Daily Digest: Man City look to close gap at top of the Women’s Super League

Man City Women

In today’s news: A look ahead to the weekend’s WSL action, Tammy Beaumont stars for England against New Zealand, and Great Britain announces equal pay structure.

GB Women Sevens’ side will earn the same as men at the Olympics

Great Britain’s Sevens teams will be on equal pay structures for the Olympics. The news comes the same day women’s coach Scott Forest named a 19-person training squad.

England’s Rugby Sevens players had previously been told to find other jobs because of the financial impact of the pandemic, but Great Britain’s new scheme has been partly funded thanks to a promotional deal with the National Lottery.

GB Sevens Squad

Forest has named a strong squad for the initial training camp, with England internationals Amy Wilson Hardy and Helena Rowland both selected. Wales’ Jasmine Joyce, along with Abbie Brown and Heather Fisher, are the only players in the squad to have featured at the Rio de Janeiro games in 2016.

Rugby Sevens was first introduced as an Olympic sport back in 2016, with Great Britain losing out to Canada in the bronze medal match.

Manchester City look to close gap at the top of the Women’s Super League

This weekend’s WSL fixtures will see second place Manchester City travel to Birmingham City as they aim to narrow the gap to Chelsea at the top of the table.

Chelsea are five points clear of City as it stands, but the Manchester club do have a game in hand, so a win on Sunday will reduce the deficit to just two.

Man City have been in scintillating form recently, scoring 14 goals in their last three WSL games and conceded just one. Eight members of their squad also starred for England in their 6-0 win against Northern Ireland on Wednesday.

Man City Women

Birmingham on the other hand are yet to win a game in 2021, and are currently just five points above the drop zone, although they have played three games less than last-placed Bristol City.

Last week, two unknown Birmingham players were reprimanded by the club for attending a party and breaching COVID-19 protocols. A statement by the club said the players “were reminded of their responsibilities and the severity of their actions.” The players involved were suspended for 10 days but are thought to be available for selection against Man City.

Mary Earps signs new Manchester United deal

Goalkeeper Mary Earps has signed a new two-year contract with Manchester United that will keep her at the club until 2023, with the option of a further year’s extension.

The 27-year-old, who has been capped eight times by England, has made 35 appearances in all competitions for United since joining the club in July 2019 from Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg.

Earps has started all 15 matches for United in the WSL this year, keeping the second-most clean sheets in the league behind Chelsea’s Ann-Katrin Berger.

Mary Earps

Speaking on her new deal, Earps said: “I’m delighted to extend my stay here; we’ve grown so much as a team in the last couple of years and that’s something I’m really looking forward to continuing.

“This team is capable of big things; I want to be playing Champions League football and to be competing for trophies and I know that ambition is shared across the squad. There is nowhere else I would want to be playing my football.”

England secure series with comfortable win over New Zealand

England comprehensively beat New Zealand by seven wickets in the second one-day international in Dunedin to secure a series victory with one game still to spare.

Nat Sciver took 3-26 for the tourists, who restricted New Zealand to 192 all-out, before Tammy Beaumont smashed her second consecutive half-century, finishing 72 not out as England won inside 38 overs. Sciver also added a half-century of her own, scoring 63 from just 61 balls as she was named player of the match.

The win was England’s 10th consecutive victory across all formats, with coach Lisa Keightly still unbeaten in competitive one-day internationals.

England now have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, with the final game taking place on Saturday at the University Oval in Dunedin.

George Fisher set to join Southern Steel in the ANZ Premiership

England Netball star George Fisher will join ANZ Premiership side Southern Steel after her New Zealand visa application was finally approved.

Fisher’s move to the New Zealand side was announced last September, but her first two applications for a visa were initially denied, with Immigration New Zealand pushing Southern Steel to prove Fisher’s transfer was crucial to the organisation.

The 22-year-old — who won back-to-back titles with Wasps Netball in 2017 and 2018 — will now join up with the Steel later in March before the domestic season gets underway on April 18th.

Speaking about her move on Twitter, Fisher said: “[It’s] been a long process but what an outcome. I’m finally able to say I’m actually going to join Southern Steel in New Zealand. I’m so excited and blessed for everyone that has helped me make this happen. Thank you and see you all soon.”

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