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Rush for sevens tickets as fans get behind Englandís gold medal bid


The Commonwealth Games is gearing up to be the most successful rugby sevens tournament in history.

Marcus St Hilaire

Marcus St Hilaire looking forward to strong home support

With over 75,000 tickets already sold for the three night rugby extravaganza in Manchester, the Commonwealth Games rugby sevens is set to be the biggest selling sevens tournament ever.

And with two of the top seeds England and defending champions New Zealand announcing strong squads this week, ticket sales can expect a further boost as Englandís army of rugby fans throw their weight behind their teamís quest for gold.

There are still tickets available from £10 for Englandís Group matches which take place on Friday 2 August , the opening day of the rugby sevens, and England manager Joe Lydon is urging fans to buy tickets and come along to cheer the team on.

Lydon said: ďItís going to be a fantastic evening and we need as many England supporters in the City of Manchester Stadium as possible.Ē

England have picked a side that includes seven full international players who will need to be firing on all cylinders if they are to overcome the mighty Kiwis captained by Sevens legend Eric Rush. The way the draw has gone, if all goes to plan for Lydonís army, England would meet for a final gold medal showdown with New Zealand at the spectacular, 38,000 capacity, City of Manchester Stadium.

And rugby league fans in the games heartland will be pleased to note that rugby league international Henry Paul and Leeds Rhino Marcus St. Hillaire have also been named in the England squad.

Lydon remarked: ďThe Kiwis have announced a strong squad with eight of the players members of the World Cup sevens winning side in Argentina in 2001. I have picked 14 men that can live with the pressure of such a team and the atmosphere that will await them in the Games stadium. The squad will be reduced to 12 soon and we begin our final preparation from the Commonwealth Games village on 31 JulyĒ

England will have to show every bit as much flair in Manchester as they showed in the Hong Kong sevens this year when they overcame fourth seeds in the Games, Fiji. For New Zealand will be looking for key players like Karl te Nana, crowned king Karl at the 2001 Hong Kong sevens, and now back from injury to run riot with opposing team defences.

Before contemplating New Zealand, England could face Australia in the quarter finals. But first of all they must progress through the group stages by beating the Pacific Island teams of Samoa and the Cook Islands and also Kenya.

Tickets are available from our ticketing section

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