England will complete their preparations for the IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens this week as they take part in the San Diego Sevens tournament.
The pool stages will begin on Friday where England have been drawn to play Japan and USA. Led by Sue Day, the team will hope to make it though to the knock out stages over the weekend where they could face the likes of New Zealand and China.
Day, who has 59 caps for England, said, “San Diego for us is really all about dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, getting everything right and putting it all into practice ready for the world cup. Certainly we hope we are already there, but this is our dry run.
“It’s also a great chance for us to learn more about our opposition, and to get more game time, which is the most important thing for us.”
The World Cup is less than three weeks away and will run alongside the men’s tournament. England will head into the tournament with brilliant form having recorded wins in the Home Nations Cup, Dubai, Amsterdam, European and London 7s. They will also be boosted with the announcements of the return of Captain Day and former captain Yapp who both retired from the international game.
Day said, “The chance to play in a sevens world cup was an opportunity I just couldn’t miss. I have played in three other world cups, but they’ve always been in XVs so this was and is really exciting.
“It’s nice to be back with Yappy as one of the two more experienced players, but it’s also nice to be playing with this young squad who, despite their age, already have huge amounts of international experience. They are players who aren’t afraid to give it a go; they want to make it happen. Our ultimate aim is to win the world cup and I think we have the potential to do that with this squad.”
For Jo Yapp, who played in England select team in 2001 and 2003, next month’s World Cup is all about winning the gold medal for the third time of asking. She said, “After two rugby world cup finals this could be my chance.
“It is motivation for me, I have got two silver medals and to win gold would be a dream come true. I’ve always enjoyed sevens but I hoped there would be a true England sevens team and a world cup competition. Finally I now have the chance to be part of that.”
Natalie Cooper, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine