Phillips ends three-year absence

Fri, 07 Dec 2012 13:43
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Ollie Phillips returns to the England side after a three-year absence, for the third leg of the IRB Sevens World Series in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Ollie Phillips returns to the England side after a three-year absence, for the third leg of the IRB Sevens World Series in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

The 2009 IRB International Player of the Year missed out on last weekend's Dubai Sevens following the recurrence of a calf injury on the eve of the tournament.

But he takes over from Tom Mitchell - who broke his right leg last weekend - in the one change to the 12-man squad for the South Africa Sevens in PE.

"Ollie's worked very hard to get himself fit and I know he was extremely disappointed he didn't make it last weekend," said coach Ben Ryan.

"We're delighted to have him back. He has a great deal of experience, communicates well and I'm sure he'll add something extra for us."

England missed out on the quarterfinals of the Cup competition in Dubai, but showed some encouraging signs on Day Two when they beat Australia 40-12 and Spain 26-5.

They also have Dan Norton running into form and on top of the series try-scoring charts. The former Bristol and Gloucester wing is now four tries away from a century of touchdowns for England.

The draw for Port Elizabeth has given England another tough mission.

They face 2012 champions New Zealand, runners-up Fiji and Scotland in the pool stages.

"It's another tough pool to get out of but if we can do that we'll be in a good place," said Ryan.

"The lads are very focused on what's ahead and we know we've got to play well to get into the quarter finals but the challenge is something we'll relish."

England: Dan Bibby , John Brake, Chris Brightwell, James Lightfoot-Brown, Ollie Marchon, Dan Norton, Ollie Phillips, Tom Powell, James Rodwell, Rob Vickerman (captain), Marcus Watson, Jeff Williams.

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