Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
---------------
CHOOSE A SPORT
RELATED BBC SITES
Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 March 2006, 08:49 GMT
Pizza the action
By Matt Majendie
BBC Sport in Melbourne

Dan Luger in action for the England Sevens side in February.
Luger is back in Australia for the first time since the World Cup
Seven weeks ago, Dan Luger was putting all his efforts into opening a pizza restaurant in Prague.

But by this weekend it's very possible the 31-year-old, part of England's World Cup-winning squad in 2003, will be celebrating with a Commonwealth gold medal.

The former Harlequins, Saracens and Perpignan wing has made the surprise return of the season after being named in Mike Friday's England Sevens squad for the trip to Melbourne.

And his call-up is all the more remarkable having spent this season away from top-flight rugby.

RUGBY SEVENS IN MELBOURNE
4x4 groups with top two teams through to quarters
Group games (incl Eng v Aust, Wales v NZ) Weds 15 Mar 2330 GMT - Thurs 16 Mar 1130
Semi-finals/finals: 17 Mar 0700-1130

Luger told BBC Sport: "I've always loved playing Sevens but never really had a chance during my career so I gave Mike a call and he told me to come along to training.

"I'd kept myself in pretty good shape despite not playing but I'm sure he was sceptical when I turned up at training."

Friday and assistant coach Phil Greening, however, needed little persuading and Luger was called up for the IRB tournaments in George, where England were runners-up, and Los Angeles, where they won.

Luger admits he is the "old man of the squad" but is relishing the challenge.

"It's amazing to think I could end the season with a gold medal," he said. "We've got as good a chance as any team.

"When I took up Sevens again last year I had no idea the Commonwealth Games were on but it's been a great incentive."

Prior to his Sevens return, Luger last pulled on an England jersey in the World Cup quarter-final against Wales three years ago.

I've been busier than when I was playing week in, week out
Dan Luger
Straight after the tournament, he joined Perpignan - a move he loved.

"I'd go back and do it again," he said. "It's one of the best things I've ever done. It was great to experience a different culture and way of life."

In his first season, they reached the final of the French Championship but their coach was sacked and Luger "didn't see eye to eye" with his two replacements.

"I'd thought it might be claustrophobic out there as the French are so passionate about the sport. But people were very polite," he said.

"They'd say 'hello' or 'well done' and then leave you to it. That said, as a pro rugby player out there, if you needed something doing it was done straight away. That was quite a perk."

Luger has yet to decide on his rugby future after the Games, but admits a return to the Premiership or France remain possibilities.

Of late, he has been experiencing rugby at a far lower level - he trains with Split rugby team near his home in Croatia.

He also practises with England on occasions and in Narbonne, where he also has a home.

"I guess I've got training partners around the world - it works really well," he said. "Most of them don't even know who I am."

Telstra Dome
The Telstra Dome will host the Rugby Sevens competition
Luger, however, denied reports he has been involved with coaching in Croatia but is keen to get involved in the future.

"I've just not had time," the World Cup winner said. "But it's a country with a lot of potential and they're using Sevens to push the game."

Aside from his new Italian restaurant - Pizza Nuova - in Prague, where his mother is from, he boasts a property portfolio in Croatia, where his dad originates.

"I've been busier than when I was playing week in, week out," he said.

As for a return to Andy Robinson's England set-up, Luger takes a "never say never" approach.

"That said, it's a lot of work to get there and stay there, and I'm not sure whether I can do that again," he said.

Only time will tell.





Links to more Commonwealth Games stories


 


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs

MMIX

Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability Sport | Commonwealth Games | Olympics 2012 | Other Sport...

Video and Audio | TV/Radio Schedule | Scores & Fixtures | Have Your Say | Photo Galleries

Sport Academy | Health & Fitness | Fun and Games | Question of Sport

Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport