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Kildunne and Jones to join Great Britain Sevens ahead of Olympics

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Zoe Aldcroft, Jess Breach, Ellie Kildunne, Megan Jones and Marlie Packer of England sing their national anthem prior to the Guinness Women's Six Nations 2024 match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on April 20, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

England Rugby have confirmed today that dynamic Red Roses backs Ellie Kildunne and Megan Jones will join the Great Britain Sevens squad ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games this summer.

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An agreement has been reached between their respective clubs (Harlequins and Leicester Tigers), the RFU, and the Rugby Players Association for the duo to follow their sevens aspirations this summer, and both will be available for selection for the HSBC SVNS Grand Final in Madrid later this month.

Both players were key figures in England’s sixth successive Women’s Six Nations title and third consecutive Grand Slam earlier this spring.

Kildunne was the top try and points scorer (nine tries, 45 points) in the 2024 Guinness Women’s Six Nations and as a result of her impressive campaign was nominated for both the Player of the Championship and Try of the Championship awards, for which voting is currently ongoing.

Jones has been a standout player for Leicester Tigers Women in their debut Premiership Women’s Rugby season and carried her stellar form into the Six Nations, scoring three tries for the Red Roses in the process.

Both have history in sevens, with Jones co-captaining Team GB Sevens at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, winning a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2018, and travelling to the 2016 Olympics as a non-playing reserve.

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She said: “It’s so exciting to join up with the talented GB 7s squad ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games. This side has a genuine shot of becoming the first female Great Britain rugby sevens team to win an Olympic medal and I would love to be part of that.” 

Kildunne has 39 caps for England sevens (now absorbed into GB 7s) from her debut in the 2018/19 season before she was given one of the first 15s contracts by the RFU in 2019.

The fullback said: “Joining up with the GB7s squad is an incredible honour and an exciting opportunity to test myself with a new group of players. Competing at Paris 2024 would be a dream come true, and I’m determined to work hard to make it a reality.”

Great Britain’s women’s team qualified for the 2024 Olympics last year with a 33-0 win in the European Games against hosts Poland.

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They sit eighth in the HSBC SVNS table to take them into the Grand Final at the Madrid SVNS, with a season-best of third recorded in Perth. They’ll join New Zealand, Australia, France, the USA, Canada, Ireland, and Fiji in Madrid from the 31st May to 2nd June.

The Great Britain men’s team will also feature in Madrid after their 26-7 win over Australia in the bronze medal match in Singapore securing them the final place in the top eight.

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RFU Head of Women’s Performance Charlie Hayter said: “It is important to support our players’ dreams and aspirations. They very much remain a part of our long-term Red Roses future and hold great ambitions in an England shirt.

“The 7s provides a different stimulus from a mental and physical standpoint. We feel exposure on the 7s circuit will benefit their progression in a Red Roses shirt in the long run but also presents an opportunity for the players to put their hands up for selection at another major world event in a different environment.

“It’s a good challenge for Meg and Ellie to make an impact in the GB environment over the next couple of months and give themselves a chance to compete in the short format of the game on the biggest stage.”

Kildunne and Jones will join familiar faces from the Six Nations and PWR in the Great Britain squad such as Scotland’s Rhona Lloyd and Lisa Thomson, Wales’s Jasmine Joyce, Bristol Bears’ Grace Crompton, and Trailfinders Women’s Emma Uren and Ellie Boatman.

Great Britain’s women’s team have twice finished fourth at the Olympic Games, losing to Canada in the bronze medal match in Rio and to Fiji at the same in Tokyo, so will no doubt be looking to go a step further this year in Paris.

Ciaran Beattie, Great Britain Sevens Head of Rugby and Women’s Head Coach said: “We are delighted to welcome Meg and Ellie back into the 7s environment. Both have a background in 7s which has helped in their journey to date.

“Watching them play so well in England’s successful Six Nations campaign has been exciting to watch, knowing that they would be coming in to fight for a place in our Olympic squad.

“It is an exciting few months coming up for GB 7s and we are delighted to have two of the best players in the world adding their experience to this.”

The Women's Rugby World Cup 2025 is coming to England. Register now here to be the first to hear about tickets.

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