Rhona Lloyd scores hat-trick to put her hand up for Olympic selection for Great Britain sevens

Scotland flyer Rhona Lloyd “exceeded expectations” and did her chances of going to Tokyo in July no harm at all as she returned from a hip injury to run in six tries for Great Britain during an Olympic sevens preparation event.

Rhona Lloyd scored a hat-trick for the Team GB sevens team against Ireland. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS

Edinburgh-born Lloyd, 24, was among the six Scots women and seven Scots men involved as both squads had their first competitive hit-outs at St George’s Park in Burton upon Trent on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The women won three, drew one and lost two against France and Ireland while the men won four and lost two against Ireland and the USA as former Scotland Sevens cap Scott Forrest, the GB women’s head coach, and GB men’s head coach Tony Roques ran the rule over their Tokyo hopefuls.

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With the schedule pre-Japan still in doubt due to the pandemic, all players involved knew they had to take their opportunity to shine - and Loughborough Lightning’s Lloyd certainly did that.

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Having missed the recent Six Nations with a hip flexor issue, she battled back to full fitness before this competition and showed that she has pace to burn.

Lloyd scored one try against France on day one, two against Ireland on day two and then a hat-trick against Ireland on Monday.

“Rhona exceeded expectations over the last three days,” Forrest said.

“She didn’t train with us in the first few weeks of camp because of her injury, but she worked very hard to get herself back on the pitch and going into this event there was no pressure on her from me.

“To go out and do what she did was brilliant and she showed real energy and awareness for some of those scores, she is an infectious person in this group.”

Lisa Thomson and Hannah Smith both scored two tries apiece while fellow Scots Chloe Rollie, Helen Nelson and Megan Gaffney were involved too.

Jamie Farndale scored two tries for the men as did Max McFarland while Sam Pecqueur and Ross McCann also crossed and Robbie Fergusson, Paddy Kelly and Alec Coombes also earned some game time.

The Olympic sevens runs from July 26-31 with the finalised squads likely to be announced as late as possible.

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