Head of England Sevens Simon Amor has named his 12-man squad for the HSBC New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton on 26-27 January 2019, broadcast live on Sky Sports Arena.
Two changes have been made to the squad that competed in Cape Town in December with both Ollie Lindsay-Hague and Richard de Carpentier returning from injuries sustained in the opening World Series leg in Dubai.
Newcastle University’s Harry Glover will remain in the UK for this round to continue his studies while Mike Ellery misses out through injury.
England Sevens’ most capped player James Rodwell – who equalled New Zealand’s DJ Forbes’ World Series appearance record of 89 in Cape Town – is named as Amor’s 13th man.
“We have an exciting squad for Hamilton with a real blend of experience and youth,” said Amor.
“The likes of Will Muir, Ryan Olowofela and Charlton Kerr have performed excellently in training and across the opening legs of this season’s World Series and this is really encouraging as we look to continue strengthening the depth of our squad.”
England will face Samoa, Tonga and USA in Pool B on day one of the tournament which will be hosted at the Waikato Stadium.
A women’s invitational tournament will be integrated into the men’s World Series event in Hamilton in which England Women Sevens will compete against New Zealand, China and France in a round robin contest.
Amor added: “From the second you get off the plane in New Zealand you can feel the passion that the nation has for rugby, and especially rugby sevens. We can’t wait to get out and play on the big, fast, flat pitch at the Waikato Stadium which lends itself so well to sevens.
“To have both men’s and women’s tournaments running side by side is brilliant. As a union we’ve been working really hard over the past four months on the integration of our men’s and women’s programmes so it’s great to have the opportunity for both teams to play alongside each other in Hamilton and Sydney.”
England Men Sevens squad for Hamilton:
Richard de Carpentier
Tom Mitchell (c)
13th man: James Rodwell
England’s Pool B fixtures (all times GMT), broadcast live on Sky Sports Arena:
England v Samoa, 21:44 (Friday 25 January)
England v Tonga, 01:32 (Saturday 26 January)
England v USA, 06:06 (Saturday 26 January)