The Dubai sevens takes place this weekend, part of the HSBC International Sevens Series, with England’s women’s and men’s teams hoping to take maximum points from this leg of the series.
For England’s men it is their first tournament of the season, and with last season finishing on a high with a runners-up spot in the Paris tournament in June, as well as a silver medal at the Rugby Sevens World Cup in July, they will be relishing the start of a new campaign.
Drawn in Pool D, England will face Canada, Japan and Australia on day one of the two-day event.
Dubai is the first stage of this season’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series which comprises ten legs, finishing in Paris in June 2019. The World Series is the primary route for qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with the top four ranked teams earning their place. England is the nominated nation for qualifying Team GB in the same way it was for Rio 2016.
“Every team on the World Series will be aiming for Olympic qualification this season and therefore the key thing is going to be consistency – always striving to be your best and bringing the right mindset every single game and every tournament,” Simon Amor, England’s Head Coach said. “The standard of competition is immense so we’re really excited to get going.”
England Men Sevens squad for Dubai:
Tom Mitchell ©
After a disappointing start to the season last month in Denver, Colorado, England’s women will be looking to get back on track in Dubai, the second leg of the women’s season.
Alongside a wealth of experienced names in the squad are a number of newly contracted players to the England Sevens programme who made their World Series debuts in Colorado, with new caps Ellie Kildunne and Emma Uren both running in tries across the weekend. Amy Wilson Hardy has also joined up with the squad for the upcoming tournament.
Commenting ahead of Dubai, Head Coach James Bailey said: “This is one of the most exciting squads that we’ve taken to a World Series tournament with the blend of players who have performed so well on the world stage in recent years alongside a young crop of players who really impressed in Denver. There were a huge number of positives to draw on from the opening leg last month and we also identified which areas particularly needed developing leading in to Dubai.”
England face Australia, the USA and China in the group stage.
England Women Sevens squad for Dubai:
Abbie Brown ©
Amy Wilson Hardy