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Bailey names England Women Sevens squad

England Women Sevens head coach James Bailey has made three changes to his 12 player squad for the second leg of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens series in Sydney on 26-28 January, live Sky Sports Action and live stream via WorldRugby.org.

Former Team GB captain Emily Scarratt is named as captain with fellow Team GB players Abbie Brown and Sarah McKenna both set to make their first appearances on the World Series this season.

Red Roses wing Jess Breach, who scored six tries on her international debut against Canada last year and recently transitioned into the sevens programme, is also named in the squad.

England, who are ranked eighth overall in the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series standings, are in Pool B and with USA, current World Series title holders New Zealand and Japan.

“We have a physical pool in Sydney with USA, New Zealand and Japan to play on day one," said head coach James Bailey. "Every team will bring something different and it’s our job to recognise that and adapt, while still playing our own game and to our own strengths.

“This tournament format is unique with the team playing over three days, it’s something we have not done before. It’s a great opportunity for the team to show how they can adjust and also take learnings from the new tournament format.

“We always knew that with a lot of players transitioning back from 15s to sevens this was going to be an area of focus, especially considering the women’s sevens game has increased 150% in intensity over the past two years.

“The players have worked extremely hard over the past few weeks, we have gone back to basics with our skills work and really focussed on conditioning. I’m looking forward to seeing improvement in our performances in Sydney and for the team to use the opportunity to continue to develop.”

England finished 10th in last season’s Sydney leg, narrowly losing the Challenge Trophy 17-10 in extra time to Brazil. Following on from Sydney, England Womens Sevens squad will compete in the inaugural Brisbane Super 7s invitational and will be joined by Katie Mason and Rugby World Cup finalists Natasha Hunt and Vicky Fleetwood.

Bailey added: “The invitational in Brisbane allows us to maximise our time in Australia by providing additional, quality playing opportunities. It’s also great opportunity to give more players game time in a competitive tournament as we continue to build as a wider squad.”

England Womens Sevens squad for Sydney:

Jess Breach, Abbie Brown, Lydia Thompson, Emily Scarratt (c), Sarah McKenna, Deborah Fleming, Heather Fisher, Emily Scott, Alex Matthews, Megan Jones, Holly Aitchison, Amy Wilson Hardy.

Additional players to join Brisbane Super 7s Invitational:

Vicky Fleetwood, Katie Mason, Natasha Hunt.
 
England's Pool B fixtures live on Sky Sports Action and at WorldRugby.org (all GMT):

England v USA (Thursday 25th January, 11:44pm)

England v New Zealand (Friday 26th January, 2:50am)

England v Japan (Friday 26th January, 5:34am)


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