TOP BAR - Fixtures

GB Sevens name wider training squad

GB Sevens men have announced their wider training squad for the Rio Olympics which includes a combination of sevens specialists and 15-a-side players from England, Scotland and Wales.

The 25 players will gather on 30 May for a seven-week intensive training period involving a programme of four international competitions.

Dan Norton, the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series' fourth highest leading try scorer of all time, international captains Tom Mitchell and Luke Treharne, and experienced players such as Scotland’s Mark Robertson and Scott Riddell are among the 19 sevens specialists. 

Named alongside them are 15s players, Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors), James Davies (Scarlets), Ollie Lindsay-Hague (Harlequins), Joe Simpson (Wasps) and Marcus Watson (Newcastle Falcons).

With sevens included in the Olympics for the first time, this group have a unique and exciting opportunity to compete for the 12 places in Team GB which will be announced together with the women’s squad on 19 July.

Team GB Sevens Head Coach Simon Amor said: “We have watched a significant amount of footage throughout the season of 15-a-side players and every sevens game from England, Scotland and Wales.  Exciting talent was available to us and competition for places was tough.  We’re now really looking forward to bringing this group together as one team and creating an incredible Great Britain spirit. 

“One of the main strengths of the players who have been named today is their aggressive style of play in both attack and defence.  Looking at how the games are won at the top level at the moment, it is very much about that physicality, teams who are fearless in the way they play.

“For the 15s players aiming to make that transition, recent sevens experience at the top level was important given how much the world of sevens rugby has progressed in the last three to four years.  We were also targeting players in certain key positions to add strength in depth and complement the qualities of the specialists we already have.” 

Bennett, who was nominated for Breakthrough Player of the Year after the Rugby World Cup, represented Scotland Sevens at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and prior to that featured on the World Series in 2013, the same season in which Cory Allen played for Wales. 

James Davies won his 13 tournament caps on the circuit between 2012 and 2014, during which time he also featured in the Rugby Sevens World Cup in Moscow and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.  Marcus Watson also competed in these events and scored over 400 points during the 26 series' tournaments he played for England Sevens.  

Ollie Lindsay-Hague resumed his sevens career in Hong Kong in April, having represented England in 2010, while Joe Simpson’s inclusion reflects his ability to cover a number of positions with a skill set that supports the blend of the squad.

Leadership and experience is provided through a number of sevens specialists including James Rodwell, who set a new world record earlier this year after playing in 69 consecutive tournaments, and Scott Riddell who has competed in two Commonwealth Games, two Sevens World Cups and played in almost every minute of Scotland’s 2013-14 and 2014-15 World Series' campaigns. 

“Throughout the season I have been in constant communication with Gareth Williams [Team GB Sevens Assistant Coach and Wales Sevens Head Coach] and Calum MacRae [Scotland Sevens Head Coach] and spent time with both teams in Singapore,” added Amor.  “That experience was crucial in being able to select this squad.   We have some very strong characters from all three countries and players who have shone in big games which is really important for us going into Rio.  I know this group have an incredible work ethic and attitude.”

As part of Olympic preparations, two GB sevens squads will compete in four tournaments including the Rugby Europe Sevens Series in Moscow (4-5 June), Exeter (9-10 July) and Gdynia (16-17 July) as well as Sevens and the City at Allianz Park (2 July).

“It has been a demanding World Series for all teams but we have rested senior players at various points in the season,” said Amor.  “This has had an impact on the results of England Sevens but has ensured we now have a squad which is fit to peak over the coming months.  The priority last year was to ensure a top four finish and Olympic qualification, this year the aim was to ensure players were ready, come the end of the series, to give GB Sevens their all.”

GB Sevens Men:
Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues)
Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors)
Dan Bibby (England Sevens)
Tom Bowen (England Sevens)
Phil Burgess (England Sevens)
Sam Cross (Wales Sevens)
James Davies (Scarlets)
Alex Davis (England Sevens)
Richard de Carpentier (England Sevens)
Jamie Farndale (Scotland Sevens)
Alex Gray (England Sevens)
Charlie Hayter (England Sevens)
Warwick Lahmert (England Sevens)
Ollie Lindsay-Hague (Harlequins)
Gavin Lowe (Scotland Sevens)
Ruaridh McConnochie (England Sevens)
Tom Mitchell (England Sevens)
Luke Morgan (Wales Sevens)
Dan Norton (England Sevens)
Scott Riddell (Scotland Sevens)
Mark Robertson (Scotland Sevens)
James Rodwell (England Sevens)
Joe Simpson (Wasps)
Luke Treharne (Wales Sevens)
Marcus Watson (Newcastle Falcons)

The GB Sevens squad will be led by the following management group in Rio:
Simon Amor (Team GB Sevens Head Coach), Gareth Williams (Team GB Sevens Assistant Coach), Stevie Gemmell (Team Leader), Dan Cooper (Performance Analyst), Dan Howells (Strength and Conditioning Coach), Jo Larkin (Doctor), Remi Mobed (Physio)

In addition the following staff will support the programme over the first seven weeks: Ali Little (Physio, Scotland Sevens), Eifion Roberts (Strength and Conditioning, Wales Sevens) and Adam Fuge (Performance Analyst, Wales Sevens)

GB Sevens Women Update:
A squad of 23 GB Sevens players continue to train full time under Team GB Sevens Head Coach Simon Middleton and Assistant Richie Pugh.  Ongoing Olympic preparations will be supported by Rugby Europe’s tournament in Kazan (11-12 June) and an invitational event in Tignes (14-16 July).

