England Sevens have named their squad for the Wellington leg of the World Series, with former New Zealand player Warwick Lahmert included.
Worcester Warriors’ James Stephenson comes into the squad alongside new signing Lahmert while Tom Mitchell continues to captain the side.
England are without Dan Bibby, Sam Stanley, Phil Burgess, Sam Blanchet and Callum Wilson through injury, while Dan Norton is absent on compassionate leave.
“We’ve lost some experienced players ahead of this leg, but it’s great to bring back Marcus Watson and we’re extremely grateful to Worcester Warriors and Dean Ryan for allowing both Richard De Carpentier and James Stephenson to join us,” said head coach Simon Amor.
“It’s also pleasing to bring Warwick in who has World Series experience with New Zealand and has the potential to be a great player for us.
England will face Papua New Guinea, Canada and hosts New Zealand in Wellington and Amor is expecting a tough test.
He added: “It’s a tricky one – certainly. Papua New Guinea are a little bit of an unknown quality but they have a strong Fijian influence and will be dangerous, Canada will be extremely physical and then New Zealand will of course be a real challenge on their own turf.
“It’s a challenge, particularly with the inexperienced group that we have heading out there, but we’ve trained well and it’s a challenge we’re looking forward to.”
England Sevens squad for Wellington: Tom Bowen, John Brake, Richard De Carpentier, Alex Gray, Charlie Hayter, Warwick Lahmert, Christian Lewis-Pratt, Tom Mitchell (captain), James Rodwell, James Stephenson, Marcus Watson, Jeff Williams.