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Makarska Women's 7s Players to Watch

The city of Makarska is braced for an action-packed, sun-drenched weekend, and tied in with some top-class 7s rugby will also be on the menu for those watching at the ground or broadcast.

France will be looking to retain their crown that they deservedly claimed last year, and with the small matter of the Olympic Games on the horizon, there is a real opportunity for players to push for places, whether it be in the Repechage or in Paris itself. Here are our twelve players to follow in Croatia.

Cécile Blondiau (Belgium)

Leader, fan favorite, raging tackler, and a brutal ball carrier, that’s Cécile Blondiau, one of the biggest names in the Rugby Europe 7s series. She has made an ever-lasting impact on her national side, helping Belgium climb the ladder and become one of the fiercest teams in the European continent, as her relentless spirit and aggressive mindset have pushed them closer to glory.

Amaia Erbina (Spain)

Spain has produced some of the finest 7s talent in the last ten years, and Amaia Erbina deserves to be considered as one of them, not only because of her devotion to her team but also for the tenacity and aggression she applies to every ball contest, two skills vital in a 7s contest. She will again take the lead in her side, and if Spain dares to dream of reaching the title, they will need Erbina ready for the challenge.

Don’t be surprised to see Spain go far this year after finishing their World Series campaign on a high by retaining their spot on the circuit for next season, too.

Natalia Pamieta (Poland)

The Polish legend, Natalia Pamieta has been a trailblazer since her first step onto the 7s pitch, as her stern leadership, honed kicking skills and wisdom has been the bedrock for their recent success. She never looks down or accepts defeat, which inspires her teammates to fight until the final whistle.  

Romane Ménager (France)

Romane Ménager… do you recognize the name, fans of the Women’s game? If you are not familiar with her, she is a trailblazer in French rugby, having helped the XV-a-side to add two Six Nations Grand Slams, and was chosen as one of the best in the 2024 edition of the European tournament. She will make her Rugby Europe Championship 7s debut in Makarska, so be sure to not miss a single play coming out of Ménager’s hands! 

Rhona Lloyd (Great Britain)

Scoring tries and making incoming tacklers eat dust, are two areas that Rhona Llloyd has become an expert, and rugby fans are eagerly anticipating in the Rugby Europe 7s series. She finished as one of the top try scorers of the 2022 season, helping Great Britain conquer a couple of big victories over the last two seasons. She is back in the mix and will be looking to nail down her starting spot in the Great Britain team ahead of Paris 2024.

Anežka Sládková (Czechia)

Anežka Sládková has been a superb entertainer of the Women’s Rugby Europe Championship 7s series for the past three seasons, and, having finished in the best team of the season in 2023, she will want to do it yet again in 2024.

Kate Farrell McCabe (Ireland)

A World Series veteran, the 29-year-old has played an important role in the 7s roster and will captain the Irish side in the first leg of the Championship 7s Series. McCabe has carved up a reputation as a hard worker and passionate teammate, ready to go the extra mile if it means helping her team get closer to their victory song, outpacing any obstacle that comes her way.

Inês Spínola (Portugal)

Electrifying feet? Yes. Monster tactical awareness? Yes. Game-changing ability? Yes. Portugal’s Inês Spínola is an entertainer ready to get fans off their seats as she punches holes in any opposition defence and will be a standout unit from start to finish. She has impressed in the last two seasons, and she won’t skip a beat in 2024, be sure of that.

Sedanur Bolat (Türkiye)

Türkiye might be one of the youngest rugby nations out there, but it doesn't mean they don't have more than a couple of spectacular players, such as Sedanur Bolat. The 23-year-old was a firecracker for the Turkish team in 2023, scoring more than a handful of tries to help her country finish second in the Trophy Series behind Ukraine and win a promotion to the Championship.

Francesca Granzotto (Italy)

Francesca Granzotto has steadily become one of Italy’s breakthrough stars since 2023, as her prowess to catch tacklers off-guard can be vital for her team to fight and dare dream to finish on the top half of the table. A scrum half by nature, Granzotto has been honing her dark arts skills, which can pop a couple of thumping moments in any match.

Nataliia Mazur (Ukraine)

Ukraine’s captain and a proud servant of the game, Nataliia Mazur will win everyone’s hearts and minds, as she encapsulates the very best of what is to be a rugby player. Mazur never gives up, refusing to throw the towel on the floor, as she is always looking for a way to turn the tide for her team.

Gesine Adler (Germany)

We couldn’t leave out the great Gesine Adler, as the German enforcer has been a rock-solid member of the Women’s Schwarze Adler 7s for the past five seasons. Closing down gaps, taking down rivals, and clawing her way into the breakdown to score a turnover for her side, these are just some of the areas of the game that Adler excels, in and that Germany needs to finish close to the top.

By Francisco Isaac

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