Weekly News Brief | 05 - 11 Dec
- Created: Sunday, 11 December 2016 15:51
1) England succeed in Cape Town
Pic: World Rugby
A 19-17 win over South Africa in the final of the Cape Town Sevens, was just enough for England to win the tournament. With a last minute try by Werner Kok and a yellow card for Dan Norton the game was a close affair up to the end. However, a missed conversion by Justin Geduld eventually ensured the first Cup since Tokyo 2015. Richard de Carpentier and record breaker Dan Norton scored for England after Blitzbok Chris Dry took his team into an early lead.
England close the gap on series leaders South Africa, finishing the first two rounds on 39, two behind South Africa but ahead of Fiji (32), Scotland and New Zelaand (both 27).
2) Dan Norton becomes England’s top-scorer
England’s speedster Dan Norton surpassed Ben Gollings' record to become England Sevens' leading try-scorer. Norton scored twice against Canada on the opening day of the Cape Town Sevens which were his 221st and 222nd tries, two more than previous top-scorer Ben Golling.
In the all-time sevens series stats, the former Hartpury and Bristol Rugby winger sits behind Kenyan Collins Injera (235pts) and Santiago Gomez Cora from Argentina (230pts).
3) Rodwell England’s most capped player
James Rodwell became England’s most capped player this weekend. The 32-year old earned his 71st tournament cap on day 1 of the Cape Town Sevens.
Last season he made history by playing in a record 69th consecutive World Rugby Sevens Series tournament - surpassing South African Frankie Horne’s record of 68.
Rodwell broke the previous record of England Sevens legend Ben Gollings who finished his career on 70 tournament caps. The forward said: "It is pretty surreal that I’m still playing and have overtaken him.
4) Ben Ryan in consideration for Lions coaching role
Since Ben Ryan quit his job as Fijian head coach, the Englishman is regularly linked to other exciting roles in 7s as well as 15s. Ryan’s latest potential career move might be a position with the British and Irish Lions, as the Telegraph reported this week. Lions coach Warren Gatland introduced Steve Borthwick, Andy Farrell and Rob Howley as part of the coaching team for next year’s tour to New Zealand. However, Gatland might add another candidate to strengthen the backroom staff. Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend has been linked as the first choice backs coach, but since the perspective Scotland coach ruled himself out it might be Ben Ryan who joins the tourists.
5) Habana full of praise for 7s
Springbok and Toulon star Bryan Habana spoke in an interview with CNN about his recent Sevens experience. The record try scorer has been left out from the Olympic squad this summer and is now focussing on is 15s career again.
He told CNN: "My respect for sevens and for the individuals involved grew astronomically, given the way they train, the time they put in to being able to develop the game". The 33-year old mentioned how amazed he is by the growth of the game: "I think sevens is just so much different to the 15-man game ... so much can happen within a 14-minute period. I think the popularity of it really has grown"