England have been handed a tough draw in which they face the likes of Kenya, Spain and Samoa on the opening day of the HSBC Sevens World Series. The draw for the international Rugby Sevens series was made in Gold Coast, Australia on Monday, the 17th of September for the tournament that is set to be held on the 13th of October. And still, the England team will still start as favorites to progress through the group stages after finishing 3rd last time around.
However, they will have their work cut out against the likes of Samoa, who finished the last edition of the Rugby Sevens series at 4th, and Kenya who finished 12th. Spain, on the other hand, are a new ‘core team’ for the edition of this season, after they finished the qualifying series in 2nd. But Ben Ryan, the head coach of the England team believes that his team will still start as favorites. According to the England boss, his team is in good shape and although they will have to careful against the likes of Samoa and Kenya, he still believes that the side is good enough to qualify.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Ryan seemed extremely confident when he stated that the team is extremely confident after the pre-season they have had, and moreover, with competition for places intense in the side, that standards in the side have also sky rocketed. He went on to add that the Gold Coast draw goes to show how close they are to the kickoff of the most intense season of the Rugby Sevens series.
Ryan also mentioned that they are in the Olympic cycle at the moment, with the Rugby Sevens World Cup in June in Moscow following the HSBC Sevens World Series, and they have to build momentum for that.