Ryan names England Sevens squad for Moscow

(IRB.COM) Friday 21 June 2013  
 Ryan names England Sevens squad for Moscow
England captain Rob Vickerman on the charge against South Africa in Hong Kong earlier this season

A week out from the kick-off of the tournament, England men's Sevens head coach Ben Ryan has named his 12-man squad to compete at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow on 28-30 June.
Rob Vickerman has been named as captain of an exciting squad, 11 of whom were involved in England’s encouraging third-place finishes in the last two rounds of the HSBC World Series in Glasgow and London.

Vickerman and James Rodwell are the only survivors from England's Rugby World Cup Sevens campaign in Dubai four years ago, when they finished fifth after losing to Samoa in the quarter-finals.

The squad also includes Dan Norton, who top-scored with 52 tries in this season's HSBC Sevens World Series, was named as England's Sevens Player of the Year last month and has more recently been included in the nominations for IRB Sevens Player of the Year.

“It’s been a difficult decision to whittle this squad down to just 12 – we have left some key players at home but this is a squad I am really excited about," said Ryan.

“I am delighted to name Rob as captain. He is a fantastic captain who always leads by example. He is an excellent Sevens player who is hitting a rich vein of form right now. All the squad really respect him both as a player and a captain and it’s fantastic to have someone of his calibre coming into a Rugby World Cup.

“We have also missed some key players this season so to have some of them back for the World Cup is a nice bonus. Players like Tom Mitchell and Mat Turner returned for the last couple of rounds of the World Series but since then they have gone up another notch, especially in terms of their fitness, and it’s going to be really exciting to see what they can do in Moscow. To have them, and also a player of Dan Norton’s ability in our squad is very exciting.
“We’re heading to Moscow with some good momentum behind us after two third place finishes in Glasgow and London and then winning the first leg of the European Grand Prix in Lyon. That has given us some added confidence, coupled with some great preparation. The squad is looking sharp, very fit and ready for the challenge ahead.”

England have been drawn in Pool F with Portugal, Hong Kong and 2009 tournament runners-up Argentina.

“We are going to Russia to win the World Cup, not to make up the numbers," said Ryan. "But at the same time we would be foolish to not concentrate on the present first. Only the winner of each pool goes through to the knock-out stages so we know we have got to win all three games.

England men's squad: Tom Powell, James Rodwell, Mike Ellery, Rob Vickerman, Jeffrey Williams, John Brake, Mat Turner, Tom Mitchell, Christian Lewis-Pratt, Marcus Watson, Dan Norton, Mark Odejobi

Squad news on Argentina, Hong Kong and Portugal will show here when available.