England Star Mathew Turner On IRB 7s, Heyneke Meyer & England 7s Gossip

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – It’s that time of the year when all the international 7s teams start to ramp things up and do their final bits of prep. A few teams went to the Safari Sevens in Kenya, while somewhere Down Under the Kiwi’s, Fijians and Aussies had a crack at each other… and a peak at their respective teams for the upcoming IRB HSBC season.

We [England 7s] did the same. We stayed in Valencia, Spain, in a lovely beach and golf resort called the Oliva Nova Golf Resort. The place is a little like a nuclear village at this time of the year, but all the boys loved it. Even though it was boiling hot, we got to throw the ball around and swim in the sea – which was great. Us sevens players are very simple in that respect.

Last Friday we played against France. Saturday we played in the tournament against Spain, France and Spain B. It was all good rugby, and a true test of our fitness and game-shapeness – an exclusive RWU term.

But enough of that 7s talk, let’s shift to The Rugby Championship… When South Africa lost to the Aussies, it pretty much gave SA  the Kiwis the trophy. South African newspapers, bloggers and columnists were completely hammering Heyneke Meyer (tell Junoir Blaber to stop misspelling it) about his selections and game plan – which in my eyes… he deserved. And that was before the meltdown against New Zealand! Look, if you select 60 percent of your team from a team that didn’t make the semi-finals of the Super 15, then you are going to have a hard time. Also, being a new coach, you have the perfect time to ‘bleed‘ a few younger players into the system, especially in the back line. I felt there were a few there are too many has-beens and/or players that do just enough. I’m sure Peter De Villiers is sitting on his couch having a little giggle to himself.

Ollie Phillips and Johanthan Wicklow Barberie

That aside, let’s get to a little England 7s Gossip!
– Ollie Phillips has been tweeting Dan Carter  – or DC, as he calls him. He is still waiting for his reply. Poor Ollie.
– Christian Lewis-Pratt is starting to look more and more like Jedward with his hair-do.

– There has been an team decision that Sam Edgerley looks like “Hey, Arnold!” the cartoon.

That’s it for this week. It’s good to be back behind the keyboard. Leave your comments below and I’ll do my best to come back again next week. Thanks.