EXCLUSIVE: Phil Burgess- We'll play for the fans at Twickenham
Phil Burgess, England Rugby Sevens player and a member of the GB team that won silver at the Rio Olympics, has the last work ahead of the final round of the World Series at the home of rugby, Twickenham.
It was another dramatic round across the Channel last weekend!
We played newly-promoted Spain in our first game- they gave us a good run out but we pulled through 31-0 winners.
This was followed by hosts France. Playing the host nation is always an amazing feeling. The support of the Parisian crowd was fantastic and I was fortunate enough to lead England out.
Seeing all the French flags waving and the noise the fans were making was awesome but it was even better to subdue the crowd by winning 24-7!
I had to sit out the 12-12 draw against Kenya after picking up a knock against France, but the boys played well against a physical team.
The second day saw us play a strong USA team in the quarter-final where we stepped up our game and performed well, winning 26-12.
We then faced Scotland in the semi-final and were outplayed, losing out 19-17.
That match was a great example of sevens rugby- a highly contested game where both teams had opportunities to win the game.
Scotland played fantastically well throughout the tournament and we didn't get an opportunity to impose ourselves on them in the way we wanted to, so credit to them.
We ended playing New Zealand in the bronze medal match- despite losing out 12-5, our young lads played really well.
The final run-in
I think we put in some fantastic performances that we were proud of. Some of the youngsters had a great opportunity to play and made themselves, and England, proud.
That is the main thing we wanted going into the tournament, so we were happy with the results.
For the final round, it's all about reproducing performances we are proud of. Knowing the crowd are expecting us to do well, we will put pressure on ourselves to live up to our standards and results will hopefully take care of themselves.Being able to play in an England shirt at Twickenham is a unique thing”
Twickenham is incredibly special for any rugby fan, and being an England player it's even more special!
Being able to play in an England shirt at Twickenham is a unique thing and only a limited number of people have done it.
Also, the fact family and friends can come and watch makes for a very special environment. When the Series is on the other side of the world, the opportunities for family and friends to watch are limited.
Twickenham is great, and the home crowd helps give the extra one per-cent that can make the difference in a game.
I think having a round in London reminds people about the World Series and allows fans to get involved, watching the world’s best at one the world’s best sporting venues.
And one last thing…
So, this is my last column of the series!
I have found the column a good way to personally reflect on each tournament and hopefully give some insight into the series from a player’s perspective to the readers.
Sports Gazette would like to thank Phil for his fantastic insights throughout the World Series.
We'll be LIVE at Twickenham for Day 1 and 2 of the final HSBC Sevens World Series round from 20th-21st May, so make sure you check it out!