Rugby Union: Laybourn in England Women’s World Cup Sevens training squad

Ruth Laybourn scores for England Sevens against South Africa at the IRB Women's Sevens World Series in Dubai. Picture: Martin Seras Lima
Ruth Laybourn scores for England Sevens against South Africa at the IRB Women's Sevens World Series in Dubai. Picture: Martin Seras Lima

PONTEFRACT winger Ruth Laybourn has been named in England’s training squad ahead of next year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in Moscow.

The squad consists of 17 players selected from the Elite Playing Squad (EPS) who will start weekly training sessions from January in preparation for England’s bid for glory in Russia next June.

Twenty-eight year-old Laybourn, who was a successful athlete with Wakefield Harriers before concentrating on rugby, earned selection after notable performances in the opening round of the Sevens World Series held in Dubai last weekend.

The former student at Badsworth CE Junior School and Wakefield Independent School, in Nostell, scored six tries in the United Arab Emirates as England chalked-up victories over Brazil, Spain and the Netherlands.

The English suffered defeats to South Africa, New Zealand and Canada but the young, inexperienced squad showed great potential for next year.

Laybourn, who plays for Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, said: “It’s been fantastic to play some of the bigger nations and also against the European nations we’ve faced before.

“We’ve learned to play to our strengths, like moving the ball wide, and I have more confidence in my pace and in the people inside me.

“If we can carry on working together there’s a lot of positives to come out of the weekend.”