England name Sevens squad

  • Last Updated: July 10 2014, 17:38 BST

England Sevens head coach Simon Amor believes his Commonwealth Games squad contains the fittest rugby players in the country and hopes the Glasgow showpiece can open people's eyes to the impressive physical demands of the sport.

Simon Amor: Feels fitness will play a big part
Simon Amor: Feels fitness will play a big part

Amor announced his 12-man squad on Thursday, who go in search of England's first Commonwealth gold since the sport was introduced to the Games in 1998.

Despite its speed and free-flowing style, Sevens continues to play second fiddle to 15-aside in this country but Amor insists the physical attributes of his players are unparalleled.

"Hopefully the Games will open people eyes up to the sheer speed, physicality, pace and the athleticism of the athletes that are now performing," Amor said.

"People are starting to recognise the skill level of the athletes - these guys who have been selected here are the fittest rugby players in England, there's no doubt about that.

"They would wipe the floor with pretty much anyone else and the commitment and sacrifices they make to do that are unbelievable.

"I think that is slowly starting to filter through to people in terms of the demands made of them at the top level."

The 15-aside game has undergone a physical revolution in recent years with an increased emphasis now placed on power, strength and endurance.

Amor insists the demands of Sevens, however, are more explosive and more intense.

"In terms of repetition of speed - the ability to go again, go again, go again, and then go again - these players are the best there is," he said.

"It's a different make-up to 15s where you maybe have a sprint, then a slow jog and then maybe a stoppage in play - in Sevens you are going, you are going and then you're done."

The rigorous physical challenge and the unforgiving nature of the smaller-sided game has encouraged greater interaction with the 15-aside format.

Young players at Aviva Premiership clubs are encouraged to gain Sevens experience while England coaches Andy Farrell and Mike Catt have both taken sessions with Amor's players.

"We're not differentiating too much between the Sevens and the 15s players," Amor said.

"If that means some of them are better suited to play Sevens, fantastic, but actually if it means they're going to be better for their 15s sides as a result, that's brilliant as well."

He continued: "A lot of it is about what it means to be English - that's a really big focus for (England head coach) Stuart Lancaster and he's done a lot of work on that.

"Fundamentally it's about doing the basics incredibly well when you're absolutely shattered - we can't over-complicate things too much.

"A lot of the stuff we do is similar to what Farrell and Catt do with their defence and their attack so there's lots and lots of crossover and lots and lots of sharing ideas."

England are drawn in Pool D in Glasgow alongside Sri Lanka, who they play first, Uganda and Australia.

To win the tournament they will likely have to beat New Zealand, who are clear favourites having won all four gold medals to date.

Amor's squad includes eight players who finished third at the Marriott London Sevens - the final event of the HSBC Sevens World Series - in May.

Charlie Hayter, who recently signed for England Sevens from Wasps, and London Scottish captain Mark Bright earn their spots while Tom Mitchell continues as captain.

It is a relatively experienced line-up albeit with eight players who will be playing at a Commonwealth Games for the first time.

"The Commonwealth Games is such a unique environment in terms of the pride that comes with being part of Team England and how you feed off other sports' successes," Amor said.

"Managing those energy levels is quite unique and we've only got four guys who have been in that environment before but the experience on the field of playing in big tournaments is very important to this group."

He added: "It will be incredibly exciting. Playing at the Ibrox Stadium with the 50,000 fans and the history that goes with that place, I think it'll make it a pretty special tournament."

Full England Sevens squad: Daniel Bibby, John Brake, Mark Bright, Philip Burgess, Michael Ellery, Charlie Hayter, Christian Lewis-Pratt, Tom Mitchell (captain), Dan Norton, Tom Powell, James Rodwell, Marcus Watson.