Barden to skipper England
England Sevens head coach Ben Ryan has confirmed Greg Barden will skipper the side during this season¿s HSBC Sevens World Series.
Last Updated: 22/11/11 4:06pm
England Sevens head coach Ben Ryan has confirmed Greg Barden will skipper the side during this season's HSBC Sevens World Series.
The 30-year-old former Royal Marine is a veteran on 11 World Series tournaments and was rewarded with a full-time contract earlier this year.
Barden, who replaces Ben Gollings at the helm, will be assisted by vice-captain Rob Vickerman and senior player Chris Cracknell.
Ryan said: "We've got a good group of senior players who've led the squad well, three of them being Greg Barden, Rob Vickerman and Chris Cracknell.
"Greg has enormous respect from everyone. He's quiet but when he does speak everyone listens and he leads by example.
"His last appearance for us was in the Hong Kong final when he was absolutely outstanding. He really does epitomise wanting to give everything you possibly can when wearing an England shirt."
Barden has previously represented the Royal Navy, while he played his club rugby for Bristol and Newbury.
And he admitted he has relishing the challenge of leading the ambitious England outfit during the nine-legged series.
He said: "The captaincy is a huge honour. It's a big ask from Ben to take on that responsibility but hopefully it's something I'll thrive on and enjoy immensely throughout the season.
"Throughout the squad there's a huge amount of experience that we can draw upon. Rob Vickerman's been with the sevens before and in the Aviva Premiership with Newcastle and Leeds so his experience is second to none.
"Chris Cracknell has been in the fold for quite a few years now, James Rodwell's got 25 tournaments under his belt, the list goes on."
England warmed up for the opening event of the series - the Gold Coast Sevens - with two conditioned games against Fiji and Japan.
And England could come up against Fiji again in Australia with the Pacific Islanders - or defending series champions New Zealand - potential opponents in the last eight.
Ryan's men, though, must first come through their pool - with Friday's action seeing them face Scotland (3.19am GMT), Tonga (6.25am) and Wales (10.52am).