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Your News Behind the scenes with England Sevens
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ENGLAND SEVENS have completed the first five-week block of their pre-season training programme as they build up to the start of the HSBC Sevens World Series. Full-time sevens players James Rodwell and Chris Cracknell take us through a typical day training at the Lensbury Club and Twickenham Stadium under coaches Ben Ryan and Russell Earnshaw.

7.30am Pool session

Rodwell: The alarm is set for 7am for a 7.30am pool session. This morning it was 20 lengths and then 10 underwater lengths which is a nice wake-up call. The stuff in the pool is a loosener, gets the body working but itís turning into a fitness session now since we had Karen Pickering doing a few sessions with us. Our physio Brett [Davison]ís got some bad ideas from her. Some of the lads struggle with it Ė Dan Norton! Greg Barden or Chris Cracknell are probably the best swimmers.

8am Breakfast

Cracknell: Food is straight after swimming. Thereís usually a free-for-all for poached eggs then some coffee. A few of the boys have a little bit of bacon. Mostly healthy stuff.

8.15-10am Medical room open

10.30am Rugby

Rodwell: We have a little breather before the first rugby session at about half-ten. More recently weíve been doing double rugby on a Tuesday.

Cracknell: Itís full on, battering us really.

Rodwell: It starts off with a bit of grab, bit of tackling on pads, then the pads get thrown away.

Cracknell: Then the backs get clever and start running round the forwards. Then the forwards get angry.

Rodwell: It takes about an hour including the warm-up. Then straight to lunch for another feed and get the energy levels back up.

12pm Extras Ė lineout throwing

Rodwell: There are extra sessions thrown in for kickers, throwers and so on. Today it was throwers (with RFU coach Simon Hardy) with Mathew Turner, John Brake and Sam Edgerley. They havenít got to the level for the forwards to be out there yet.

Cracknell: Others do extras at the end of the session, receiving kick-offs for example, and weíll start soon walking through our lineouts and so on.

12.30 Lunch

Cracknell: Are you just talking to me about food because Iím fat? You can predict what weíll have. Tuesdayís a gnocchi and fish day, then steak in the evening. The food here is good. Standard rugby meals.

2.30pm Rugby or Weights

Rodwell: Today itís more of the same on the pitch, defence work, tackling. Other days we may do a weights session in the gym at Twickenham. It varies from a circuit as a full squad or split into units. The ethos is good - weíre in as a group and working hard. Then itís off down the Anglers for the quiz

4-5.30 Medical room open

Rodwell: If you need a treatment you can go along to Brett or Rich [masseur Ricahrd Wegrzyk] Itís about self-monitoring really.

6pm Dinner

7pm Team Activity

Quiz at The Anglers, Teddington

Cracknell: Rodders and [Rob] Vickerman are the quiz Ďnausesí

Rodwell: Vickipedia will tell you all about it!

Cracknell: Vicks has started watching Pointless [on BBC1] to test himself. We room together and he gets the pen and paper out to get the scores down. Itís good to do something as a team together. Itís moved on from us just being here and training and sleeping. For us itís important to do stuff together off the field, building a team, so Monday nights we try and do something together Ė maybe go out for a meal Ė although last week we had another quiz!

Rodwell: Simon Hunt did the Monday quiz. Heís definitely got a future as a Family Fortunes host.

10-10.30pm Lights out

Rodwell: After a full dayís training we sleep pretty well. Itís never nice when the alarm goes off again, though!

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