England women are taking a strong squad to compete in this weekend’s FIRA European Sevens tournament as they bid to avenge their finals defeat a year ago.
England had to settle for second best last year after a narrow 10-7 defeat to Wales in the final. This year the ten-woman squad includes seven players who competed in this year’s RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam winning campaign. Rachel Burford of Saracens will lead the team in the tournament being held in Lunel, France.
England will play Russia, Sweden and Holland on Saturday and then France in the final game of the pool stages on Sunday. The semi-finals and the finals also take place on Sunday.
England coach Gary Street said: “This is a very exciting time for Women’s Sevens following the announcement of the 2009 IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament. The tournament will run alongside that of the men’s, adding extra kudos, so these tournament are very important and we hope to compete at a large number of competitions like this prior to the World cup.
“Seven of this squad competed in Lunel two years ago as a development team and we won the tournament, so this is a very strong squad. It is great to see how the development system has worked.
“We have a tough pool this time around. Sweden and Holland play a lot of sevens rugby and are improving rapidly as rugby nations, while France will obviously be tough but having conceded one defeat in the last three years, our aim will be to get back to winning ways.”
Claire Allan Saracens
Charlotte Barras Saracens
Rachael Burford (Captain) Saracens
Jane Leonard Wasps
Katy McLean Thirsk
Katherine Merchant Worcester
Kim Oliver Clifton
Amber Penrith Cardiff Quins
Georgina Roberts Thirsk
Danielle Waterman Clifton
England playing timetable:
Saturday June 2nd,
Russia v England, kick-off 930am BST,
England v Sweden, Kick-off 1210pm BST,
England v Holland, kick-off 410pm BST.
Sunday June 3rd, 2007
England v France, kick-off 930am BST
Semi-finals and finals tbc.
Julia Hutton I RFU South West Press Officer & RFUW Media Manager I Rugby Football Union I Rugby House I Rugby Road I Twickenham I TW1 1DS I Tel & Fax: 01985 846392 I Mobile: 07971 474557 I [email protected] I www.rfu.com