City rugby star Hancock tipped to shine at international level
CITY rugby player Kate Hancock has all the attributes needed for a successful England career, according to Plymouth Albion team-mate Vee Thompson.
The flame-haired utility back, a potent weapon in Albion's title-winning campaign this season, has been called up to the England squad for the Amsterdam Sevens this weekend.
Thompson reckons that Hancock, who is also playing for Worcester, is in the right place to enhance her England claims.
The Albion spokeswoman said: "She's in the Super Four set up, which means she's in the pool of the top 44 players in the country.
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"She's just been selected for the England Sevens, so she's in the right place.
"Hopefully, she can push on and show England what she can do in the sevens."
Thompson added: "She's a fantastic utility back. She can play number 10, full-back – anywhere you put her, she's going to score tries."
Thompson admitted she was harbouring hopes Hancock would return from Worcester to play for Albion next year.
She said: "We (Albion) tailed off a bit at the end of last season when Kate wasn't available.
"She's still got another year at university in Plymouth, so I'm hoping she will want to come back and play for us.
"There's a possibility, perhaps, that she will be able to dual-sign for both us and Worcester."
Albion won the Championship South West Two division, having finished second the season before.
They badly missed Hancock in the promotion play-offs for a place in Championship South Two, losing to South East winners Aylesford.
Hancock is a newcomer to the squad, having progressed through the RFUW Regional Programme and the RFUW Sevens Development Squad.
She is replacing the injured Kay Wilson.
Twelve international teams will compete for the coveted Amsterdam Sevens crown and England will face the USA, South Africa and Wales in Pool A. Pool B pits Canada, Spain, France and newcomers Ireland against each other, with the final pool seeing hosts Holland take on Australia, Germany and Scotland.
Head coach Barry Maddocks described Hancock as an 'exciting young player'.
Maddocks said he wanted to develop as deep a pool of players as possible in readiness for the rugby World Cup Sevens tournament next year.
He added: "Kate has proved herself in the RFUW Sevens Development Squad and also impressed at the recent RFUW Open Sevens Trials."