RUGBY SEVENS - Worcester's Shekells named in Team GB's sevens squad heading to Paris 2024 Olympic Games - The Worcester Observer

RUGBY SEVENS - Worcester's Shekells named in Team GB's sevens squad heading to Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Aaron Sutcliffe 21st Jun, 2024 Updated: 28th Jun, 2024   0

WORCESTER’S Jade Shekells is ready to showcase her skills on the Olympic stage following her inclusion in Team GB’s rugby sevens squad at the Paris 2024 Games.

The 27-year-old forms part of Great Britain’s 12-strong sevens squad heading to this summer’s Games and is one of eight debutants in the team.

And Shekells wants to grab the opportunity by the horns as she teams up with players who first inspired her to take the leap to the shortened game.

Shekells said: “I’m hugely appreciative of this opportunity and it’s a testament to all of the girls hard work.

“I can’t wait to go to Paris and showcase everything we’ve done to get there behind the scenes and for those who have helped us. I’m just buzzing.

“Watching rugby come into the last two Games has been unreal for me. The fact that some of the girls in our team now have been to Olympics before is incredible and Rio was just such a core memory for me because of that.

“It really just shows where the game is going.”

Rugby sevens will take place for just the third time at the Olympics in Paris following its debut at Rio 2016 with Britain involved on all three occasions.

Shekells formed part of the team who helped Team GB qualify for Paris 2024 with a gold medal-winning performance at the 2023 European Games in Poland.

And after also featuring at the 2022 Sevens World Cup, Shekells believes the experience she gained playing in the Women’s Premiership set her on course for Paris.

Shekells added: “I started playing when I was quite young.

“I was getting dragged along to training with my brother and once when I was six I just joined in.

“I played with the boys when I was growing up which I do believe actually helped me with my physicality on the pitch.

“My big professional step came when I went to Gloucester-Hartpury, learning all of the important parts that come off a rugby pitch.

“Premiership Women’s Rugby really helped show me what I can do and I’m so proud to see that now come to life at Paris.”

Team GB finished a heartbreaking fourth place at Tokyo 2020, losing 21-12 to Fiji in the bronze medal match and will look to remedy their performance at Paris.

The team heading to Paris comprises of: Amy Wilson Hardy, Ellie Boatman, Ellie Kildunne, Emma Uren, Grace Crompton, Heather Cowell, Isla Norman-Bell, Shekells, Jasmine Joyce, Lauren Torley, Lisa Thomson and Meg Jones with Abi Burton and Kayleigh Powell in reserve.

Head coach Ciaran Beattie said: “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.

“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 SVNS stage to secure qualification for these Olympic Games.”

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 am delighted to welcome back Olympians Jasmine, Lisa, Emma and Meg, along with eight Olympic debutants.”

Aldi are proud Official Partners of Team GB & ParalympicsGB, supporting all athletes through to Paris 2024


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