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VIDEO – England Sevens’ safari transformation

18 April 2013

  • See England Sevens stars become African safari animals on RFUtv
  • Cheetah Dan Norton urges fans to “get their safari on”

England Sevens stars are getting their claws into the safari theme for this year’s Marriott London Sevens, transforming themselves into African animals at Twickenham Stadium.

To encourage fans to embrace the fancy dress aspect of the event, which is expected to attract 110,000 fans to Twickenham over the weekend of May 11/12, Chris Cracknell, Dan Norton, Tom Mitchell, Alice Richardson and Michaela Staniford were body painted as animals which reflect their character and style of play on the pitch.

With blistering speed, wing Dan Norton tops the HSBC Sevens World Series try charts with 37 appropriately became a cheetah, while cunning, clever playmaker Tom Mitchell was made into a mandrill.

Norton said: “Each year the fans fancy dress outfits get better and better so we thought we’d get in on the action. Now it’s the fans’ turn to show us what they’ve got and get their safari on.”

The shoot at Twickenham lasted a full day, involving four hours of body painting and five sets of nude underwear, with 2012 IRB Women’s Player of the Year Staniford describing it as a strange experience.

Staniford, who changed into a leopard, said: “It was a surreal experience and the final images look fantastic. It’s not every day you’re dressed in next to nothing and body painted head to toe by strangers. It’s certainly different to what we’ve done in previous years and I may have taken it all a little too seriously, losing my voice from all the roaring to the camera.”

Alice Richardson painted as a zebra

Photo: RFU Archive

See Alice Richardson be transformed into a zebra on RFUtv.

Some 80,000 tickets have already been sold and England Head Coach Ben Ryan knows the impact a big, vociferous crowd can have on his team as they look to end the series on a high.

He said: “With event ticket sales at an all-time high, excitement is building for the London Sevens. We are expecting a record breaking 110,000 people passing through the turnstiles and they can inspire us on the pitch. We hope these images will inspire fans to get creative with their fancy dress.”

Tickets for Marriott London Sevens are available via RFU.com, priced at £25 for adults, £5 for juniors and £45 for weekend passes.

To keep up to date with the tournament and see exclusive content from our England Sevens teams, like our dedicated London Sevens Facebook page.