Gold Coast buildup

Simon Amor has named his squad for the opening round of the HSBC Sevens World Series on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Phil Burgess will captain the side with Tom Mitchell ruled out with injury, while three players are set to make their debut in Charlie Hayter, Alex Davis and Tom Bowen.

England finished fourth on the Series last season, and this year will be attempting to qualify Team GB for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“We have a good balance in the squad: we have strength and pace, and some exciting playmakers pulling the strings so we’re in a good place,” said Amor.

“With the Olympics in mind, first of all it’s a huge honour to be carrying the baton for Team GB, but for us as England, it’s very much about how we can continue to improve as a team. We finished fourth last season, and our focus is quite simply on bettering that.”

England squad: James Rodwell, Alex Gray. Charlie Hayter, Sam Blanchett, Phil Burgess (c), John Brake, Christian Lewis-Pratt, Dan Bibby, Marcus Watson, Alex Davis, Dan Norton, Tom Bowen

John Moonlight will captain an injury-hit Canada squad on the Gold Coast.

Phil Mack, Nathan Hirayama, Nanyak Dala, Mick Scholz and Phil Mack are all notable absentees, and Jack Smith and Adam Zaruba will make their debuts for Canada, who will be under the tutelage of interim coach Ben Herring with Liam Middleton pending Canadian Immigratioon requirements.

Canada squad: Justin Douglas, Sean Duke, Mike Fuailefau, Lucas Hammond, Ciaran Hearn, Harry Jones, John Moonlight (c), Jack Smith, Conor Trainer, Jake Webster, Jordan Wilson-Ross, Adam Zaruba

Madison Hughes will captain the USA Sevens side at the opening round of the Series in Australia.

The 21-year-old scored 98 points in three rounds last season, and is joined by familiar faces Zack Test and Carlin Isles, while Peter Tiberio is named by new head coach Mike Friday for the first time since 2012.

USA squad: Garrett Bender, Andrew Durutalo, Zack Test, Nic Edwards, Pat Blair, Madison Hughes (c), Folau Niua, Peter Tiberio, Danny Barrett, Make Unufe, Carlin Isles, Perry Baker

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