Royle’s back in Sevens running

Fylde v Leicester Lions at Woodlands, Ansdell. Nick Royle.
Fylde v Leicester Lions at Woodlands, Ansdell. Nick Royle.
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FYLDE RU winger Nick Royle will be getting his passport out again after being called up to join the England Sevens squad.

He will join the team for the next two legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series, which take place in New Zealand and the United States.

England are top of the table after a win at last month’s Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens, and a second place finish at the Emirates Airline South Africa Sevens in George.

Royle replaces the injured Ollie Lindsay-Hague (Harlequins) for the tournaments at Wellington (February 4-5), and Las Vegas (February 12-13).

The 27-year-old former Widnes Vikings and Warrington Wolves RL wing is a contracted England Sevens player, who has been appearing alongside 2003 World Cup winner Jason Robinson for Fylde this season.

Ben Gollings leads the England team, and will be looking to extend his world record tally of 2,455 series points when the number one seeds kick off the NZI Sevens with pool matches against Wales, the USA and the Cook Islands.

They will be out to emulate their victory at Wellington in 2009, when the hosts were beaten in the final by Isoa Damudamu’s late try and Gollings’s clinching conversion.

Coach Ben Ryan is impressed with the work done so far in training on and off the field.

He said: “We’ve been very critical of what we’ve done in the first two tournaments and it’s important that self-analysis has taken place. We’re still very disappointed that we didn’t take out New Zealand in the final at George.

“We’ve been back in training for two weeks now, and we’ve used that time to really work hard on fitness and the players have come out of it with some outstanding scores measured in fitness tests and our GPS data.

“Now we go to a tournament at Wellington, where we’ve had a bit of success in the last few years.

“What happens there and in Vegas has often been a turning point in the series.

“We don’t want to give up being top of the pile, and everybody will be looking at what we’ve done so far, so we’ll examine what we can do to adjust a few things over the next few weeks.”