Rugby star Breach’s Commonwealth Games chance is almost here

Jess Breach with a Commonwealth Games mascot
Jess Breach with a Commonwealth Games mascot

Jess Breach and her England rugby sevens team-mates are ready to try to make history at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

West Sussex star Breach, who has already had a year to savour with the England women’s rugby union team, is set for a key role as England try to win the first women’s rugby sevens tournament ever played at the Commonwealths, starting on Friday.

Her parents have flown to Australia to support her and her dad John told us: “Everything is going well. They hmoved in the athlete’s village on Monday. They have been to watch the netball and have been settling in well.

“They play Fiji and Australia on Friday (at 8.15am and 11.17am BST) with Wales on Saturday (9.59am BST) and the top two from each group go into the semis for medal games.

“Jess is excited and working hard – she is looking forward to finishing training and getting into the tournament.

“We met up with Jess on Wednesday at our apartment in Burleigh Head, 30 minutes from Robina stadium where sevens is played.

“The ladies’ and men’s sides were having an orientation morning. Jess is looking well and looking forward to the start of the sevens on Friday afternoon.

“She has been to see the netball and was also going to watch the athletics with some of the other squad members.”

Breach, who lives in Felpham, played for Chichester and Pulborough as a youngster and is now with Harlequins Ladies. She was also a talented athlete and starred for Chichester Runners.

The team features seven Olympians from Rio 2016. All their games will be played at the 27,400-seater Robina Stadium.

Their head coach James Bailey said: “We are really looking forward to competing. As a new squad, the players and management have worked tremendously hard to bring this squad together and also transition the experienced 15s players back to sevens within in a short time-frame.

“We have a lot of incredibly talented, world class players in this side who are willing to work exceptionally hard for each other – and it’s that level of dedication and commitment that we’re hoping will bring success at the Games.”

STEVE BONE