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Clifford one of four newcomers in England Sevens squad

11 March 2014

  • Amor brings in four newcomers for Tokyo and Hong Kong
  • “We're delighted Harlequins have allowed him to join us”
Jack Clifford lifts the Junior World Championship trophy

Photo: Getty Images

Former England Under 20 captain Jack Clifford is one of four newcomers named in the England Sevens squad for the next two legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Harlequins No.8 Clifford, who lifted the Junior World Championship title as England won the tournament for the first time last summer, is joined by backs Sam Stanley (Saracens), Sam Blanchet (Exeter Chiefs) and Jack Walsh (Blackheath).

All four appeared alongside England’s contracted sevens players in the side that beat Wales 31-17 in last Sunday’s exhibition game at Twickenham Stadium.

Tom Mitchell leads the team for legs six and seven of the series in Tokyo (March 22-23) and Hong Kong (March 28-30) with England fourth in the overall standings.

Head Coach Simon Amor said: “This is a great environment in which a player like Jack Clifford can progress and we’re delighted that Harlequins have allowed him to join us for these two tournaments to help further his development.

“Sam Stanley, Jack Walsh and Sam Blanchet have all trained with us recently and again we’re grateful to their clubs for giving them the opportunity with us for the next two legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

“They’re joining an experienced group of players heading for Tokyo and Hong Kong and everyone in the camp has worked hard to keep driving up standards going into two big tournaments.

“We did reasonably well last time out in finishing fourth in Wellington but we have to keep raising the bar and performing consistently well in the remaining tournaments.”

Injured quartet John Brake, Sam Edgerley, Mike Ellery and Jeff Williams are among the contracted players ruled out of the next two legs.

England are due face Scotland, Spain and Australia in Pool D on Day One in Tokyo.

England Sevens

Dan Bibby
Sam Blanchet
Phil Burgess
Jack Clifford
Alex Gray
Tom Mitchell (captain)
Dan Norton
Tom Powell
James Rodwell
Sam Stanley
Jack Walsh
Marcus Watson