England call up for Packman

Date published: April 29 2014

England U20 player Howard Packman will join the England Sevens squad for the first time as they compete in the Glasgow 7s.

England U20 player Howard Packman will join the England Sevens squad for the first time as they compete in the Glasgow 7s this weekend.

This is the only change to the side that finished third and second in Tokyo and Hong Kong respectively.

The Northampton Saints Academy full-back/wing replaces Jack Clifford, who had an impact and benefited from the experience of the previous two tournaments.

Packman has represented England at each age group since Under 16s and will hope to follow in Clifford's footsteps in June when he heads to New Zealand as part of the Under 20s squad to defend the IRB Junior World Championship trophy, lifted by the former captain last year.

“Howard has played for a number of England teams and has been a super talent from a very young age, said England Sevens head coach Simon Amor.

“This is a great opportunity to get him involved in the Glasgow tournament. With the Junior World Championship very much in mind, this will help with his preparation and development.

“In training with the squad, he has proved that he is a devastating runner and we are hoping that he will not only add something to the England Sevens team but also gain a lot from the experience.

“It's a challenge for any team when new players come in at different stages but the squad understands how sevens fits into the England development pathway.

“Our ability to do this reflects the strength and unity of the core group and credit must go particularly to the senior players for integrating the young guys and bringing them up to speed.”

England are currently fourth in the world series standings, eight points behind Fiji who trail South Africa and New Zealand, with just Glasgow and the Marriott London Sevens (May 10 & 11) left to play. They face Canada, France and Japan on day one of competition in Glasgow.

“France and Canada are particularly physical teams,” added Amor.

“We have beaten Canada by a single score in the past two tournaments and the last time we played France it was very close.

“It will be a good test for our young team. Japan were outstanding in Hong Kong and justifiably won the qualification tournament. Their strength is their speed and dynamism so they provide a different threat and are certainly not to be underestimated.”

England Sevens: Dan Bibby, Phil Burgess, Sam Blanchet, Alex Gray, Tom Mitchell (c), Dan Norton, Howard Packman, Tom Powell, James Rodwell, Sam Stanley, Marcus Watson, Jack Walsh