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)*
Gloucester's win in Treviso last week means that they need a bonus point win against Bayonne on Saturday evening to secure a home quarter-final (kick off 8pm), but Tim Taylor wants the team to focus on the performance first and foremost.
Billy Burns and Man of the Match Richard Hibbard spoke to GRTV after the 41-0 win in Treviso, on a day when preparations weren't ideal. They felt the team's attitude was key and also praised the travelling support.
Matt Scott was again in impressive try scoring form for the Cherry and Whites on Saturday, and the Scotsman laid praise on his fellow backs for their attacking skills in a big 55-19 win over Worcester Warriors
Jonny May spilled blood for the cause on Saturday, before going on to score the first try in the 55-19 Aviva Premiership victory over Worcester. He told GRTV that the win was a reward for the hard work the squad have been putting in.
The Gloucester Rugby Heroes are back this month, and the huge array of past stars of Cherry and White, with a sprinkling of sporting legends and TV stars will assemble to take on the South African Legends on Sunday 29th January at Kingsholm.