Familiar settings can aid England in Sevens Series

IMPROVING England are hoping a return to British shores can give them the boost required to secure a maiden victory as this year’s HSBC Sevens World Series nears a conclusion in Glasgow this weekend.

England recorded consecutive fourth and third place finishes after a mid-Series slump and reached a final in Hong Kong last time out before defeat to overall leaders New Zealand.

That gradual improvement has given the Sevens squad belief they can continue their progress in Glasgow this weekend and during the final round at Twickenham.

Fly-half Dan Bibby said: “If you look at our last 12 months we’re always hitting semi-finals, so it’s pleasing to always come away with that. But we just need to take it one step further in these next two tournaments.

“Playing New Zealand was probably one game or one step too far, but it was really pleasing to see some of the improvements that we’ve made. We’re definitely making progress.

“It’s huge to have the last tournament of the series at home, especially coming on the back of the final, although we lost it’s definitely something to improve on and coming to Twickenham in front of a home crowd is going to be the boost we need.”

Bibby is named in England’s 12-man squad this weekend, which includes 18-year-old Howard Packman for the first time.

Coach Simon Amor’s team have won eight of their last 10 games and play fairly modest pool opposition this weekend in Canada, France and Japan.

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