England star Kildunne to join GB Sevens ahead of Olympics

England's star fullback Ellie Kildunne said on Saturday that she will join up with Team GB's Sevens setup with the aim of making the team ahead of the Paris Olympics this summer.

Kildunne, the Women's Six Nations' leading try scorer (nine), lifted the championship trophy with her teammates on Saturday following the Red Roses' 42-21 win over France in Bordeaux.

England's victory secured their sixth consecutive Six Nations title and third straight Grand Slam.

"I've got an opportunity to train with the Sevens group with the Olympics around the corner," Kildunne told the BBC's Rugby Union Weekly podcast.

"I'm going into that group fancying my chances to see where I can get. It's another opportunity to grow and I haven't been in Sevens for a while so I'm just looking forward to being in a new environment and find different levels to my game."

Kildunne, 24 was involved in Team GB's setup ahead of the Tokyo Olympics but opted to withdraw in order to pursue a a professional XVs contract.

England rugby introduced 28 full-time, permanent, professional contracts to players in 2019, with that figure increasing to 32 in July 2023.

"I've wanted it ever since I was in the Sevens before," Kildunne said. I had to take a step away from it when the contracts came up around COVID and that broke my heart because I wasn't too far away from the Olympics.

"It's always something I've wanted to do and I want to be the best player in the world, man or woman, and I think that comes from experiences."

Kildunne also said that "a couple of others" from the Six Nations-winning squad are also in line to join up with the Sevens team, but declined to confirm who would join her.

Team GB's women's Sevens side qualified for the Olympics after winning the gold medal at the European Games last summer.