Rugby Sevens: Interview with England Captain Ben Gollings

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Rugby sevens has just become an Olympic sport and will make its debut at the 2016 Games. But you don’t have to wait until then to see a match.

Emirates Airline London Sevens comes to Twickenham Stadium later this month, complete with fast-paced rugby and fancy dress.

We caught up with England captain and all-time top point-scorer Ben Gollings to find out more.

Tell us about the rugby sevens game

It encompasses a bit of a festival-type atmosphere. From the crowd’s perspective, you get people coming out in their fancy dress. This year it’s a beach party theme. They come out going crazy!

It’s fast, furious, fun rugby; a short, sharp game with lots happening. There’s a lot of hard work going into it. It’s played on the same sized field as a proper rugby pitch. It’s 14 minutes per game but there’s a lot happening in those 14 minutes. That’s all you want to play, trust me!

It’s a really good day out, a great spectacle, even if you’re not the biggest rugby fan.

What’s it like playing at Twickenham?

Twickenham is always brilliant. It’s the home of rugby and an incredible stadium. It’s always great to be able to run out in an England shirt in front of a home crowd.

How do you prepare for a match?

We have a little routine where about 45 minutes before a game we start to get ready. We then move from the changing room to the warm-up area for a 10 or 15 minute warm-up. Then it’s shirts on and out you go.

How will you celebrate if you win?

The nature of the game is that you’re usually absolutely exhausted by the time you finish. And the following weekend we have a big tour.

The boys might have a quiet drink but really it’s recuperation and rest. It will be awesome if we do win here!

How do you spend your free time in London?

As a team we try and do different things. Last year we did a bike sightseeing tour around London. I saw sights I’d never seen before and it was great fun.

You might see us kayaking down the Thames near where we stay. We like to do something different, away from rugby.

Emirates Airline London Sevens is at Twickenham Stadium from 21 to 22 May 2011. Buy tickets