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England Sevens stalwart James Rodwell to retire

James Rodwell

James Rodwell will call time on his rugby career at the end of the season holding the record for the most caps in Sevens history.

The Olympic silver medallist surpassed DJ Forbes’ tally of 89 tournaments in Hamilton in January to become the record appearance holder in World Rugby Sevens.

After 11 years touring the globe on the Sevens circuit, the forward has taken the decision to finish his career in June.

“It’s been an amazing journey from when I first started playing sevens – I would never have imagined that I’d pull on an England jersey this many times,” Rodwell said.

“The pleasure that I still get from representing my country is incredible and it’s still a huge honour to wear the England shirt.

“The game of sevens has grown so much in the 12 years that I have been involved.

“It began with part-time players coming together for tournaments and now has players on fully-professional contracts and is about to feature in the Olympics for the second time – I’m very proud to have been a part of that.

“As well as my family there are lot of people that I have to thank for my career over the years – going all the way back to my school, university and Moseley coaches who believed in me, before the likes of Ben Ryan, Russell Earnshaw and Simon Amor who have all given me so much support within the England Sevens programme.”

At the 2014 Hong Kong Sevens, Rodwell had reached 50 consecutive World Series appearances and he went on to set the record number of consecutive appearances of 69 two years later in Singapore.

Rodwell went on to credit England head coach Simon Amor for keeping him conditioned to play in the octane tempo of Sevens at the age of 34, as well as honouring his teammates.

“The level of detail that Simon Amor puts into getting players into the right place both physically and mentally has played such a huge part in me being able to have played for such a long time.

“The real memories come from all the players that I have been fortunate enough to play with and against throughout my career and I have forged some friendships that will last a lifetime.

“There is no better feeling than running out onto the pitch with some of your closest friends to some of the most passionate fans in rugby from all around the world.”

As well as featuring in Sevens rugby’s debut at the Rio Olympics in 2016 for Team GB, Rodwell also represented England at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and Glasgow.

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