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Wales stars sign up to GB Sevens Olympic project

GREAT Britain Sevens head coach Nick Wakley has called up Wales internationals Jasmine Joyce and Kayleigh Powell to his squad for the forthcoming HSBC Sevens World Series events.

The players will be part of the GB squad for the rest of the season as they bid to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games.

Wakley said, “We are very excited to have ‘Jaz’ and ‘KP’ on board. We all know how Jaz can light up a sevens pitch anywhere in the world and she has already settled into our environment. I was lucky enough to work with Kayleigh with Wales U18 Sevens. She is a very talented player and she and Jaz have a good relationship at Bristol and Wales. They can challenge each other and hopefully perform well enough to make it to the Olympics.

“We are looking forward to playing an exciting brand of sevens in front of some big crowds in Dubai and Cape Town before the end of the year. We have some tough opposition in Dubai with New Zealand, France and Brazil in our Pool but our aim is very much to be consistently competitive and challenge for top four places which would mean automatic Olympic qualification.”

Jasmine Joyce said, “I’m delighted to be back playing sevens. I’ve loved every second of my sevens experiences in the past and to be able to do it full-time gives us a fantastic chance to be as competitive as possible.

“I’m gutted to be leaving the Wales set-up which has gone from strength to strength and I’m sad to leave the girls but sevens certainly plays to my strengths at the moment and to have the chance to push for another Olympic Games is certainly a dream of mine, something I couldn’t turn down.”

Kayleigh Powell said, “This is a really exciting opportunity for me to play on the World Series and potentially the Olympic Games. That’s something I’ve dreamt about since I was a child so to give it a shot is huge.”

WRU Performance Director Nigel Walker added, “We are sorry to see these players leave our full-time 15s programme as they were an integral part of our Rugby World Cup squad, but we wish them and the rest of the players and coaches involved in both the men’s and women’s Great Britain Sevens squads the very best in their aim to reach the Olympic Games.”