England rely on Commonwealth Games stars
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: England coach Simon Amor has named the 12 players who will represent their country at the Sevens World Cup in San Francisco from July 20 to 22.
The squad includes 10 members of the bronze medal-winning team at the recent Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and six players who represented Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympics where they secured silver.
Tom Mitchell will captain the team in what will be his second Sevens World Cup after he and fellow teammates Mike Ellery, all-time leading try scorer Dan Norton and England Sevens’ most capped player James Rodwell reached the final in Moscow 2013.
The experienced outfit is complemented with two members of the England Sevens Academy squad: Will Edwards and Will Muir, who has recently joined the England Sevens programme after graduating from Northumbria University.
Edwards made his World Series debut with the England Sevens in Vancouver 2017 where England won the tournament, and recently captained a senior England side to Cup victory at the Mitsubishi Motors Exeter 7s on 7-8 July.
England, who are seeded fourth in the World Cup behind South Africa, Fiji and New Zealand will play their first game on Saturday, July 21, against the winner of the encounter between Samoa v Uganda.
The tournament, which will be held at AT&T Park, follows a straight knock-out format meaning that teams will have to win every match to be crowned World Cup winners.
“We’ve selected a very exciting team for the Sevens World Cup,” England coach Simon Amor said.
“There have been some outstanding performances across the board recently and this is backed up by the team’s consistency. Achieving five podium finishes since the Commonwealth Games demonstrates that we’re in a good place going into this World Cup.
“We’ve got a very quick team and one that gives us lots of options in terms of the style of rugby that we can play, and we’re really looking forward to putting this into action in San Francisco.
“The way that Will Edwards and Will Muir have progressed over the past two tournaments has been exceptional and we’re really impressed with the way that they’ve performed to fight their way into this World Cup squad.
“The knock-out format of this competition makes it incredibly exciting and high-pressured, and to play at an iconic baseball stadium and in a city that we haven’t played in before makes this a unique experience that we’re fully embracing.”
Dan Bibby, Ethan Waddleton, Ryan Olowofela and Tom Bowen were unavailable for selection due to injury with Amor adding: “Obviously we’re really disappointed to have picked up injuries to Dan Bibby and Ethan Waddleton in Exeter and Ryan Olowofela and Tom Bowen in Marcoussis but despite that, we’re fortunate to have such a talented squad which has made selection very difficult.”
England secured their spot for San Francisco as one of the eight quarterfinalists from the last Sevens World Cup in Moscow 2013.
England: Phil Burgess, Alex Davis, Richard de Carpentier, Will Edwards, Mike Ellery, Harry Glover, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Ruaridh McConnochie, Tom Mitchell (captain), ill Muir, Dan Norton, James Rodwell.