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England Sevens set for European series finale

14 July 2011

  • Three changes for series finale in Bucharest
  • Semi final spot would clinch first Euro GP title
Aaron Myers in action for Newcastle Falcons in last summer's JP Morgan Premiership Sevens

Photo: Getty Images

Hamish Smales, Sam Edgerley and Aaron Myers come into the England Sevens squad for this weekend’s fourth and final stage of the FIRA European Grand Prix Sevens series in Bucharest.

Tynedale wing Smales, 24, makes his first appearance at this level while Edgerley, player of the tournament for Esher at the Vauxhall Middlesex Sevens, and Myers (Westoe) featured in the first two legs.

England, who have a five-point lead over nearest rivals Portugal, take on Russia, Spain, Wales, the Netherlands and Moldova in the pool stage.

"Hamish is a regular on the invitation sevens circuit, he’s got a lot of experience and covers a number of positions for us," said head coach Ben Ryan of the former England Students and England Counties player.

"He comes in for John Brake [ankle], Tom Mitchell [hand] is replaced by Sam Edgerley and Aaron Myers comes in for Chris Brightwell, who’s also got an ankle injury."

England will have used 18 players, without calling on some of their HSBC Sevens World Series regulars, by the end of the European competition which began with their victories in Lyon and Moscow.

Ryan wants to continue experimenting but is eager to make up for their semi final exit in Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium at the hands of Russia last weekend.

"We want to continue with our plans of trying different things on and off the field and we’ve also got the goal of winning the overall European series,” he said.

"Getting to the semi final would give us that title but we want to win the tournament to make up for what was a very frustrating weekend in Barcelona."

Christian Lewis-Pratt is the top scorer in the series with 136 points, one ahead of leading try-scorer Nick Royle, who has touched down 27 times.

England Sevens squad

Chris Cracknell
Sam Edgerley
Ayoola Erinle
Andrew Higgins
Simon Hunt
Christian Lewis-Pratt
Aaron Myers
Dan Norton
James Rodwell
Nick Royle
Hamish Smales
Rob Vickerman

FIRA European GP Series rankings (top five): 1 England 50pts, 2 Portugal 45, 3 Spain 43, 4 Russia 38, 5 France 35