England 7s stick with continuity
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: England Sevens captain Tom Mitchell is one of six senior players to sign a new contract ahead of the seventh round of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Hong Kong.
Richard de Carpentier, Charlie Hayter, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Dan Norton and James Rodwell have also agreed new deals providing continuity throughout the Commonwealth Games, Rugby World Cup Sevens and beyond.
England are currently second in the series standings and set a new record for consecutively naming an unchanged squad for the first five tournaments of the season.
With Mitchell on 99 career tries and Norton level with Kenya’s Collins Injera as the world’s all-time leading try scorer on 244, there is the potential for further milestones to be reached in Hong Kong.
Following England’s tournament win in Vancouver, Lindsay-Hague returns to fitness and replaces Alex Davis who continues to recover from a knee injury.
Head coach Simon Amor said: "We have a very close group of players, both on and off the field, and their trust, togetherness and team-first attitude is reflected in performances. It is great to have six experienced players extend their commitment to the programme and to provide continuity for next season.
"As a squad, there is real potential, desire and work ethic to be better. We were pleased with the win and our day two performances in Vancouver but there are many areas of our game we want to improve upon, particularly the consistency of our play across the whole weekend,"
England have been drawn in a pool with South Korea, Samoa and Australia and Amor added: "The Hong Kong Stadium is incredible so we want to be ready to take in the amazing atmosphere. We hugely value the expat support and will work hard to put in our best performances of the year across all three tournament days,"
Players from the England Sevens Academy will be competing for various invitational teams in the Hong Kong Tens next week before attending the World Series event.
"We are one England Sevens programme and this is a great opportunity for the younger players to again experience a different environment and test themselves against a good standard of competition before supporting and learning from watching the senior group,"
England Sevens Squad: Dan Bibby, Tom Bowen, Phil Burgess, Richard de Carpentier, Charlie Hayter, Charlton Kerr, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Ruaridh McConnochie, Tom Mitchell (captain), Dan Norton, James Rodwell, Ethan Waddleton