Barden to skipper England Sevens
November 22, 2011
Greg Barden will captain England for the first time in Australia on Friday © PA Photos
Greg Barden has been given the England Sevens captain's armband ahead of the 2011-12 HSBC Sevens World Series.
The former Royal Marine has lined up in 11 World Series tournaments for England in the past and has since committed himself on a fulltime contract to England having left the military. Barden, who has also turned out for Bristol and Newbury, will be supported by former Newcastle Falcon Rob Vickerman.
"We've got a good group of senior players who've led the squad well, three of them being Greg Barden, Rob Vickerman and Chris Cracknell," said England coach Ben Ryan. "Greg has enormous respect from everyone. He's quiet but when he does speak everyone listens and he leads by example.
"His last appearance for us was in the Hong Kong final when he was absolutely outstanding. He really does epitomise wanting to give everything you possibly can when wearing an England shirt."
And Barden is relishing the chance to lead the Sevens side out. He 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.
"Throughout the squad there's a huge amount of experience that we can draw upon. Rob Vickerman's been with the sevens before and in the Aviva Premiership with Newcastle and Leeds so his experience is second to none. Chris Cracknell has been in the fold for quite a few years now, James Rodwell's got 25 tournaments under his belt, the list goes on."
England face Scotland (03.19 GMT), Tonga (06.25) and Wales (10.52) in Pool D on the tournament's opening day on Friday.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape