- Former Wasps and England U20 wing replaces injured Damudamu in training squad
- Vilk, Bibby and Hunt pushing for places for last two legs of HSBC Sevens World Series
Photo: Getty Images
Mark Odejobi has been added to the 14-man England Sevens squad preparing for the final two legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
The former London Wasps and England Under 20 wing comes takes the place of the injured Isoa Damudamu for the Glasgow Sevens (May 5-6) and the Marriott London Sevens (May 12-13).
Damudamu dislocated a kneecap playing for the Army in Saturday’s 48-9 win against the Royal Navy at Twickenham and has been ruled out of both tournaments.
Odejobi, a student at Brunel University, appeared for England in the Las Vegas, Hong Kong and Adelaide legs of last season’s series.
England earlier named former captain Andy Vilk and newcomer Dan Bibby in their training squad for Glasgow and London.
Former Northampton Saints, Sale Sharks and Treviso flanker Vilk, 30, led England in the 2007-08 season and has been training with the squad this term while playing at Rugby Lions.
He is joined by uncapped playmaker Bibby, who has appeared for England Students and UWIC this season and experienced sevens campaigner Simon Hunt is also in the back in the group.
Two players in the 12-man squad at last month’s Tokyo Sevens miss out. Captain Greg Barden this week announced his retirement from the game, while playmaker Christian Lewis-Pratt needs surgery on a shoulder injury.
England are fourth in the series rankings but looking for a strong finish to the campaign in Glasgow and London, which drew a world record weekend crowd of 100,094 to Twickenham last year.
Head Coach Ben Ryan will name the 12-man group and a new captain before they depart for Glasgow on Wednesday.
Ryan said: “We’re sorry to lose Greg, who’s been a great competitor for us over the years, and we wish him well and Christian a speedy recovery from his shoulder operation.
“It’s great to be able to give Andy Vilk and Dan Bibby the opportunity to push for places going into the final two rounds of the series in a very competitive training group.
“Andy knows the sevens scene well and he’s been training with us for much of the season, as has Dan, who is still a student at UWIC but a talented guy who was player of the tournament for Sale Sharks at last year’s JP Morgan Premiership Sevens.”
England Sevens training group
England Sevens: Dan Bibby (UWIC), John Brake, Chris Brightwell, Chris Cracknell, Isoa Damudamu (British Army), Sam Edgerley (Rosslyn Park), Simon Hunt, Tom Mitchell (Oxford University), Dan Norton, Tom Powell, James Rodwell, Mathew Turner, Rob Vickerman, Andy Vilk (Rugby Lions).
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.