Josh Selected for World Sevens Cup

Navy wing AB Logs (CS) Josh Drauniniu, CTCRM, has been selected by coach Ben Ryan for the England Sevens team that will travel to Dubai for the iRB Sevens World Cup. Josh will be reurning to one of his favourite venues as it was in Dubai that he made his England debut with Navy Rugby colleague Cpl Greg Barden, RM Poole. Josh was also part of the successful Navy Sharks team that one two trophies in three years at the Dubai International Sevens. Josh hopes to be joined by Greg Barden who is on stand by for the World Cup. Having missed out on the last two legs of the iRB World Sevens Series due to a shoulder injury, Ben Ryan has named Greg as part of the extended squad. He will train with England next week but only travel if someone picks up an injury. The RFU Press Release is as follows: Tom Varndell (Leicester Tigers) will be back in action for England after being named in the squad for this year's Rugby World Cup Sevens (March 5-7). The England international (4 caps) last played for the England Sevens side in the 2006 Commonwealth Games (Melbourne) when he picked up a silver medal. But next month the England speedster will be hoping to go one better in Dubai, the same country where his ten try tournament tally earned him the 'Player of the Tournament' award on his sevens debut in 2005. Varndell joins an experienced squad that includes fellow 2006 Los Angeles winner Ollie Phillips (Newcastle Falcons) who will captain the squad and Ben Gollings (Gold Coast, Australia) the IRB's all time sevens highest points scorer and the only player to have taken part in the last Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2005. Coach Ben Ryan has retained ten of the squad that won the Wellington tournament earlier this month, including winning try scorer Isoa Damudamu (British Army/London Wasps), with Varndell and Dubai 2008 finalist Josh Drauniniu (Royal Navy/Exeter Chiefs) the only changes. Said Ryan, "I am immensely proud of the squad's successes so far this season. This is one of England Sevens' most successful periods, reaching four of the last five finals going into a World Cup is unbelievably exciting. "We have a terrific blend of hard work and ability in a very humble squad and I can't think of a group of people that I would rather go into such a momentous tournament with." Alongside South Africa, England currently top the IRB Sevens Series rankings on 60 points, their highest ever half way point position, and are eight clear of third-placed New Zealand. The last time an England side was ranked number one in the world was in 2003 when England won the Rugby World Cup. England Sevens squad Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 Kevin Barrett (Exeter Chiefs) Tom Biggs (Leeds Carnegie) Chris Cracknell (Exeter Chiefs) Isoa Damudamu (British Army/London Wasps) Josh Drauniniu (Royal Navy/Exeter Chiefs) Ben Gollings (Gold Coast, Australia)* Ollie Phillips (Captain, Newcastle Falcons) James Rodwell (Moseley RFC) Charlie Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester Rugby) Tom Varndell (Leicester Tigers) Rob Vickerman (Leeds Carnegie) Andy Vilk (BenettonTreviso) Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009, Dubai, March 5-7 England fixtures: Thursday March 5, 2009 England v Hong Kong (kick off 7.30pm local time, GMT +4) Friday March 6, 2009 England v Tunisia (kick off 11.22am local time, GMT +4) England v Kenya (kick off 7.06pm local time, GMT +4) For more information on England Sevens and to keep up to date with the squad's progress click on the link below or contact Jessica Chambers, England Sevens Press Officer, on 020 8831 6563. Player profiles and headshots are available from Josua Drauniniu (Exeter Chiefs/Royal Navy) Position: Wing/full back DOB: 17.08.85 Height: 1.86m Weight: 89kgs Josh made his Exeter Chiefs debut in September 2007 against Sedgley Park. Drauniniu first burst onto the scene with the Navy U21 team and become a favourite with the Navy crowd. Further success followed with the Navy Sharks and although his debut season for the Navy senior side in 2004 was a quiet one he demonstrated his electrifying pace and powerful balanced running style in the 2007 Army v Navy game. Since joining Exeter he has continued to develop, particularly defensively and is now one of the most exciting talents in National League One. Representative Honours: England Sevens (2008/09 Sevens Series - Dub) Ends