Stephanie Johnston selected for British Women's Sevens

Scotland’s Stephanie Johnston has been selected for the British Women’s Sevens squad for two invitational tournaments as part of preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Stephanie Johnston

A squad of 12 players travelled to Las Vegas this week for the USA Sevens Invitational Tournament on 3-5 March. They will then travel to Canada for the Vancouver Rugby Festival on 10-11 March.

The British squad also includes Laurie Harries and Jasmine Joyce from Wales and nine England players.

Johnston said: "Being selected for these two tournaments is the perfect opportunity to show what I can do.

"It's a chance to play alongside both the English and Welsh girls, and play against some quality opposition.

I am excited to see what I can achieve individually and together as a GB squad."

The Welsh players and Johnston, who has captained Scotland Women 7s since the team’s inception four seasons ago, joined England's squad of 19 full-time professionals at the end of last year to train full-time.

Johnston was also included in a GB Select team last December, which competed in an international invitational tournament that ran parallel to the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series in Dubai.

SRTV spoke to Johnston at BT Murrayfield following the tournament in Dubai; watch the interview here.

British Women's Sevens Head Coach Simon Middleton said: “These competitions are an integral part of our prep for Rio and give us the chance to see the GB squad in action again, building on from the January training tournament in Souston when the playing combinations started to develop well.

It is also another opportunity for individuals to stake their claim and earn a place within the Olympic squad. It is great to be able to bring a GB squad together in a competitive environment.”

Middleton added that he is looking to use the tournament to develop player experience within a major tournament setting after England disappointed with seventh place in the recent Sao Paulo leg of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series.

He said: “In terms of expectations we are again focusing on performance rather than outcomes. We want to see clear development in the cohesion of the squad and also the individual performance levels rising. Playing in front of the big crowds in the stadium in Las Vegas will be another learning experience for the players.”

GB squad for Las Vegas and Vancouver

Abbie Brown, Rachael Burford (captain), Heather Fisher (Las Vegas only), Laurie Harries, Stephanie Johnston, Jasmine Joyce, Alex Matthews, Fran Matthews, Katy Mclean, Emily Scott, Danielle Waterman, Kay Wilson, Amy Wilson Hardy (Vancouver only)