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  • Writer's pictureLinda Andrews - Editorial Assistant, Nuse Online

Red Roses Duo To Pursue Olympic Dream



Red Roses pair Megan Jones and Ellie Kildunne will join up with Great Britain Sevens women’s squad to aid their aspirations for the ongoing HSBC SVNS Series and the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris.

Both players, who were influential in the Red Roses earning a third Guinness Women’s Six Nations Grand Slam in a row, have history in the 7s game.

Leicester Tigers’ Jones travelled to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games as a non-playing reserve before going on to win a Commonwealth Games bronze medal in 2018. The 50-plus capped England 7s player co-captained GB at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, scoring both tries in GB’s bronze medal match before returning to the XVs game as a Red Rose.

Harlequins’ Kildunne, who took inspiration from the 2016 Rio team, enjoyed her first season of 7s in 2018/19 after scoring nine tries in eight matches for the Red Roses. She featured 39 times in an England 7s jersey and links up with the programme once again after a rich vein of scoring form in the Guinness Women’s Six Nations.

The duo will be available for GB selection for the Madrid 7s (31 May-2 June).

The transition from Red Roses and Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby duties into the 7s programme has been agreed and collaborated on with various stakeholders including the RFU, GB7s, Leicester Tigers, Harlequins and the RPA.

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."

Ellie Kildunne said:

“Joining up with the GB 7s 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."

"I’m grateful to Quins for allowing me to take this opportunity. I’m already excited to be back with the group next season and can’t wait to support them for the rest of this campaign.”

Megan Jones 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."

"It has been a great year at Leicester Tigers and I'm grateful to them for allowing me to prepare for the Paris Olympics. I can't wait to be back with the squad next season and look forward to supporting the girls from afar with their remaining games!"

Ciaran Beattie, Great Britain Sevens Head of Rugby & 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.”

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