GB Sevens Women:
Claire Allan, Natasha Brennan, Abbie Brown, Rachael Burford, Heather Fisher, Victoria Fleetwood, Natasha Hunt, Jasmine Joyce (Wales Sevens), Stephanie Johnston (Scotland Sevens), Megan Jones, Alex Matthews, Fran Matthews, Sarah Mckenna, Katy Mclean, Marlie Packer, Alice Richardson, Emily Scarratt, Emily Scott, Michaela Staniford, Danielle Waterman, Joanne Watmore, Kay Wilson, Amy Wilson Hardy *Laurie Harries (Wales Sevens) has been withdrawn from the squad through injury

GB Sevens Women Management Group:
Simon Middleton (Team GB Sevens Head Coach), Richie Pugh (Team GB Sevens Assistant Coach), Nicky Ponsford (Team Leader), Zoe Eaton (Team Manager), Dave Gardner (Analyst), Paul McGinley (Physio), Katie James (Strength and Conditioning Coach), Joe Larkin (Doctor) and Celia Gillbe (Assistant Physio) 
In addition coach Susie Appleby (England Sevens) will continue to support the programme through this final preparation period.

Latest News

London Irish name side for Ealing Trailfinders clash

London Irish have named a 30-man squad for this Friday’s pre-season clash with Ealing Trailfinders at Hazelwood (kick-off 7.30pm). The…

Gloucester Rugby announce line-ups for preseason friendly at Leinster

Gloucester Rugby will give game time to a number of their first team squad in Leinster on Friday evening as…

American rugby players and coaches to get once in a lifetime opportunity

THIRTY American rugby players and coaches are being handed the chance of a lifetime to train in England with Premiership…

Stephen Myler: Northampton Saints ready to fight for the title

Stephen Myler is predicting the closest ever Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign and believes his Northampton Saints side will be right…

Sonatane Takulua expecting big things from Newcastle Falcons this season

Sonatane Takulua believes unity and a collective purpose, combined with an improved playing pool, can help propel Newcastle Falcons up…

Sonatane Takulua

Wasps name team for first pre-season fixture against Ulster

Dai Young has named a 26-man squad to take on Ulster Rugby at Kingspan Stadium in the first pre-season fixture…

Anglo-Welsh Cup 2017-18 launched

WORCESTER WARRIORS have the honour of hosting the opening match in this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday 3 November, when…

Leicester Tigers win the Anglo Welsh Cup

Ally Hogg pleased by Newcastle Falcons’ early progress

Ally Hogg believes Newcastle Falcons are well set to attack the new Aviva Premiership season after a double dose of…

Ally Hogg

Topsy Ojo relishing Exiles return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action at HQ

Topsy Ojo believes there could be no more fitting way for London Irish to announce their return as an Aviva…

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua sees Philadelphia trip as a ‘great opportunity’

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua insists his side’s September clash with Saracens in Philadelphia will be no holiday for the players,…

Sonatane Takulua

Harlequins statement: Luke Wallace and Jonas Mikalcius

Harlequins can confirm today (Tuesday 15th August) that flanker Luke Wallace dislocated his hip during the pre-season friendly against London…

Luke Wallace

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

London Irish will host Bath Rugby at the Madejski Stadium in the opening round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday…

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

HITZ graduate secures first full time job after being inspired by Premiership Rugby final

A teenager from Leigh who overcame a troubled home life and tackled confidence and communication issues thanks to Premiership Rugby…

Lucy Neal

Nick Kennedy delighted with first pre-season hit-out for London Irish

London Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy is looking forward to seeing his side build on Saturday’s thrilling contest against…

Nick Kennedy

Philadelphia bound Nick Civetta can’t wait for American Series challenge with Newcastle Falcons

NICK CIVETTA HAS had an unlikely path to the top level but as he prepares to embark on his second season…

Nick Civetta

Demetri Catrakilis relishing chance to reunite with old friend Tim Swiel

Harlequins fly-half Demetri Catrakilis has revealed he is ready to join forces with  compatriot and old acquaintance Tim Swiel – insisting…

Worcester Warriors to use number of players in Hartpury test

Warriors will look to use up to 37 players during their fixture against Hartpury College this Saturday in their first…

GJ van Velze

Emergency Services workers invited to London Double Header

Saracens are offering up to eight free tickets to any member of the London Emergency Services for the upcoming London…

London Double Header

Newcastle Falcons teams for double-header v Doncaster and Nottingham

Three-time French title winner Maxime Mermoz is among the Newcastle Falcons players making their debuts in Saturday’s home double header…

Nili Latu