ENGLAND Sevens Coach Ben Ryan today (Friday) announced his 12 man squad, including Gloucester centre Jack Adams, who will represent England at the forthcoming IRB World Seven Series tournament in Dubai.
According to Ryan, the squad is a combination of young talent and experience with lots of potential. Players such as Sale Sharks' Andy Vilk and Ben Foden and powerful Gloucester centre Jack Adams are all experienced sevens players. For Andy this will be his third appearance at the Dubai tournament and his first as captain.
Young emerging talent, Matt Banahan, Antony Elliott, Tom Youngs, Joe Simpson and Liam Gibson will be keen to show off their skills and earn their first England caps.
With players like David Strettle, James Haskell and Nick Abendanon now holding England senior honours after being noticed in last seasons tournament, it's a very exciting time for this squad, if these young players can perform and impress they have every chance of following in their predecessors' footsteps.
Ben Ryan said, "This seasons squad will start as underdogs against the top four sides in the world series. New and unproven, the squad has players with immense potential to move through into the very top of the senior game.. It's time now for these players who have been identified as having this to step up and put potential into actual. It's a hugely exciting time."
Dubai 12 man squad:
Jack Adams (Gloucester Rugby)
Matthew Banahan (Bath Rugby) *
John Brake (Northampton Saints)
Isoa Damudamu (Newbury Blues)
Antony Elliot (Newcastle Falcons)*
Ben Foden (Sale Sharks)
Liam Gibson (Plymouth Albion)*
Tom Guest (Harlequins)*
Simon Hunt (Ebbw Vale)
Joe Simpson (London Wasps) *
Andy Vilk, Captain (Sale Sharks)
Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)*
As Gloucester prepare for their 39th game of the season, against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday, David Humphreys told the local media that this week has been all about getting the players mentally and physically ready after a tough game against Connacht last Sunday.
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-32 victory over Connacht on Sunday, skipper Billy Twelvetrees explained that Gloucester had had to learn to be patient and cut out the errors to earn the win and progress to next weekend's final play-off against Bordeaux-Begles.
Jonny May's superb late score capped a thrilling 40-32 European play-off win over Connacht on Sunday. The winger spoke afterwards of his team's character and spirit as he looked ahead to one more week of rugby.
Speaking to GRTV this afternoon, Director of Rugby David Humphreys hailed the 'never say die' attitude of the team, after despite not being at their best, fighting back to take a 40-32 win after extra time over Connacht.
Jonny May continues on the wing on Sunday as Connacht come to town, and the England wing explains to the local media this week that he is delighted with his form and is looking forward to taking on Pat Lam's men.
Speaking to the local media this week, front rower John Afoa is familiar with the challenge of Connacht from his time in Belfast, and the World Cup winner is fully aware of the challenge they pose ahead of Sunday's meeting in the Champions Cup play off
Speaking ahead of Gloucester's European Rugby Champions play-off against Connacht on Sunday (Kingsholm, 3:30pm), Director of Rugby David Humphreys admitted that he's glad to have more players available than in recent weeks ahead of a tough fixture.
Nick Wood captained the Cherry and Whites on Saturday afternoon, and the experienced front rower expressed his pride in the young squad in defeat to Bath on the final day of the Aviva Premiership season.
Lewis Ludlow scored Gloucester's opening try in the 30-50 defeat at Bath on Saturday, part of an impressive performance by the young back row forward. Speaking after the game, he paid tribute to the young Gloucester side who went toe to toe with the Aviva Premiership semi-finalists.
Tongan international forward Sione Kalamafoni returns after injury to take up his usual place in the back row as Gloucester look to finish their season on a high against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday.
Gloucester Rugby is delighted to confirm that 18 year old Mat Protheroe, a product of Hartpury College and one of the brightest young talents in the English game, has signed a senior contract at Kingsholm.