the highest points total over the two rounds.
Claire Allan (Richmond, captain)
Lauren Cattell (Saracens)
Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond)
Sonia Green (Saracens)
Julie Hope (Carlisle)
Natash Hunt (Lichfield, vice-captain)
Alexandra Matthews (Richmond)
Francesca Matthews (Richmond)
Emily Scott (Thurrock)
Sally Tuson (Bristol)
Kay Wilson (Bristol)
Amy Wilson-Hardy (Bristol)