Varndell and Phillips return for England Sevens

Tom Varndell of London Wasps and Ollie Phillips of Stade Francais will return to England Sevens action next weekend at the Emirates Airline London Sevens (May 22 and 23).


The pair boost an already experienced line-up which includes: Kevin Barrett (Saracens), Ben Gollings (Gold Coast, Australia) and Moseley’s James Rodwell and marks a first outing for both players this season.


England international (4 caps) and Saxons speedster Varndell, returns to the sevens fold after helping them to reach the 2009 Rugby World Cup quarter final in Dubai and adding to England’s tally in Hong Kong and Adelaide.


Whilst Phillips, who won the 2009 IRB Sevens Player of the Year award, led England to two tournament victories last season in Wellington and London when they finished third overall, their highest ranking since 2006.


Ben Ryan’s squad is also bolstered by England Saxons scrum half Micky Young, who scored the winning try for England in last year’s London final, and his Newcastle team mate Rob Vickerman.


Ryan said, “This is a great squad full of pace and X factor and the training has been fantastic this week.


“It’s very exciting to have such a good group and I know all the lads are really excited about the London weekend. Personally, it’s been very hard selecting the squad and it’s going to be even harder naming a starting side. There are going to be some fantastic sides out there next weekend and with a bit of luck we might be able to compete with them.”


England are currently four points behind fourth placed Australia in the Series and will face them at 7.28pm on day one.


With just two legs in this year’s Series remaining, the home side need to pick up full points if they are to overtake Australia and close the 20-point gap between them and third place Fiji.


The action kicks off on Saturday at 10.30am with leaders Samoa taking on the improving USA.

 

Other highlights include Fiji v South Africa (6.44pm) and second place New Zealand v Kenya at 7.06pm.

England Sevens squad for London and Edinburgh


Greg Barden (Royal Navy)
Kevin Barrett (Saracens)
John Brake (Northampton Saints)
Chris Brightwell (Bedford)
Ben Gollings (capt, Gold Coast, Australia)
Simon Hunt (Birmingham and Solihull)
Oliver Lindsay-Hague (Harlequins)
Ollie Phillips (Stade Francais)
Tom Powell (Unattached)
James Rodwell (Moseley)
Mat Turner (Bristol Rugby)
Tom Varndell (London Wasps)**
Rob Vickerman (Newcastle Falcons)
Christian Wade (London Wasps)*
Micky Young (Newcastle Falcons)**


*Christian Wade will be replaced by Nick Royle for Edinburgh
**Denotes England Saxons player


England’s Emirates Airline London Sevens fixtures:


England v Russia (kick off 1.04pm)
England v Scotland (kick off 4.10pm)
England v Australia (kick off 7.28)


England’s Emirates Airline Edinburgh Sevens fixtures:


England v Portugal (kick off 11.25)
England v Canada (kick off 2.51)
Australia v England (kick off 6.39)

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