Sevens return for Watson

Date published: May 20 2016

Marcus Watson makes his comeback for England Sevens this weekend for the final round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series at Twickenham.

Having played 26 tournaments and scored over 400 points during his time with England, Watson joined Newcastle Falcons and returned to the 15-a-side game at the end of last season.

Watson’s appearance for England Sevens follows his inclusion in the GB Sevens wider training squad. With Olympic preparations beginning on 30 May, Phil Burgess, Tom Mitchell and Dan Norton were rested for the Paris Sevens last weekend but are named alongside Watson for the home leg.

Head coach Simon Amor has named a strong squad as England aim to finish on a high in a tough pool that includes series leaders Fiji, Australia and Wales.

“There are some great teams in our pool and we are excited about this challenge,” said Amor.

“It will bring out the very best in us and the guys are looking forward to wearing the England shirt with pride in front of their home supporters. The atmosphere at Twickenham is always incredible.

“It is great to welcome back Marcus who was a key part of the team coming top four last year and securing Olympic qualification for Team GB. We’ve enjoyed watching him play so well for Newcastle this year.”

Amor also said academy-graduate Hirskyj-Douglas should be “honoured” at the opportunity to play at Twickenham.

“We’re disappointed that Charlie Hayter is unavailable because of injury but this gives Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas the chance to represent his country at Twickenham, a real honour for a player,” said Amor.

“Oskar joined the academy at the start of the season and has really developed through the opportunities he’s had to compete on the World Series.”

He added: “Results have been tough at times this year as we’ve rested experienced players to ensure that they are fit and fresh for GB Sevens and Olympic preparations. The benefit is that we have gained depth in the squad as younger players have stepped up.

“England Sevens is in an exciting place heading into next season and we’re looking forward to putting in a strong performance this weekend for the supporters.”

England squad for London: Tom Bowen, Phil Burgess, Alex Davis, Richard de Carpentier, Alex Gray, Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas, Warwick Lahmert, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Ruaridh McConnochie, Dan Norton, Tom Mitchell (c), Marcus Watson