Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

No changes to England sevens squad

Ben Ryan has named an unchanged squad

England head coach Ben Ryan has named an unchanged squad for this weekend's Marriott London Sevens at Twickenham.

Ryan keeps faith with the 12-man group that secured third spot in Glasgow last week in the penultimate round of this season's HSBC World Series.

England moved up to eighth in the overall standings as a result and Ryan will look for continued improvement on home soil.

The world series title race is already done and dusted with New Zealand an unassailable 29 points clear of South Africa, with Fiji third, Samoa fourth and Kenya fifth. Wales, sixth overall, have been drawn in a tough London group alongside New Zealand, Kenya and Canada, while England are bracketed with Fiji, Samoa and Argentina.

Rob Vickerman again captains England and Tom Mitchell starts his second successive tournament after returning from a five-month injury absence as the hosts look to continue building ahead of next month's sevens World Cup in Moscow.

"We suffered some small injuries over the Glasgow weekend but thankfully they have all recovered well enough to be considered for selection," Ryan said.

"Not having a long flight and being able to use our rehabilitation facilities at Twickenham has made a huge difference for us. Training has been at a good intensity as our wider squad has joined up with us and that has helped focus the side in what will be a very demanding weekend, with three very exciting pool games to start proceedings on Saturday."

While the top 12 countries, England and Wales included, battle for London's main prize, eight other nations will contest three additional places available on next season's world series circuit.

Teams ranked 13th - a position currently held by Scotland - 14th and 15th will compete against five pre-qualified countries to be part of the 2013/14 world series.

Scotland face opposition from Spain, Portugal, Hong Kong, Zimbabwe, Georgia, Tonga and Russia.

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