Loughborough Lightning have extended the contract of double Olympian Abbie Brown.
The exciting fullback joined Lightning in 2020 having already represented Team GB 7s in both the Rio Olympics in 2016 and again in Tokyo four years later.
Brown enjoyed a lengthy period in the World Sevens Series for England and won a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games aged only 24.
Her leadership qualities saw her captain her country in 7s, including into the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, and she led them to a 29-5 win over Scotland in the fifth place play-off.
Alongside her illustrious 7s career, the 27-year-old has also been involved in the XVs setup and made her international debut in 2015 against Wales in the Six Nations and has earned five caps to date.
“It was an easy decision for me to re-sign,” Brown said. “The support I’ve had from the Club during Covid and getting back into the England Sevens has been key to me.
“Having spoken to Nathan [Smith, Head Coach] and Gally [James Gallagher, Rugby Programme Manager] they still want to support me this year while I am still involved with the Sevens programme, which is really important to me. To be a part of something outside of the Sevens is really important to me.
“After a couple of tough seasons I think the Club is in a really amazing position. Joining up with Northampton Saints is a big thing and the women’s game in general is in a great position at the moment.”Abbie Brown
“It’s great to be playing all our home games at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, the stadium is amazing and so is the pitch! Playing there you hit wider audiences and I think it’s important we continue to mix with Saints as we continue to build that relationship further into the future.”
Lightning head coach Nathan Smith added: “We're really lucky to have Abbie within our environment. We hope that we can develop her as a player as much as possible.
"Her experience of high-performance environments is only going to add to the programme at Loughborough Lightning. She is a great role model for the younger players coming through. They can see the behaviours of a high-performance athlete and know the behaviours that they need to model.
"First and foremost, Abbie is a world-class Sevens player, what she can bring to the 15s game is very similar with her skillset in terms of exploiting the space in front of her and being really exciting with the ball, looking to beat a defender through her pace or outwit a defender with her ball-handling ability.”
Brown joins a raft of Lightning stars to recommit to the Club ahead of the new season – with Sadia Kabeya, Helena Rowland, Cath O’Donnell, Rachel Malcolm, Helen Nelson, Christine Belisle, Emma Wassell, Jenny Maxwell, Bulou Mataitoga, Carys Williams-Morris, Chloe Rollie, Emma Hardy and Daisy Hibbert-Jones all already putting pen to paper on new contracts.
For the first time this season, all of Lightning’s home Premiership Women’s Rugby league matches will be played at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens.
Season tickets start from just £60 adult / £45 adult terrace / £25 junior (under-18s), with a special discounted rate available for Saints Season Ticket Holders, Saints Members, and those who purchased a Lightning ticket bundle during the 2022/23 campaign.