GB 7s squads announced for Gdynia

GB Sevens will compete for the final time ahead of the Rio Olympics this weekend in Gdynia, Poland in the remaining round of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series.

Two squads have been fielded at each tournament and last weekend saw the GB Royals win the cup at the Mitsubishi Exeter Sevens while the GB Lions lifted the plate.

The draw for Poland sees the GB Royals face Lithuania, Italy and Germany on Saturday while the GB Lions take on Georgia, Poland and France.

Injuries to Marcus Watson and Dan Bibby (both hamstring strains) and Cory Allen (concussion) mean that they are unable to feature while Luke Morgan is ruled out of contention for the Olympics having ruptured his ACL.

The winger scored five tries across the Exeter pool stages and quarter final and Head Coach Simon Amor praised his contribution over the past six weeks.

“We’re all incredibly disappointed for Luke,” said Amor. “He was on absolute red-hot form and playing his best rugby so it is dreadfully tough for him.  I can’t speak highly enough of him as a player and as a person. 

“From the start we’ve spoken a lot about putting Team GB first and from the moment Luke came off the pitch injured he didn’t outwardly let him affect him at all, he went straight back into the changing room, and did the best that he could for the team which says so much about him as a person as well as the Team GB spirit that has been created.”

A return to fitness for Tom Bowen allows him to come back into the GB Royals in place of Morgan and Joseva Nayacavou switches for Cory Allen.  In the absence of Bibby and Watson, Cameron Cowell (England Sevens) and Morgan Williams (Ospreys Rugby) have the opportunity to benefit from playing alongside the GB Lions while Owen Jenkins (Wales Sevens) also travels with the squad.

Amor added: “After he played well in Sevens and the City, Joseva Nayacavou was unlucky not to play in Exeter.

“It is great that he is once again involved and bringing his x-factor this weekend.  We’re also delighted to name Tom Bowen who has missed out the past few weeks with a knee injury.   

“The tournament will be great experience for Cameron, who has performed well on the World Series this year, and for another young player, Morgan Williams who featured in the Singapore, Paris and London legs for Wales Sevens.   It will be exciting to see where they can go with their future sevens’ careers and this opportunity will really add to their development.”

The 27-man GB Sevens squad gathered for the first time at the end of May for an intensive programme of training and competition.  Earlier this week, the players were informed as to which 12 have been selected to represent Team GB at the Rio Olympics and this will be announced publically on Tuesday (19 July). 

We were always aware that this was going to be a challenging week but the way that the players took the news, both good and bad was huge credit to every single one of them, “ said Amor.“This is a group of very talented players who have pushed themselves and each other to the limit over the last seven weeks to make sure that, whichever 12 go to Rio, they are in the best place to compete for Team GB. 

“With a special GB spirit, they have bonded well and this is the last opportunity to all play together as GB Sevens - it marks the end of this part of the programme and we want to finish with strong performances to take us into Rio.” 

GB Royals           

Tom Bowen
Alex Davis          
Jamie Farndale 
Alex Gray           
Charlie Hayter
Warwick Lahmert            
Ollie Lindsay-Hague       
Ruaridh McConnochie  
Joseva Nayacavou
Scott Riddell      
James Rodwell
Luke Treharne (c)           

Fixtures: (live stream available via www.rugbyeurope.tv)

v Lithuania (9.52am BST)
v Italy (12.15pm BST)
v Germany (3pm BST)

GB Lions

Mark Bennett   
Phil Burgess       
Cameron Cowell (England Sevens)
Sam Cross          
James Davies    
Richard de Carpentier   
Lee Jones           
Gavin Lowe       
Tom Mitchell (c)              
Dan Norton       
Mark Robertson        
Morgan Williams (Ospreys Rugby)      

Fixtures (live stream available via www.rugbyeurope.tv)

v Georgia (10.58am BST)
v Poland (2.05pm BST)
v France (4.28pm BST)