England progress to Paris Sevens Cup quarter-finals

  • England stay unbeaten in Paris Sevens pool 
  • Draw final match 12-12 against Kenya
  • England will play the USA at 9.50am (BST)

England topped their pool at the Paris Sevens to progress to the Cup quarter-finals where they will meet the USA. 

England began their campaign in the penultimate HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series competition with a 31-0 win over Spain before beating France 24-7 but were held to a 12-12 draw against Kenya. 

England top the group

Tom Bowen helped England break the deadlock against Kenya, leading a counter attack to give Ruaridh Mcconnochie the chance to sprint down the wing and score in the corner. 

The conversion attempt was missed and Kenya equalled the scores soon after through Frank Wanyama who got around the outside of Ollie Lindsay-Hague to make it 5-5 at half time. 

Charlie Hayter put England ahead once again early in the second half, cutting inside from the wing to set up Dan Bibby who converted his own try to give them a seven point lead. 

But Dennis Ombachi sealed a draw for Kenya, taking advantage of a broken England defence to break through and score under the posts. 

"Kenya are always a tough team to play, they are physical and love running with the ball in hand," said James Rodwell. 

"We got things a little wrong on some occasions but the boys showed real heart to stick in there and keep to the game plan. We needed to make some positional changes for that final game and had to adapt.

"We’re into the quarter finals and we can go back to the hotel now and build for tomorrow."

England thrive under pressure 

Bowen got England off to a sensational start against France, sprinting the length of the pitch to score the first try of the game and dampen a raucous French atmosphere. 

With 30 seconds left in the first half, Lindsay-Hague fed Dan Norton who sprinted through to score his second try of the tournament, making it 12-0 at half time.

An early breakdown in the second half saw Bowen pounce on a loose ball, passing to Lindsay-Hague who had the pace to score his side’s third try.

France, energised by their home support, responded well through Jeremy Aicardi who touched down from a cross-field kick to bring the score to 17-7 but the comeback was short-lived. 

Tom Mitchell, showing no signs of injury having missed the last tournament, beat two defenders to score under the posts and converted his own try to make it 24-7 at the final whistle. 

Sirker shows his speed 

Bowen scored England’s first try of the tournament, carving through Spain’s defence after three minutes. Bibby converted to make it 7-0 and put his side in control.

Spain responded by going through the phases in attack but England's defence held firm and when the ball was dropped, Bibby pounced, kicking the ball ahead and winning the chase to score the second try of the game. 

Bibby got his hands on the ball again from the restart, floating a pass out to Norton who wasn't going to be stopped as he sprinted down the left wing make it 19-0 at half-time. 

Callum Sirker was the star of the second half, scoring two sensational tries. The 19-year-old showed his speed to go round the outside for his first before charging through the middle for his second to make it 31-0 at full time. 

England Sevens squad for Paris: Dan Bibby, Tom Bowen, Phil Burgess, Will Edwards, Harry Glover, Charlie Hayter, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Ruaridh McConnochie, Tom Mitchell, Callum Sirker, Dan Norton, James Rodwell, 13th man: Will Glover.