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)*
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
Looking ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Harlequins (kick off 3pm), Head Coach Laurie Fisher told the local media that Gloucester will need to be on top of their game in a match which has big implications in terms of top six ambitions.
A big few days for the Gloucester-Hartpury Women side. First came the news that the team will compete in Women's Super Rugby next season, and on Saturday the team will play Worcester Ladies IIs at Kingsholm. Centre Hannah Jones and wing Michelle Ruddock spoke to GRTV this week to reflect on events.
In the aftermath of the Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell was able to look forward to this weekend's European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final against Cardiff Blues (Kingsholm, kick off 8:05pm).
Missing so many starters, and up against a team fighting for their Premiership existence, Gloucester did what had to be done at Ashton Gate on Friday evening battling their way to a 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol Rugby.