Jun 08, 2015
Fleetwood to make England 7s debut
Vicky Fleetwood is one of three Saracens Women’s players to have been included in England Women Head Coach Simon Middleton Sevens squad for the first leg of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix in Kazan this weekend (13-14 June).
Fleetwood joins Sarah McKenna and Leanne Riley are all included in 12-strong squad, with the Saracens Women's hooker, who has 49 caps in the 15-a-side game, set to make her England Sevens debut.
Richmond’s Abigail Chamberlain will captain the new-look squad and she is joined by Claire Allan, Alexandra Matthews, Emily Scott, Rachael Burford, Sarah McKenna and Leanne Riley, all of whom helped England secure automatic Olympic qualification on behalf of Great Britain through the World Sevens Series this season.
England will face Germany, Wales and the Netherlands in the pool games, with Germany and the Netherlands battling it out with their European counterparts to secure a place at next year’s Olympic Games.
The second round of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix takes place in Brive on 20-21 June and will certainly prove just as competitive.
Middleton said: “This tournament is an opportunity for us to look at some exciting players outside of our sevens programme as well as provide some more game time to players who are in the squad.
“Vicky, for example, is a seasoned XVs international player, but it will be great to see her in a competitive sevens environment. It is also fantastic to welcome Fran, Emily and Heather back into the squad as they have missed a lot of rugby through injuries this season.
“We play Germany in the opening game and we are expecting them to be a very organised side, while Wales will certainly want to give England a typically tough game. The Netherlands, meanwhile, are an experienced outfit who’ll be intent on securing that all important Olympic spot.”
England Women Sevens
Claire Allan (Richmond), Francesca Matthews (Richmond), Lydia Thompson (Worcester), Alexandra Matthews (Richmond), Rachael Burford (Thurrock), Sarah McKenna (Saracens), Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond, captain), Abbie Brown (Bristol), Leanne Riley (Saracens), Emily Scott (Thurrock), Heather Fisher (Thurrock), Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens).