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Chamberlain leads England Women's Sevens in Atlanta

12 February 2014

  • England look to improve on Dubai opener
  • Staniford replaces Thompson in squad
England's Natasha Brennan

Photo: RFU Archive

England Women's Sevens captain Abigail Chamberlain is looking forward to leading a new-look side at this weekend's IRB World Sevens Series in Atlanta (February 15-16).

England head into the second round with a new Head Coach in Simon Middleton and also welcome the return of experienced pair Danielle Waterman and Heather Fisher. Waterman has not played for her country since November 2012, while Fisher last featured at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow in June.

"This is an exciting squad with some notable returnees," said Chamberlain, who was part of the England team that finished fifth in the season-opening round in Dubai. "Heather Fisher is always a force to be reckoned with whilst Danielle is an amazing player who can create opportunities out of nothing. I've never played with Danielle before so I am really excited about being able to do so.

"All the players in this squad have now played on the World Series so that will stand us in good stead. We have really enjoyed our preparation time too, with Simon coming in with some fresh and exciting ideas."

Chamberlain’s side face a tough pool for the second round, with world champions New Zealand, the Netherlands and Ireland all in their group. However, England's skipper is not fazed.

She added: "The competitiveness of Sevens has really increased over the last couple of years so all the pools are tough these days – we are not going into this tournament thinking we have got it any harder than any other team to be honest. We'll concentrate on our game and hopefully the results will take care of themselves."

England have been forced to make a late change to the squad with Michaela Staniford coming in for Lydia Thompson, who picked up an injury in the Six Nations against Scotland at the weekend.

England Sevens

Claire Allan (Richmond, vice-captain)
Natasha Brennan (Richmond)
Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond, captain)
Heather Fisher (Worcester)
Francesca Matthews (Richmond)
Sarah McKenna (Saracens)
Leanne Riley (Saracens)
Emily Scott (Thurrock)
Sally Tuson (Saracens)
Danielle Waterman (Bristol)
Amy Wilson-Hardy (Bristol)
Michaela Staniford (Wasps)

England Atlanta Playing Schedule:

February 15

7:50pm GMT England v Ireland
10:34pm GMT England v Netherlands
1:18am GMT New Zealand v England (Feb 16)

February 16

Knock-out stages