Great Britain women's national rugby sevens team
|Union||British Olympic Association|
The Great Britain national rugby sevens team is the women's Olympic representative team of Great Britain at the rugby sevens tournament at the Summer Olympic Games. The team played their first competitive match at the 2016 Summer Olympics after England finished in an Olympic qualifying place at the World Rugby Women's Sevens Series.
When rugby sevens was admitted to the Summer Olympics in 2009, it was unknown how Great Britain could qualify. England, Wales and Scotland; three of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom that Great Britain represents at the Olympics, all compete separately within international sevens competition. It was suggested that if any of them finished in an Olympic qualifying spot then Great Britain would qualify through them. However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Rugby Board (IRB) clarified that Great Britain must select only one nation to be the only one able to obtain qualification as it was viewed that the three individual nations could give Great Britain three chances to qualify compared with other nations only having one. The individual British rugby unions selected England to be the lead nation due to their professional sevens set-up. This also meant that Wales and Scotland could no longer participate in the repecharge competition on behalf of the Sevens Women Grand Prix Series if they qualified due to participation in the repecharge being limited to nations who could qualify for the Olympics. England secured Great Britain's qualification to the 2016 Summer Olympics by finishing fourth in the 2015 World Rugby Women's Sevens Series after defeating the United States in the third place playoff in Amsterdam.
Following qualification for the 2016 Summer Olympics, a new Great Britain Sevens organization was set up called GB Rugby Sevens. Despite England being the nation that qualified Great Britain for the Olympics, it was announced that the Welsh Rugby Union and the Scottish Rugby Union would join the Rugby Football Union for Women in forming the executive board and committee to decide the selection of the team. In May 2015, Joe Lydon was appointed as the performance manager responsible for recruiting the head coach for the Great Britain women's rugby sevens team.
While England was the team that qualified Great Britain for the Olympics, the Great Britain national rugby sevens team is able to select players from Wales and Scotland as well as England in accordance with IOC eligibility rules based on passport ownership. The Rugby Football Union for Women will make recommendations for the team however the British Olympic Association will be the body that makes the final determination for places. Players would be eligible for selection if they had played in the World Rugby Women's Sevens Series, Rugby Europe International Sevens or any other invitational tournament 14 months before the Olympics.
Northern Irish players, according to the IOC's rules as British passport holders, would have been eligible to represent Great Britain. However the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), which governs rugby in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland together, demanded that Northern Irish players only play for the Ireland national rugby sevens team. However, it was stated that Northern Irish players could legally challenge that demand, particularly if Ireland failed to qualify due to differences in World Rugby and IOC qualifying criteria.
|Olympic Games record|
|2016||Bronze Medal Game||4th||6||4||2||0|
The following is the Great Britain squad in the women's rugby sevens tournament of the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Head coach: Simon Middleton
|1||Claire Allan||2||Abbie Brown|
|3||Alice Richardson||6||Katy McLean|
|4||Emily Scarratt (c)||7||Heather Fisher|
|5||Danielle Waterman||12||Amy Wilson-Hardy|
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