Norton: ‘I would have liked to play more XVs’

Date published: April 5 2017

England Sevens star Dan Norton has admitted that he wonders what a career in XVs would have been like as he sits on the verge of history.

Norton is expected to break the record for the most tries ever in the Sevens World Series this weekend in Hong Kong. The 29-year-old is level with Kenya’s Collins Injera on 244 tries.

Previously contracted by Gloucester, his hometown club for who he made one single appearance, Norton regularly returns home and admits to wondering how his career might have turned out had he not signed on with England Sevens.

Norton told The Guardian: “I would like to have played a lot more fifteens but that’s the way a professional career goes. Occasionally when I pop back and see my parents in Gloucester I do think: ‘What if?’

“At times it’s a horrible thought but I’m very fortunate Sevens has put me where I am today and given me the confidence and ability to show my skills on a world stage.”

That being said, Norton also encouraged those players in England unable to crack a chance with the first team to consider making the switch to Sevens.

“I think it helps a player no end,” Norton explained.

“For most players from the back row backwards, it helps your skill-set – your passing, your catching, your decision-making. Not only do you have to be fit and strong; you have to be fast and have a good game IQ.

“It makes you an all-round better player in a more intense environment than playing in the A league or getting loaned out to a Championship club.”

England head into Hong Kong in second place in the Series rankings behind South Africa, having won the last tournament in Vancouver.