- Bristol-based wing agrees new deal with national sevens squad
- Every coach would love to have him on their side, says Ryan
Photo: Getty Images
Leading try scorer Dan Norton has committed himself to England Sevens after signing a new deal with the national side.
The former Gloucester and Bristol wing has scored 33 tries so far in this season’s HSBC Sevens World Series with two more events to come – in Glasgow (May 5-6) and at the Marriott London Sevens (May 12-13).
His tally is six more than his nearest global rivals, New Zealand’s Frank Halai and Samoa’s Paul Perez.
The 24 year-old from Bristol – arguably the fastest man on the world sevens circuit – has scored 81 tries in his international career with only Ben Gollings (220), Richard Haughton (106) and Rob Thirlby (101) ahead of him on England’s all-time list.
"I know there are several clubs who wanted to have him on board, so we’re delighted to have secured his services," said Head Coach Ben Ryan.
"Dan’s made excellent progress this season, worked hard all over the pitch and deserves the praise that’s come his way for the tries he’s scored. Every coach in the series would love to have him on their side.
"We’re in the second year of our full-time sevens programme now and the benefits are showing throughout the squad in terms of the individual development of each player and the collective understanding of how we want to play."
Norton said: "I’m really happy to be able to continue what I’m doing. I enjoy the set-up, working with all the players and coaches and the team spirit is great.
"Finishing this season on a high at Glasgow and Twickenham is the immediate goal. Beyond that the next ambitions are to win the HSBC Sevens World Series with England and the Sevens World Cup next summer.
"Going full-time with sevens this season has meant it’s been easy to concentrate on specific parts of my game, and the extra contact time we have has helped our understanding of the game and built a really strong team culture."
England are fourth in the HSBC Sevens World Series going into the final two legs of the global series.
They face Kenya, the USA and Australia in the pool stages of the Glasgow Sevens stages on May 5-6 with Ryan due to name his squad at the start of next week.
HSBC Sevens World Series Rankings (top 6): 1 New Zealand 128, 2 Fiji 122, 3 South Africa 105, 4 England 104, 5 Samoa 101, 6 Australia 84.
You can buy tickets for the Marriott London Sevens via RFU.com, with weekend tickets from £30, with single day tickets from £18 and kids tickets from £5 each day.