Biarritz sign England Sevens star
June 23, 2011
Caprice will have to re-adjust to the XV format of the game © Getty Images
England Sevens' Dan Caprice will play in the Top 14 next season after he agreed a two-year deal to play for Biarritz.
Caprice had spells with Saracens and Blackheath before signing on as one of first intake of centrally contracted England Sevens players. For Caprice the move shows a remarkable rise in his stock and after appearing in 16 HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments, he will now face the challenge of the XV format of the game. "I'm pretty excited about the move and really looking forward to it," said Caprice.
"It was a hard decision to make but I'd always wanted to play in France. They're one of the top teams in Europe and you only have to look at the players there to see that the chance to train day-in, day-out with them is great. The coaching staff are brilliant and I was blown away by the place when I went over there."
Caprice will hope to make a similar impact to Ollie Phillips, the former IRB World Sevens Player of the Year, who enjoyed two seasons in the Top 14 with Stade Francais. He will join a strong English contingent at Biarritz with fullback Iain Balshaw and flanker Magnus Lund already playing in Biarritz. Caprice's England Sevens coach Ben Ryan has also backed the 21-year-old's move. "Dan is a great example of a sevens player going on to be noticed by a top European team," Ryan said.
"We wish him every success with the next stage of his career and he's developed really well during the time he's spent with England Sevens. In a short space of time with us he's gone from being an academy player to a world class sevens player."
Caprice will be joined at the Parc des Sports Aguilera by Fiji Sevens captain Seremaia Burotu. Burotu is also looking forward to becoming part of their exciting brand of rugby. "It's great that they're looking at young players and Sevens players in particular," Burotu said. "Jack Isaac, their backs coach, has a Sevens background and they see Sevens player as good enough as players and athletes to fit in with the exciting rugby they want to play."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9