Vickerman calls for character in London

(IRB.COM) Friday 10 May 2013
 
 Vickerman calls for character in London
James Rodwell was named in the commentators dream team at the 2013 Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens

The 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series has been an inconsistent one for Ben Ryan's England Sevens.

Missing out on six of the eight Cup competitions will disappoint the head coach and players of the hosts of the final round of the Series at Twickenham, but they have demonstrated what they are capable of when reaching the Cup by winning in New Zealand and finishing third in Glasgow.

Their season has been plagued by injuries to the likes of Chris Cracknell, Mat Turner, Tom Mitchell and Ollie Philips who have all missed parts of the season, but captain Rob Vickerman is relishing the opportunity to play at home.

"There is a lot of pressure playing at Twickenham, and rightly there should be," said Vickerman.

"We have had an inconsistent Series so far, but to hit the Cup in Glasgow was great and from that there has been a great build up this week, and now the players are buzzing for this weekend.

"It is a fantastic way to end with no jet lag, at home, and with over 70,000 people expected on day one and great crowds expected on day two. There will be a festival atmosphere, at Twickenham, it's going to be fantastic.

"I think James Rodwell was a little bit nervous when he saw the safari theme as he resembles a bit of a camel, but in all seriousness the promotion has been top draw and it has been a fantastic environment to be around."

Ryan has named an unchanged squad for the Series finale at Twickenham which sees them line up against Fiji, Samoa and Argentina on day one.

"We suffered some small injuries over the Glasgow weekend but thankfully they have all recovered well enough to be considered for selection. Not having a long flight and being able to use our rehab facilities at Twickenham has made a huge difference for us," said Ryan.

"Training has been at a good intensity as our wider squad has joined up with us and that has helped focus the side in what will be a very demanding weekend with three very exciting pool games to start proceedings on Saturday."

Character

With the Series drawing to a close after the Marriott London Sevens, the focus will turn to Rugby World Cup Sevens which follows the Series on 28-30 June in Moscow.

For England and Vickerman their home tournament, where they are pooled with Fiji, Samoa and Argentina, is another chance to build some momentum heading into the showpiece event in Russia.

"We showed a lot of character in Glasgow and we have spoken about taking momentum from these two tournaments, but there is plenty of time for that.

"We want to see that character in bucket loads here as we have a tough pool so there is no looking beyond that."

Vickerman could look back to the 2009 London Sevens for inspiration when England dramatically beat New Zealand in sudden death extra time in the Cup final. It was Dan Norton, this season's top try scorer with 42, who came off the bench to draw the scores level against New Zealand before Micky Young sent the home crowd wild with the winning try.

Golden moments: 2009 London Sevens


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