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GREAT BRITAIN women’s team claimed the world rugby sevens title on Sunday after back-to-back Fast Four final wins in Canada.
In the four-team women’s tournament, Britain defeated the United States 22-5, and Canada beat Mexico 63-5 to take third place.
Significant cuts were made to British sevens programmes last year, creating bleak prospects in terms of top-level ambitions.
Players even resorted to fundraising efforts themselves to reach the Olympics until a commercial partnership was struck between the Rugby Football Union, Scottish Rugby Union, Welsh Rugby Union and the National Lottery.
Wales wing Jasmine Joyce, 25, spoke out after the Olympics about the impact a full-time programme for the players could have.
She said: “All of us keep saying how incredible the programme is. Even if we’d had an extra month, I can guarantee we would have won gold.”
Joyce was awarded player of the final for the second weekend in a row on Sunday, after lighting up the tournament by scoring a hat-trick on both appearances.
The double Olympian scored five tries in GB’s three pool matches and another two in a 50-5 semi-final win against Mexico.
Great Britain men’s team also made the Edmonton Sevens men’s final on Sunday, but fell at the last hurdle as they lost to South Africa 24-12.
The Covid-19 pandemic caused the 2021 series to be shortened to only two events, both in Canada, and a number of top-ranked nations were unable to take part as a result of travel and quarantine restrictions, including Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medalists Fiji, silver medallists New Zealand, Australia and Samoa.
The series will be idle until two combined men’s and women’s tournaments, scheduled back-to-back in Dubai, kick off the 2022 season.
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