England backs Kildunne and Jones to join Team GB Sevens

Ellie Kildunne and Meg Jones
Ellie Kildunne was the top try-scorer in the Women's Six Nations as England won a third consecutive Grand Slam [PA Media]

England pair Ellie Kildunne and Meg Jones will join Great Britain Sevens women’s squad in preparation for the SVNS Grand Final and the Paris Olympic Games.

Both backs, who have previous Sevens experience, played an influential role as the Red Roses won a third consecutive Six Nations Grand Slam last month.

Jones, 27, travelled to the Rio Olympics in 2016 as a non-playing reserve before winning bronze at the Commonwealth Games two years later.

She then co-captained Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics, scoring both tries in the bronze-medal match before returning to the XVs game.

Kildunne, 24, was involved in GB's Sevens camp before the Tokyo Olympics but chose to withdraw to make herself eligible for a professional XVs contract.

Speaking exclusively to BBC Rugby Union Weekly after England claimed the Grand Slam, Kildunne said she would be returning to Sevens for the chance to feature at this summer's Olympics.

"I'm going into that group fancying my chances to see where I can get," Kildunne said. "It's another opportunity to grow and I haven't been in Sevens for a while, so I'm looking forward to being in a new environment and finding different levels to my game."

Kildunne was one of the beneficiaries after England became the first country in the Six Nations to award players permanent full-time professional contracts in 2019.

"I've been in the Sevens before but I had to step away from it when the [professional] contracts came up and that broke my heart because I wasn't too far away from the Olympics," Kildunne added.

"It's something I've always wanted to do and I want to be the best player in the world, man or woman, and that comes from experiences."

Team GB qualified for Paris 2024 last June after winning gold at the European Games. They have since secured their place in this year's SVNS Grand Final in Madrid after finishing eighth at the end of the league season.