Chris Cracknell Column
Finishing on a high
England 7s international Chris Cracknell
May 10, 2012
England's Chris Cracknell off loads the ball to team-mate John Brake during last weekend's Glasgow 7s © PA Photos
Our season may not yet be over, but a page is being turning behind the doors of the England Sevens camp. We've got a new captain in Rob Vickerman, a pretty out-there new strip - well, for the last two tournaments anyway - and a lot of young exciting English talent in our squad which showcased their abilities last weekend.
I've been involved a while and I'm a pretty old man in our squad (in fact the eldest of the 12 - awkward) but last weekend was one of the most enjoyable I've experienced.
We had a fantastic week down in London, travelled up late to Glasgow on the Wednesday after selection, where Andy Vilk, Simon Hunt and Jeff Williams were all pushing for places and unlucky not to be involved. We had two training sessions there going in to the tournament and finalised a few things on how we wanted to play and be over the course of the two-day tournament.
One of the hardest things in sport is getting the culture within a squad right. It's hard for us, as we are living in one another pockets on such a regular basis. But our culture has been fantastic all season and going into last weekend there was a noticeable change and an air of confidence in one another with everything we did.
The tournament itself in Glasgow was excellent. For some time we'd been wondering what it was going to be like, especially as Edinburgh was not quite our favorite place to play. Glasgow was run smoothly and even the Scottish seemed to be supporting us infrequently
In playing terms, it was almost a clean sweep with a great day one and only a few 'what ifs' from our game in the final against New Zealand. Certainly there was no questioning our commitment and ability with everyone performing and our substitutes made huge impacts, most notably Tom Powell in the semi and quarter-finals and Sam Edgerley, who came on for John Brake in the final with 18 minutes to go and tested their defence every time he touched the egg!
After a quick lap around to thank all our fantastic support up there, we had a mad dash to get to the airport for a late flight to London. Monday brought a much-needed rest day, time to recover with a swim and some sitting in a coffee shop chatting about the last two days and setting the world to rights again...
For us as a squad the coming weekend is another exciting one. Unfortunately Mark Odejobi picked up an injury and isn't available, so there will be one change, but whoever comes in will be singing of the same hymn sheet as the guys were in Scotland last week.
As I write more than 90,000 tickets have been sold for this weekend's Marriott London Sevens at Twickenham. It's set to be a fantastic finale to finish the season.
As I've alluded to in talking about the fantastic culture in the squad and the page we've turned in the last few weeks I'm pretty much wishing it was Saturday morning already and time to run out with these guys again.
We can play in front of the friends, family and loved ones who have supported us all season around the globe and now they can finally get to come watch the action up close at the home rugby. See you at the weekend!
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