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Wales’ Jasmine Joyce set to represent Team GB at third Olympic Games

By PA
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 26: Jasmine Joyce of Great Britain celebrates after crossing for a try during the 2024 Perth SVNS women's match between Australia and Great Britain at HBF Park on January 26, 2024 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Wales winger Jasmine Joyce is set to become the first British rugby player to appear at three Olympic Games after being included in Team GB’s sevens squad for Paris 2024.

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Joyce, 28, who helped Britain finish fourth at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, and Scotland centre Lisa Thomson are the only non-English players selected in a 12-strong squad. Joyce’s Wales team-mate Kayleigh Powell has been named as one of two reserves, alongside Abi Burton.

Thomson, plus England pair Meg Jones and Emma Uren, will compete at their second Olympics, while 2024 Six Nations leading try-scorer Ellie Kildunne has also been included.

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Head coach Ciaran Beattie said: “As you might imagine, it was extremely difficult to name 14 at this stage, as there are so many excellent players who have performed on the World Rugby sevens stage to secure qualification for these Olympic Games.

“We want to be competitive in Paris and approach each match as one that can be won, with the ultimate aim of medalling, at the same time being respectful of the huge quality of other teams.”

Team GB lost out to Canada and Fiji respectively in the bronze-medal matches in Rio and Tokyo.

They qualified for Paris 2024 in June last year by winning gold at the European Games in Krakow, beating hosts Poland 33-0 in the final.

Team GB chef de mission Mark England said: “It was thrilling to watch the women’s team qualify for the Paris Games as Team GB at the Krakow European Games last summer.

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“I know that the selection process for the squad was extremely competitive, and I’m delighted to welcome back Olympians Jasmine, Lisa, Emma and Meg, along with eight Olympic debutants.”

The GB men’s team must win gold at the Olympic repechage tournament in Monaco this weekend to secure their place in Paris after losing to Ireland in the European Games final last summer.

England added: “We hope the women’s team will be joined in Paris by the men’s rugby sevens team and wish them well at the World Rugby Sevens Repechage tournament in Monaco.”

Women’s squad: Amy Wilson Hardy, Ellie Boatman, Ellie Kildunne, Emma Uren, Grace Crompton, Heather Cowell, Isla Norman-Bell, Jade Shekells, Jasmine Joyce, Lauren Torley, Lisa Thomson, Meg Jones. Reserves: Abi Burton, Kayleigh Powell.

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Brian 28 days ago

The GB 7s underperform based on the players they have. I don’t think they lack speed, they get out-muscled in the contest for the ball. I also understand that they get very little time together as a squad. Let’s hope they can exceed expectations in Paris.

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finn 6 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

What a difference 9 months makes! Last autumn everyone was talking about how important versatile bench players were to SA’s WC win, now we’re back to only wanting specialists? The timing of this turn is pretty odd when you consider that some of the best players on the pitch in the SA/Ireland match were Osbourne (a centre playing out of position at 15), Feinberg-Mngomezulu (a fly-half/centre playing out of position at 15), and Frawley (a utility back). Having specialists across the backline is great, but its not always necessary. Personally I think Frawley is unlikely to displace Crowley as first choice 10, but his ability to play 12 and 15 means he’s pretty much guaranteed to hold down a spot on the bench, and should get a decent amount of minutes either at the end of games or starting when there are injuries. I think Willemse is in a similar boat. Feinberg-Mngomezulu possibly could become a regular starter at 10 for the Springboks, but he might not, given he’d have to displace Libbok and Pollard. I think its best not to put all your eggs in one basket - Osbourne played so well at the weekend that he will hopefully be trusted with the 15 shirt for the autumn at least, but if things hadn’t gone well for him he could have bided his time until an opportunity opened up at centre. Similarly Feinberg-Mngomezulu is likely to get a few opportunities at 15 in the coming months due to le Roux’s age and Willemse’s injury, but given SA don’t have a single centre aged under 30 its likely that opportunities could also open up at 12 if he keeps playing there for Stormers. None of this will discount him from being given gametime at 10 - in the last RWC cycle Rassie gave a start at 10 to Frans Steyn, and even gave de Klerk minutes there off the bench - but it will give him far more opportunities for first team rugby.

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