Eng Sevens go with experience
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: England Sevens have named an experienced squad for the first tournament of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai next week.
The experienced group, captained by Tom Mitchell, will play Samoa, Russia and New Zealand on Day One.
"It is a very physical pool so we need to match that but be smart in playing to our strengths," said head coach Simon Amor.
"The first tournament is always an interesting one as new coaches and players bring different styles and create unknown challenges.
"It has been three months or more since the guys have played a competitive tournament. This time has allowed for a good break and for some players to have operations to clear up niggles and work towards full fitness.
"The squad are very much looking forward to getting out there, giving their best in front of the expat supporters, and making England proud."
Ethan Waddleton, who captained the England Sevens Academy to victory at the Singapore Cricket Club Sevens earlier this month, is also named for Dubai. The 19-year-old earned his first cap on the World Series in Wellington and featured in a further four tournaments last season.
"Ethan is a dynamic player, one of the stand-out academy players from last year, and he showed excellent leadership in captaining a young team in Singapore," Amor added. "As he continues to build experience, we're looking forward to seeing what he can offer alongside the seniors."
The England Sevens Academy will also travel to Dubai to compete in the invitational tournament under the banner of The Royals where they will play Les Blues Sevens and Georgia Sevens on December 2.
"The England Sevens Academy programme is fundamental to our Sevens player pathway strategy, as we continue finding and developing young, exciting talent. There is a strong England Sevens spirit, which we have seen in training, and with both teams competing in the same location the players are looking forward to having the opportunity to support each other in competition."
England Sevens squad: Dan Bibby, Tom Bowen, Phil Burgess, Alex Davis, Richard de Carpentier, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Charlie Hayter, Ruaridh McConnochie, Tom Mitchell (captain), Dan Norton, James Rodwell, Ethan Waddleton.