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VIDEO – Bullish Ben Ryan eyes New Zealand scalp

19 May 2011

  • Ben Ryan, Gordon Tietjens and Michael O’Connor preview London Sevens
  • New Zealand have got the evil eye on us – Ryan

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Bullish Ben Ryan is looking forward to having another crack at New Zealand in the Emirates Airline London Sevens at Twickenham this weekend.

England are 13 points behind HSBC Sevens World Series leaders New Zealand, knowing that they need back-to-back victories at Twickenham and the final round of the series in Scotland to have a chance of delivering a maiden overall title.

Speaking at the tournament launch at Twickenham Stadium, the England Sevens Head Coach identified the breakdown as a critical area and one where England have made improvements, particularly after the addition of England Test flanker Steffon Armitage to the squad.

He said: “New Zealand have certainly got the evil eye on us after beating us the last three or four times and we’ve had no axe to grind with them beating us squarely.

“We’ve one or two things that we think we’ve improved upon that New Zealand obviously identified in Hong Kong, particularly the breakdown and various other things so we’re hoping some of these teams have a crack at us there, because they might get slightly different rewards for their efforts.”

Tietjens puts the pressure on England

New Zealand Sevens Head Coach Gordon Tietjens looks on during a training session

Photo: Getty Images

Gordon Tietjens’ New Zealand side are in pole to claim a ninth series title and the Head Coach ramped up the pressure on England by claiming home events are the hardest to win.

"Playing in your own tournament puts more pressure on you than any other tournament," said Tietjens.

"Certainly with the expectation and the support you get it does put a hell of a lot of pressure on you and it’s probably the hardest tournament to win."

Join the beach party on May 21 and 22 at Twickenham Stadium in the Emirates Airline London Sevens, the penultimate leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series. Tickets are available from £15 via RFU.com.