Natasha 'Mo' Hunt moves a step closer to Rio with training squad call-up

By Liam Ryder   |   Sports Reporter   |
Wednesday 18th May 2016 1:40 pm
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IN THE RUNNING: Natasha Hunt.

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ENGLAND Sevens mainstay Natasha ’Mo’ Hunt has been called up to the Team GB Olympic training squad ahead of rugby’s debut in Rio this summer.

Hunt, a former Drybrook RFC scrum-half and Dene Magna School student, has been named consistently in the women’s sevens squad since 2014, when she was one of 20 players who were given professional contracts by the RFU.

The move came after Hunt and former Squirrels clubmate Ceri Large won the 2014 World Cup in Paris.

Last month, Hunt was a member of the all-conquering sevens side who won the Langford, Canada leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series.

A former teacher, Hunt is one of 21 England players named in the squad by head coach Simon Middleton, with Jasmine Joyce of Wales and Scotland’s Stephanie Johnson the only players from outside England.

Speaking after the win in Canada, Middleton warned that the GB side would be ’serious contenders’ for a medal in Brazil this summer.

“We’ve found a groove,” said Middleton.

“We’ve found a style of play to get the best out of players, there is still a long way to go and a lot of fine tuning. It’s all about improving on where we are.

“It’s good to demonstrate to your opponents that you’re going to be a real threat. We’ve been building over the past 18 months and everyone is now aware that if we play the brand of rugby we want, we are going to be serious contenders in Rio.”

Team GB will partake in tournaments in Kazan, Russia in June and an invitational event in Tignes, in July. The final squad must be whittled down to 12 members by July 19.

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