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)*
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
Looking to try a new sport? Look no further than Walking Rugby as thanks to Gloucester Rugby you can come along and try out the fast-growing sport at taster sessions across the county, starting this Wednesday.
Gloucester return to European Rugby Challenge Cup action on Thursday evening with the visit of Stade Rochelais to Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm). Early Bird ticket prices are available until 6:30pm on matchday.
Talk about a game of two halves. Things looked grim on Saturday as Gloucester trailed 0-6 to Bristol at half-time. However, Matt Scott's eighth try of the season got Gloucester off and running, and the visitors fell apart as the Cherry and Whites eased to a 26-18 bonus point Aviva Premiership win.