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Premiership Rugby

Lydon announces ‘core squad’ for England

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

The 'Men in White' have made great strides in the abbreviated version of the game in recent seasons – last year finishing as runners-up behind New Zealand in the World Sevens Series final table, having made it to third spot during the 2001/02 season.

"All seven players have experienced Sevens international rugby and made a major contribution to our success over the last two seasons," said Lydon.

"The remaining three places will be filled from a 'wider squad' to be announced at the end of September following further discussions with each club Director of Rugby, Club England managers and the National Academy manager.

"Our aim in 2003/04 continues to be the improved performance of both the individual and collectively as a squad. The announcement of this squad provides us with a solid and experienced platform from which to build and further develop.

"We will, once again, be targeting key tournaments within the series following the success of last year's campaign but our long-term goal must be to identify and enhance players for the 15-a-side game at the highest level."

England Sevens squad: Simon Amor (Gloucester), Ugo Monye (NEC Harlequins), Phil Dowson (Newcastle Falcons), Ben Gollings (Newcastle Falcons), Rob Thirlby (Penzance and Newlyn), Richard Haughton (Saracens), Tony Roques (Saracens).

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