Current Loughborough Students player Callum Wilson will join up with former Loughborough student Phil Burgess in the England Sevens squad for the World Series next year.
Burgess, a current back row forward for the Cornish Pirates, is a former England students representative whilst at Loughborough. Meanwhile 22-year-old winger Wilson is currently studying Information Management and Business Studies at Loughborough. They are two of four new signings for England sevens going into next season, including former England Under 20s captain and current London Irish back rower Alex Gray and Newcastle Falcons 2010/11 season top try scorer Luke Fielden.
The England Sevens season will climax with the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next July. Whilst in the long term Burgess and Wilson will be looking to play in the Olympics in 2016, when rugby sevens is included for the first time in Rio de Janeiro.
24-year old former student Burgess had this to say about signing for England: “Sevens has reached the time where it’s really going places and with the way it’s expanding, with the Olympics on the horizon in three years’ time, you can see the potential.
“I’ve loved being at the Pirates and in Cornwall and I owe them a great deal for giving me a chance straight out of university. It will be hard to leave fifteens but for me and the way I play I believe I’ll be suited to switching to sevens full-time.”
Wilson, originally from Sussex, was equally excited about joining the team and told Label: “This is my first professional contract and I’m really excited about it but at the same time I know this is where the hard work really kicks in.”
“I’ve taken an unconventional route into rugby rather than coming up through the academy system getting lots of games under my belt and that’s taught me some good lessons. Coming to Loughborough was a huge part of getting me to where I am now in giving a great grounding and driving up standards.”
England Sevens head coach Ben Ryan was looking forward to welcoming Wilson to the team and told the press: “Callum’s an outstanding student player we’ve watched closely over the last year. It’s good to have him on board. He’s got the attributes to make the step up and we’re looking forward to seeing him develop further.”
Good luck to both boys as they continue their rugby careers and to England Sevens for the remainder of this season and next. Hopefully 2014 will be a year to remember for both.