- First time a women's invitational integrated into World Series
- Jones returns, Adam to make debut
James Bailey has named his 12-player squad for the inaugural Fast Four tournament in New Zealand on 26-27 January 2019.
The two-day competition will run alongside the HSBC Hamilton Sevens in what will be the first time that a women’s invitational tournament has been integrated into the men’s World Series event.
Megan Jones will make her return to international rugby sevens after recovering from injury last season and will be joined by Lizzie Adam who will make her international debut for England.
Emma Hardy, who has been named as the squad’s injury replacement, will also travel to her first international tournament since signing for England, while Ellie Kildunne was unavailable for selection due to injury.
England will complete alongside World Series teams New Zealand, France and China in a round robin format with the top two sides playing off in a gold medal match and the bottom two playing for bronze. Both gold and bronze matches will be played directly before the men’s Cup final.
“The introduction of a new women’s invitational tournament this season is not only a brilliant step forward for the development of the women’s game but it’s also a great opportunity for us to get some competitive game time before the next World Series leg in Sydney,” said England Women Sevens head coach James Bailey.
Bailey added: “New Zealand, France and China are all very tough sides so the level of competition is going to be high and there will undoubtedly be a lot that we’ll be able to take out of this tournament and apply to the rest of the season as we continue to grow and develop.
“We demonstrated a lot of promise in Denver and Dubai and I’m really pleased with the way that this relatively new squad are continuing to gel on and off the pitch; I’m looking forward to seeing in action in Hamilton.”
The third leg of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series will take place in Sydney on 1-3 February 2019.
England Women Sevens squad for Fast Four, Hamilton:
Abbie Brown ©
Amy Wilson Hardy
Travelling reserve: Emma Hardy
England’s fixtures (all times GMT):
England v New Zealand, 12.26am, Saturday 26 January
England v China, 3.48am, Saturday 26 January
England v France, 2.04am, Sunday 27 January