|Weight||103kg (16st 3lb)|
|IRB World Series||18 events|
Born in Perth, Western Australia, Greg Barden figured four times in the 2009 HSBC Sevens World Series, including the Twickenham triumph, having joined the Royal Marines at the age of 16. A former corporal in the Royal Navy, he has not only became a member of the 12 strong full-time England Sevens squad last year after leaving the military but was also appointed as this season’s captain in succession to Ben Gollings.
Greg, from Poole in Dorset, said: “The captaincy is a huge honour. It’s a big ask from Ben (Ryan) to take on that responsibility but hopefully it’s something I’ll thrive on and enjoy immensely throughout the season.” He has, too, and scored eight tries in the first seven tournaments, including four in Wellington. His most recent touchdown was in the third place play off against New Zealand in Tokyo in April.
With 12 caps for the Royal Navy and two for Combined Services, he had balanced his rugby progression with operational tours around the world, played eight times for Bristol Rugby in the Guinness Premiership from 2007-09 and has also appeared for Newbury Blues.
His England Sevens’ debut brought a try against Portugal in the Dubai tournament but his best moments were in the penultimate round in the Emirates Airlines London Sevens when England beat New Zealand 31-26 in sudden death extra time in May 2009.
He went on to score a try hat trick against China in the opening pool match in the 2011 Hong Kong tournament during which he added tries against Russia and New Zealand in the final that England lost 29-17. He was unavailable for the Adelaide event the following week because of playing commitments with the Royal Navy.
Greg was also among the Navy’s most versatile players, winning honours at full back, wing, centre and last season, at flanker. He used his knowledge to good effect in both the Royal Navy senior squad and also in developing players in the Navy Sevens squad, the 'Sharks', whom he captained.
After missing out on the Commonwealth Cup through an injury sustained during pre-tournament training he returned to play a highly important role in the Combined Services’ annual Remembrance Day fixture against the Barbarians last year.
With the club captain unavailable in the early stages of last season, Greg took over the role for the Navy and remained a key influence as vice captain. He played a significant part in last year's Navy victory in the annual match against the Army. His other past distinctions include running in five tries for the Navy against the RAF at US Portsmouth.
His fifth career try in the HSBC Sevens World Series came during the final game of 2009-10 when England lost 15-12 to Samoa in Edinburgh at the end of May. He shared in the ‘revenge’ win over the Pacific Islanders in the December 2010 Dubai final, having started the pool matches against France and Portugal.
Last updated: April 11, 2012