Wales’ Jasmine Joyce Poised To Make Olympic History In Paris

Jasmine Joyce Wales. Pic: Getty Images

Wales’ Jasmine Joyce Poised To Make Olympic History In Paris

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By Hannah Blackwell

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.

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 14-strong squad.

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.

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.

Wales head coach Ioan Cunningham said: “This a fantastic achievement for Jaz and Kayleigh and they fully deserve the opportunity to showcase their talents on the Olympic stage in Paris in July.

“To have two Welsh international rugby players represent Great Britain Sevens is an achievement the whole nation should be proud of.

“Jaz and KP are key players with the national side and will be unavailable for the Wales WXV Play-off game against Spain but their selection for the GB Sevens squad is the reward for all the hard work they have put in.”

Joyce and Powell are on hybrid contracts with the Welsh Rugby Union and GB Sevens and both players featured in Wales’ recent Guinness Women’s Six Nations campaign.

Wales face Spain in their crucial WXV play-off clash at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday, June 29th (KO: 5.35pm).

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.

“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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