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Middleton alters England Women’s Sevens squad for Moscow

30 May 2014

  • Three uncapped players set to make England debuts
  • Watmore returns to England fold
England's Natasha Brennan

Photo: Rugbymatters.net

England Women's Sevens Head Coach Simon Middleton has mixed up his squad for next weekend's first leg of the FIRA/AER Sevens Grand Prix in Moscow (June 7-8).

Richmond's Abigail Chamberlain will captain the side which includes three uncapped players. The likes of Chamberlain, Natasha Brennan, Sarah McKenna and Amy Wilson-Hardy, who have all played on this season's Sevens World Series, will provide the experience for newcomers Abigail Brown, Sydney Gregson and Sophie Lee.

Middleton has also recalled Richmond's Joanne Watmore to the squad. Watmore, who was omitted from the Elite Playing Squad in September, last played for England at the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.

Middleton said: "As the Women's Rugby World Cup nears, we are using this tournament as an opportunity to give some of our younger, up-and-coming players some invaluable experience in top level rugby.

“At the same time, this is also a chance for some of our players who have appeared on the Sevens World Series the chance to step up and take on a more senior role. It is also encouraging to welcome Joanne back to the squad and we look forward to seeing how she fairs after a year out from international rugby.”

England, who finished fourth in the Sevens World Series behind New Zealand, Australia and Canada, will play Ireland, Portugal and Belgium in the pool stages as they look to reach Sunday's knockout rounds.

Middleton added: “Obviously we are going into this tournament looking to do as well as we can. It would be great to win it but the most important thing is that we can use this series as a development tool for our sevens squad. These could be players who are integral to our World Series challenge next season.”

Round two of the FIRA/AER Grand Prix takes place in Brive on June 14-15.

England squad

Natasha Brennan (Richmond)
Abigail Brown (Hartpury)
Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond, captain)
Hannah Field (Richmond)
Sydney Gregson (Bristol)
Sophie Lee (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Francesca Matthews (Richmond)
Sarah McKenna (Saracens)
Leanne Riley (Saracens)
Emily Scott (Thurrock)
Joanne Watmore (Richmond)
Amy Wilson-Hardy (Bristol)

FIRA/AER Moscow Playing schedule

Saturday June 7
England v Belgium, kick-off 7:22am BST
England v Portugal, kick-off 10:22pm BST
England v Ireland, kick-off 2:28pm BST 

Sunday June
TBC

 

 

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