Five internationals in England sevens squad
England will send a squad containing five senior internationals to the Hong Kong Sevens later this month.
The 12-man contingent is led by Wasps flanker Joe Worsley and Bedford scrum-half Andy Gomarsall, who have both been part of England's all-conquering Six Nations Championship match-day squad this season.
Harlequins flanker Pat Sanderson, Sale wing Steve Hanley and Gloucester's Tom Beim complete the international contingent.
Despite the World's most prestigious sevens Tournament taking place on an Allied Dunbar Premiership weekend, 11 of the 12 first division clubs will provide players. The squad also contains exciting Newcastle three-quarter James Noon, young Northampton scrum-half Ian Vass and little-known Wasps three-quarter Kirk King, who plays for the club's Under-21 side.
The squad will be coached by former Harlequins and Wasps back Adrian Thompson, with Budge Rogers acting as manager. "We would like to thank the clubs for their co-operation," Rogers said.
"We are sending a strong squad who will gain from the experience of playing in the Hong Kong Sevens, and we expect to name the captain next Monday." Rogers added that both Worsley and Gomarsall would be available for England duty when the sevens squad return on March 27. England complete their Six Nations Campaign against Scotland in Edinburgh six days later. "The Sevens will provide the participating players with the opportunity of
producing some excellent performances at international level," Rogers said.
Noon, meanwhile, was one of two players today added to the England senior squad by coach Clive Woodward. Woodward has retained the same 37 players, his Test 22, plus a number of England A and under-21 players, who will report at England's Surrey hotel next Sunday.
Joining them will be Noon and highly rated young Worcester centre Andrew Higgins, as England begin preparations for their penultimate Six Nations match against Italy in Rome next week.
England squad for Hong Kong Sevens from March 24-26
P Sanderson (Harlequins), R Gallacher (London Irish), A Vander (Bristol), B Johnston (Saracens), T Beim (Gloucester), S Hanley (Sale), J Worsley (Wasps), P Gustard (Leicester), A Gomarsall (Bedford), J Noon (Newcastle), I Vass (Northampton), K King (Wasps).
Manager: Budge Rogers. Coach: Adrian Thompson