No more Battles of Britain at Dubai Sevens but merger is a 'wonderful opportunity'

New Great Britain side is perfect platform for talent like Jasmine Joyce, according to Danielle Waterman

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There is potential for confusion over the next two days at the Emirates Dubai Sevens.

Supporters of England, Scotland and Wales are going to be denied a time-honoured tradition. Instead of spending the weekend baiting each other, they are going to have to rub along together politely, seeing as they are all now tasked with backing the same team.

For the first time – at least at a tournament with fans present – the Home Nations will be represented by a Great Britain side at the Sevens.

It might take some getting used to but, according to Danielle Waterman, who is one of England’s greatest ever female players and an Olympian with Team GB in 2016, the positives outweigh what has been lost by unifying forces.

“I’m a huge advocate for it,” said Waterman, who is in Dubai as an ambassador for the HSBC World Series sponsors.

“In the women’s game in particular, we have somebody in the Team GB squad who was very, very close to being nominated for World Player of the Year in Jasmine Joyce.

“She was one of the top try-scorers in the tournament last week [when Dubai hosted a leg of the World Series behind closed doors], and took the tournament by storm in Vancouver.

“Yet she would not have been able to play on the World Series because Wales are so far off qualifying.

“There has been some wonderful talent that we wouldn’t have been able to see on the world stage.

"This weekend will be the biggest crowd these girls have played in front of. It is a wonderful opportunity.”

Britain’s women kick off the World Series matches at 9am on Pitch 2 against France. The GB men make their Dubai debut against Ireland at 10.50am on the main field.

Updated: December 02, 2021, 12:32 PM