Sporting Digest: Rugby Union

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AN UNSEEDED President's VII, including six of the players who helped England to victory in the inaugural World Cup Sevens last year, will face Ireland and Singapore in the the Hong Kong Sevens next month. Nick Beal, Lawrence Dallaglio, Damian Hopley, David Scully, Chris Sheasby and Tim Rodber from the winning England squad will be joined by compatriots Ben Clarke and Tony Underwood and the Welsh internationals, Ieuan Evans and Tony Clement. Their management team, Geoff Cooke and Les Cusworth, were given permission to form an invitation side, after England declined to send an official team.

CATHAY PACIFIC / HONG KONG BANK INVITATION SEVENS (Hong Kong, starting 26 March) First-round draw (round robin): Group A: Western Samoa, US Eagles, Sri Lanka. Group B: Ireland, President's XII, Singapore. Group C: Scotland, Argentina, Hong Kong. Group D: Australia, Japan, Taiwan. Group E: New Zealand, Tonga, Malaysia. Group F: France, Romania, Papua New Guinea. Group G: South Africa, Canada, Thailand. Group H: Fiji, Korea, Portugal. (Group winners proceed to cup competition on 27 March).

PAUL McCARTHY, the Cork Constitution tight head, has pulled out of the Ireland A team to meet England A at Richmond today because of a hamstring strain. His place in the front row goes to Peter Millar, of Ballymena, and Angus McKeen, of Lansdowne, joins the replacements' bench instead of Millar.

GLOUCESTER have signed the lock, Chris Raymond, and the flanker, John Morris, from Moseley.

ENGLAND WOMEN'S XV (v France, Wolverhampton, today): P George; C Stennett, C Vyvyan, G Prangnell (all Wasps), A Cole; K Almond (capt), E Mitchell (all Saracens); J Mangham (Waterloo), N Ponsford (Clifton), S Ewing (Wasps), S Wenn (Clifton), H Stirrup (Wasps), J Ross (Saracens), G Shore (Wasps), G Burns (Waterloo).