England Sevens make two changes for Hong Kong
England head coach Ben Ryan has named his 12-man squad for the 2013 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens with Mike Ellery and Richard De Carpentier drafted in for the tournament on 22-24 March.
Ellery, 23, has been sidelined by a back injury since appearing in the European Series for England last summer and is set to make his Series debut while De Carpentier returns after almost two years since his last appearance in an England Sevens shirt.
They bring extra forward firepower as Ryan aims to build on their overall position of ninth, despite winning the Cup title in Wellington, and face pool matches with Samoa, Scotland an Portugal.
“We’ve made a couple of changes to the winning 12 from Wellington and we have more players fit and available to us, said Ryan.
“It’s good to see Mike Ellery making his debut for us after a long spell out of action and our thanks go to Worcester for letting Richard De Carpentier train and play with us which will continue his development as a player.
“They bring extra physicality to our squad and they’re both talented back row players with good aerial skills which means we have a strong core of forwards available to us.
“Our goals in Hong Kong [22-24 March] and at the following leg in Tokyo [30-31 March) are the same as they were when we went to Wellington, keep on improving our performance so that we keep moving up the table.
“We also want to make the most of the incredible support for England in Hong Kong and we’ve certainly got a spring in our step heading to So Kon Po.”
England Sevens: John Brake, Richard De Carpentier, Sam Edgerley, Mike Ellery, Christian Lewis-Pratt, Dan Norton, Tom Powell, James Rodwell, Mathew Turner, Rob Vickerman (C), Marcus Watson, Jeff Williams
Official NZ Sevens highlights
Series qualifying explained: Hong Kong & London
From the end of the 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series, promotion and relegation from core team status comes into effect, with a pre-qualifying competition in Hong Kong (round 6) and a final core team qualifier in London (round 9).
The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens will feature 28 teams and two competitions: In the first, the 15 current core teams and the winner of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series, Hong Kong, will compete for the famous Hong Kong title and World Series points. In the second, 12 regional teams - two from each of the six IRB regions - will compete for four places at the core team qualifying final in London.
The Marriott London Sevens will feature 20 teams and two competitions: In the first, the top 12-ranked sides in the HSBC Sevens World Series after round 8, the Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens, will compete for the London title and final World Series points. In the second, the 13th-, 14th- and 15th-ranked core teams after the Glasgow event will compete against the four qualifiers from Hong Kong and Asian champions Hong Kong for the three available core team places on the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series.