Rob Vickerman assesses England 7s performance

The former England skipper and now host, Rob Vickerman gave his two-cents on how England 7s performance is going.

England made their return to the big stage at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Spain last month, participating in both the Malaga leg and Seville.

South Africa was a dominant force since the restart of the Sevens Series with Argentina posing as a huge challenger. The Blitzboks have held their five tournament Championship title streak and a whopping 30-game winning streak.

Vickerman had a few things to say about England’s performance.

“England returned in resplendent white, with new players recruited from universities and club rugby, and quickly had to adapt to the intensity of international Sevens, as to invitational Sevens, of which many had played previously.

Squads totalled 10 debutants across both men and women, with stalwart James Rodwell coaching England Women. By way of summary, England’s men used their significant size to power their way through the tournament, with some heart stopping moments in pool and knockout play.”

”Other than a humbling 43-0 loss to trend setters South Africa, beating France, Australia, and Scotland were real highlights and Alex Davis’ last play winner against England’s auld enemy personified his tenacity, resolve and leadership. Their bronze medal was a wonderful achievement, and will give them significant confidence ahead of this weekend in Seville. England Women finished seventh in Malaga, so will be seeking improvement in performance, but have good groundings to build on. ”

”The siesta is still very much a way of living in the Andalusian capital, but hopes are that the Sevens this weekend will override the 4-8pm lull and be an awakening. South Africa are still hoping to continue their winning streak, knowing that an asterisk may well be in the minds of some – with no Fiji or New Zealand attending – but their sheer mindedness and domination of beating everything in front of them demands the respect of the rugby world. ”

”England Men will contest a largely Six Nations vibe in their pool against France and Wales, and for the likes of imposing Browning and Trenholm, and guile of Roddick and Boyland, they will be confident of again pushing for a place on the podium.”

”England Women will have the task of reigning champions USA and their neighbours Canada to push through the pools, then the competitiveness of the women’s top seeds in the series makes it very hard in knockout rounds, but England must back themselves.”