England name settled squad for Sevens climax
Hosts England have named a settled looking 14-man training group ahead of this month's Emirates Airline London Sevens and the climax to the HSBC Sevens World Series in Edinburgh a week later.
England trail Series leaders New Zealand by 13 points and are targeting a tournament win at Twickenham Stadium on 21-22 May to keep alive their hopes of a first ever Sevens World Series title.
London Irish wing Sam Edgerley is the only uncapped player in the training group, while Greg Barden (Royal Navy) and Simon Hunt (Birmingham & Solihull) come back into the fold after representative and Championship commitments.
Mark Odejobi (Brunel University and Esher), who made his debut at the USA Sevens Las Vegas in February, has been ruled out following surgery on an achilles tendon injury, while Hunt is being monitored following a hand injury sustained in a warm-up game last weekend.
The players reconvene on Friday and head coach Ben Ryan will name his final 12-man squad for London early next week.
Working with a settled group this season, which includes eight full-time, contracted Sevens players, has put England on course for their best-ever finish in the 12 years of the series.
"It looks like we might only use 15 players in total throughout the season and spending time with a consistent and settled group allows us to all work hard and add value," said Ryan.
"This team will continue to get better and that's the exciting part of all this.
"We've had a really good and varied programme in the build-up, including training at RAF Halton and RAF Benson, and the boys now have a few days off then a busy weekend workload before tapering off towards the tournament.
"We want to get things spot on for the London. We're under no illusions about what we want to do. We're not saying we're going to win it but if we want to have a chance of taking out the Series we have to. It's now as simple as that."
England Sevens 14-man training squad: Greg Barden (Royal Navy), John Brake (England Sevens), Dan Caprice (England Sevens), Chris Cracknell (England Sevens), , Sam Edgerley (London Irish), Ben Gollings (England Sevens, captain), Simon Hunt (Birmingham & Solihull), Ollie Lindsay-Hague (Harlequins), Dan Norton (Bristol Rugby), Tom Powell (England Sevens), James Rodwell (England Sevens), Nick Royle (England Sevens), Mathew Turner (England Sevens), Marcus Watson (London Irish)
Video: England storm to Dubai Sevens title
Tickets are still available for both days, 21-22 May, at Twickenham Stadium from £15 via rfu.com/london7s