Brake, Egerton link up with England Sevens

England Sevens make two changes to the squad with John Brake and Sam Egerton coming in for Phil Burgess and Tom Mitchell as the Sevens World Series heads to Singapore for the first time.

Simon Amor's side take on Portugal, Samoa and Fiji in the pool stages with captain James Rodwell set to play in a record 69th consecutive tournament.

The 31-year-old’s 68 consecutive caps equalled the current record held by South Africa’s Frankie Horne in Hong Kong last weekend, when he scored England’s second try in the Plate final as they beat USA 19-0. 

“James will set an incredible record that can’t be broken when you consider the intensity of the game now," said head coach Amor.

"To go 69 tournaments back to back is phenomenal. Most players can’t string together a handful on the bounce and for him to reach that number, especially as a forward with an aggressive style of play, shows just how durable he is."

Amor also paid tribute to Rodwell's professionalism and believes that despite being a veteran of the squad he is still improving. 

“He really is a superstar, he is incredibly professional, as you must be to play this game, especially for as long and consistently as he has," said Amor.

"What is also impressive is his desire to continue developing. He is the senior member of the programme but is still improving and has more years in him. 

"It will be exciting to see how much better he can become as his experience continues to be so important for the young guys and their personal development.”

Egerton earns his first cap for England Sevens after featuring in a number of invitational tournaments this season. His selection, together with that of Brake, allows Burgess and Mitchell to take some time out from competition.  

“Sam was recently on loan at Harlequins and did well for them and is a great example of a player who has come in, trained really hard with the programme, and has the potential to return to 15-a-side rugby, better from the sevens experience," he said.

"While Sam makes his debut, John takes his total to 41 tournaments and he is a player with an outstanding attitude who has been a great asset for England over the years."

England Sevens squad: Tom Bowen, John Brake, Cameron Cowell, Richard de Carpentier, Sam Egerton, Charlie Hayter, Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas, Warwick Lahmert, Ollie Lindsay-Hague (Harlequins), Ruaridh McConnochie, Dan Norton, James Rodwell (c)