Scotland represented in initial GB Sevens training squads
12 Scottish players have been named across the initial Men’s and Women’s 7s training squads for the truncated 2020 Olympic Games, scheduled to take place in Tokyo in July and August of this year.
Made possible by an innovative commercial partnership with The National Lottery, GB7s will operate a banded pay structure which will give equal opportunities across both the men’s and women’s programmes to be financially rewarded at the same level.
Six women and six men are included in the first stages of selection, under the auspices of the respective Head Coaches, Scott Forrest and Tony Roques.
In the 19-player women’s squad, Scotland internationals Megan Gaffney, Rhona Lloyd and Helen Nelson [both Loughborough Lightning], Chloe Rollie [Harlequins], Hannah Smith and Lisa Thomson are all part of the initial selection.
For the 21-player men’s list, Scotland are represented through Alec Coombes and Jamie Farndale [both Edinburgh], Robbie Fergusson and Paddy Kelly [both Glasgow Warriors], Ross McCann and Max McFarland.
Forrest said: “It’s a very strong 19. The four players from Rio 2016 bring really good experience, as do the English players who have been playing consistently on the World Series for the past couple of seasons. The Scottish and Welsh players have been playing international rugby for a number of years, in both 7s and 15s, and this will be invaluable.
“We appreciate all of the squad have been playing regular rugby over the last year which is a massive strength of our team and how important this has been for their individual growth. A focus for us initially as a GB7s team is to grow the GB7s culture and environment as we now have the opportunity to build something special as a group.
“We feel we’ve got a really good mix of experience from the last Olympic Games, World Series as well as international rugby but at the same time it’s a very fresh squad which is exciting.”
Roques said: “We’ve picked a squad with a huge amount of experience in successful sevens programmes and after what has been a very difficult year, everyone is up for the challenge.
“The management team are working exceptionally hard. We’re now on virtual calls with the players and you can see there’s excitement about the potential of what we can achieve.
“A lot of our conversations about our values are focussed on enjoying the moment and remembering where we’ve come from.
“Many people are suffering in the world at the moment and we’re aware there’s a bigger picture outside of rugby. We are hugely privileged to be given this opportunity and to have the chance to achieve something really special as a group.”
Scotland Women player Chloe Rollie said: “Being selected for Team GB training squad is massive for me as I’ve always dreamt of being part of an Olympics.
“It’s such a privilege and this opportunity allows me to be one step closer. I’m excited to work even harder over the next few months to have the best chance of achieving my lifelong dream.”
Robbie Fergusson, captain of the Scotland Men’s 7s team, added: “I watched the 2016 Olympic Games and became a Scotland 7s player the year after, so the opportunity to get selected for Tokyo is something I’ve targeted over the past few years. The boys will all be trying to put their best foot forward over the coming months to ensure they are part of the final squad.”
GB Sevens Men
Dan Bibby (England)
Tom Bowen (England)
Phil Burgess (England)
Richard de Carpentier (England)
Alec Coombes (Edinburgh / Scotland)
Alex Davis (England)
Tom Emery (Coventry / England)
Jamie Farndale (Edinburgh / Scotland)
Robbie Fergusson (Glasgow Warriors / Scotland)
Ben Harris (Saracens / England)
Paddy Kelly (Glasgow Warriors / Scotland)
Ollie Lindsay-Hague (England)
Ross McCann (Scotland)
Max McFarland (Scotland)
Tom Mitchell (England)
Luke Morgan (Ospreys / Wales)
Will Muir (Bath / England)
Dan Norton (England)
Luke Treharne (Wales)
Ethan Waddleton (England)
Morgan Williams (Wales)
GB Sevens Women
Holly Aitchison (Saracens Women / England)
Abbie Brown (Loughborough Lightning / England)
Abi Burton (Wasps FC Ladies / England)
Heather Fisher (Worcester Warriors Women / England)
Deborah Fleming (Saracens Women / England)
Megan Gaffney (Scotland)
Hannah Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury / Wales)
Megan Jones (Wasps FC Ladies / England)
Jasmine Joyce (Bristol Bears Women / Wales)
Rhona Lloyd (Loughborough Lightning / Scotland)
Alex Matthews (Worcester Warriors Women / England)
Helen Nelson (Loughborough Lightning / Scotland)
Celia Quansah (Wasps FC Ladies / England)
Chloe Rollie (Harlequins Women / Scotland)
Helena Rowland (Loughborough Lightning / England)
Hannah Smith (Scotland)
Lisa Thomson (Scotland)
Emma Uren (Saracens Women / England)
Amy Wilson-Hardy (Wasps FC Ladies / England)