Find Rugby Now team captain Elaine Gelman insists her side can take plenty of positives despite falling short of lifting silverware in the inaugural 24/Sevens national final.
Find Rugby Now headed to Allianz Park, home of European and Premiership champions Saracens, to compete alongside five other teams after being successful at one of four regional qualifiers earlier this month.
Run by England Rugby, 24/Sevens is an exciting new community sevens series that aims to grow rugby and increase participation among men and women in clubs.
England Rugby hosted the final of both the men and women’s competitions, all of whom had to beat the best in their region to progress.
And while Find Rugby Now were unable to emerge as champions, Gelman described the experience of playing at such a famous venue as one of the best in her rugby career.
“We are an invitational team that was started four years ago comprising of girls from all round the country,” she said.
“It gives women the chance to play sevens at a higher level. We do a lot of international tournaments and all round the country.
“We knew the day was going to be tough with arguably the six best teams in England playing.
“We expected it to be hard.
“We went out and tried to do our best and we were proud of our efforts.
“This tournament was great for women’s rugby and we are proud to be a part of it.
“It was a huge achievement for us to be here and to come fifth was great.”
Less than two weeks now remain until the Olympic Games get underway in Rio where rugby sevens makes its Games debut, with Team GB competing in both the men’s and women’s competition.
And after strutting her stuff in the national final of the 24/Sevens tournament, Gelman believes it is great to see the game growing at all levels.
“Starting from the changing rooms to the pitches, the facilities were great. But what we enjoyed most was the sharing the stage with the men’s team,” she said.
“It was an opportunity to showcase women’s rugby and they gave women and men the same stage on which to show what they can do.
“This tournament is providing a structure for women’s sevens in this country which is sadly missing. Women’s sevens has really come on in the last few years.”
England Rugby 24/Sevens, a new exciting grassroots sevens competition for all rugby teams, welcoming anyone who just wants to pick up a ball and run, for fun or glory.
Visit www.englandrugby.com/24sevens to get involved