England make two changes for defence of Cape Town Sevens title this weekend

England make two changes for defence of Cape Town Sevens title this weekend

England Sevens head coach Simon Amor has named his squad for the Cape Town Sevens on 9-10 December, live on Sky Sports Arena, where England will return to the Cape Town Stadium as defending champions.

Two changes have been made to the side that won bronze in Dubai last weekend in the opening tournament of this season’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. England faced Australia in the last eight and progressed with a 26-19 win, but despite Ruaridh McConnochie's early score they lost narrowly 5-14 against New Zealand, but recovered to beat the Fijians 28-21 in the bronze medal match.

Charlie Hayter re-joins the squad for Cape Town after making his return from injury in the Dubai Sevens invitational tournament last weekend. Hayter captained the England Sevens academy side, playing under the banner of The Royals, and was 13th man for the World Series squad.

“Last weekend in Dubai was a great start to the World Series and you can just see how everyone has raised their game which shows that the sport has been taken to a whole new level across the board – the intensity has really gone up and the margins are closer than ever,” said Amor.

“There are a lot of things that we did well in Dubai but there’s also loads that we can still work on, we will certainly look to learn from the New Zealand semi-final game in particular but as a first step it was a positive start.

“Cape Town is going to be a very exciting challenge for us – it’s an amazing tournament and the atmosphere is just fantastic. It’s obviously a special tournament for the squad after beating South Africa in the final last year, but our focus now has to be on day one and our first game.”

Drawn in Pool C, England will face Uganda, Argentina and Scotland on Saturday 9 December.

Amor added: “On Saturday we’ll face Uganda who had one of the top try scorers in the Dubai tournament last weekend which demonstrates how much of a challenge awaits us in the pool stages, but everyone’s extremely excited to get stuck into it and to be a part of a very special leg of the series.”

Dan Bibby and Alex Davis continue their rehabilitation on injuries sustained in pre-season training, which provides the opportunity for Will Glover to continue his development on the world stage as 13th man. Glover made his World Series debut in Singapore last April and was then selected for the Paris and London legs.

England Sevens squad for Cape Town:

  • Tom Bowen
  • Phil Burgess
  • Richard de Carpentier
  • Will Edwards
  • Harry Glover
  • Charlie Hayter
  • Ollie Lindsay-Hague
  • Ruaridh McConnochie
  • Tom Mitchell
  • Dan Norton
  • James Rodwell
  • Ethan Waddleton
  • Will Glover – 13th man