England bank on experience for Dubai

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 12:59
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SEVENS SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Simon Amor has named an experienced England Sevens side for the opening tournament of the 2017/18 World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai on December 1-2.

Drawn in Pool B, the experienced group – captained by Tom Mitchell – will play Spain, France and Scotland on day one.

The squad features a strong contingent of players who consistently competed on the World Series last season and were instrumental to England’s second place finish.

Commenting ahead of Dubai, England Sevens head coach Simon Amor, said "There’s a lot of excitement about the Commonwealth Games and Rugby World Cup Sevens, which in addition to the World Series make this a huge season for sevens. For us to build momentum going into these pivotal tournaments it’s important for us to focus on giving our very best performance in Dubai as the number one priority.

"After a long pre-season for our senior players we’ve prepared well and want to kick-start this season in a really positive way,"

Harry Glover, who made his World Series debut in Las Vegas in March 2016, is named for Dubai with Amor adding: "After impressing on the World Series at the back end of last year and in the recent academy tournaments, it’s fantastic to have Harry Glover involved in the senior squad for Dubai.

"Harry has shown some outstanding touches as a player which we’re excited to see him translate onto the world stage in Dubai,"

Injuries to Dan Bibby (left arm) and Alex Davis (left hand) mean that the pair will not represent England for this tournament while they continue their rehabilitation.

"It’s disappointing that we have a couple of injuries in Alex and Dan who will both hopefully be back for Sydney and Hamilton, but this provides a great opportunity for Ben Howard who was brilliant for us in Munich at the Oktoberfest Sevens recently," said Amor. "We’re grateful to Worcester Warriors for their support in releasing Ben for his first World Series tournament,"

For the first time two men’s and women’s teams will travel to Dubai to represent the England Sevens programme across the World Series and invitational tournament. Captained by Charlie Hayter, the England Sevens men’s academy will compete under the banner of The Royals where they will play Free Sevens, Speranza 22, and Zambia 7s.

Commenting on the invitational tournament, Amor said: "This is a wonderful opportunity for us to defend the title that The Royals won last year out in Dubai, but more importantly our academy programme is set up to find and develop young talent both within and outside of the England Sevens programme.

"It’s great to get some of the university boys involved and the tournament will also provide Charlie Hayter with some consistent game time as he makes his return from injury,"

England Sevens: Tom Bowen, Phil Burgess, Richard de Carpentier, Will Edwards, Harry Glover, Ben Howard, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Tom Mitchell (Captain), Ruaridh McConnochie, Dan Norton, James Rodwell, Ethan Waddleton

England Sevens academy: Jordan Ainslie, Fin Dewar, George Di Cothi, Yaree Fantini, Lailand Gordon, Will Glover, Fergus Guiry, Charlie Hayter (captain), Charlie Kingham, Ryan Olowofela, Charlie Spawforth, Mason Tonks

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Fri, 23 February 2018
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Dragons v Edinburgh 19h30 Rodney Parade
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
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Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
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Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
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Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
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Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens