Rugby sevens has flourished in recent years, since its humble beginnings at Melrose Rugby Football Club in 1883.
Competitions are enjoyed throughout the country, ranging from club tournaments, school competitions, regional series, university events, the Premiership sevens and the IRB World Series.
Whilst sevens festivals are taking shape all across the country, with more this year than ever, the international circuit traditionally finishes with the Twickenham Sevens in London. New Zealand lifted the season’s trophy on that day; however, this year there is one more international showdown on the calendar – the Commonwealth Games.
The home nations had one final tournament left in preparation for the Games, as England, Scotland, Wales and a number of other internationals competed in the inaugural Sevens and the City multi-sport festival.
The new rugby sevens festival, run by Matt Stevens and David Strettle, was held at their Saracens home ground – Allianz Park and the Talking Rugby Union team were on site to bring you all the action and the latest insight ahead of Glasgow.
TRU’s Austin Halewood caught up with England Captain Tom Mitchell, who was nominated for the World Sevens Player of the Year Award this year, on the day.
“it’s going really well for us here,” Tom began, “we’ve had two games so far; obviously we are here trying to work on a few things before the Commonwealths, so we are just here to enjoy it.
“There’s a great atmosphere and the guys have done a great job up here putting it together, so, yeah, we are really enjoying it.”
With the Games now under two weeks away the team Captain explained how preparations were going and how the squad was coming together.
“Preparation’s really good. The boys have been working really hard for the last couple of months since the season finished and we’ve been putting the work in in the gym and out on the field trying to get a few things right after the season. Hopefully that will all pay off.
“There’s a lot of belief that we can do well up in Glasgow!”
England recorded a dominant victory over New Zealand at the London sevens in the final series of the calendar, but have struggled to keep such brilliant performances consistent all season.
With four-time Champions New Zealand there alongside Australia, South Africa, Samoa and many others, Tom and the England team are ready for mightily competitive series.
“It’s what makes the Commonwealths so good – that all the top sides are there and we’ve mixed it with them all season long, really.
“We ended up finishing fourth but we have beaten all of the teams in the World Series this year and we are very confident that we can beat them on our day and with the time that we have had to work on things, yeah, we are really confident.”
Hear the entire exclusive interview with Tom in the video above, as he looks at the competition England will face in Glasgow and some of the other home nations playing on the day at Sevens and the City.
Make sure you stay tuned to Talking Rugby Union in the build up to and throughout the Games as we will be bringing you all the best insight, interviews, reaction and analysis from the Commonwealth Sevens.