GB Sevens announce training squad ahead of Rio 2016
Rugby

GB Sevens announce training squad ahead of Rio 2016

13 May 2016 / 09:29

Simon Amor admitted there had been some tough decisions to make as the 25-strong rugby sevens wider training squad for this summer's Olympic Games was announced.

This summer sees rugby sevens included in the Olympics for the first time, with 12 places up for grabs on both the men's and women's squad.

Team GB Sevens men’s head coach Amor and his fellow coaching staff have decided upon the group of players they want to see in further detail during a seven-week intensive training period from May 30.

That includes a combination of sevens specialists and 15-a-side players from England, Scotland and Wales, such as Wasps' Joe Simpson and Newcastle Falcons' Marcus Watson.

Dan Norton, the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series' fourth highest leading try scorer of all time, international captains Tom Mitchell and Luke Treharne, and experienced players such as Scotland's Mark Robertson and Scott Riddell are among the 19 sevens specialists. 

Fellow sevens specialists James Rodwell, who set a new world record earlier this year after playing in 69 consecutive tournaments, and Scott Riddell who has competed in two Commonwealth Games, two Sevens World Cups and played in almost every minute of Scotland’s 2013-14 and 2014-15 World Series' campaigns, are also included.

As part of Olympic preparations, two GB sevens squads will compete in four tournaments including the Rugby Europe Sevens Series in Moscow (4-5 June), Exeter (9-10 July) and Gdynia (16-17 July) as well as Sevens and the City at Allianz Park (2 July).

Amor said: "We have watched a significant amount of footage throughout the season of 15-a-side players and every sevens game from England, Scotland and Wales. 

"Exciting talent was available to us and competition for places was tough. We're now really looking forward to bringing this group together as one team and creating an incredible Great Britain spirit.

"One of the main strengths of the players who have been named today is their aggressive style of play in both attack and defence. Looking at how the games are won at the top level at the moment, it is very much about that physicality, teams who are fearless in the way they play.

"For the 15s players aiming to make that transition, recent sevens experience at the top level was important given how much the world of sevens rugby has progressed in the last three to four years. 

"We were also targeting players in certain key positions to add strength in depth and complement the qualities of the specialists we already have." 

A squad of 23 GB Sevens women's players continue to train full time under Team GB Sevens head coach Simon Middleton and assistant Richie Pugh.

On-going Olympic preparations will be supported by Rugby Europe’s tournament in Kazan (11-12 June) and an invitational event in Tignes (14-16 July).

GB Sevens Men:

Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues)
Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors)
Dan Bibby (England Sevens)
Tom Bowen (England Sevens)
Phil Burgess (England Sevens)
Sam Cross (Wales Sevens)
James Davies (Scarlets)
Alex Davis (England Sevens)
Richard de Carpentier (England Sevens)
Jamie Farndale (Scotland Sevens)
Alex Gray (England Sevens)
Charlie Hayter (England Sevens)
Warwick Lahmert (England Sevens)
Ollie Lindsay-Hague (Harlequins)
Gavin Lowe (Scotland Sevens)
Ruaridh McConnochie (England Sevens)
Tom Mitchell (England Sevens)
Luke Morgan (Wales Sevens)
Dan Norton (England Sevens)
Scott Riddell (Scotland Sevens)
Mark Robertson (Scotland Sevens)
James Rodwell (England Sevens)
Joe Simpson (Wasps)
Luke Treharne (Wales Sevens)
Marcus Watson (Newcastle Falcons)

GB Sevens Women:

Claire Allan, Natasha Brennan, Abbie Brown, Rachael Burford, Heather Fisher, Victoria Fleetwood, Natasha Hunt, Jasmine Joyce (Wales Sevens), Stephanie Johnston (Scotland Sevens), Megan Jones, Alex Matthews, Fran Matthews, Sarah Mckenna, Katy Mclean, Marlie Packer, Alice Richardson, Emily Scarratt, Emily Scott, Michaela Staniford, Danielle Waterman, Joanne Watmore, Kay Wilson, Amy Wilson Hardy
*Laurie Harries (Wales Sevens) has been withdrawn from the squad through injury

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