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Middleton names England Women’s Sevens squad for World Series finale

12 May 2014

  • Two changes for Amsterdam leg
  • England look to make final four
England's Lydia Thompson

Photo: Rugbymatters.net

England Women’s Sevens Head Coach Simon Middleton has made two changes to the team that finished as Plate champions in China ahead of the final round of the World Series action in Amsterdam this week (May 16-17).

Middleton has recalled Richmond’s Claire Allan and made her vice-captain while Worcester wing Lydia Thompson also gets the nod for round number five in the calendar. Allan and Thompson replace the injured Rachael Burford and Megan Ellery. Abigail Chamberlain will once again captain the squad.

England head to Amsterdam having already cemented their place as a World Series Core team next season, which was Middleton’s priority this term. The Head Coach is, however, still looking to better this season’s results with a target of at least reaching the semi-finals.

Middleton, whose side also won the Plate title in Dubai this season, said: “Without a doubt we want to keep moving forward results wise. We played well in Atlanta and Brazil and were solid in China, winning four out of our six games, which was our best result to date this season.

“We were left disappointed too, losing to Fiji and having a slow start against Ireland in Guangzhou, and we want to build on that by winning our group and also making the semi-finals and even the final if we can.”

England face a tough task to fulfil their ambitions as they face Canada, Brazil and hosts the Netherlands in the pool stages.

“Canada are one of our toughest opposition,” added Middleton. “They are a very difficult side to play against and I don’t think they fear us as they play a very similar game to us. We will need to execute our game plan, which is something we haven’t always done, if we are to win this group, and it will take a great effort to do that. That would then give us a great springboard into the knock-out games, where we would love to make the final four.”

England Squad

Claire Allan (Richmond) VC
Natasha Brennan (Richmond)
Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond) C
Heather Fisher (Worcester)
Francesca Matthews (Richmond)
Sarah McKenna (Saracens)
Marlie Packer (Wasps)

Emily Scott (Thurrock)
Michaela Staniford (Wasps)
Lydia Thompson (Worcester)
Danielle Waterman (Bristol)
Amy Wilson-Hardy (Bristol)

England playing schedule, IRB WSWS

Friday, May 16
England v Netherlands, KO 1:10pm BST
England v Brazil, KO 3:54pm BST
Canada v England, KO 6:16pm BST

Saturday, May 17
Knock-out stages

 

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