- Katy McLean reviews London Sevens win with an eye on RWC Sevens
- Squad head to Amsterdam Sevens with pressure on for RWC slots
Katy McLean believes success at the final round of the IRB Women Sevens World Series and the Rugby World Cup Sevens is within their capabilities after victory at the London tournament last weekend.
Barry Maddocks’ side bounced back from a Day One defeat to Australia to hammer the Wallabies 36-7 in the final of the London Women’s Invitational Sevens, with playmaker McLean popping up for her first try of the competition in the first half.
With the squad departing for Amsterdam this week and then building towards the World Cup in Moscow in late June, the Darlington Mowden Park Sharks fly half is heartened by the manner in which the side adapted and executed Maddocks’ game plan in the final.
She said: “Sometimes it is good to lose, you learn a lot. We looked hard at the Australia defeat and knew there were a lot of points that if we put right, we could get the result.
“The girls really stepped up, we all had a job to do and the scoreboard took care of itself. We had to put the things Barry was telling us into practice and the final was really pleasing.
“At the end of the day, we’re all building towards the World Cup, against every team in every tournament. It’s great to come to the home of rugby and winning it is such a good building block.”
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England head to Amsterdam with a mathematical chance of lifting the series title, but it is a slim one given New Zealand are eight points clear and would need to exit the tournament at the quarter-final stage, with England winning the tournament.
While more silverware would be an added bonus, the priority for Head Coach Maddocks is to give his extended training group the chance to prove their worth ahead of world cup selection, accordingly making six changes to his London winning squad.
Twenty of the best women’s rugby players in the country have prioritised sevens this season but only 12 will make the plane for Moscow in the last week of June, so for McLean the pressure is on.
The captain for the Amsterdam leg added: “There’s a different squad going to Amsterdam next weekend, we’ve got a really tough pool but we’ve improved over the last six games we’ve played and we need to take that into Saturday.
“Momentum is especially important in sevens as you’re playing back-to-back, so for us it is about taking the delight of the win and that performance into next week and make sure we start at that level.
“The World Cup is only ten weeks away now so the pressure is on all of us to perform but the most important thing is the team. All you can do as an individual is keep striving for that team and that’s the best thing about this group of people here – it’s all about the team and ultimately England winning the World Cup.”