- Chamberlain leads England Women in China
- England look to climb World Series ladder
Photo: RFU Archive
England Women are back in Sevens World Series action this weekend in China and skipper Abigail Chamberlain is hoping England can better their best result of the season so far, which came in Brazil last month.
England finished fourth in Sao Paulo in March and now head into the penultimate round of the series fifth in the World standings. They also finished fifth in Dubai and sixth in Atlanta.
“I think the way we played in Brazil and the result we finished with is testament to what a bit of time together as a squad can do,” said Chamberlain.
“We learnt so much about each other and how we wanted to play in such a short period of time. Now, we are building on the lessons we learned there and we want to keep progressing and getting even better results.”
England once again face a tough pool with champions from the Brazil leg Australia, Ireland and Fiji all to come on day one.
“Tough pools are a given these days,” added Chamberlain. “There are so many teams playing exceptional rugby there are no easy games. We will go into each match knowing we must play to our absolute potential if we want to come out on top.”
England Women's Sevens Head Coach Simon Middleton has made three changes to this team with Rachael Burford, Marlie Packer and Megan Ellery called into the squad.
Wasps' Packer will make her first start in a Sevens shirt for England since the Rugby World Cup Sevens in June last year, while both Ellery and Burford last played in the opening leg of the series in Dubai.
“I get excited every time I see our team. There are so many fantastic players fighting for only 12 spots, with absolutely no guarantees. It’s what makes every tournament so special, knowing you worked so hard for the shirt.
“Marlie and Rachael are both experienced players who will be great assets to the team. Rachael was a stand out player in the Six Nations, Marlie brings with her a dynamism that threatens any team she comes up against and Megan is a very exciting young talent coming through.”
Natasha Brennan (Richmond)
Rachael Burford (Thurrock)
Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond, captain)
Megan Ellery (Durham University, Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Heather Fisher (Worcester)
Francesca Matthews (Richmond)
Sarah McKenna (Saracens)
Marlie Packer (Wasps)
Emily Scott (Thurrock)
Michaela Staniford (Wasps)
Danielle Waterman (Bristol)
England playing schedule
Saturday, April 5
England v Fiji, kick-off 4:50am BST
England v Ireland, kick-off 7:34am BST
England v Australia, kick-off 9:54am BST
Sunday, April 6
Knock out stages TBC