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England announces Sevens squad

28 Feb 06 23:20
Dan Luger in IRB Sevens action in February. 

Dan Luger in IRB Sevens action in February.

The Commonwealth Games Council for England has announced its 15-man Rugby 7s squad, a blend of Sevens veterans and exciting youngsters who have earned selection through impressive performances so far this season.

England Sevens captain Simon Amor, the former International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens player of the year, will lead the side supported by experienced players including Magnus Lund and Ben Gollings.

World Cup winner Dan Luger has also been included in the 15-man squad. Luger, 31, won the last of his 38 caps in the 2003 World Cup quarter-final victory over Wales having been a regular fixture on the wing. He previously toured Australia with the 2001 British and Irish Lions.

"I really enjoy playing Sevens, and pulling on the England shirt again for the first time since the Rugby World Cup felt fantastic," said Luger.

England coach Mike Friday is pleased with the final line-up of talent heading to Melbourne.

“The Commonwealth Games will be one of the biggest occasions in these players’ lives and it was incredibly hard to just choose 15 players," he said. "The squad sees a few of the more experienced players return to the fold including Magnus Lund, Ben Lewitt and Richard Haughton.

“I truly believe that this squad includes some of the future stars of England Rugby and this experience will be an integral part of their player development.”

Also in the touring party released by the Rugby Football Union were centres Henry Paul and Mathew Tait, and wing Tom Varndell, who scored a try on his senior debut last November but has failed to gain selection for the Six Nations.

The 15 man squad departs for Australia on Sunday, 5 March, and will be trimmed to a 12-man team prior to the tournament at the Telstra Dome.

The England 15-man squad for the Commonwealth Games Rugby 7s is:

Simon Amor (captain, Gloucester), Danny Care (Leeds Tykes), Ben Gollings (Sunnybank, Australia), Richard Haughton (Saracens), Dan Luger (unattached), Magnus Lund (Sale Sharks), Nils Mordt (London Irish), Ben Lewitt (Northampton Saints), Henry Paul (Gloucester), Ben Russell (Saracens), David Seymour (Saracens), David Strettle (Rotherham), Mathew Tait (Newcastle Falcons), Tom Varndel (Leicester Tigers), Andy Vilk (Northampton Saints).

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