Following the success of the 2011 and 2012 England Women open sevens trials, the Rugby Football Union will host open trials again this year, in April, in a bid to unearth some more new rugby talent.
12 months ago, 85 players attended the open trials and two players – Sally Tuson and Ruth Laybourn – who had never played rugby for England before, were selected into the Elite Player Squad. England then went on to be crowned IRB Challenge Cup Sevens winners in Hong Kong and London and win the European Championships.
With rugby sevens now on the Olympic agenda and set to make its debut at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, the game is going from strength to strength. This season has seen the first ever Women’s Sevens World Series, whilst Moscow will host the Rugby World Cup Sevens in June.
The England Sevens trials will be held on April 13 at Surrey Sports Park in Guildford and the trials are completely open. You don’t need a huge amount of sevens experience and players can be selected from both inside and outside of the current RFU Performance Pathways. Those attending trials will be tested on their fitness, rugby skills and game play.
Nicola Ponsford, the RFU’s Head of Performance (Women), said: “We think there are players outside of our current system with huge amounts of talent, who we’ve never seen before. Some of these players may only just have started playing at university or college, for example, but have the potential to become fantastic players. We really want anyone who has a great level of fitness and rugby skills to come along and show us what they can do. This really is a chance to unearth new talent.”
If you’re selected into the Elite Player Squad or Sevens development pathway, you’ll receive strength and conditioning training, one-on-one coaching and the opportunity to train with England’s top sevens coaches. Plus, of course, the chance to represent your country in the England Sevens programme.
To submit your application to attend the open trials, visit www.rfu.com/Eng7sTrialsWomen. Entries must be received by April 7.