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England win first World Deaf 7s

The first World Deaf Sevens took place in Sydney 23rd/24th April. 

The hope was that tournament would include women’s teams from four countries, plus a Barbarians side, but costs and visa restrictions have resulted in there being just two teams – England and Australia, who will play a four-game series for the Betty Steele Trophy.

Although disappointing, this will still be the first ever international series for deaf women, something which deaf players have been working towards for around a decade. Originally the aim was to organise deaf rugby tests, but In 2016 the World Deaf Rugby Conference in Auckland decided the best way forward for Deaf Rugby was to promote sevens for the practical reason that it requires fewer players. As it is the Australian squad for this series only has eight players.

The games were played at the David Phillips Field in Daceyville, Sydney.

Results

23rd April: Australia 0-32 England, Australia 10-19 England, Australia 10-17 England

24th April: Australia 0-20 England, Australia 0-22 England, 

Squads

Australia: Peta Stevens; Aisha Maria Hitaua; Oshin Slinn; Rona Lazo; Hayley Martin; Samantha Martin; Jamie Howell; Lauren Townsend.  Coach: Alanna Patison

England: Amy Louise Whittaker; Rebecca Francis; Christina Tulley; Gloria Mills; Jeni Kingman; Jodie Ounsley; Lynn Bryant; Ruth Dives; Sharn-Louise Watson; Steph Hanratty; Lyndsey Phillips; Gina Rodi-Laquaniello.  Coach: Ben Mousley