FIVE Scottish players have been selected for Team GB’s Rugby 7s squads for this summer’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Hannah Smith has been named in the women’s squad, while Max McFarland, Robbie Fergusson, Ross McCann and Alex Coombes are in the men’s squad. Lisa Thomson is also named as the women’s reserve.
This weekend, both squads travel to LA to take part in ‘Quest for Gold Sevens’, their final preparation event ahead of the Games, which begin on 23rd July.
“Rugby sevens made its memorable debut at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with both men’s and women’s teams inspiring fans across the globe with the fast pace and excitement that this sport has to offer,” said Team GB Chef de Mission for the Games, Mark England. “The men’s team coming home with a silver medal was a superb achievement.
“There is a huge amount of experience across both of these squads, not only from Rio 2016 but from many years of competitive rugby sevens which will stand these athletes in great stead heading into Tokyo. We’d like to congratulate everyone on their selection and look forward to seeing sevens in action at the Tokyo Stadium this summer.”
Women’s head coach Scott Forrest – who played five years on the World Rugby Sevens Series with Scotland and captained them at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi – said: “Selection was very tough. We’ve had 22 players involved in the programme since we started in March who have created a very competitive environment. Every one of those players has been so important. And it’s not just about the successful 13 players who have been selected today. If we are successful in Tokyo, it’s going to be down to the whole squad, the whole 22 not just those who are going out to perform at the Olympic Games.
“I’ve seen massive improvements in the team and what we’ve managed to do since March. We’re now excited to see what we can do in 41 days’ time from now.
“For the 13 that are selected, when you look at the squad on paper it’s very exciting. This squad for me has the potential to go and win a gold medal. We have 41 days to go until the first game and understand that there are improvements we need to make over that period until we get to our first game. We’ve definitely got the potential and that for me as a coach is really exciting.”
Men’s head coach Tony Roques said: “We’re massively grateful to the National Lottery for us to be on this journey together. We’ve become a very tight-knit group and everyone has contributed.
“It was really tough to deliver the news to a lot of people I’ve known for a long time. Ultimately, I feel I’ve done what was right for us to be successful at the Olympic Games. I’d like to congratulate those selected. They’ve worked extremely hard over the last few months and deserve this opportunity.
“We’re all very much looking forward to continuing our preparation and then heading to Tokyo.”
GB Sevens women’s squad:
- Holly Aitchison of Saracens Women and England
- Abbie Brown of Loughborough Lightning and England
- Abi Burton of Wasps FC Ladies and England
- Deborah Fleming of Saracens Women and England
- Natasha Hunt of Gloucester/Hartpury and England
- Megan Jones of Wasps FC Ladies and England
- Jasmine Joyce of Bristol Bears Women and Wales
- Alex Matthews of Worcester Warriors Women and England
- Celia Quansah of Wasps FC Ladies and England
- Helena Rowland of Loughborough Lightning and England
- Hannah Smith of Scotland
- Emma Uren of Saracens Women and England
- Lisa Thomson of Scotland
GB Sevens men’s squad:
- Dan Bibby of England
- Alec Coombes of Edinburgh and Scotland
- Alex Davis of England
- Robbie Fergusson of Glasgow Warriors and Scotland
- Harry Glover of England
- Ben Harris of England
- Ollie Lindsay-Hague of England
- Ross McCann of Scotland
- Max McFarland of Scotland
- Tom Mitchell of England
- Dan Norton of England
- Ethan Waddleton of England
- Tom Bowen of England