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The Adventures of Sinbad with James Simpson-Daniel

By The Citizen  |  Posted: July 30, 2014

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Glasgow Sevens flop was so disappointing:

I watched as much of the Commonwealth Sevens as I could at the weekend and was really disappointed with England.

They were really poor in their final group stage match against Australia and I’m really not sure what they were trying to do.

None of the home nations sides went through and that’s a real worry, especially when you consider England only had to beat Sri Lanka and Uganda to go through to the quarter-finals where they then lost to Samoa.

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But putting our British disappointment aside, it was a really good event and goes to show how much sevens is growing.

Everyone interviewed talked about the crowd at Ibrox.

I don’t think the England boys would ever have expected such support in Scotland!

There was a record attendance across the two days for sevens, which shows how much interest there is in sevens.

It’s an amazing opportunity for players to win a medal and the fact the game is in Rio 2016 is amazing.

I have grown up watching the Olympics and Commonwealth Games etcetera and have always thought how amazing it would be to step on to that podium to collect a medal.

Given our performances in Glasgow you would think there is a lot of work to do ahead of 2016 and it brings up the interesting debate of whether you select the sevens specialists who are on the circuit or go for the very best players.

There are so many guys you could pick and I don’t want to just throw names out, but the most important thing is the squad is selected on merit.

Rugby, like all professional sports, can be cut-throat business.

The sevens guys do not really play much club rugby and dedicate themselves to that format, but if the coaches and selectors believe there are better players out there who can give us a chance of stepping on the podium, then there can be no complaints.

But it will be brilliant here:

Staying on that theme, we have the Premiership Rugby Sevens at Kingsholm tonight.

I will be there, working for BT Sport, and it promises to be a great event.

We were on tour in France last year so I didn’t get a chance to see much of it but apparently the atmosphere was awesome.

If there’s nice weather, then what could be better than sitting in the sun with a beer in your hand while watching the sevens?

Olly Morgan and Simon Lane are coaching and they have selected a strong squad and I would be very disappointed if they didn’t go close.

There is a lot of youth and speed, mixed with a lot of grit and experience.

I’m looking forward to seeing Jacob Rowan, I’m sure he will be very good and all over the pitch, while Steph Reynolds will be an out-and-out flier and finisher.

Devonish can give us an edge:

Marlon Devonish has been coming in again this pre-season and it is a great boost for us.

Some of the guys have been coming in and saying they have never had sessions like these.

He has been working with the whole squad, even the front-row, and they have all enjoyed it. It’s tough and quite drill based but you do feel the benefits and everyone enjoys having Marlon around.

He has an amazing presence as an Olympic gold medallist, he’s very experienced and very successful and the boys love working with that type of person.

But he’s also good man, a really nice fella that gets involved in all the banter. He enjoys coming and being among the boys because it’s something different and a new environment for him as well.

Marlon works with us on both our out-and-out speed and technique. He is very good looking at our mechanics and gait and if he can make tweaks here and there, anything to give us an extra edge, then that’s great.

There’s drills you’re not used to and what might be a walk in the park for sprinters like Marlon can be a lot more challenging for us. When you watch these guys, and you can see it in the Commonwealths, they are so smooth, calm and never out of breath.

Guys like Charlie Sharples and Jonny May really enjoy these kind of sessions because they are the ones who will really see a benefit. They love that top-end stuff, really focusing on speed.

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  • werew33  |  July 30 2014, 6:52PM

    This is all well and good but, when it comes to Gloucester Rugby, what the club should have done last season was to ensure that Rupҽrt Hardҽn, our first choice and most talented tight head prop, started as many games for Gloucester as was possible.

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