IRB Sevens World Series
Armitage drafted in by England Sevens
ESPNscrum Staff
May 17, 2011
London Irish flanker Steffon Armitage breaks through, London Irish v Harlequins, Aviva Premiership, Madejski Stadium, Reading, England, February 26, 2011
Steffon Armitage has been drafted in by England Sevens © Getty Images

Steffon Armitage will make his England Sevens debut in the London leg of the IRB Sevens World Series this weekend.

The England flanker, who will join Toulon next season following his release by London Irish, will take over from the injured Greg Barden, who has been ruled out with a neck complaint.

England are currently second on the Series standings, 13 points behind New Zealand, and face a must-win tournament in front of their home fans.

Coach Ben Ryan, who on Wednesday confirmed a two-year Sevens contract for Newcastle's Rob Vickerman, believes that Armitage can do a job at the breakdown.

"He brings a lot of international experience and he has a world class ability to stay on his feet, win turnovers and dominate the breakdown, which gives us another layer of expertise and makes him the ideal replacement for Greg," he said.

Armitage's last England cap came in the 2010 Six Nations and he will be putting his senior international ambitions on hold when he moves France. The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has already made clear that overseas-based players will not be selected for England following this year's World Cup. The openside is due to undergo a medical with Toulon on Wednesday.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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