- Chris Cracknell and Tom Mitchell get into safari theme for London 7s
- Fancy dress theme gives tournament festival feel – Cracknell
England Sevens duo Chris Cracknell and Tom Mitchell have outlined the impact a big, vociferous Twickenham crowd can have on their chances of success at the Marriott London Sevens next month.
Ben Ryan’s side have endured a difficult HSBC Sevens World Series campaign – currently placed 10th in the standings – but are intent on finishing on a high in front of a home crowd and gain crucial momentum ahead of the Sevens Rugby World Cup in Moscow this June.
The fancy dress-themed London tournament continues to grow each year, with more than 110, 000 people expected through the gates in their best safari animal outfits over the weekend of May 11 and 12.
To help inspire fans, the players were transformed by a four-hour body painting session at Twickenham Stadium into African animals which reflect their character and style of play on the pitch, with Cracknell becoming a lion and Mitchell a mandrill monkey.
Photo: Getty Images
Playmaker Mitchell said: “You get to play in front of a lot of people you know, you’ve got your friends and family there so that makes it more special. It’s also the biggest crowd we play in front of all year and the noise when we run out is amazing.
“The feeling of running out, I’ve never felt anything like it. Everyone dreams of running out at Twickenham in front of a big crowd and the feeling of that is something I’ll never forget.”
Ball carrying forward Cracknell added: “It’s about playing in one of the best stadiums in the world and there’s now the fancy dress theme which has given then extra impetus towards the tournament being a festival of rugby and people coming to let their hair down.”
See Alice Richardson be transformed into a zebra on RFUtv.
Fully body painted as a male lion, Cracknell has urged fans to do everything possible to match their efforts when deciding what to wear to the London Sevens. But a word of warning from Mitchell, don’t arrive dressed as a lizard or you might put him off his game.
He added: “I don’t really like lizards. I don’t really know why but perhaps it’s their beady eyes – you never know what they’re thinking!”
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.