UK names sevens training squads ahead of Tokyo Olympics
LONDON (UK) – The men’s and women’s rugby sevens training squads of Britain were named on Friday as they prepare for this year’s Tokyo Games.
English rugby’s governing body, the RFU, had ditched its sevens programme in August due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic but the government in December arranged a funding package in partnership with the National Lottery to ensure the teams could compete in Tokyo this year.
Tony Roques’ 21-member men’s squad includes all-time leading try scorer in sevens Dan Norton, and has five players that won silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
The 19-strong women’s team coached by Scott Forrest features four players from Rio 2016 including Wales’ Jasmine Joyce and England’s Abbie Brown, Heather Fisher and Amy Wilson Hardy.
The sevens teams will operate a banded pay structure which will give equal opportunities across the men’s and women’s programmes to be financially rewarded at the same level.
Training camps will begin in March ahead of the Olympic warm-up competitions.
“Naming the two squads is a significant milestone for the GB7s programme,” team leader Charlie Hayter said.
“I would like to thank the clubs for their support in allowing players to follow their short-term ambitions of competing at an Olympic Games.
“We’re excited to get players and staff on the ground in March as we take our next steps as a programme.”