Ryan changes two for Wellington leg
January 18, 2012
Tom Mitchell crosses the line for Oxford in the 2011 Varsity Match © Getty Images
England Sevens coach Ben Ryan has opted to make two changes to the squad for the next two legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
While Nick Royle and Simon Hunt miss out on selection for the tournaments in Wellington - played over February 3 and 4 - and Las Vegas, taking place between February 10 and 12, Ryan has called on the fit-again John Brake and the uncapped Tom Mitchell.
Mitchell took part in this year's Varsity Match for Oxford University and crossed the line during their 28-10 win. Brake, however, has recovered from a broken finger which meant he missed both the Dubai and South Africa legs of the tournament.
England are just four points off the top of the table behind Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa after the opening three rounds which included their tournament win in Dubai. And Ryan is excited about Mitchell's potential as he embarks on his first tour with the Sevens side
"After the Varsity Match we wanted him to come in and measure himself against everyone else and he's surprised himself and everyone else in the way he's understood things," said Ryan. "He's a bright bloke who can play in a number of positions. He's very quick and has good game understanding and the fact that he's forced his way into a squad that doesn't have any injuries and has won a title this season shows that we're in a position of strength.
"It's good to be able to welcome back John Brake and we're in good shape going to what's been a happy hunting ground for us in recent years at Wellington."
England Sevens: Greg Barden (captain), John Brake, Chris Cracknell, Isoa Damudamu (British Army), Christian Lewis-Pratt, Tom Mitchell (Oxford University), Dan Norton, Tom Powell, James Rodwell, Mathew Turner, Rob Vickerman, Marcus Watson (Saracens)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports
Wales did the All Blacks a favour with their best effort against New Zealand for many years, for 68 minutes at Millennium Stadium, Craig Dowd writes
In the wake of another perfect November series, Monday Maul talks to NZRU CEO Steve Tew about the constant demand for perfection