England Sevens hunting fifth Dubai title
NEWS: England Sevens skipper Tom Mitchell believes his team can improve on last year's eight-place finish at the Sevens Series opener in Dubai on Friday.
Mitchell insists those of his team who were involved in Great Britain’s success at the Rio Olympics, can draw from the experiences it gave.
"For all the England players involved in that GB journey, it was a really good experience in terms of training in a high-level environment with new players coming in," said Mitchell. "We learned a lot about ourselves as rugby players.
"We are super excited to get going, it has felt like quite a long break since everything that happened in the summer, so we are really itching to take the field as an England squad,"
The Men’s team have won the Dubai Sevens on four occasions, in; 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2011, achievements Mitchell and co will be aiming to repeat.
"Historically it has always been an amazing tournament for us. We are very fortunate to get a lot of support out there, and there is always a brilliant atmosphere for us," Mitchell added.
"Running out onto that field, especially in the evening games when the lights are on and the crowd is really excited and gets behind you, is a very special feeling,"
England men will be joined in Dubai by the Women’s and Academy outfits - who start their campaigns on Thursday and Friday respectively - an arrangement Mitchell is in favour of.
"We really like the opportunity to watch them play, and cheer them on," he said.
"It is brilliant that the academy boys get the opportunity to test themselves in that tournament also; it is a great chance to pitch themselves in a high-level environment,"