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James Rodwell

James Rodwell

Key Facts

SquadEngland Sevens
PositionForward
Age29
Height1.95m (6'5")
Weight102kg (16st 0lb)
IRB World Series52 events

Profile

Few players can emulate the feat of James Rodwell, whose 50th consecutive World Sevens Series tournament was fittingly on one of the game’s biggest stages in Hong Kong last March when England reached the Cup final.

Head coach Simon Amor said: “For any player to get 50 tournaments is special. To get 50 consecutive tournaments is pretty much unheard of in the game of sevens”.

“James has been outstanding for us this season and for many seasons for England. He is a real pleasure to have in the team, a great leader for us and an incredibly valued member of the squad.”

Winning the Emirates Airlines London Sevens in front of a home crowd at Twickenham back in May 2009 was “an amazing feeling” in the words of James Rodwell, who plays No. 8 at 15-a-side but shows adaptability, mobility and handling skills in the abbreviated game.

James scored a try in all five matches in the Hong Kong tournament in March 2011. He has since taken his tally in the IRB Series to 73, including four in the Gold Coast event in October, three in Dubai the following month, two in Las Vegas last January and three in London in May. His 50th touchdown was in the 46-0 pool win over Portugal at Scotstoun Stadium in 2013. He also played in the RWC Sevens in Moscow in June last year when England finished as runners-up to New Zealand.

In 2010-11, he ran in 12 tries with two against Portugal and Fiji at Dubai that December, one in the George final against New Zealand and a total of nine in the final five tournaments in Wellington, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Adelaide, Twickenham and Murrayfield.

A graduate in Business Commerce at Birmingham University, he began playing when seven at Tring RFC, his local club, and was at Berkhamsted Collegiate School from the age of ten, where he figured at centre and full back and coach Graham Burchnall was his mentor.

It was onward and upward for James, whose England Sevens debut was against the United States at Dubai in 2008. Along the way, John Caves, his university coach and Moseley team manager, was another guiding influence as James became the club’s U21 player of the year in 2004-05, the players’ player in 2006-07 and supporters’ player in 2008-09.

Representative honours came thick and fast on his rise with Hertfordshire Schools 18 Group, London & South East U18, captaining North Midlands U20 and representing Midlands U20 foreshadowing appearances for English Universities in 2005, England Counties (2006) and England Sevens.

As for role models, Ben Gollings and Lawrence Dallaglio (“I used to love seeing him play at No. 8”) are tops for him. James “came of age” when he scored his 21st HSBC Sevens World Series try in the 36-10 pool match victory over Canada at Murrayfield at the end of May 2010.

He relishes watching and playing most sports, especially golf, his sister Sarah has added to the family album by representing England at lacrosse and his favourite ground? It’s Wellington, known as “The Cake Tin”.

Last updated: May 16, 2014

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