- Tonks scores three tries on day one
- Alex Davis Q&A ahead of Mitsubishi Motors Exeter 7s
England will face Ireland in the Cup quarter-final of the Mitsubishi Motors Exeter 7s (Sky Sports 3, 11.20am).
They ended day one with a 19-5 victory over Italy with tries from George Chatterton, Alex Davis and Mason Tonks.
That followed two earlier defeats to Spain and Germany in the final leg of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series.
England’s opening game of the day ended in defeat, Spain sealing a 22-17 victory courtesy of two late tries.
They trailed 12-10 at the break with England scoring fine individual tries through Harry Glover and Tonks.
In between those scores Callum Sirker was stretchered off but England came fighting back and Henry Martin went over in the corner to give them the lead.
However, Spain won it, crossing twice with their winning try coming in the final seconds of the game.
They next faced Germany and went down to a 17-5 defeat, Tonks continuing his impressive tournament with another try.
The day ended with a win over Italy, Chatterton running a good support line to finish off a decent team move as England led 7-5 at the break.
Captain Davis scored a fine individual try to extend the lead with Will Edwards’ conversion taking it to 14-5. Tonks then powered through three tackles to seal victory.
Character and confidence
Commenting on England’s performance, England Sevens assistant coach Tony Roques who is leading the team this weekend, said: “I’m so pleased that the boys dug deep to get the win against Italy; achieving that will give them a lot of confidence.
“We got progressively more aggressive in our defence and showed what we can do if we stick to a simple pattern.
“The most pleasing thing from today is that the attitude was phenomenal throughout. They worked really hard for each other and in sevens that’s massively important."
He added that the experience would be vital to the squad in the coming months.
“This tournament is huge for the development of this young side; they’re playing on an international stage which is a great stepping stone and as a result, we’re building a really strong pool of players that we can start selecting from for the World Series.”
England squad: George Chatterton, Mason Tonks, Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas, Charlie Kingham, Alex Davis ©, Jordan Ainslie, Will Edwards, Tom Ffitch, Harry Glover, Ryan Olowofela, Henry Martin, Callum Sirker.