England Sevens finished fourth at the inaugural DHL Oktoberfest 7s after losing to South Africa in the bronze final match in Munich.
Simon Amor’s side finished third in Pool B after the first day of games following a 26-14 win over Uganda, a 12-10 victory over Argentina and a 14-21 loss to hosts Germany.
However, on day two England beat Germany 26-12 in the cup quarter-final to set up a last four tie against the Australians, but lost 32-7 to the eventual winners in the last four.
In the penultimate game of the tournament in Germany, England lost 7-42 to South Africa in the bronze final at the Olympic Stadium.
“This tournament was about giving this young side the opportunity to play against some top-level teams, to be challenged and to be tested through different styles of opposition, and the way that they did that from the first game right the way through to the last was absolutely excellent,” said England Sevens head coach Simon Amor.
“To lose Ben Howard and Callum Sirker who were playing excellently and also Jordan Ainslie at the start of the tournament really stretched the squad thinly, but we’re so pleased with the way they kept on fighting under some testing conditions which shows real strength in character.
“The most important thing that the squad will take away from this tournament is the effort that is required consistently to be successful at this top level, and additionally I think they’ll understand that with more hard work they are not that far away from being top players themselves.”
The 12-man academy squad was a mixture of full-time senior and academy England Sevens players, as well as players from Aviva Premiership academies and selected universities.
England were joined by 11 international teams for the inaugural tournament, many of which have previously competed on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. They include: South Africa, Fiji, France, Argentina, Australia, Spain, Germany, Chile, Portugal, Uganda and Ireland.
England’s fixtures, Friday 29 September:
England 26-14 Uganda
England 14-21 Germany
England 12-10 Argentina
Saturday 30 September:
Cup quarter-final – England 26-12 Germany
Cup semi-final – England 7-32 Australia
Cup bronze final – England 7-42 South Africa
England Sevens squad for DHL Oktoberfest 7s:
Jordan Ainslie (Bath University) George Chatterton Will Edwards, c Lailand Gordon Fergus Guiry Ben Howard (Worcester Warriors) Charlie Kingham (Loughborough University) Ryan Olowofela Callum Sirker Charlie Spawforth Mason Tonks (Gloucester Rugby) Ethan Waddleton