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IRB Sevens World Series 2011-12 / Features
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Filling the down time
Chris Cracknell
May 16, 2012
England's Chris Cracknell looks for an offload, HSBC World Sevens Series, London, Twickenham, London, England, May 12, 2012
Chris Cracknell tries to offload © Getty Images
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Teams: England

I've just woken up and what am I going to do? No rugby, fitness or weights session or meetings to go to. I'm at home and not in a hotel room. It's all very surreal.

I've just been out for breakfast and had the American pancakes that I've been eyeing up since spotting them on the menu six months ago and I'm feeling slightly sick after topping that off with a pain au chocolat. I can finally relax, once my body recovers from the two batterings that were Saturday and Sunday at the Marriott London Sevens.

And what a weekend of rugby it was, with Fiji finally running out victors of a terrific tournament and more than 100,000 people passing through the gates of Twickenham dressed in flairs and giant wigs, some of whom seemed to be reliving their youth and had dusted of the clothes from the first time since the 70s happened!

For England the weekend was not what we had hoped for as a collective. It came down to some fine margins and made for some exciting rugby and finishes to games. Our quarter final against Fiji went down to the final play, we then beat South Africa in the closing seconds and then lost out to Australia in the Plate Final where if Dan Bibby's penalty been struck differently we'd have won.

There were positives from the weekend, though. Mat Turner took the award for top try scorer of the HSBC Sevens World Series, Sam Edgerley continued his fine form from last weekend, Jeff Williams took his opportunity and scored on debut and our entire team will all be around next year enabling us to build our third place finish and the good work we have started this season. For England's women, they can celebrate after their captain Michaela Staniford won the Player of the Year award and they took back-to-back titles in Hong Kong and London.

It's an exciting time to be involved in the game of Sevens. Once the London 2012 games are over we're joining the Olympic cycle and then the only way is up for the sport. There are a number of our squad who will be there in Rio 2016. More than 80% of our players are 24 or under and the programme Ben Ryan is building means the players should be at their peak by the time we get to 2016.

 
It's an exciting time to be involved in the game of Sevens. Once the London 2012 games are over we're joining the Olympic cycle
 

Now I'm washing my pancakes down with another flat white (and as it's slamming it down with rain, I'm probably going to order another) it's time to relax and reflect on what has been a fantastic and enjoyable series that has taken us all around the globe once again to nine tournaments and finished with New Zealand winning their 10th world title and their coach Gordon Tietjens being inducted into the IRB hall of fame on Sunday night.

No doubt this novelty of doing very little will wear off after a day or two and I'll be back running around or doing some form of training. Before we know it, pre-season will be upon us and life will resemble normality again - running a lot and feeling tired a lot!

Congratulations again to New Zealand and bring on next season and the 2012/13 campaign.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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