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England and Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson named in GB Sevens training squad

Published 12/05/2016

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Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson is England's only full Test international in the GB Sevens training squad that will build towards the Rio Olympics.

The 27-year-old half-back joins Welsh 15s stars Cory Allen and James Davies, Scotland centre Mark Bennett, Harlequins' Ollie Lindsay-Hague and Newcastle's Marcus Watson in the 25-man training squad selected by boss Simon Amor.

England Sevens stars Dan Norton and Tom Mitchell and Scotland Sevens duo Mark Robertson and Scott Riddell number among 19 short-format specialists.

Head coach Amor's training squad will convene on May 30 for a seven-week intensive training programme including four international competitions.

The final 12-strong Team GB squad for the Olympics will be announced on July 19.

"We have watched a significant amount of footage throughout the season of 15-a-side players and every sevens game from England, Scotland and Wales," said head coach Amor.

"Exciting talent was available to us and competition for places was tough. "We're now really looking forward to bringing this group together as one team and creating an incredible Great Britain spirit.

"One of the main strengths of the players who have been named is their aggressive style of play in both attack and defence.

"Looking at how the games are won at the top level at the moment, it is very much about that physicality, teams who are fearless in the way they play.

"For the 15s players aiming to make that transition, recent sevens experience at the top level was important given how much the world of sevens rugby has progressed in the last three to four years.

"We were also targeting players in certain key positions to add strength in depth and complement the qualities of the specialists we already have."

GB Sevens training squad: C Allen (Cardiff Blues), M Bennett (Glasgow Warriors), D Bibby (England Sevens), T Bowen (England Sevens), P Burgess (England Sevens), S Cross (Wales Sevens), J Davies (Scarlets), A Davis (England Sevens), R de Carpentier (England Sevens), J Farndale (Scotland Sevens), A Gray (England Sevens), C Hayter (England Sevens), W Lahmert (England Sevens), O Lindsay-Hague (Harlequins), G Lowe (Scotland Sevens), R McConnochie (England Sevens), T Mitchell (England Sevens), L Morgan (Wales Sevens), D Norton (England Sevens), S Riddell (Scotland Sevens), M Robertson (Scotland Sevens), J Rodwell (England Sevens), J Simpson (Wasps), L Treharne (Wales Sevens), M Watson (Newcastle Falcons).

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