- Two more tries for Norton to break Turner’s record of 38
- England looking for form and momentum in Glasgow ahead of world cup
Sevens is all about scoring tries and England have two of the most lethal finishers in the business. Mat Turner topped the scoring charts in last season’s HSBC World Series, with his tally of 38 the most ever by an England player, while Dan Norton needs just two more to set a new high for the national team this season.
The fierce competitors on the field and good mates off it go into this weekend’s Glasgow Sevens hoping for a glut of tries and tournament victory to atone for a difficult season for Ben Ryan’s side, who currently sit 10th in the overall standings.
Turner missed a chunk of the season after breaking his ankle at the Gold Coast Sevens and while there is clearly a friendly rivalry over who will bag the most next term, the pair are full of admiration for each other’s impact on the field.
Photo: Getty Images
Turner, 25, said: “People just don’t understand and give Dan so much time on the ball, which is the last thing you want to do. If you watch a few of his clips from the last tournament people ran up to him, looked at him, and then he wasn’t actually there where they were looking.
“He influences how teams defend, they all rush across and try and get to him, but half the time they don’t. And even when they do get him, it creates space for us elsewhere.”
Norton, who plundered 11 tries at the last tournament in Japan, said: “It’s important to have attacking threats throughout the team, which creates space for others. Mat’s got a bit of gas, which always helps, and gets him through those gaps. It’s awesome having him back in the team, he’s a footballer who knows where the space is, which is ideal for a wing who wants to score tries.”
While world series glory is off the agenda this season, there are two “home” tournaments still to play for, with Glasgow immediately followed by the Marriott London Sevens at Twickenham on May 11/12.
And with the IRB Sevens Rugby World Cup in Moscow this June looming large on the horizon, form, fitness and confidence can all be polished ahead of a tilt at the ultimate prize.
Photo: Getty Images
Offering an honest appraisal of his form earlier this season after returning from injury, Turner explained why the next two tournaments are important both personally and collectively, and why the squad is approaching them with confidence.
“I’m getting back to the form of last season, I think it was more of a confidence issue coming back from injury and I don’t think I was fit enough personally,” he said. “But we’ve done fitness tests and I’m back to where I was last season and in the next two tournaments hopefully we can score some tries.
“There’s been a lot more laughter in training, we’ve realised it’s been small things going wrong in each of the tournaments we’ve been in and we’ve worked hard to fix those. I think the boys are very keen to show what we’re actually made of and to show how we should have played all season.
Norton, much like his style on the pitch, was more direct: “These two tournaments are massive. We’ve got an opportunity to show what we can do, get some form for Moscow and get ourselves moving forwards in the direction we want to go.”
Keep up-to-date with how England Sevens get on in Glasgow with reports on RFU.com and coverage @Official_RFU on twitter.
Tickets for Marriott London Sevens are available via RFU.com, priced at £25 for adults, £5 for juniors and £45 for weekend passes.