- England name a strong RWC squad
- Danielle Waterman returns from injury
Photo: Getty Images
England Women Sevens Head Coach Barry Maddocks has today (Tuesday) named his 12-woman squad to compete in the Rugby World Cup Sevens next week in Moscow (June 28-30).
IRB Sevens Player of the Year Michaela Staniford has been named as captain of a very strong squad that includes seven players who featured in the 2009 RWC Sevens when England won the Plate final.
Richmond’s Alice Richardson is one of the RWC survivors and she has been named as vice-captain whilst the players set to make their RWC Sevens debuts are Joanne Watmore, Marlie Packer, Natasha Hunt, Katy McLean and RPA Player of the Year Emily Scarratt.
The RWC Sevens will also see the long awaited return of Worcester’s Danielle Waterman. One of England’s most experienced players in both the XVs and Sevens game, Waterman has fought her way back into world cup contention after a series of injuries this season.
Waterman is the only member of the England squad who has not featured in the inaugural IRB World Series this season, which has seen England win the Houston leg of series and finish second in the standings overall behind a dominant New Zealand outfit.
Maddocks said: “Selecting this squad for the RWC was a hugely difficult process. The players came into this programme six months ago and all of them have worked extremely hard across many tournaments. There are some world-class players who have not made the squad and that just underlines how competitive this process was.
“I am delighted to name Michaela as captain. She has worked tirelessly for this since 2009. She has plenty of experience and is a real talisman for the team. It is also great to be able to welcome back another experienced player in Danielle Waterman. She may not have played Sevens for England this season but she is a world class player with tremendous versatility to her game.”
England have been drawn in one of the toughest pools of the tournament where they will face Russia, France and Japan on day one. Russia were crowned European Sevens champions on Sunday, beating France, and taking England’s 2012 title.
“I am really pleased with our squad, it is very strong, and I know on their day we can be up there fighting for World Cup glory. We have, however, got an extremely tough pool and that means we have to be on top of our game right from the start on day one. We cannot let anything slip. Playing the host union and form team of the moment is certainly a massive challenge, whilst France can beat anyone on their day. Japan too are a good footballing side.
“We have spent six months preparing for the RWC and we are now nearly there. We have prepared as much as we can and now it is a matter of delivering on two days of competition. And we are all really excited by that prospect.”
Joanne Watmore (Worcester)
Heather Fisher (Worcester)
Marlie Packer (Bristol)
Michaela Staniford (Wasps) (C)
Rachael Burford (Thurrock)
Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)
Alice Richardson (Richmond) (VC)
Katy McLean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Emily Scarratt (Lichfield)
Katherine Merchant (Worcester)
Claire Allan (Richmond)
Danielle Waterman (Worcester)