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Samurai sink Exiles

Invitational side Samurai International won the Middlesex Sevens at Twickenham after denying London Irish a successful title defence.

In a repeat of last year's final, Samurai avenged their 26-19 loss to thwart an Irish side inspired by England internationals Delon Armitage, Steffon Armitage and Paul Hodgson.

The Samurai, coached by former England sevens supremo Mike Friday, called on players with vast experience of the World Sevens Series circuit and it showed as they prevailed 15-12 in the final despite Irish tries from Jonathan Joseph and Marland Yarde. The Samurai had also sent the White Hart Marauders, Harlequins and the British Army packing.

Quins, inaugural winners of the tournament 84 years ago, suffered a quarter-final exit after their England scrum-half Danny Care was sin-binned.

The Samurai, trailing when Care received his yellow card, scored two late tries to clinch a quarter-final victory before going on to knock out twice Middlesex champions the Army.

Wasps had promised much earlier on, stalling Newcastle's progress before two Tom Varndell tries helped them edge past England's Help For Heroes squad 12-10.

The England side contained several players set to be involved in the Commonwealth Games later this year, but it was not a good day for them after only narrowly beating first-round opponents Saracens.

And Wales, playing under a cancer charity banner, also bowed out early, being defeated by Quins before losing 14-10 to Newcastle in the consolation plate final.

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