England Sevens run rule over Erinle
March 4, 2011
Erinle won his two England caps during the 2009 end of year internationals © Getty Images
Former England centre Ayoola Erinle has linked up with the England Sevens squad ahead of the next two legs of the HSBC World Series.
Erinle and national league record try-scorer Phil Chesters have both been drafted into the training squad by head coach Ben Ryan ahead of the Hong Kong Sevens (March 25-27) and the Adelaide Sevens (April 2-3).
England, who currently lead the Series standings, will need to make at least one change to the squad that was on duty last month in Wellington and Las Vegas with wing Simon Hunt on duty with Birmingham & Solihull during the Championship play-offs. Isoa Damudamu, who suffered a shoulder injury in Wellington, was replaced at the USA Sevens by Esher's Mark Odejobi.
Erinle, the former Wasps, Leicester and most recently Biarritz centre, was capped by England during the 2009 end of year internationals having previously appeared for England Saxons and England Sevens. Ealing Trailfinders wing Chesters joined the group having overhauled Chris Ashton's National League record of 39 tries in a season last month. He currently has 42 in 21 appearances for leaders Ealing in National League Two South.
In addition, former England Sevens wing Uche Oduoza and London Irish duo Marcus Watson and Sam Edgerley were present at this week's sessions at the Lensbury Club. Ryan will also have Ollie Lindsay-Hague available now the Harlequins utility back has recovered from injury sustained at George in the second event of the season.
"We've been keeping tabs on a number of different players for different reasons," said Ryan. "Uche Oduoza is returning to full fitness now after a knee reconstruction, Ayoola is on our radar again now he's back in London and we wanted to run the rule over him, and Phil has been breaking records so it was a great opportunity to see the standard he's at.
"We've also had the two young London Irish lads in who have both played for England's age group teams and it's important we keep looking at a wider pool of players as we move forwards."
England and New Zealand are level on 80 points at the top of the HSBC Sevens World Series - England lead on the number of finals reached - ahead of Fiji (64), Samoa (64) and South Africa (56).
Two more successful tournaments will see England back on home soil with a chance of clinching a first ever series victory when the global tour makes its final two stops at the Emirates Airline London Sevens (May 21-22) and the Emirates Airline Edinburgh Sevens (May 28-29).
"We've reached a pivotal point in the series because we don't want to come back to London playing catch-up," said Ryan. "We need really strong performances in the next two tournaments and we haven't pulled up any trees in the last few years at Adelaide or Hong Kong despite some good individual wins."
England will name their squad for Hong Kong and Adelaide at the end of next week.
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