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England Women name squad for Sevens World Series opener

20 November 2013

  • Staniford to lead England in Dubai
  • Squad mixes experience with youth
England's Rachael Burford


The England Women’s squad to compete in the opening round of the IRB Sevens World Series at the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens on November 28-29 was announced today (November 20).

England, who finished second in last season’s inaugural tournament behind New Zealand, will be captained by Wasps’ Michaela Staniford. The squad also includes Richmond’s Claire Allan and Thurrock’s Rachael Burford, who all featured in last season’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.

Abigail Chamberlain and Kay Wilson are also experienced hands on the Sevens World Series but the likes of Harriet Millar-Mills, Fiona Davidson, Leanne Riley and Amy Wilson-Hardy will offer some exciting fresh talent. Megan Ellery, meanwhile, will make her Sevens World Series debut while also joining her sibling Mike Ellery, who has been selected for the England Men’s squad.

For this tournament England will be coached by RFU Talent Development Officer James Cooper and former England player Susie Appleby. New England Women’s Sevens Head Coach Simon Middleton joins up with the squad in the new year.

Twelve international sides from across six continents will compete in Dubai, with England, New Zealand and Canada heading the three pools. Eight "core" teams will compete across all rounds of the series.*

In Pool B England will open their campaign against Tunisia, after which they face Spain and Russia, who will be coming into the tournament on a high after a strong performance in front of their home crowd at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow in June.

England Sevens Squad

Claire Allan (Richmond)
Natasha Brennan (Richmond)
Rachael Burford (Thurrock)
Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond)
Fiona Davidson (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Megan Ellery (Durham University/Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Sarah McKenna (Saracens)
Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield)
Leanne Riley (Saracens)
Michaela Staniford (C) (Wasps)
Kay Wilson (Bristol)
Amy Wilson-Hardy (Bristol)

WSWS RND 1, Dubai fixtures

Nov 28: England v Tunisia, KO 10.28am GMT
Nov 28: England v Spain, KO 1.26pm GMT
Nov 28: England v Russia, KO 4.46pm GMT
Nov 29: knock-out games, times TBC

*Core teams 2013/14: Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Russia, Spain and USA are core teams on the Women’s Sevens World Series by reaching the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013.