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Simon Amor: England Sevens 'will play with incredible passion'

10 October 2013

  • Lots of lessons to learn under new Head Coach
  • Amor impressed by commitment and work ethic

England Sevens Head Coach Simon Amor reports on the build-up to the HSBC Sevens World Series which kicks off with the Gold Coast Sevens in Australia this weekend

Simon Amor

 

Photo: Getty Images

I'VE BEEN impressed by how hard the guys have worked both back in England and now we’re on the Gold Coast waiting to kick off the HSBC Sevens World Series. We’ve frontloaded the time we’ve been here and pushed them with seven sessions in the first four days to acclimatise to the conditions and deal with the jet lag.

As a team we’re very much still in a development phase. There are lots of lessons to learn and lots of time in the classroom reviewing what we do. But the team has responded well and we’re now two weeks into the new programme. Things haven’t become habits and defaults yet. We’re still making mistakes but we’ve certainly improved a great deal over the last week.

I know the boys will play with incredible passion this weekend and the commitment and the work ethic they’ve shown in training has been very impressive. Defence has been a big focus, that’s definitely one of the key areas for us and I am looking to see our one on one tackling in particular being positive this weekend.

I don’t know too much about South Africa, who we face in our final pool match, but we’ll learn more about them throughout the first day. We’ve seen France and Spain in the FIRA European tournaments. France are an incredibly physical, big side and will want to get their revenge for the result in the summer while Spain are quick and like to move the ball across the width of the field and will challenge our defensive shape and decision making. They’re both good sides and big tests for us to go out and execute our game plan against.

The Gold Coast is a superb place. It’s absolutely beautiful with the beaches and the canals. The location and quality of the training facilities we’ve had at Southport School have been superb too. All in all it’s a great venue for the start of the series. Now it’s up to us to continue to focus on improving our performance every day and taking our game forward.

Tom Powell will lead England in the first tournament of the season

 

Photo: Getty Images

The captaincy is something that will be reviewed throughout the season as I get to know more about the dynamics of the squad. Tom Powell leads in this first tournament and we’re blessed in as much that we have a lot of strong leaders. Rob Vickerman’s done a terrific job over the last two years, Chris Cracknell’s led the team recently, and Tom has done so in Europe successfully, so I’m keen to see how things progress throughout this first tournament and then assess what comes after that. It’s all about making sure England plays to its potential.