South Shields rugby star Katy McLean in Team GB Olympic squad

Katy McLean (left, pictured with fellow Darlington & England star Tamara Taylor) is off to Rio
Katy McLean (left, pictured with fellow Darlington & England star Tamara Taylor) is off to Rio

Katy McLean will fly the flag for South Shields in Rio after being named in the Women's Rugby Sevens squad.

The British Olympic Association today officially announced the names of the 24 men and women who will compete in rugby sevens at Rio 2016.

Rugby returns to the Olympics for the first time since 1924 while it will be the first time in 108 years that Team GB has had representation in rugby at the games.

McLean is a women's rugby legend, having skippered England to World Cup glory in 2014 in France.

But for the Darlington Mowden Park Sharks stand-off this is a dream come true after the 30-year-old had targeted a place in the Olympic team.

Katy, a former school teacher in Sunderland, has been a full-time pro for the last two years.

Olympic competition takes place over six days with the women competing first from August 6-8 at the Deodoro Stadium in a pool which includes hosts Brazil, Japan and Canada.

Emily Scarratt will captain the women’s squad which features a number of experienced names from England’s 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup winning side and the squad who have competed in the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series last season as professional athletes.

The women’s squad, who have been training full time as a wider GB group since October last year, have played in invitational and training tournaments around the globe this season alongside England’s exploits on the circuit, in which they won the Langford event.

The men’s competition follows from August 9-11 with Kenya, Japan and New Zealand waiting in the pool stages for Team GB.

Newcastle Falcons wing Marcus Watson has been named in the men's squad.

Squads are listed below with the player's home town.

Men’s Squad

Mark Bennett, 23, Glasgow

Dan Bibby, 25, Putney

Phil Burgess, 28, Farnborough

Sam Cross, 23, Newport

Alex Davis, 23, Bristol

James Davies, 25, Carmarthen

Ollie Lindsay Hague, 25, London

Tom Mitchell, 27, Wandsworth

Dan Norton, 28, Bristol

James Rodwell, 31, Cotteridge

Mark Robertson, 31, Galashiels

Marcus Watson, 25, Weybridge

Travelling reserves:

Luke Treharne, 23, Llanelli

Ruaridh McConnochie, 24, Kingston upon Thames

Women’s Squad

Claire Allan, 31, Ealing

Abbie Brown, 20, Exeter

Heather Fisher, 32, Birmingham

Natasha Hunt, 27, Gloucester

Jasmine Joyce, 20, Haverfordwest

Katy McLean, 30, South Shields

Alice Richardson, 29, Worcester

Emily Scarratt, 26, Leicester

Emily Scott, 24, Corringham

Danielle Waterman, 31, Bristol

Joanne Watmore, 29, Chester

Amy Wilson-Hardy, 24, Poole

Travelling reserves:

Megan Jones, 19, Cardiff

Kay Wilson, 24, Caterham