McKenna misses France but gets call up for Canada tour

Sarah McKenna. Picture:

Sarah McKenna. Picture: - Credit: Archant

Harpenden’s Sarah McKenna has missed out on selection for the England Women’s Sevens trip to France this weekend, and will instead be heading to Canada with the first XV for the Super Series.

The Sevens team travels to Lyon for the final round of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix on Saturday with qualification for the Olympics in Rio already secure.

“I think they’re going to do well. We had a slightly inexperienced squad in Russia [for the first Rugby Europe Grand Prix] but those girls now have game time so performances will only get better,” McKenna told the Herts Ad.

The Saracens full-back will join the first XV in Canada for their first action since the fourth-placed finish at the Six Nations.

“My short-term focus is with the Sevens and the Olympics next year and World Cup in 2017, but I want to play XVs,” she said.

“There’s almost a year to go to the Olympics so need to play well in sevens and XVs - I can’t switch off for one second in a game. On a personal level, I have to keep pushing myself to improve.”

McKenna made her England XVs debut in the Six Nations and is looking forward to the time and space that the format affords.

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“The biggest change is going to 80 minute games from 14, but I can have a real hand in the game because there’s more time and I can try things out. Sevens is all go,” she said.

As well as the hosts, England will be joined in Canada by New Zealand and America.

England beat Canada 21-9 in the final of the 2014 World Cup.

“It’ll be great to play really competitive matches and see how far we’ve come in the last year,” she said.

The Three Lions begin their Super Series campaign against America in Calgary on June 27.