The Rugby Football Union has scrapped its professional sevens programme. The England men’s and women’s squads were informed this week that once their contracts are up at the end of this month, they will not be offered new deals.
A number of the current England stars were key parts of the side that won the silver medal at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio.
Players had been told last month to “explore their options” until the World Series was due to resume early next year, and that they would be out of contract for five months
Mark Robertson (Scotland) – The former winger from Melrose, 34, retired from rugby in 2017 after a stellar XV-a-side career and over 50 tournaments on the World Sevens Series circuit with Scotland, scoring over 100 tries. In 2019, after two years working in strength and conditioning within Scottish Rugby, to moved to France to join Clermont as a coach.
Ruaridh McConnochie (England) – In January 2018, the speedster departed England Sevens and. signed a full-time deal with Bath in the Gallagher Premiership. Just over a year later, McConnochie was named in Eddie Jones World Cup squad and has since won two caps, scoring one try.
Phil Burgess (England) – A mainstay in the England Sevens squad, Burgess has scored 40 points on the 2019/20 HSBC World Sevens Series to date. He will also now have to seek alternative employment.
Dan Norton (England) – In January 2020, Dan broke the record for the most matches appeared in at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, overtaking New Zealand’s DJ Forbes. The 32-year-old is reportedly a free agent after the RFU didn’t offer any of the squad new deals.