McKenna named in England 7s squard for final round of World Series

Sarah McKenna. Picture:

Sarah McKenna. Picture: - Credit: Archant

Harpenden’s Sarah McKenna has been named in the England Women’s Sevens team for the final round of the World Series in Amsterdam this week.

Head coach Simon Middleton has made one change to his squad, with Richmond’s Claire Allan replacing the injured Natasha Brennan.

England head to the continent knowing they must finish ahead of the USA and France, and possibly Russia too, if they are to secure a top four finish and therefore automatic qualification into the 2016 Olympic Games on behalf of Great Britain.

If not, England will then compete for an Olympic spot at the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series in Russia and France next month.

Middleton’s side, who are currently sixth in the standings two points below France and the USA, will have to come through a tough pool in Amsterdam, with his charges drawn against Russia, China and London winners Australia.

“We are going into this leg with a really good performance against France in the London Sevens Plate final last weekend behind us,” said Middleton.

“The outcome will all be down to our performance. We know that if we are poor, we will be exposed, but if we produce the performance we can get the results we want.

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“As ever, our pool is tough. I think China are probably one of the best passing sides around while Russia have made some changes so they’ll have some fresh legs.

“Finally, Australia will be one of the tournament favourites in Amsterdam. They were very impressive in London, pulling New Zealand apart in the semi-finals, so we know only our very best will do for that game.”

England Women Sevens squad

Rachael Burford (Thurrock)

Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond, captain)

Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)

Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)

Marlie Packer (Wasps)

Emily Scarratt (Lichfield)

Michaela Staniford (Wasps)

Joanne Watmore (Richmond)

Amy Wilson-Hardy (Bristol)

Kay Wilson (Thurrock)

Sarah McKenna (Saracens)

Claire Allan (Richmond)

England playing schedule

May 22

England vs China, kick-off 11:42am BST

England vs Russia, kick-off 2:26pm BST

Australia vs England, kick-off 4:48pm BST

May 23

Knockout stages