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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Thursday, 16 May, 2002, 17:51 GMT 18:51 UK
May wins Sevens call
Newcastle's Tom May holds off tackle from Saracens' Tim Horan
May (centre) will bolster Lydon's squad
Newcastle centre Tom May has been drafted into England's squad for the Emirates Airline London Sevens at Twickenham.

Coach Joe Lydon has added May to the initial 13-man party he named on Tuesday for the tournament on 24 and 25 May.

The player is an injury doubt for Newcastle's Zurich Championship play-off at Gloucester on Saturday.

But he will join up with the England squad when they begin preparations for the two-day Twickenham event on Monday.


Tom has been around the fringes of the senior team and we thought the stronger squad the better
Joe Lydon

"We were always looking to put in more names and to boost the squad," Lydon said.

"Tom has been around the A team and the fringes of the senior team and we thought the stronger squad the better.

"We have been in dialogue with Clive Woodward and we know at this stage of the season it is important to have a large squad."

Lydon must whittle his squad down next week from 14 to the final 12 he thinks most capable of replicating England's victory in Hong Kong on home soil.

Wasps hooker Phil Greening has been chosen to captain a squad that includes Gloucester's former rugby league star Henry Paul, Wasps flier Paul Sampson and Cambridge University sevens specialist Simon Amor.

The London tournament is the penultimate round of this season's International Rugby Board world series.

Phil Greening celebrates England's victory in Hong Kong
Greening captained England to victory in Hong Kong

England are looking to consolidate their current world ranking of fourth, building towards the Cardiff Sevens in June and this summer's Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

"This is an exciting and experienced squad," added Lydon.

"Ten of the players have already represented England during the 2002 IRB series, and seven were in our winning Hong Kong line-up.

"It is crucial that we consolidate our present fourth position to go into the Commonwealth Games with a best-possible seeding."

No players from Leicester or Sale were considered because of those clubs' respective Heineken Cup and Parker Pen European Shield final commitments on the same weekend.

The Rugby Football Union are expecting more than 20,000 spectators on finals day, making Twickenham the third-biggest IRB event behind Hong Kong and Wellington, New Zealand.


England Squad:

Simon Amor (Cambridge University), Nick Duncombe (NEC Harlequins), Ben Gollings (NEC Harlequins), Phil Greening (London Wasps), Ben Johnston (Saracens), Josh Lewsey (London Wasps), Tom May (Newcastle Falcons), Henry Paul (Gloucester), Tony Roques (Saracens), Paul Sampson (London Wasps), Michael Stephenson (Newcastle Falcons), Rob Thirlby (Bath), Steve White-Cooper (NEC Harlequins), Kevin Barret (London Irish)

See also:

24 Mar 02 |  Rugby Union
Paul leads Sevens revival
15 Mar 02 |  International
Sevens aim for Games glory
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