Jun 15, 2015
Saracens stars in international action
Several Saracens stars were in international action over the weekend.
Players from Saracens, Saracens Women’s and representatives of Saracens Global Network side’s all playing for their respective nations in both the fifteen and seven a-side formats of the game.
Premiership final try scorer Chris Wyles was in 7s action for Mike Friday’s USA 7s side, helping the Eagles qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics after securing the 2015 NACRA Sevens Championships title after a 21-5 win over fierce rivals, Canada.
[caption id="attachment_41429" align="alignnone" width="560"] Chris Wyles was in his first 7s tournament with the squad since the 2008-09 World Rugby HSBC Sevens World Series[/caption]
Wyles’ fellow teammate Catalin Fercu was also in action at the weekend, with the Romanian star in action for the Oaks in their 35-9 win over Spain in the World Rugby Nations Cup.
Fercu was named at full-back alongside six Timisoara Saracens players including lock forward Valentin Poparlan who starred for Saracens in the club’s Sanlam Challenge fixture against the Blue Bulls in January. Fercu & Poparlan were joined Timisoara Saracens' Andrei Radoi, Stelian Burcea, Valentin Calafeteanu, Marian Drenceanu and Jody Rose in the Romanian squad.
[caption id="attachment_41430" align="alignnone" width="560"] Fercu won his 77th cap for Romania in their Nations Cup win over Spain[/caption]
Elsewhere in the Nations Cup, Lelo Saracens centre Giorgi Talakhadze came off the bench in Georgia's 19-10 win over Uruguay at the Avchala Stadium, Tbilisi .
A trio of Saracens Women stars helped England Women’s 7s side secure a third place finish in round one of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix in Kazan, Russia, today (Sunday), defeating Spain 12-7 in the play-off match.
Victoria Fleetwood (on 7s debut), Sarah McKenna and Leanne Riley were in action for Simon Middleton’s side, who headed into day two with an unbeaten record after wins over Germany, Wales and the Netherlands in the pool stages on Saturday.
[caption id="attachment_41431" align="alignnone" width="560"] Saracens Women's hooker Fleetwood enjoyed an impressive 7s debut for England[/caption]
England then took on Ireland in a quarter-final clash with extra significance as Ireland were still chasing an Olympic qualification spot.
England were too strong for the Irish though, running out 17-14 winners thanks to tries from Sarah McKenna, Vicky Fleetwood and Alexandra Matthews. England then faced France in the semi-finals, another side also looking t osecure Olympic Sevens qualification through the two-leg Grand Prix.
France, who finished sixth in the Sevens World Series this season, had the upper hand this time and inflicted a 34-7 defeat on England, with England’s only try coming from Fleetwood.
That loss pitted England against Spain in the third/fourth place play-off match and England bounced back to winning ways with a 12-7 victory thanks to scores from skipper Abigail Chamberlain and Emily Scott.
England now travel to France for the second and final round of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix on June 20-21.