England Women’s Sevens outstanding performance in Kitakyushu is just a glimpse of what is to come, says coach James Bailey.
England had to settle for silver after they lost to Canada in a closely contested final in the fourth leg of the women’s HSBC World Sevens Series. They earned 18 points from Japan which enabled them to climb up to the seventh place with 37 points overall.
Speaking to England Rugby, Bailey said: “I wouldn’t be more proud of the girl’s efforts over the weekend and the past weeks and months where we’ve had to dig in, regroup and back each other up.
“Everything we’ve done here has been based on the exceptional work rate and effort of the staff and players.”
Going to Japan, Bailey had several new and young talented players in his squad, and they did not disappoint his belief in them.
REACTION: Two tries for captain @abbiebrown10 and a first Cup final for @EnglandRugby since 2016 – “one more to go” is the mantra with @rugbycanada their opponents in the #Kitakyushu7s title decider pic.twitter.com/hyFcpCfY6t
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) April 21, 2019
“We needed a bit of time for some of these young girls who have been outstanding with everything they’ve done to get some experience of playing on the world stage,” said Bailey.
“We can’t forget that the majority of the squad are under the age of 23, but the future is so exciting. We’re on a journey and this is very much still the start.”
With two tournaments to go, England trail fourth-placed Australia by 19 points in table standings and have to put in a lot of grit to earn the coveted top-four spot for automatic qualification to the 2020 Olympics.
The top four spots in table standings are occupied by New Zealand, who are ranked first with 72 points, followed by Canada with 66 points. The USA are third on 64 points with Australia fourth on 56 points.
The next leg of the World Rugby Women’s’ Sevens Series will be played in Canada next month.
Main photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos, World Rugby