England sevens contracts return for men and women after summer cuts

Abbie Brown runs with the ball
England won men's and women's sevens bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games

Seventeen England sevens players have been given contracts for the first time since the programme was cut in August.

Their central contracts ended before the Tokyo Olympics as the Rugby Football Union cut costs to combat the financial effects of coronavirus.

But 10 women's players and seven men's players will be contracted again as the sides prepare for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Women's head coach James Rodwell says it is an "incredibly exciting time".

The former men's England Sevens player added: "To get the opportunity to go and play in a home Commonwealth Games is not something many players or staff get to do."

The move means England will once again compete in World Series events - starting in Malaga on 21 January - after players were part of a Great Britain side in this season's opening two rounds.

Abbie Brown and Megan Jones will co-captain the women's side, while Olympians Alex Davis and Tom Bowen feature in a men's side described by head coach Tony Roques as "a broadly inexperienced group".

Players from outside the core contracted group will be selected on a camp-by-camp basis from clubs and universities throughout the season and further contracts are yet to be announced.

England won bronze in both men's and women's sevens at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, with the next edition of the event beginning in Coventry on Friday, 29 July 2022.

England women's sevens core group: Isla Norman Bell, Abbie Brown, Abi Burton, Grace Crompton, Megan Jones, Alicia Maude, Jodie Ounsley, Celia Quansah, Emma Uren, Amy Wilson Hardy.

England men's sevens core group: Jamie Adamson, Jamie Barden, Api Bavadra, Tom Bowen, Max Clementson, Alex Davis, Freddie Roddick.

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