Great Britain women's national rugby sevens team

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Great Britain
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
UnionBritish Olympic Association
Coach(es)Simon Middleton
Captain(s)Emily Scarratt
Team kit
Change kit

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.

Olympic history[edit]

Britain vs Brazil at the 2016 Olympics

When rugby sevens was admitted to the Summer Olympics in 2009,[1] it was unknown how Great Britain could qualify.[2] 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.[3] The individual British rugby unions selected England to be the lead nation due to their professional sevens set-up.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8]

Eligibility[edit]

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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12] 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.[9]

Tournament record[edit]

Summer Olympics[edit]

Olympic Games record
Year Round Position Pld W L D
Brazil 2016 Bronze Medal Game 4th 6 4 2 0
Japan 2020 Qualified
Total 0 Titles 1/1 6 4 2 0

Current squad[edit]

The following is the Great Britain squad in the women's rugby sevens tournament of the 2016 Summer Olympics.[13]

Head coach: Simon Middleton

Backs Forwards
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
8 Emily Scott
9 Natasha Hunt
10 Joanne Watmore
11 Jasmine Joyce

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rugby". Rio 2016. Archived from the original on 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  2. ^ "International Board backs British Olympic sevens team". BBC Sport. 2011-04-06. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  3. ^ Jack de Menezes (2014-02-06). "No chance of a Team GB in rugby sevens at Rio after IOC and IRB ruling states only one of England, Wales or Scotland can represent Britain". The Independent. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  4. ^ Orchard, Sara (2015-05-12). "Team GB qualify if England make last eight". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  5. ^ "Olympic sevens qualification explained". Scrum Queens. 2015-02-15. Retrieved 2015-05-25.
  6. ^ "World Rugby Sevens: England women seal GB's Olympic place". BBC Sport. 2015-05-23. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  7. ^ Custom byline text:  Stuart Bathgate. "Team GB rugby sevens side set for Rio Olympics". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  8. ^ "Joe Lydon to appoint Great Britain sevens coaches". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  9. ^ a b Rugby Union. "Only one berth for England, Wales and Scotland to 'qualify' GB team". Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  10. ^ "New Zealand, Canada, Australia and Great Britain are the first teams to qualify in women's rugby". Rio 2016. 2015-05-25. Archived from the original on 2015-05-27. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  11. ^ "All systems go for Great Britain Rugby on road to Rio". Eurosport. 2015-05-21. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  12. ^ Mackay, Duncan (2011-04-14). "Northern Ireland players banned from representing Team GB in rugby sevens at Rio 2016". Insidethegames.biz. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  13. ^ "Team GB Names 2016 GB Olympic Men's Rugby Team". teamgb.com. 19 July 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2016.