England Rugby Sevens coach Simon Amor thanks departing players for their contribution


England Sevens head coach Simon Amor has paid tribute to several of his departing stars following the conclusion of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Among those graduating to the 15-a-side game are Marcus Watson and Jeff Williams, who have signed for Aviva Premiership teams Newcastle Falcons and Bath Rugby respectively.

Williams, 26, made his debut at the Marriott London Sevens in 2012 while Watson, 23, scored 59 tries over his Sevens career, including 27 in the 2012-13 season.

"Both Marcus Watson and Jeff Williams have been with the programme for a number of years. Marcus was outstanding towards the end of this season and has given a massive contribution to the Sevens programme over the year," Amor said.

"I am also delighted for Jeff. He's done fantastically well for England Sevens. He was developed well within the Sevens programme and gets an opportunity to further his career in the 15-a-side game with Premiership finalists Bath."

Other players to move on include Sam Blanchet, Christian Lewis-Pratt, Sam Stanley, Jack Walsh and Callum Wilson.

Lewis-Pratt in particular enjoyed a distinguished Sevens career, finishing fifth in the list of points-scorers in 2012-13 after amassing 221 points in the nine-leg series.

Amor was effusive in his praise of the 24-year-old's contribution over the years: "I'd like to give a special mention to Christian who is a very experienced player who has performed consistently well for England and been one of the most creative players we've had for a number of years.

"He has made a massive contribution and wish him well in the future."

Looking ahead to the 2015-16 season, new players joining the programme include James Cordy-Redden, Cameron Cowell, Richard de Carpentier, Samson Egerton, Ruaridh McConnochie, Seb Nagle-Taylor and Josh Watkins.

Last year, Oxford University's Egerton became the first player since 1925 to score in three consecutive Varsity matches. A year earlier, he earned the slightly more dubious honour of becoming the first player ever to receive a red card in the history of the time-honoured match.