England rugby sevens head coach Ben Ryan says the England versus Australia fixture in the pool phase at the Delhi Commonwealth Games will be an ‘absolute ding-dong’.
The draw for the rugby sevens tournament was announced yesterday (Friday) and put Melbourne 2006 silver medallists England in the same pool as Australia, who finished third in the 2009/10 IRB Sevens World Series.
They also face Namibia and Sri Lanka in Pool D, with the top two teams progressing to the quarter-finals.
"It brings it all to life now the draw has been made and it will concentrate our minds on the task in hand and what we need to do over the two days to finish top of the pile at the Commonwealth Games," said England sevens head coach Ryan.
"Over the years we've had the upper hand against Australia but this season just gone they've put together a side equal to any in the world,” he added. “The scoreline from the last IRB Sevens World Series reads won two, lost two, drawn one which shows you how tight it's been.
“It's going to be an absolute ding-dong in Delhi and it's the tastiest match-up in the qualifying round.
"It's also good to be playing sides we haven't met before in the pool stages. We've never played Namibia before as far as I know and last played Sri Lanka a couple of years ago in Hong Kong.
"One of the most exciting things is being part of a larger England team,” he added. “Building relationships, seeking advice and sharing knowledge with other sports is something we've been doing for a while and to be able to go to the Commonwealth Games with them all will be a great experience."
New Zealand have dominated the rugby sevens tournaments since the sport was introduced to the Commonwealth Games programme at the Kuala Lumpur Games in 1998, winning all three gold medals contested to date.
Commonwealth Games rugby sevens, October 11-12
Pool A: New Zealand, Scotland, Canada, Guyana
Pool B: South Africa, Wales, Tonga, India
Pool C: Samoa, Kenya, Uganda, Papua New Guinea
Pool D: England, Australia, Namibia, Sri Lanka
The 2010 Commonwealth Games take place in Delhi, India, from 3 to 14 October 2010. They will feature 17 sports - archery, aquatics (swimming, synchronised swimming & diving), athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby 7s, shooting, squash, table tennis, tennis, weightlifting and wrestling. With the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Commonwealth Games England is entering a breath-taking four years of sport.

Commonwealth Games England (GCE) is the organisation responsible for selecting and organising England's team at the Commonwealth Games.   England finished second to Australia on the medal table at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games with 36 golds, 40 silvers and 34 bronzes.

Sport England is responsible for building the foundations of sporting success, by creating a world-leading community sport system of clubs, coaches, facilities and volunteers. Their focus is growing and sustaining the numbers of people taking part in sport and improving talent development to help more people excel.

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