Worcester Valkyries winger Lydia Thompson has been picked in England Women’s 12-player squad for the inaugural Women’s Rugby Sevens tournament at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia (April 13-15).
England Women Sevens and Team GB player Abbie Brown has been named captain of the experienced side that includes seven Olympian athletes.
Emily Scarratt, former Team GB captain and recent Rugby World Cup finalist, is named as vice-captain with fellow Team GB players Heather Fisher, Claire Allan, Natasha Hunt, Emily Scott and Amy Wilson Hardy also named as part of the squad.
World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year 2017 nominee Thompson is included alongside 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup finalists Alex Matthews and Megan Jones.
England Women Sevens players Deborah Fleming and Jess Breach – who scored nine tries in her Sydney Sevens tournament debut earlier this year – are also included with Vicky Fleetwood named as travelling reserve.
Team England Head Coach James Bailey said: “As a new squad, the players and management have worked tremendously hard to bring this squad together and also transition the experienced 15s players back to Sevens within in a short time frame.
“We have really benefitted and developed a lot from competing on the World Series and at numerous invitational tournaments, against some of the best teams in the world, in order to be ready for this tournament.
“We have a lot of incredibly talented, world-class players in this side who are willing to work exceptionally hard for each other – and it’s that level of dedication and commitment that we’re hoping will bring success at the Games.”
England are drawn in Pool B and will kick off the opening day against Fiji, before facing Australia. On day two England face Wales in their last pool game.
England Women Sevens
Abbie Brown (C)
Amy Wilson Hardy
Travelling reserve: Vicky Fleetwood