Sevens star Breach secures Commonwealth Games spot
Chichester star Jess Breach is in the England women's rugby sevens squad for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia.
The squad consists of 12 players, as well as one travelling reserve, including Abbie Brown as captain. This is the first year that the women's comepetition will take place in the Commonwealth Games.
The team features seven Olympians from Rio 2016, including last year’s Rugby World Cup finalist Emily Scarratt, who is named as vice-captain, with fellow former Olympians Heather Fisher, Claire Allan, Natasha Hunt, Emily Scott and Amy Wilson Hardy also named as part of the squad.
World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year 2017 nominee Lydia Thompson is included alongside 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup finalists Alex Matthews and Megan Jones.
Deborah Fleming and Breach - who scored nine tries in her Sydney Sevens tournament debut earlier this year and 11 tries in her first two games for the England senior women's XV against Canada - are also included, with Vicky Fleetwood named as travelling reserve.
Breach, who lives in Felpham, played for Chichester and Pulborough in her junior days and is now with Harlequins.
The women’s side are drawn in Pool B and will kick off the opening day against Fiji, before facing Australia. On day two England face Wales in their last pool game
James Bailey, women’s head coach, said: “We are really looking forward to competing at the Commonwealth Games in April. 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 really benefitted and developed a lot from competing on the World Series and at numerous invitational tournaments, against some of the best teams in the world, in order to be ready for this tournament. 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.”