Norton wants more success after try milestone

England Sevens flyer Dan Norton has already reached one major landmark this year and has his sights firmly set on more success in 2016.

Having scored 200 tries, passing 1000 points for England in Hong Kong last weekend, he has the taste for more.

There is Ben Gollings’ England record of 220 tries for starters. Santiago Gomez Cora’s all-time record of 230 is also on the horizon but more realistically for Norton in 2016 will be earning a place in the Team GB squad for the Rio Games – as sevens makes its Olympic debut.

Claiming silverware for England in their remaining World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments (Singapore, Paris, London) is also high on the list as Norton looks to add to his growing list of achievements.

“At times it does baffle me how I’ve scored so many tries,” Norton told the RFU website. 

“I’ve been fortunate to do it for so many years. I’m honoured to get over 200, it’s a massive achievement, I’m just going to do my best and get as many as I can.”

Norton, 28, rates his try in May 2009 at the final of London Sevens against New Zealand as his favourite of the lot, and who can blame him?

With the game seemingly lost, an inexperienced Norton came on to score a stunning try to take the game into extra time – which England eventually won 31-26.

“I was quite an unknown quantity, pretty scared, not really knowing what was going on when I was told to go on and then when I did I just ran for my life,” he said.

“I’ve been pretty fortunate to score some awesome tries and being one of my first tries and doing it at Twickenham in front of a home crowd it’s definitely going to stand out for a very long time.”

Norton is now firmly established as a senior member of Simon Amor’s England side having made the switch from the 15-man game in 2009.

“Sevens is unique in that you are travelling around the world, playing rugby in some amazing countries and you are able to sample some amazing cultures and cuisines while doing it,” he explained.

“It’s amazing from that point of view, but sevens itself is quite an exciting sport with so much more space to attack and it brings all your skills out… there is more of an opportunity to get my hands on the ball and that is appealing to me.”

Norton describes the possibility of becoming the sport’s all-time try scorer as an “honour” but recognises Kenya’s Collins Injera has a slight advantage on him with 22 more tries to his name.

Next up for England is Singapore and the flying winger hopes he can continue to contribute on the field, “I’m just going to do my best and get as many as I can,” he added.

Part of that legacy could involve an appearance at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, something he describes as “the elephant in the room”.

“We all know it’s getting closer and closer,” he said.

“Everyone around us is getting excited about it and talking about it but for us we have to concentrate on playing well, on our form going into it and then getting selected.

“If we are all on song as a team, we should be playing well and then in turn that will hold us in good stead for the GB tournaments heading into the Olympics.”