England Women have awarded 17 contracts to support the women’s sevens programme for the upcoming 2017/18 season.

All 17 contracts will be full-time and fixed term, running until end of the 2017/18 season.

Eight of the wider 14-player Team GB Olympic squad are named in the EPS including, England Women vice-captain and Team GB captain Emily Scarratt alongside fellow Olympians Abbie Brown, Heather Fisher and Claire Allan. Women’s Rugby World Cup finalists and Olympic squad members, Natasha Hunt, Emily Scott, Amy Wilson Hardy and Megan Jones are also named.

Existing England Sevens players Chantelle Miell, Deborah Fleming, Holly Aitchison, Katie Mason and Millie Wood have also been awarded full-time sevens contracts. While England Sevens veterans Fran Matthews and Natasha Brennan have both retired from international sevens.

Women’s Rugby World Cup finalists Vicky Fleetwood, Alex Matthews and Lydia Thompson, alongside Six Nations Grand Slam winner Sarah McKenna are also named as part of the sevens squad for next year.

“Last season enabled us to unearth new talent in the sevens programme and crucially allow younger players to gain invaluable playing experience in major tournaments such as HSBC Women’s Sevens Series,” sad Bailey.

“We are looking forward to continuing to build on performances from last season and bring this talented group together and start preparations for what will be an exciting season for sevens.”

Bailey also added: “To the players who have retired from the game, we wish them all the best in their next endeavours, they have been fantastic ambassadors and role models for the sport over the past number of years.”

England Women’s Sevens squad will continue to be based and train in Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre.

England full-time sevens contracts – 17

Abbie Brown, Alex Matthews, Amy Wilson Hardy, Claire Allan, Chantelle Miell, Deborah Fleming, Emily Scarratt, Emily Scott, Heather Fisher, Holly Aitchison, Katie Mason, Lydia Thompson, Megan Jones, Millie Wood, Natasha Hunt, Sarah McKenna, Vicky Fleetwood.