Gollings set for Sevens kick-off
Ben Gollings believes the introduction of central contracts can spur England on to their first ever HSBC Sevens World Series title - and lay the foundation for long-term Olympic success.
Seven members of England's 12-man squad for the season-opening Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens, including captain Gollings, are contracted directly to the Rugby Football Union. As a result, England were able to lay the foundations for the season with a long summer training camp ahead of the Commonwealth Games and they arrived in Dubai with a settled squad.
"Continuity is the recipe for success and it is great for us to have continuity in our side for the first time in a long time," said Gollings, the IRB Sevens world record points scorer. "Central contracts have been a bit of an experiment for us but the RFU have seen it is the way forward."
He continued: "There has to be a purpose-built sevens programme to be successful and to move forward and to start really being strong contenders for Commonwealth Games, World Cups and now the Olympic Games.
"We are in a good position and I am hopeful it is something that will benefit us through the year. The Samoans had continuity last year and won the title. Hopefully we can do the same."
England finished a disappointing fourth at the Commonwealth Games but Gollings is convinced that frustration will only serve to motivate the squad further.
"We underperformed and to not have come away with at least a bronze was pretty disappointing," he said.
"There is not much we can do about it now apart from bounce back and make a go of the world series."
England tackle Fiji, Portugal and France in their pool.