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Phillips returns for England Sevens in South Africa

07 December 2012

  • Hard work pays off as Phillips returns for Port Elizabeth
  • England face New Zealand, Fiji and Scotland on Day One
Ollie Phillips in training with England Sevens

Photo: Getty Images

Ollie Phillips returns to the England side after a three-year absence for the third leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series in South Africa.

The 2009 IRB International Player of the Year signed full-time with England last summer after spells at Stade Francais and Gloucester but missed out on last weekend’s Dubai Sevens following the recurrence of a calf injury.

He takes over from Tom Mitchell – who broke his right leg last weekend – in the one change to the 12-man squad for the South Africa Sevens in Port Elizabeth.

“Ollie’s worked very hard to get himself fit and I know he was extremely disappointed he didn’t make it last weekend,” said Head Coach Ben Ryan.

“We’re delighted to have him back. He has a great deal of experience, communicates well and I’m sure he’ll add something extra for us.”

England missed out on the quarter finals in Dubai but showed some encouraging signs on Day Two when they beat Australia 40-12 and Spain 26-5.

They also have Dan Norton running into form and on top of the series try-scoring charts. The former Bristol and Gloucester wing is now four tries away from a century of touchdowns.

The draw for Port Elizabeth has given England another tough mission. They face 2012 champions New Zealand, runners-up Fiji and Scotland in the pool stages.

“It’s another tough pool to get out of but if we can do that we’ll be in a good place,” said Ryan.

“The lads are very focused on what’s ahead and we know we’ve got to play well to get into the quarter finals but the challenge is something we’ll relish.”

England Sevens squad for PE

Dan Bibby
John Brake
Chris Brightwell
James Lightfoot-Brown
Ollie Marchon (Old Albanians)
Dan Norton
Ollie Phillips
Tom Powell
James Rodwell
Rob Vickerman (captain)
Marcus Watson
Jeff Williams

Tickets to the Marriott London Sevens, the final leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series, on May 11-12 next year, are now on sale.