England Rugby scrap sevens team due to impact of COVID-19
Huge news from Twickenham this morning
England Rugby have decided to scrap their sevens programme due to the financial impact of COVID-19. The news will come as a shock to fans all over the globe who recognise England as one of the world's biggest names.
According to a report published by The Telegraph, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) informed England men's and women's teams that their contracts would not be renewed at the end of the month.
A spokesperson for the RFU said:
"We have approached UK Sport for funding and are exploring the option for a Team GB sevens team.
"We are also in dialogue with World Rugby about the programme for the World Sevens Series and when games are likely to be played. With no current support in funding we are not in a position to sustain the team in its current format."
The current crop of players are said to be extremely disappointed with the way the situation has been handled.
Also speaking to The Telegraph, England winger Dan Norton said:
"The more I think about it, the more frustrated I get.
"I have been fortunate enough to give 10 years and I do know that professional sport is pretty ruthless."
Norton is the all-time leading tryscorer in the history of rugby sevens, with over 350 tries to his name. He was also part of the Team GB squad that won silver at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Norton previously told JOE how the England squad trains in the gym.
"Our training revolves around three-to-four compound lifts, such as the bench press, squat and power clean, but their programming can vary.
"Some of the lifts may be geared towards building strength and power - with that you lift heavy. Other times we work on muscular endurance - so while the load is lighter, the reps are higher."
An example HIIT session they follow is:
- Pull-ups [30 seconds, as many reps as possible]
- Farmers walk [30 seconds, 20 yards and return, as many laps as possible]
- Prowler pushes [30 seconds, 20 yards and return, as many laps as possible]
- Battle ropes [30 seconds, all out, max intensity]
Repeat for four or five rounds.
The England sevens setup has provided a platform for notable names including current Danny Care and Ruaridh McConnochie. 2003 World Cup winners Matt Dawson and Lawrence Dallaglio also played sevens for England before breaking into the 15s setup.