1. ITV Report

Davis: England want to harness Twickenham atmosphere to help end year on a high

Alex Davis is looking to finish the year on a high. Photo: PA

England Sevens are looking to end their campaign on a high at Twickenham at the weekend, centre Alex Davis told ITV.

The team took advantage of Fiji's underwhelming performance in Paris last weekend to move into second and now want to finish the job at Twickenham in front of a raucous home crowd.

Twickenham will host the two-day end-of-season event, with England starting three points ahead of Fiji in third.

"We're currently second in the table, and our goal at the start of the season was to finish in the top three, we're just ahead of Fiji so we're definitely going to try and push them for second place - and finishing in London, at home, means we want to finish strongly and then we'll be really pleased with how the season's gone.

Davis tried some cookery at Temper. Credit: PA

The centre believes a positive result at Twickenham would be a huge boost for the team who are set for even bigger things in 2018, and closing the gap on the likes of South Africa who are currently 34 points clear at the top of the standings is a key aim.

"We're definitely hopeful - next year we have two big things coming up, we've got the Commonwealth Games in Australia and the Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, so they're obviously there another two big goals for us next year, having had the Olympics in 2016, so that's going to be a big focus of us going into next year, but for now we're just focused on Twickenham and pushing Fiji for second place and we know when we're on form, we can beat anyone in the world."

Twickenham's hosting of Sevens events has become synonymous with fancy dress and boisterous atmosphere, something Davis hopes England can harness.

"The HSBC Rugby Sevens at Twickenham is the ultimate for us as England players, to play of a home crowd that make it a brilliant atmosphere and to have family and friends there to support us is really special. Running out to the noise of a crowd where most of them is behind you is amazing." Davis told ITV.

"We want to grow the game, make England proud and that's a massive goal for us, to inspire the nation, as sevens is getting more recognition so if we can help to grow the game thanks to the Twickenham round that would be great."

England 7s are heading for another meaty challenge at Twickenham. Credit: PA

Davis warmed up for the event with some butchery and cooking at Neil Rankin's Temper in central London, a prospect some might see as more dangerous than facing a marauding prop, but was a sign of things to come off the pitch at Twickenham.

"It's a festival of food and rugby - outside of the stadium, when you're not watching the rugby, there's lots of bespoke food stalls from all around London, so the food's great, so it's about celebrating that as well as the rugby.

"I don't think I am going to change what I eat but I think I am going to be pretty inspired by it. I've been asking a lot of questions about the different cuts of me and getting some inside information on what the best cuts are and how to cook them.

  • For a chance to see Neil and taste delicious, gourmet street food, visit the HSBC London Sevens at the World Series finale, 'Feast of Rugby' at Twickenham on Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st May 2017. Tickets start at £30 and are available here.