Scarlets duo Hannah Jones and Jasmine Joyce have been named in an extended GB Sevens squad for July’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The pair are joined by scrum-half Kiera Bevan and will head to Scotland on Wednesday to take part in the first of three GB Sevens camps ahead of selection just before the Games.
Joyce (pictured), an Olympian in 2016, said: “It’s amazing to be named in this initial squad. After such an unreal experience in Rio, I’ve basically balanced my life for the last three years to have a chance to experience that again. To have a chance to put myself forward again is an amazing feeling but to make the final cut would be a dream come true for me as it was four years ago and that’s been my goal since 2016.
“One of my strongest memories of Rio was scoring my first try at the Olympic Games and knowing my family including my grandad were in the crowd there made it unforgettable.
“To finish fourth wasn’t the result we wanted but it’s still an amazing achievement. It was the first time for rugby union to be included and the England girls had done so well in the build-up. Being an Olympian is something you’re never going to forget.
“Selection is going to be so tough. There are so many world-class players – looking at my position alone!
“I love a bit of competition, so the process over the next few months will make us better players at the end of it, it’ll push us all to get better. I can’t wait to get started!”
Hannah Jones said: “I never thought I’d see my name on that list.
“Jazz had obviously done it before and knew what was expected. To give us the best chance of being included, we wanted to extend our sevens season so, with the support of the WRU decided to go to Adelaide to play for Romas with and against some of the best sevens players in Australia. That definitely helped our game and with Keira selected too it’s nice three of us Welsh girls are going, we can’t wait for the first training camp this week.
“There are some big names on list who have played on the World Series, it will be be great to learn from them and see where I am with my game.
“It’s going to be really competitive so I’m going to give it my best go. Ollie (Phillips) has been a great addition to our coaching set-up, it motivates you to impress a new coach too.”
Wales Sevens head coach Ollie Phillips said, “It’s fantastic to have three Wales players named in this extended squad. “They’ve all got the skillset and professionalism needed to challenge for a place in the final squad and we will continue to support them as best we can to ensure they are in the best possible place to do so.
“The hard work starts here, as Jazz will know from last time around, but it will be a challenge they will relish as international athletes and competitors.”
Following this week’s camp in Edinburgh there will be further camps in Wales and England in April.