England Sevens programme update and London Sevens tickets on sale
The RFU is pleased to announce the England Sevens programme structure for 2022.
England Sevens return to the World Series in both the men's and
women's competition in Malaga (21-23 January) after Great Britain
Sevens competed in the opening two rounds in Dubai, as part of the
standing agreement to play the calendar year 2021.
The squads will be based at Loughborough University with the first camp taking place from 4 January in preparation for the tournament in Spain.
After leading GB Men's Sevens and Team GB at Tokyo 2020, Tony Roques takes over as head coach of England Men's Sevens.
James Rodwell is appointed England Women's Sevens head coach after working with England Sevens in a coaching capacity for the last two-and-a-half years and as an assistant coach for GB since his retirement in May 2019.
The management team will have a new look when they return, with performance roles integrating across both the men's and women's programmes.
Both teams consist of a core contracted group with a number of other players being selected on an invitational basis from clubs and universities throughout the season on a camp-by-camp basis.
Five 2020 Olympians including co-captains Abbie Brown and Megan Jones are in the women's squad. The duo will once again jointly captain England on this year's World Series.
The experienced Amy Wilson Hardy is also contracted as well as Sale Sharks' Jodie Ounsley who was part of the 2019-20 England Sevens squad.
Alicia Maude and Grace Crompton have both impressed in GB Sevens' World Series matches to date and they are joined in the core group by Isla Norman Bell who joins on a short term trial.
Wasps duo Abi Burton and Celia Quansah and Saracens' Emma Uren are also included in the core group.
In the men's squad, Olympians Alex Davis and Tom Bowen are selected alongside Jamie Barden and Freddie Roddick who have also represented GB Sevens this year.
Durham University's Jamie Adamson joins the core group with Api Bavadra who represented England at the Paris Sevens in 2019 and Chinnor RFC's Max Clementson.
The squad will be added to in the near future, as further contracts are being finalised at this stage.
Supporters can secure their seat to watch the men's team on home soil with tickets for the 2022 London Sevens (28-29 May 2022) on sale from today. Day tickets will be starting from £17 as part of an initial flash sale. Tickets can be purchased here.
England Women's sevens core group
Isla Norman Bell
Amy Wilson Hardy
England Men's sevens core group
Rodwell said: "I'm incredibly honoured and excited to be named head coach as we return to England Sevens. I've been working with most of the players for the last 12 months through to the Olympic Games. They're a special group of players and I'm excited to see how they can keep improving.
"We have a number of Olympians and U20s players who have shown what they can do on the World Series as well as returning players who were part of the England programme previously. We have exciting players coming through.
"Isla Norman Bell is a new addition to the group. Isla is England-born, lived in New Zealand since the age of two and we're looking forward to welcoming her in January.
"Our aim is to build on what we achieved as GB in Canada and Dubai as we head towards the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next summer. For everyone involved it's an incredibly exciting time to be involved in sevens and to get the opportunity to go and play in a home Commonwealth Games is not something many players or staff get to do. It's special for everyone involved and one I'm certainly looking forward to leading the players towards next year."
Roques said: "I'm super excited to be given the chance to be head coach of England Sevens having previously worked with them as an assistant coach. I am very grateful for the experience with GB Sevens and I'll take a lot of what I learnt from that into this role.
"It is a very young group. This is a transitional period and we know the World Series will be a big challenge but I'm confident we have the right attitude and a good set of values to perform.
"There are some notable absences within the men's core players. Whilst there may be opportunities for some to return in the future, it is an important juncture for us to look at building for future successes by giving a broadly inexperienced group a chance to mould this next addition of England Sevens.
"We're all very much looking forward to getting started."
Programme Lead Charlie Hayter said: "It's a hugely exciting time to be back on the World Series as England, and preparing for all that 2022 has to offer, including a home Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
"The GB programme has created some amazing moments, memories and learnings which I would like to thank everybody involved for making it possible. As we move into a new era post Tokyo with England Sevens reforming, we have an opportunity to reset and reframe sevens. We will operate with a core group of men's and women's players, and whilst Tony and James provide some real experience as head coaches we have the chance for fresh ideas from the majority of the wider staff team."