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England opt for experience at Marriott London Sevens

07 May 2014

  • Cracknell, Turner and Lewis-Pratt return
  • Howard Packman retains place for season finale at Twickenham
Chris Crackell

Photo: Getty Images

Chris Cracknell, Mat Turner and Christian Lewis-Pratt return to the England squad for the Marriott London Sevens this weekend, where a record breaking crowd of 115,000 is expected across the two days.

The experienced trio have appeared in over 80 tournaments between them and replace Sam Stanley, Jack Walsh and Sam Blanchet, who each made their debuts in Tokyo.

England sit fourth in the HSBC Sevens World Series behind New Zealand, South Africa and Fiji and will aim to finish strongly as they build on recent results – third place in Tokyo, second in Hong Kong and plate winners in Glasgow.

Head Coach Simon Amor said: “As an England player, playing in front of a sell-out crowd at Twickenham is a huge occasion and having added experience in the squad will certainly be a benefit. A few of the guys have been injured in recent weeks so it’s great to have them back and I’m sure they’ll relish the atmosphere.

“Chris Cracknell brings physicality and size and, in the make-up of our team, that’s important.  In Mat Turner, we’ve got someone who can be one of the best finishers on the series.  Christian has come on a great deal in training in recent weeks – in terms of his leadership as well as attack and defence.  I’m really excited to see how he goes.”

Tickets for Saturday sold out last week and those 73,000 supporters can look forward to watching England take on Wales (11.34am), Argentina (2.40pm) and New Zealand (6.06pm) in Group A.

“Everyone says that every pool is tough, but it is genuinely true,“ added Amor.  “This draw will be a challenge but we have spoken a lot in recent weeks and months about creating our own identity in terms of defence and attack and trusting our systems. If we get that right, we can be confident going into each game.”

England Sevens squad 

Dan Bibby
Phil Burgess
Chris Cracknell
Alex Gray
Christian Lewis-Pratt
Tom Mitchell (Captain)
Dan Norton
Howard Packman
Tom Powell
James Rodwell
Mat Turner
Marcus Watson

The winners of both the Marriott London Sevens and the HSBC Sevens World Series will be crowned at Twickenham on Sunday and tickets are still available: www.rfu.com/marriottlondonsevens