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England retain Dubai Sevens title

Man of the tournament Matt Turner scored twice as defending champions England retained their Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens title with a 29-12 victory over France.

England triumphed the hard way with a 10-7 quarter-final victory over New Zealand and a 19-12 semi-final win against Fiji, who had taken the season-opening title in Australia last weekend.

Tries from veteran Isoa Damudamu and wing Dan Norton put England in control of the final, before Turner scored twice as Ben Ryan's men opened a 24-7 lead at half-time. France scored twice but England sealed their fourth Dubai title with a late touchdown from Rob Vickerman.

English rugby has been in turmoil since the World Cup - and sevens coach Ben Ryan was delighted to help put a smile back on the face of red rose fans.

It was also a good day for England's women, both at home and abroad. The Test team drew 8-8 with world champions New Zealand to seal their three-match series 2-0 and the sevens side finished runners-up in Dubai.

"We have got some good news this afternoon. I have had a lot of texts from a lot of people who were watching," Ryan said.

"We played well today. I was glad we had a hard game in the quarter-final and the semi-final. In the evolution of our team I think we raise our game when we play a hard team.

"We played some clever football out there and we were pretty ruthless."

England's victory in Dubai lifted them to second in the HSBC world series table behind Fiji.

Wales came within seconds of beating Argentina in the cup quarter-finals but Paul John's side were edged out 7-5 and ended up losing to South Africa in the plate semi-finals. Scotland won the bowl with a 26-0 victory over the United States.


From Belfast Telegraph