Thursday, 15 July 2010

England release probables list for CWG Rugby

England have named an initial 17-man training squad preparing to take part in the Rugby Sevens at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi (October 11-12).

The experienced group features 13 players who appeared in the IRB Sevens World Series last season, including world record points scorer Ben Gollings, the sole survivor from Melbourne 2006 when England were silver medallists.

The squad includes five players who have featured on the UR7s backed National Seven Series; Dan Norton (Samurai) John Brake (Samurai), Simon Hunt (Samurai), Alex Cheesman (GB Students), and uncapped Miles Mantella (White Hart Marauders).

Seven of the group were in the teams that clinched memorable wins at Wellington and the London Sevens in 2009.

The intensive 12-week training programme – based at the National Sports Centre at Bisham Abbey and the Lensbury Club in Teddington – includes England’s first ever appearance at the Middlesex Sevens playing as a Help For Heroes side on August 14.

Head coach Ben Ryan will work with additional players before the final team is nominated in September and England then go to New Delhi where the Sevens event takes place on October 11 and 12. They face Australia, Namibia and Sri Lanka in the pool stages.

“I’m very pleased with this initial training squad and we’ll also look at more players during the build-up before we nominate our team,” said Ryan.

“We’ve got experience, we’ve got youth and we have the expertise of taking part in big competitions. It gives us the backbone you need to bring through some exciting young players."

Fitter & Faster

“This is the longest time we’ve ever had together and with that comes greater understanding and the ability to train to play in different ways against different teams and within individual games.

“It will also have a great impact on our conditioning. Sevens players are specialised athletes and our aim is to be fitter, faster and in better shape than we’ve ever been.

“We’ve made great strides in applying new technology to what we’re doing and we work in partnership with bodies like UK Sport to make sure we are pushing back the boundaries in terms of our physical, technical and tactical preparation.

"Learning from others and creating synergy with other sports is very important to us and we’re looking forward to being an integral part of the England team at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, then in Glasgow in 2014 and as part of the build-up to Rugby Sevens inclusion in the Olympics in 2016.

“The objective for these players now is to get selected and then to deliver for a winning England team at the Commonwealth Games.

"There will big guns in New Delhi like New Zealand, who have won three gold medals since Rugby Sevens was introduced to the Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, which means we’re certainly not going to be the favourites.
"But we believe and trust in the players selected and that our preparation will be right going to Delhi so that we’ll be in the best possible shape when we’re on the start line."

Commonwealth Games Training Group:

Greg Barden (Royal Navy), Kevin Barrett (Saracens), John Brake, Dan Caprice, Alex Cheesman (Oxford University)
Chris Cracknell, Isoa Damudamu (British Army), Ben Gollings, Simon Hunt (Birmingham and Solihull), Ollie Lindsay-Hague (Harlequins)*, Miles Mantella (Harlequins), Dan Norton (Bristol Rugby), Tom Powell, James Rodwell, Nick Royle, Mathew Turner, Christian Wade (London Wasps)

Commonwealth Games Rugby Sevens, October 11-12

Pool A: New Zealand, Scotland, Canada, Guyana
Pool B: South Africa, Wales, Tonga, India
Pool C: Samoa, Kenya, Uganda, Papua New Guinea
Pool D: England, Australia, Namibia, Sri Lanka


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